Crucifixion or Resurrection

I took a three hour walk yesterday in upstate New York, a rare opportunity for me which I really enjoyed. I saw several sign boards in front of Churches which said in one way or another, “Jesus died that we may be saved”. My question is has it got any thing to do with what the western people are doing in other countries and among other communities? The US says what happens in other countries has to be beneficial for our ‘national interest’ (American interest means the interest of the corporate, not the citizens). Europe also most of the time join the chorus. Yes Jesus died for our salvation. So ‘if it brings benefit to us, it does not matter if some one dies for it’ could be a philosophy derived from it. This seems to be the philosophy of the west. I think they took the Christian slogan to put in practice in political and economic world. If some one does not die him/her self, it is ok if they are put to death that our interest may be saved.

The Eastern Churches have always emphasized resurrection over crucifixion. To us crucifixion was not what essentially brought salvation, rather resurrection, or victory over death that brought wholeness to the creation. It does not mean that death was not important, but death was the first step to resurrection. So the culmination is not death, rather it is resurrection.  This will help us look beyond death and to seek outliving not just of us, rather of every one around us. This is a matter of further theological dialogue, I guess.

US Independence Day Fireworks

The Ramapo Village of New York celebrated US independence day on June 24th evening with music and fireworks at Rockland Community College ground (my claim: it was done on an earlier date since I will not be in NY on July 4th).

Sharing a News Without Prejudice

A News reported in Kerala Kaumudi Daily and many more followed

Volleyball Match I Inaugurated

St. Johns’s Orthodox Church Orangeburg, New York hosted a volley ball match to raise funds for the re-modelling of their new Church on 23rd June 2012. I offered the opening prayer and opened the match. Few pictures and videos

A Graduation Ceremony I Attended

Today (June 14, 2012) I attended a graduation ceremony of Mr. Zahi Joseph Tarzi, son of Very Rev. Corepiscopo Dr. Joseph Tarzi, the vicar of St. James Syrian Orthodox Church, which is in my jurisdiction in USA. He graduated with a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from University of California in Los Angles (UCLA). His parents and sister were also there to witness the ceremony. Corepiscopo Tarzi who has a PhD in Agriculture science, has three children, two girls and one boy. The eldest one has a degree in Pharmacy and lives in San Jose with her husband. The youngest gird just graduated with a college degree in script writing. His wife Juliette Tarzi is taking care of the home. Dr. Zahi with his parents and sister are seen in the picture.

The function was conducted in the Royce hall, which is a magnificent one, of the university. It was s well organized and well attended one. I wish Dr. Zahi God’s continued blessing.

My Sunday at St. James, Sunland

I celebrated H. Qurbana at St. James’ Syrian Orthodox Church, Sunland, CA (A mission of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in my episcopal supervision) on Sunday the 10th June, 2012. Pictures of the service and of the refreshment afterwards

A Dinner in Honor of their Bishop

A dinner was hosted by the board of elders and the board of trustees combined of the Independent Syrian Orthodox Church of North America (Burbank, which the Holy Synod of Malankara Orthodox Church accepted as one of its missions and asked me to be their bishop in charge) in honor of their bishop Mor Meletius on 8th June 2012. This was hosted at the remodelled banquet hall of the Church. The modified altar of the Church is also seen.

Documentary on Mount Athos

Mount Athos (/ˈæθɒs/; Greek: Όρος Άθως, Oros Athos Greek pronunciation: [ˈaθos]) is a mountain and peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. A World Heritage Site and self-governed state in the Hellenic Republic, Athos is home to 20 stavropegial Eastern Orthodox monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople. Today Greeks commonly refer to Mount Athos as the “Holy Mountain” (Greek: Άγιον Όρος, Agion Oros). In Classical times, while the mountain was called Athos, the peninsula was called Akté (Ἀκτὴ) (sometimes Acte or Akte).

The peninsula, the easternmost “leg” of the larger Halkidiki peninsula, protrudes 50 kilometres (31 mi) into the Aegean Sea at a width of between 7 and 12 kilometres (4.3 and 7.5 mi) and covers an area of 335.637 square kilometres (129.59 sq mi). The actual Mount Athos has steep, densely forested slopes reaching up to 2,033 metres (6,670 ft). The surrounding seas, especially at the end of the peninsula, can be dangerous. In ancient Greek history two fleet disasters in the area are recorded: In 492 BC Darius, the king of Persia, lost 300 ships under general Mardonius (Herodotus “Histories” book VI (Erato), Aeschylus “The Persians”). In 411 BC the Spartans lost a fleet of 50 ships under admiral Epicleas. (Diodorus Siculus, “Bibliotheca historica” XIII 41, 1–3).

Though land-linked, Mount Athos is practically accessible only by boat. There are two large ferries, Agios Panteleimon and Axion Estin, that travel daily (weather permitting) between Ouranoupolis and Dafni, with stops at some monasteries on the western coast along the way. There is also a smaller speed boat, Agia Anna, which travels the same route, but with no intermediate stops. It is possible to travel by ferry to and from Ierissos for direct access to monasteries along the eastern coast. The daily number of visitors entering Mount Athos is restricted and all are required to obtain a special entrance permit valid for a limited period. Only males are allowed entrance into Mount Athos, which is called “Garden of the Virgin” by monks and Orthodox Christians take precedence in the permit issuance procedure. Only males over the age of 18 who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church are allowed to live on Athos, either as monksor as workers (description courtesy: Wikipedia)