Jordanville Conference features speakers from the only two American Orthodox seminaries joined to monasteries

Titled Chastity, Purity, Integrity: – Orthodox Anthropology and Secular Culture in the 21st Century, this visionary conference, perhaps the first of its kind in North America, features speakers and a planning committee who hail primarily from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (ROCOR, Jordanville NY) and St Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (OCA, South Canaan PA), both of which are unique in North America among Orthodox seminaries for being linked to and deriving their traditional Orthodox ethos from the monasteries out of which they grew.

Confronting in a firm and direct manner the raging cultural heresies of the day, yet with love and compassion befitting a truly Christian endeavor, the conference features presentations with such traditional Orthodox titles and teachings as these:

  • Orthodox Anthropology: Encountering the “new gnosticism” of transgenderism, pansexuality, and post-humanism
  • Nurturing Christian Purity and Chastity among Young People Today
  • The Mystery of Male and Female
  • The Relevance and Application of Orthodox teachings of Purity and Chastity to 21st-Century America: Culture, Families, Parishes
  • Leavening American Society with the Moral Teachings of the Church

This conference clearly is intended to present in a living and engaging manner the divine-human Orthodox phronema, the Mind of Christ and His Church on the nature, calling, and destiny of mankind.

Unlike certain academic platforms, cut off as they are from the living Orthodox tradition, and which therefore spread heresy and error and seek to overthrow the divine teachings and commandments of Christ and the Scriptures regarding man and woman, marriage and sexuality, and to reimagine and subvert the living tradition of the Orthodox Church, this Jordanville Conference, deriving as it does from two of the oldest and most stalwart Orthodox Christian monasteries in the entire Western Hemisphere, offers not just Orthodox teaching on the nature of Mankind, but presents the Way of Life, as distinguished from the way which leads to death (see the Didache, esp. ch. 1 & 2).

Rather than reproduce the lovely aerial photo of Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary featured with the conference announcement, I think it more appropriate to use one of my favorite images from The North American Thebaid, my photograph of the entrance to Jordanville, its domes faithfully shining beneath dark and threatening skies, a metaphor for the Orthodox Christian presence shining in the midst of the dark age we have entered into here in America.

More info and links on the Jordanville Conference are below the photograph:

20161114-Thebaid-HolyTrinityJordanville-5

 

Chastity, Purity, Integrity:

Orthodox Anthropology and Secular Culture in the 21st Century

Holy Trinity Seminary Jordanville, New York

March 7 – 9, 2019 | Conference announcement and info

This three-day conference focuses on the application of Orthodox teachings on anthropology and morality to contemporary challenges posed by secular American culture (even within the Church).

It will include both scholarly and pastoral perspectives, with the goal of articulating the application of Orthodox Tradition and apologetics to current needs, in the face of current social trends regarding sex, body, and human nature.

It seeks to do so in a prayerful and traditional framework, out of compassion for both struggling Orthodox Christians and families, and those of our neighbors facing spiritual shipwreck in our culture today.

Speakers include::

  • Bishop Irenei (Steenberg)
  • Bishop/Abbot Luke Murianka
  • Dr. Alfred Kentigern Siewers
  • Dr. David Ford
  • Dr. Mary Ford
  • Dr. Edith Humphrey
  • Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green
  • Fr. Chad Hatfield
  • Fr. Peter Heers
  • Dr. David Bradshaw
  • Fr. Hans Jacobse
  • Fr. John Parker
  • Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon
  • Fr. Alexander Webster
  • Dr. John Mark Reynolds

Full information is available on the Holy Trinity Monastery website.

New Women’s Monastery established in Upstate New York

The quiet churching of America continues, with yet another monastery being established in New York State. Glory to God!

New Women’s Monastery blessed in Upstate New York

OrthoChristian.com, Richfield Springs, New York, November 29, 2017:

Property in upstate New York was recently purchased and blessed for a new Russian Orthodox convent, reports the site of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’s Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York.

The community, named in honor of the “She Who is Quick to Hear” Icon of the Mother of God, was initially founded two years ago with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The life of the monastery will flow within the same Russian Tradition as Holy Trinity Monastery, with services in English, and under the spiritual administration of Holy Trinity.

Read the full article…

Books for Monastic Seekers: ‘The Arena’

A classic manual on the Christian spiritual life, by Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov, this is the second in this series of posts. See post 1 here.

The Arena: Guidelines for Spiritual and Monastic Life

By Ignatius (Brianchaninov) Translated by Lazarus (Moore) Foreword by Kallistos (Ware); Holy Trinity Publications, Jordanville NY.

From the publisher’s description:

This is one of the most important and accessible texts of Orthodox Christian teaching on the spiritual life, and and not unlike the better known “Philokalia.” The author, St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) describes this work as his legacy “of soul saving instruction.” He promises that “Those who carry out these instructions will enter into possession of spiritual riches.”

In an age even more alienated from spiritual culture and rooted in materialism, his words pose both a challenge and an invitation to all who ever say to themselves “There must be more to life than this.”

For anyone who desires to deepen their own spiritual journey based upon an encounter with Christ as God, this book is essential reading. Its contents may ultimately be accepted or rejected, but they will be very difficult to ignore.

Continue reading “Books for Monastic Seekers: ‘The Arena’”

Four New Galleries of Monastery Photos

Featuring a gallery of new photographs from Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville NY, made in November 2016, plus three galleries “from the archives”, dating from 2005 to 2015.

Version 2
Pannikhida (memorial service), Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville NY; © Ralph H. Sidway

The end of 2016 and the first weeks of the new year have been busy with the Great Feasts of the Nativity of Christ and His Glorious Theophany at the Baptism in the Jordan River, and like many of you, I have enjoyed making some personal travels during these holy days.

Now it is a great joy to turn again to the North American Thebaid Project, and I’m very  eager to share with you our plans for the coming year and beyond.

But first, it’s time for some new images!

Continue reading “Four New Galleries of Monastery Photos”

An Exhortation to Newly-tonsured Monks

Featuring photographs from my first pilgrimage to Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville NY, November 2016.  Full gallery to follow soon…

 

Version 2
Fr. Luke serving a pannikhida, surrounded by the brethren.   © Ralph H. Sidway, North American Thebaid.

Orthodox Life, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville NY, January 4, 2017:

On the eve of December 20th, 2016 (o.s.), the first day of the Forefeast of Nativity and the feasts of St Ignatius the God-bearer and St John of Kronstadt, the abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery Archimandrite Luke tonsured two novices into the rank of rassaphore monks. Following the tonsure, Fr Luke greeted the new monks with this exhortation:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!

Dear fathers,

I congratulate you on receiving the grace of the tonsure into the riassa and the kamilavka. Stand fast, fathers, stand fast! Before you opens a banquet, a festive banquet — that is, the banquet of monasticism. The Lord invites you to take part in that banquet and you must agree to that invitation. You must come and take everything that the Lord offers you. We have all that is necessary for salvation in this monastery, but no one can force you. You need to come from your own free will and take what we offer.

img_3945
Veneration of the holy icons, lower chapel. © Ralph H. Sidway, North American Thebaid.

We sometimes say that our life is difficult; we have suffering, pain, problems. How can this be when the Lord says, My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Mt. 11:30)? There is a contradiction here. And why is there a contradiction? I think it is because of  one simple phrase: “We want!” We frequently want what we should not want and even when we want what is good we do not want it in the right way.

So therefore you have a chance to learn to desire those things that are good for you, that are good for your salvation. And what does the Lord want? He says very clearly. He says, “Man, give Me your heart !” (Prov. 23:26) How can we give the Lord our heart? To do this we need to — with all these problems, which mostly we create for ourselves —to come to him with the sufferings and the difficulties, to hand them over to Him, and from the depths of our souls, cry out, “Help me! Help me! Take this burden from me. Your burden is lighter.”

We ask the prayers of the brotherhood, of the seminarians and of all of our worshippers tonight for the salvation of the souls of Fathers Lev and Angelos.

Congratulations! Save yourself in the Lord!