Discover Orthodox Christianity

The Orthodox Church is the original Christian Church, the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and described in the pages of the New Testament. Her history can be traced in unbroken continuity all the way back to Christ and His Twelve Apostles. Incredible as it seems, for over twenty centuries she has continued in her undiminished and unaltered faith and practice. Today her apostolic doctrine, worship, and structure remain intact. The Orthodox Church maintains that the Church is the living Body of Jesus Christ.

The Orthodox Christian Church, also called the “Eastern Orthodox,” “Greek Orthodox” Church, or simply “the Orthodox Church,” is the oldest Christian Church in the world, founded by Jesus Christ and with its beginnings chronicled in the New Testament. (Our own Patriarchate of Antioch, one of the most ancient of Orthodox churches, was originally founded in A.D. 34 by Ss. Peter and Paul.) All other Christian churches and groups can be traced historically back to it.

With roughly 250 million members worldwide, Orthodoxy is second in size only to the Roman Catholic Church.  However, in spite of its size, relatively few Americans are aware that it exists.

The Orthodox Church has deep and lasting roots in Christian antiquity and is steeped in rich Biblical tradition. It has been the context of Christian living for millions of Christians for almost twenty centuries.

Yet one cannot understand the Orthodox Church merely by reading about it. Just as reading a biography about someone is no substitute for knowing the biography’s subject personally, Orthodox Christianity must be experienced firsthand to be understood.

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Thanksgiving Reflection by Fr. Jim

Give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5:20-21

We greet you during the start of this season of the Nativity and encourage you to stay focused this Thanksgiving day on the many things for which we can be thankful.  It’s important now more than ever to look ahead and stay focused on our Orthodox Christian faith and the hope that it brings to us, even during these unprecedented times that we are currently experiencing.

Thanksgiving Day 2020 will always be remembered as the day many families choose not to be together due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has altered life as we know it.  The virus has created a sense of hopelessness, confusion, anger, fear, and frustration which has left our society feeling anxious and nervous about our health, our livelihood, our emotional well-being, and about how we interact and relate to other people, including our own family.  These are difficult times.  These are scary times.  And these are times of much uncertainty.

Scripture tells us that we are called to be thankful to God always and for all things.  And the prayers of our Holy Church remind us that at all times we are to call upon the name of the Lord and glorify His Holy name.  This season of Thanksgiving may leave many of us feeling as if there isn’t much for which to be thankful.

However, despite the condition of the world around us today, we implore you to remain steadfast in your thanksgiving to God.  Because, even during these difficult times of separation, illness, isolation, and fear, it’s more important right now, than ever before, to remember all the things for which we can be thankful.

  1. Remember this Thanksgiving Day to thank God for sending His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into this fallen and broken world to save us, and to redeem us, and to lead us to everlasting life.
  2. Remember this Thanksgiving to thank God for your family and for the people God has placed in your life.
  3. Remember this Thanksgiving to thank God for those who are on the front lines of this pandemic: the doctors, the nurses, the first responders, and all the frontline workers.
  4. Remember this Thanksgiving to thank God for our civil leaders who are leading us through this battle with the Coronavirus.
  5. And most importantly, remember this Thanksgiving to thank God in prayer.

“O Christ our God, Who at all times and in every hour, in heaven and on earth, are worshipped and glorified, Who are long-suffering, merciful and compassionate, Who loves the just and shows mercy upon the sinner, Who calls all to salvation through the promise of blessings to come: O Lord, in this hour, receive our supplications, and direct our lives according to Your commandments. Sanctify our souls, make chaste our bodies, correct our thoughts, cleanse our minds, and deliver us from all tribulation, evil and distress. Encompass us with Your holy angels, that, guided and guarded by them, we may attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of Your unapproachable glory, for You are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

On behalf of Fr. George and Kh. Nouhad Shalhoub, the clergy, Mr. Elie Akel (Parish Council Chairman) and all parish council members, we wish you and your family a blessed Nativity Fast and happy Thanksgiving.

With Love in Christ,
Fr. Jim and Kh. Audrey King

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2020 Easter Message

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

With this proclamation, we send you our prayers and love from hearts full of concern for you and your family’s well-being. With never ceasing prayers I offer on your behalf to assure you that the Lord is at hand.

This Easter is unlike any we have enjoyed in the past. It is not about colored eggs or chocolate. It is not about a basket of candy or bunnies. It is about an empty tomb as our families and nation suffer from the coronavirus, forced into isolation and self-imposed imprisonment. We are denied the hugging of one another or comforting each other.

Easter is about the assurance of the empty tomb. It is about life over death. It is about Jesus fulfilling a promise. It is about victory over death. Hell has been destroyed and this Light shall always shine from the empty tomb. Remember, after the crucifixion, after the crown of thorns, after the sponge of vinegar, after the spear, after the giving up of His life, after the burial, there is an empty tomb. As the angel said, “He is not here. He is Risen.”

This Holy Week we are crucified with Him, but on Easter Sunday we will be glorified with Him. We died with Him, but on Easter Sunday we become alive with Him. During Holy Week, we are buried with Him and on Easter Sunday, He will raise us up with Him. The spirit of Easter calls us to a sense of renewal and hope; that as our Redeemer lived, we shall all live.

On behalf of Fr. Jim and Audrey King, the Deacons, the Parish Council; Elie Akel, Chairman and all church organizations, we wish you a Blessed Holy Pascha.

Al Masih Qam! Hakan Qam!

Yours in the Risen Lord,
Fr. George and Nouhad Shalhoub and family

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Palm Sunday Reflection

(from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians)


Faith and peace from our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, as I write to you, in the midst, of our Palm Sunday commemoration. Even though we are practicing social distancing, you are always close to my heart as I practice spiritual prayer for your sake.

Don’t let Palm Sunday go by without making a statement of faith. Dress you and your children as if you are going to church. Light their candles and walk around the house, shouting as the children of old, “Welcome, Christ, to Jerusalem. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of Sabaoth. Heaven and earth is full of Your glory. Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of our Lord, our Savior.”

I thank God, with joy, every time I remember you in my supplications. For God is my witness how I long for you and your children. I pray that you stay strong in one spirit, fighting without being tired in everything that will oppose you. Consider, in humility, others better than yourself so you will always be blameless and children of the most-high God.

Do not be anxious about anything. Christ is still our light and comfort. “Nothing can separate us from Christ. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow”. (Romans 8:38) Every one of us is experiencing, especially during these difficult times, what makes us healers – when we love one another. Rejoice in the Lord so you may become blameless and harmless to shine for Christ and your family.

Beloved, my love for you is forever and therein lies my true joy and my real crown. In your prayers and supplications, do not forget to give thanks when you give your request to God. God will supply us, sooner than many people think, with recovery from this coronavirus. Let us not forget to pray for all those in the medical field, our first responders and those who supply us with all our needs.

In Christ Jesus, always remember to desire God’s peace; for only His peace will surpass human understanding. Guard your hearts and minds with confidence in the Lord. The Lord is at hand. Rejoice in the Lord.

On behalf of Fr. Jim, the clergy and all church organizations, Blessed Palm Sunday.

Your Servants and Shepherd,
Fr. George and Nouhad Shalhoub

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March 23, 2020 Reflection by Fr. Jim King

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

In an attempt to continue our communication with all of you during this time of uncertainty, Fr. George and I will be sending reflections and words of encouragement to you remotely a couple times each week. It’s important during this time of isolation and social distancing to stay connected as a parish family. So, to keep connected with you and equip you with ways for you and your family to stay focused on your spiritual well-being at this time, we will be sharing our thoughts with you.

Today, I wanted to pass along a nice prayer that came from a friend of mine, Fr. Elias Villas, who shared it on Facebook. I found it to be very helpful and comforting, so I wanted to pass it along to you. Please incorporate it into your daily prayer routine. May God continue to bless you at this time and may He keep you all safe and healthy.

With love in Christ,
+Fr. Jim

20 Prayers to Pray During this Pandemic:
1. For the sick and infected: Lord God, heal and help. Sustain bodies and spirits. Contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
2. For our vulnerable populations: Lord God, protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease. Provide for the poor, especially the uninsured.
3. For the young and the strong: Lord God, give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease. Inspire them to help.
4. For our local, state, and federal governments: Lord God, help our elected officials as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic. Help them to provide more tests.
5. For our scientific community, leading the charge to understand the disease and communicate its gravity: Lord God, give them knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.
6. For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information: Lord God, help them to communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.
7. For consumers of media, looking to be well-informed: Lord God, help us find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors. Keep us from anxiety and panic, and enable us to implement the recommended strategies, even at a cost to ourselves.
8. For those with mental health challenges who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless: Lord God, provide them every necessary support.
9. For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of social distancing in the shelter system: Lord God, Protect them from disease and provide isolation shelters in every city.
10. For international travelers stuck in foreign countries: Lord God, help them return home safely and quickly.
11. For Christian missionaries throughout the world, especially in areas with high rates of infection: Lord God, provide them with words of hope, and equip them to love and serve those around them.
12. For workers in a variety of industries facing layoffs and financial hardship: Lord God, keep them from panic and inspire your church to generously support them.
13. For families with young children at home for the foreseeable future: Lord God, help mothers and fathers to partner together creatively for the care and flourishing of their children. For single mothers and fathers, grow their networks of support.
14. For parents who cannot stay home from work but must find care for their children: Lord God, present them with creative solutions.
15. For those in need of regular therapies and treatments that must now be postponed: Lord God, help them to stay patient and positive.
16. For business leaders making difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees: Lord God, give these women and men wisdom, and help them to lead self-sacrificially.
17. For pastors and church leaders faced with the challenges of social distancing: Lord God, help them to creatively pastor their congregants and minister to their cities well.
18. For college and university students, whose courses of study are changing, whose placements are cancelled, whose graduation is uncertain: Lord God, show them that while life is uncertain, their trust is in You.
19. For Christians in every neighborhood, community, and city: Lord God, May your Holy Spirit inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world.
20. For frontline health care workers, we thank You for their vocational call to serve us. We also pray:
Lord our God, keep them safe and healthy. Keep their families safe and healthy. Lord our God, help them to be knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, as well as the changing protocols.
Lord our God, help them to stay clear-minded in the midst of the surrounding panic. Lord our God, deliver them from anxiety for their own loved ones (aging parents, children, spouses, roommates).
Lord our God, give them compassion for every patient in their care.
Lord our God, provide for them financially, especially if they fall ill and are unable to work.
Lord our God, help Christians in health care to exhibit extraordinary peace, so that many ask about the reason for their hope. Give them opportunities to proclaim the gospel.

Lord our God, we trust that You are good and do good. Teach us to be Your faithful people in this time of global crisis. Help us to follow in the footsteps of our faithful shepherd, Jesus Christ Your Eternal Son, who laid down His life for the sake of love. Glorify His name as you equip us with everything needed to do Your will. Amen. (Composed by: Jen Pollock Michel)

March 23, 2020 Reflection by Fr. Jim King Read More »

Fr. George Reflection – March 18, 2020


In the spirit of keeping in touch with each other during this world-wide disruptiveness of work, school and every aspect of our lives, I wish to direct to your attention that as bad as these disruptions are to the world and especially the economy, it behooves us, as people, to now reflect on our souls and priorities whether in family, in business or in church.

Bottom line, world events, be it war or viruses, take away from us the need to be in control. We know that God, Who created this universe said, “Let there be light” and He said, “It is good.” He holds the whole world in His hands and since we are in this world, He holds us in the palm of His hand.

The Coronavirus asks us not to be withdrawn, but to take a personal inventory of our life and think about what matters. This crisis has made the entire world cooperate with each other for information and finding a vaccine. This is not about Republicans or Democrats or any political party, but about the safety and protection of God’s inhabitants, men, women and children.

For a long time, family has been distanced from each other, husbands and wives at work, children in day-care or at school. It seems the home has become a gathering place to eat and sleep. Today, this disruption calls upon parents to communicate with their children, provide structure and feed them with faith. We are to rejoice in the Lord. “We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

I wish to reflect on the Parable of the Rich Fool, taken from the Gospel of St. Luke 12:16-21 and how this man, like the rest of us, worked, produced and stored his goods without reflecting on his own mortality and eternal life. “It appears to be the most egregious folly imaginable, for men to spend their time and strength in getting and laying up treasure upon earth, in the meantime neglecting or not duly endeavouring, to be rich towards God.”

I do not wish to underestimate the chaos and disruption of your family and the families around the world from the coronavirus. I wish to emphasize that God made us people to pray, in season and out of season, in good times and in bad times, as He assured us that He is with us whether walking through fire or flood or climbing the mountain or passing by the shadow of death. At the end, we belong to Him, Who is the author of life and makes us reach out to each other, to check on each other and to be a good neighbor, even to strangers.

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6-7)

Even though you are not physically present in church, the church is praying for you and your family for your good health and well-being.

Your Loving Priest,

Fr. George Shalhoub

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Gospel Reflection for Sunday December 8, 2019

In this gospel lesson of St. Luke 13:10-17 we hear of the lord teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. Whereby Jesus sees a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for 18 years and could not stand straight. Our Lord who is compassionate calls her to him and says to her “Woman you are freed from your infirmity!”. After Jesus laid his hands on her and made her straight, she glorified God. We then hear of the indigent ruler who chastised Christ for healing the woman on the Sabbath because people who help other people was considered “work” and was strictly forbidden on the sabbath according to the Jewish law of the Sabbath, except in emergency situations. Jesus calls the ruler a hypocrite and makes reference to animals needing water on the Sabbath to be cared for. Then tells him, (paraphrasing) “isn’t a daughter of Abraham (daughter of Israel) more important to be cared for than the animals”. The bottom line is, Jesus is telling him if you can water your animals on the Sabbath which is work on the Sabbath, then it is perfectly fine for the woman to be released from Satan’s hold or spiritual infirmity on the Sabbath.


Ask yourself this question, “do you think before you speak?” We hear in this gospel lesson how Christ got the ruler as we say “on a technicality.” How many times in our own lives are we caught in our own technicalities by others because we do not think before we speak and judge and accuse before we think and before we speak?

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Rooted in Christ

Many accept Christ but then drift away in their relationship to Him or they keep it superficial. This type of relationship often won’t bear much spiritual fruits.

Like a plant, we must be well rooted in Christ to have a fruitful spiritual life. St Paul wrote “6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7).

Dear friends, life in Christ is meant to transform us. Deepen your relationship to Him. Love Him, keep His commandments and contemplate in His life and words. Spend time with Him in prayer. Talk to Him often. He is the spring of love. Satisfy your spiritual hunger. Feed your spirit. Remain in Him by partaking His body and blood in the Eucharist.

Let your roots go deep to withstand any storms.

May God bless you.

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Idle Talk

Most if not all of us are guilty of idle talk. Idle talk is any vain unnecessary talk that can be damaging to ourselves and others even though it may seem harmless. The Bible warns us against idle talk. Jesus said “36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” (Mathew 12:36)

St. Paul wrote “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4). 

Dear friends, controlling the tongue is very difficult yet we must learn how to tame it. It starts at the source which is our hearts. If we cleanse our hearts and fill it with love and humility, it will reflect in our speech. Jesus said “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Mathew 12:34)

Pray like King David prayed, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalms 141:3)

May God bless you.

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Ignoring the Poor-Guarding Against Greed and Anxiety

In the parable of the rich and Lazarus, Jesus talked about the eternal destiny of both the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man ended up in Hades and Lazarus went to heaven in the bosom of Father Abraham. 

Lazarus had suffered a difficult life on earth in poverty and illness. The rich man on the other hand enjoyed a luxurious life and chose to ignore poor Lazarus who laid at the gates of his house. 

The parable never mentioned that the rich was a bad person or that Lazarus was a holy man. The rich man grave sin however was that he ignored poor Lazarus while enjoying life. 

Dear friends, we may be enjoying life but are we ignoring the less fortunate. This is an important issue we may be guilty of in a materialistically self-centered culture. The consequences of ignoring the poor are grave. 

We ought to help others not out of obligation but out of love. We ought to care for our needy brothers and sisters in humanity. God wants us to love each other. Our relationship with Him is tied to our relationship to each other. The more we love God, the more we would love our neighbor. It is a direct relationship. Take advantage of every opportunity God puts your way to help someone. Don’t give yourselves excuses. The path to hades is paved with excuses. Even better look yourselves for opportunities to help others. 

May God bless you. 

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