St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary - Our Community Giving Back 60 43rd Annual St. Tikhon's Summer Camp Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p>During the week of July 6-12, 126 campers and a volunteer staff of 53 adult counselors gathered on the grounds of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary and Monastery to participate in the 43rd annual season of Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Summer Camp.&nbsp;The camp program allows Orthodox Christian children between the ages of 7 and 17 to grow in their relationship with Christ and each other by participating in a variety of educational and recreation activities. Children from all over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York &ndash; and as far away as Virginia, Florida, and Texas &ndash; return to camp for a week of fun each summer.</p> <p>A typical day at camp includes morning and evening prayers, meals in the Trapeza, religious education workshops, and activities such as field sports, swimming, boating, ethnic dance lessons, arts and crafts, and iconography.</p> <p>The camp theme this year was &lsquo;In The Beginning Was The Word&rsquo;, and the campers&rsquo; daily workshops focused on the many ways the Orthodox Church uses Scripture in church services.</p> <p>New this year was the Camp Carnival,&nbsp;which took place&nbsp;in the gymnasium&nbsp;each&nbsp;night after dinner and featured face painting, pi&ntilde;atas, a snow-cone machine, a photo booth, and carnival-style games. The event was a big hit among the campers, who enjoyed the small prizes of pencils, stickers, and bracelets they could collect at the games.</p> <p>This season, the camp also brought back an old tradition&ndash; the morning Flag Ceremony &ndash; in which the entire camp begins each day bright and early by raising the flag, singing the National Anthem, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and reading the Campers&rsquo; Oath.<br /><br />Campers are already looking forward to the next season, which will take place from&nbsp;<span data-term="goog_695162065">July 5-11, 2015</span>. Registration forms will be available on&nbsp;<span data-term="goog_695162066">February 1, 2015</span>&nbsp;on the camp website at&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp; (Article by Camp Director Kimberly Metz)</p> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Seminarians and Alumni Offer Community Outreach Event at Local Coffeehouse Fri, 20 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p dir="ltr">On Friday, June 20, the <a href="">Agia Sophia Coffeehouse</a> in Harrisburg, PA hosted an enjoyable evening that featured entertainment provided by one of the newest St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminarians, Matthew Joyner, and a very moving lecture by one of our earliest Alumni, V. Rev. Daniel Ressetar (STOTS 48).</p> <p dir="ltr">The evening began with an hour of live music provided by Matthew Joyner, while the baristas served coffee and pastries. One of the baristas, Fr. Steven Vernak (STOTS 2007), is a St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Alumnus and Manager of the <a href="">Agia Sophia Coffeehouse</a>. Matthew and his wife, Ashley, arrived at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s last year from Kentucky. They are both talented musicians and regularly contribute those talents to the life of the St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Community. Ashley sings with the monastery church&rsquo;s Sunday Liturgy mixed choir, and special service choirs, and Matthew is a member of the St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Mission Choir and also volunteers as the unofficial &nbsp;&ldquo;sound equipment expert&rdquo; for the numerous special events throughout the year. He also recently assumed the responsibility of student director of &nbsp;<a href="">Elijah&rsquo;s Mantle</a>. Matthew played the guitar and sang a selection of music that included covers as well as original songs he had written during his time as a professional musician.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the musical opening to the evening, everyone made their way to the downstairs meeting room where Fr. Timothy Hojnicki (STOTS 2005) led the group in prayer. Then, Fr. Stephen Vernak (STOTS 2007) took a break from his barista duties to introduce Father Daniel Ressetar (STOTS 48) and announce the theme of the talk &ldquo;Behind Bars: Memories of a Prison Chaplain."</p> <p dir="ltr">Fr. Dan began his talk with the passage from Matthew, &ldquo;Then the King will say to those on His right hand, &lsquo;Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.&rdquo; (25:34-36). He explained that very early in his ministry he felt particularly called by those words, and knew that he was being led to prison ministry.</p> <p dir="ltr">Fr. Dan spoke for an hour, mostly telling stories from his prison ministry with no exposition. The stories he told needed no exposition; they stood alone as a poignant witness to the tragedy of the American prison system and the brokenness of those men and women who find themselves inside.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-4d73c391-de30-d3f8-1e30-0164474b4f9d">St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary would like to thank the Agia Sophia Coffee House for hosting Seminarian Matthew Joyner and Alumnus Fr. Daniel Ressetar for such a wonderful and edifying evening as one of many ministry opportunities being continuously provided by the <a href="">Agia Sophia Coffeehouse</a> , and the clergy and faithful of the Harrisburg area. For more information about how you can support this vital and worthwhile ministry contact Fr. Stephen Vernak at <a href=""></a>.</span></p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary 2014 Clergy Continuing Education Symposium Provides Opportunity for Spiritual Growth and Renewal Thu, 19 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p dir="ltr">Tuesday, June 17 through Thursday, June 19, 2014 St. Tikhon's Seminary hosted their 2nd Annual Clergy Continuing Education Symposium. Over 60 participants traveled, from several OCA dioceses, &nbsp;to attend the lectures. Among the participants were clergy and monastics, men, women, seminarians and lay persons. Those attending received up to 18 of the 20 hours now required by the Department of Continuing Education.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday, June 17 the Symposium opened with a Molieben in the Seminary Chapel. The group then proceeded to room 233 for a lecture by Dr. Christopher Veniamin, D. Phil. (Oxon.), Professor of Patristics at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary entitled &ldquo;Spiritual Life in Saint Silouan the Athonite.&rdquo; The second lecture presented was &ldquo;The Greeting of Mary and Elizabeth: The Sanctity of Life,&rdquo; by Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Practice, Director of Field Education at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Wednesday, following Divine Liturgy and breakfast, Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery and Lecturer in Spirituality at the Seminary, presented his talk on &ldquo;Prayer as Communion &ndash; Personal and Liturgical Prayer.&rdquo; During the afternoon session Mary Ford, Ph.D., Associate Professor of New Testament at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary presented &ldquo;Orthodox Insights into the Book of Revelation.&rdquo; In the evening a banquet was held at the seminary dining hall. A toast was offered by the Rector of the seminary, His Grace Bishop Michael, in which he encouraged the visiting clergy to set aside time during the symposium to not only edify themselves by participating in each of the lectures, but to also take a moment to renew and deepen their relationships with one another. &ldquo;The priesthood is a difficult and unique calling in the life of the Church. It can seem like a very solitary responsibility at times. I encourage you to look around you. No one understands this reality better than your brothers sitting next to you.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">On Thursday David Ford, Ph.D., Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary, began the last day of the Symposium with his lecture, &ldquo;Encouraging People to Seek Help from the Saints in Times of Suffering.&rdquo; Finally, the Symposium was brought to a close with the talk &ldquo;Clergy Health &ndash; Achieving the Proper Balance,&rdquo; by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, D.Min., Dean and Associate Professor of Pastoral Arts and Practice at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary. This course echoed the words of His Grace that were offered the previous evening and explored pastoral compassion and love as both renewable and precious resources that need to be carefully tended in our own life and within our family, in order that those resources may be available to the persons to whom we are called to minister.</p> <p dir="ltr">In addition to the time spent in presentation sessions, the opportunity for worship and fellowship were important parts of the Symposium. On Wednesday and Thursday, Hierarchical Divine Liturgies were celebrated and each evening there was a break for Vespers at the Monastery Church. Many of those attending the program served and sang during liturgical services. As with all events that occur within the St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Community, each session as well as every meal began and ended in prayer. Wednesday evening there was also time set aside for fellowship during and after the dinner meal, with many of the attendees staying and talking long into the night following the banquet.</p> <p>St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary would like to thank all of the men and women who worked so hard to put this event together: the administration faculty, staff, and student volunteers who all worked tirelessly to ensure that this event was a worthwhile and edifying opportunity for pastoral and personal growth for all of the attendees. A very special thank you is to be offered to Matushka Larissa Gregory, who together with her husband Deacon Theodore and her son Nicholas prepared, cooked, served, and cleaned up each meal. Thank you as well to everyone who attended the 2nd Annual Continuing Education Clergy Symposium, don&rsquo;t forget to mark your calendars for next year!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary