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Sts Theodore Orthodox Christian Church
96 Los Robles Street, Williamsville, NY 14221
July 14 / 27 2014
Fathers of the First Six Councils
We ask our God, through His Risen Son, to bless our past Pastor, Archpriest Peter and his Matushka Styliana, as they move on to their next place of endeavor on behalf of the Church and those who desire to enter God's family.
Father & Matushka, our deepest gratitude for your loving care. Many Years !
also, see the weekly newsletter for schedule & more*...
Orthodox Christianity is the least-known and least-understood of the Christian confessions in America.
About 3 million Americans are Orthodox Christians.
We are neither Protestant nor Roman Catholic.
Orthodox Christianity began at Pentecost and has preserved the Apostolic Tradition "in its teachings, practices and authority" unchanged for 2000 years.
We believe that God has revealed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that Jesus Christ is both God and man.
He took on our flesh, lived a sinless life, was crucified, rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven where He is today.
We believe, as the Fathers of the Church have ever affirmed since the earliest days of the Church, that "God became human, that man might become divine."
That is, that we are called to be, not just to be "nice" and "good" and "moral", but even to be united with God Himself through Christ, to be as St. Peter said, "partakers of the divine nature" (II Peter 1:4).
Some Orthodox communities in the U.S. have tried to shed some of their "Old World" trappings so as not to look so foreign. This is unfortunate, since the Church has always seen Her mission as transforming the world around Her, rather than conforming to it.
We do not use pews, since we need the open space to process and make prostrations.
We do not use musical instruments, because the words take precedence over the music.
All of our singing is a cappella, as it was in the early Church on up until the Middle Ages.
We follow the traditional Church calendar("Julian"), as do most Orthodox in the world today.
Orthodox communities are not just Greek and Russian and Eastern European. Orthodoxy has always existed unchanged in the Middle East.
There are also Japanese Orthodox, African Orthodox, Eskimos who are Orthodox.
Over half of our parish here consists of converts to the Faith, including our priest and his family.
So it's not just for Russians -- anyone can be Orthodox. In fact, since Western Europe used to be Orthodox, chances are your ancestors were Orthodox a thousand years ago!
If you are Russian, you will find lots of new friends to speak Russian with.
And if you are not, you will find that we're as American as apple pie.
Our services are entirely in English, except for the Nicene Creed and the Lord's Prayer, which are sung in both Slavonic and English.
We are blessed to say that our parish was the first English-language parish in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
An Orthodox worship service is "heaven on earth". Our form of worship remains unchanged from Christ and the Apostles.
If you took a Christian from the first century "or from any time or place during the first millennium A.D, for that matter" they would be completely at home in our services, and vice versa.
Some of our hymns date back to the first century, and our services preserve the same ancient format of the earliest centuries.
To visit our services is not only to go back in time, as it were, but more importantly to be lifted out of time and space and into the presence of God Himself, to worship Him alongside the angels and all the saints who have gone before us.
Any description of a vision of Heaven in the Bible, -- whether Isaiah's vision in Isaiah 6 or St. John's vision in Revelation 4, -- shows the same elements that you'll find here: chanting, incense, candlesticks, falling on our faces before God.
We do not just imitate the heavenly worship; we actually participate in it.
So come worship with us! Rediscover the ancient Christian Faith of your ancestors!