Once again, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are pleased to announce that they have each received $15,000.00 grants from the Prokopis Charitable Foundation to underwrite for 2007 the official Theological Consultation between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches in the U.S.

Twice each year, twelve Orthodox theologians and twelve Roman Catholic theologians gather for the North American Orthodox/Catholic Theological Consultation that was initiated in 1965 by SCOBA and the USCCB. Having read many of the papers and statements issued over the years by this oldest ongoing official dialogue between the two Churches, Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Prokopis have decided to cover the costs of the Consultation for a third year. Similar grants covered all the costs of the Consultation in 2005 and 2006. Mr. Prokopis has expressed many times his genuine interest in the success of this dialogue. He noted that he and Mrs. Prokopis "offer this gift to aid in the rediscovery of the unity that existed during the first millennium. These efforts are of importance to me personally, as well as to all Christians."

The religious philanthropy of the Prokopis Charitable Foundation is guided by the following principles: preserving the Word of the Lord; the health, morale and welfare of parish priests; education; and embracing mixed marriages.

In expressing thanks on behalf of Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman, and the SCOBA hierarchs, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, General Secretary of SCOBA, said "It is certainly a great inspiration to know that the significant work done by our theologians over the past forty years is beginning to bear fruit. Seeking to implement our Lord's prayer 'that all may be one,' our hierarchs and theologians, both lay and ordained, embarked on this long and difficult journey four decades ago. Your very generous support of the work being accomplished by the members of the Consultation, is received with much love and gratitude."

For his part, Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba of Milwaukee, the Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB, thanked Mr. and Mrs. Prokopis for the grant, and said that "your support of these multi-faceted efforts has been most appreciated and, I believe, fully corresponds to Our Lord’s desire that we be reconciled.”

Statements produced by the North American Orthodox/Catholic Theological Consultation can be found on the SCOBA website at www.scoba.us.

For further information CONTACT: SCOBA General Secretariat, Tel: 212-570-3593.

Source: www.goarch.org 19-Dec-2006

Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying:"If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new" (2 Cor. 5:17). 

St. Gregory the Great