Maybe you've known about the Orthodox Christian Church your whole life, or maybe you just found us while surfing the internet. Either way, it's good to know a little about us!
We're Orthodox, but not Jewish...
The word 'orthodox' comes from two Greek words, 'right' and 'glory' or 'belief.' When we say 'Orthodox Christian,' we're talking not only about how we describe God as revealed to us through His Son Jesus Christ, but also about how we are called to worship Him.
We're Catholic, but not Roman...
Again, the word 'catholic' comes from two Greek words, meaning 'according to the whole.' When we say 'Catholic,' we're talking about the universality of the Church; specifically, the canon of faith from Saint Vincent of Lerins, who describes the fullness of the Christian faith as 'that which was believed at all times in all places by all peoples.' Or, as CS Lewis famously said, "Tradition means giving a vote to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead."
We're Evangelical, but not Protestant...
All Christians are rightly 'evangelical,' in that their lives are ordered according to the Gospel of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ. Additionally, we take seriously the Great Commission in Matthew 28 when Christ orders us to, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
We're pre-denominational, but not Non-Denominational...
The Orthodox Christian Church traces it roots back to Christ and His Apostles in an uninterrupted lineage. In fact, except for one, every community Saint Paul wrote to remains an Orthodox Christian community - to this very day! The Church is not defined by virtue of any adjective that places a limit upon it or emphasizes one particular aspect of belief, but rather encapsulates the fullness of Christianity as lived out by the Saints throughout the ages.
For more information, check out some of the following:
The Orthodox Faith series is intended to provide basic, comprehensive information on the faith and life of the Orthodox Church. It consists of four volumes written by Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko. It is available to read on-line here, and also is available for purchase from SVS Press.
Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko (1939–2015) was professor of dogmatic theology and served as dean of Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. Alongside his numerous books and articles, Father Thomas was also renowned as a gifted speaker and homilist.
12 THINGS I WISH I'D KNOWN
A remarkable article detailing a few helpful hints before coming for a visit!
THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA
The Mission of the Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all [things that He has] commanded” so that all people may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth:
To preach, in accordance with God’s will, the fullness of the gospel of the Kingdom to the peoples of North America and to invite them to become members of the Orthodox Church.
- To utilize for her mission the various languages of the peoples of this continent.
To be the body of Christ in North America and to be faithful to the tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church.
To witness to the truth, and by God’s grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit, to reveal Christ’s way of sanctification and eternal salvation to all.
THE DIOCESE OF THE SOUTH
The Diocese of the South, a member of the Orthodox Church in America, spans 14 states and has over 100 faithful clergy and monastics serving in 78 parishes and missions and three monastic communities, from New Mexico to North Carolina. Visit www.dosoca.org for more information!
ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN MISSION CENTER
As the official missions agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States, it is OCMC's mission to make disciples of all nations by bringing people to Christ and His Church that all people may come to know the saving love of our Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.