The fourth and final day of the Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije Institute began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
Officiating at the liturgy was His Grace Bishop Maxim with the concelebration of diocesan clergy along with visiting clergy from the Eastern, Midwestern and Canadian dioceses.
Following Orthros on the third day of the Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije Institute the fourth session, entitled "The Stages of the Spiritual Life", began with an introductory word from the moderator Monk Siluan.
Fr. Maximos spent the majority of the morning session reading from selected texts of St. Maximos' writings, more specifically, selections from his Questions to Thalassios. This was followed by questions and answers resulting in a lively discussion. More discussion continued after a short break which began with a word of clarification by Fr. Maximos on the passions in light of the teachings and writings of St. Maximos the Confessor.
The first full day of the Institute began on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 with the celebration of Orthros followed by coffee and refreshments. The first session of the Institute followed: Virture and Knowledge in the Theology of St. Maximos the Confessor.
In the first session Fr. Maximos introduced the works and the complexity of the writings of St. Maximos the "father of Byzantine theology". The session continued after a short break with a lively discussion. After lunch and a short break two sessions followed. The first was entitled "A Failed Worldview" was held, led by Fr. Maximos and moderated by Segurd Lefsrud. Afterward Fr. Damascene moderated the session "The Fall and Its Consequence" after which Fr. Gregory Edwards moderated "Reason". The afternoon sessions provoked much discussion.
The second annual St. Sebastian and St. Mardarije Ecclesial Orthodox Institute began on Monday, February 22, 2016, the leaving-taking of the Meeting of the Lord.
His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America and St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in San Diego, California are host to this year's event held in cooperation with the Clergy Brotherhood of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Draft document of the Pan-Orthodox Council, adopted by the 5th Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference in Chambésy on October, 10-17, 2015.
Published in compliance with the decision of the Synaxis of Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches, Chambésy, January, 21-28, 2016.
1. The Orthodox Church, being the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, in her profound ecclesiastical consciousness firmly believes that she occupies a central place in matters relating to the promotion of Christian unity within the contemporary world.
2. The Orthodox Church grounds her unity on the fact that she was founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as on the communion in the Holy Trinity and in the Sacraments. This unity is manifested through the apostolic succession and the patristic tradition and to this day is lived within her. It is the mission and duty of the Orthodox Church to transmit and proclaim the truth, in all its fullness, contained in the Holy Scripture and the Holy Tradition, the truth which gives to the Church her catholic character.