A Monumental Struggle to Preserve Hagia Sophia

He led me through the massive cathedral's cavernous nave and shadowy arcades, pointing out its fading splendors. Under the great dome, filtered amber light revealed vaulted arches, galleries and semi-domes, refracted from exquisite mosaics depicting the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus as well as long-vanished patriarchs, emperors and saints. Yet the overall impression was one of dingy neglect and piecemeal repair. I gazed up at patches of moisture and peeling paint; bricked-up windows; marble panels, their incised surfaces obscured under layers of grime; and walls covered in mustard-colored paint applied by restorers after golden mosaics had fallen away. The depressing effect was magnified by a tower of cast-iron scaffolding that cluttered the nave, testament to a lagging, intermittent campaign to stabilize the beleaguered monument.

The annual meeting of the Executive board of the Central Council for the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America

The annual meeting of the Executive board of the Central Council for the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America began today at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois.

Clergy Hospitalization Plan of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America

The Clergy Administrator for the Clergy Hospitalization Plan of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America, Fr. Milovan Katanic, would like to inform all clergy that the Orthodox Health Plan is now accepting clergy during their open enrollment.

"The Orthodox Health Plan (OHP) is a PPO Plan which offers our clergy and lay employees the broadest and most flexible coverage and includes a prescription, drug, dental benefits. Our health insurance carrier is Aetna which is one of the single largest healthcare providers in the nation.

Slava celebration at St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church in Akron

For some years now the annual Slava celebration at St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church in Akron, Ohio has been known to be a joyous weekend for parishioners and their guests. It was the parish priest, Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba, who had decided eleven years ago to bring new life to this parish celebration, changing it from a simple one-day celebration into a two-day event which now begins on Saturday evening and brings visiting guests to the annual Folklore Festival. It has become a much anticipated tradition among Akron Serbs, one that continued this year with one of the largest festivals to date, including a total of nine folklore groups.

Mission team Chicago benefit - 2009

Mission Team Chicago, an organization promoting Orthodox missions, announced today that His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of SCOBA (Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, will speak at its benefit dinner at 6:30pm on Thursday, February 26, 2009.

The 12th annual dinner, benefiting the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), will take place at The Carlisle in Lombard, Ill. The cost of admission is $75 per person. Reservations are now being accepted for tables of 10 ($600 per table). Table reservations after December 1, 2008, will be $750.

Condolence of WCC

H.E. Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad
Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations
Russian Orthodox Church
(Moscow Patriarchate)

Geneva, 5 December 2008

Your Eminence,

"Among the spirits of the righteous perfected in faith, give rest, O Saviour, to the soul of Your servant Patriarch Alexy. Bestow upon it the blessed life which is from You, O loving Lord"
(Hymn from the Orthodox Memorial Service).

Meeting in Geneva for our regular encounter, we received the sad news of the passing away of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Alexy II.

On behalf of the fellowship of the WCC, in deep sadness we join our voices to those of the Russian and worldwide Orthodox faithful and pray, together with them, for Patriarch Alexy II of blessed memory.