Friday, February 15, 2013

OCA "Holy Conversations" plan moving forward

(OCA) - One of the goals of the Strategic Plan adopted by delegates to the 16th All-American Council in 2011 focuses on developing diocesan level, full day “Holy Conversations” on contemporary moral issues, including marriage and human sexuality and beginning and end-of-life issues.

“The purpose of these Holy Conversations is to better communicate Orthodox Christian teachings on these issues and to discuss how they can be applied faithfully, charitably and effectively,” said Priest John Vitko, who chairs the Strategic Plan Committee. “An implementation team, led by Priest Caleb Abetti, rector of Saint Jacob of Alaska Mission, Northfield Falls, VT, has been working on identifying an appropriate format for conducting such conversations.”

With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon, the Diocese of New England will pilot the first of these Holy Conversations at White River Junction, VT, on Friday evening and Saturday, March 1-2, 2013. The gathering will focus on the Orthodox Christian understanding of marriage and human sexuality.

According to Father John, the Holy Conversation will consists of four main sections: (1) opening remarks by Archbishop Nikon; (2) keynote talks by Archpriests John Behr and Andrew Tregubov, who will present the Orthodox understanding of marriage and human sexuality as reflected in the Fathers and in iconography; (3) a panel discussion with Dr. Albert Rossi, Matushka Jennifer Mosher, Priest Theophan Whitfied and Sister Nonna Harrison; and (4) speaker and panel led workshops in which participants will discuss the subject in small groups.

All interested Orthodox Christians are invited to attend. Additional information, including a detailed agenda and registration forms, may be found at

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