COVID-19

COVID-19 Relief Fund

Make a Donation  |  Apply For Assistance

From the Director: Our Orthodox Movement

On the set of “Bee-the-Bee” at Archdiocese headquarters.

When I graduated seminary in 2013, and began working for the Archdiocese, I was excited to be entering the difficult and exhausting field of youth and young adult ministry.

Though it’s an area we often reserve for the least experienced Church workers, it’s one that is both incredibly complex and unbelievably difficult.

Young people in particular bear within them the tensions and challenges that permeate our contemporary culture. They are shaped by the unspoken assumptions we all take for granted, by the values and longings and questions that shape our secular age.

Our fear, as adults and parents and ministry leaders, is often that our kids will be corrupted by a decadent culture, hostile to the teachings of the Church.

So we scramble to cram their head with Orthodox perspective and ideas, lessons to lead them through temptation. We scramble to give our youth people spiritual medicine to inoculate them against the sex and drugs they’ll find in college, and the atheism that threatens to pull them from our parishes.

Unfortunately, this medicine misdiagnoses the problem.

Our secular age is not one of hostility to spirituality. Rather, it is one of ambivalence and doubt; in an age when we can choose to believe anything and everything, we are all caught in the crosspressure between faith and doubt.

(How we got here is an interesting story, though one too long for this short article. If you’re interested in learning more about this, please search for the video “Making Ministry Better and More Christ-Centered.” It’s available on our YouTube channel: youtube.com/y2am.)

Though we, as Orthodox Christians in particular, may believe the same things as our predecessors a hundred, even a thousand years ago, we do not believe those things in the same way. We are all heirs to a disenchanted culture, a world where the source of meaning is now the self. We watch movies about demons with no fear of possession, because we are safely buffered from the transcendent. We convert former churches into nightclubs without a shred of apprehension because, when we decide what is and isn’t sacred, sacrilege becomes impossible.

This is our secular age. And it has sunk into our bones more than we may want to admit.

On the surface, this may seem to make the task of ministry even more overwhelming. If we are all the arbiters of truth, if we are all on a quest for selfdiscovery and authenticity, then how can the Church even begin speaking to contemporary people?

How can we preach the truth when people don’t even believe that truth exists?

Perhaps, in God’s providence, this greatest of challenges is also the greatest of opportunities.

Because, if we are true to the Gospel, we preach more than theological principles and religious systems. Truth isn’t a something. It’s not at it at all.

Truth is a someone

And in our mercy and patience and compassion, in the ways we act for the life of the world, people can come to know the living Person of Christ before they begin to grapple with whether He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

In our relics and myrrh-gushing icons they can see a world that is very much enchanted, imbued with the very presence of the living Lord. In our fasts and prostrations and services they can see that the body is intimately connected with the soul, and that our normally buffered selves and pierced by compunction and repentance.

In our secular age, where truth has been replaced by authenticity, it has never been harder to convince people of some abstract, objective the truth. Which is why we are fortunate that we preach a personal Truth, a Truth Who took on flesh and became one of us so we could walk with Him in eternity.

The world is ready for Christ. Are we ready to reveal Christ to the world?


Resources for Virtual Summer Camps and Vacation Church Schools

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announces a new website offering critical resources for "virtual" Summer Camp and Vacation Church School programs.

Be the Bee: Does God Have a Plan for You?

In the season finale of "Be the Bee," Steve is joined by Anna Karos to explore how we can figure out what God wants for us. They draw inspiration from the lessons taught during the...

Be the Bee #146 | Does God Have a Plan for You? (w/ Anna Karos)

Have you ever felt pressure about getting into the right school? Getting the right job? "Vocation" is about a lot more than a job. It's about how we respond to God's call.

Be the Bee #145 | Dear Class of 2020 (w/ Christina Andresen)

Graduation ceremonies across the country have been cancelled. The Church is here to honor you! But we're not simply honoring your grades or extracurriculars. Steve is joined by Christina...

Four Free Resources to Help Young People Stay Healthy and Connected

The coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult time for people of all ages. Social distancing has led to feelings of loneliness. The virus itself has led to feelings of anxiety and fear. And these...

Be the Bee #144 | Staying Healthy During Coronavirus

Feeling scared to go back to school or work? What about Church? This has been a crazy time for us all. So Steve and Christian are back to share four keys to staying healthy during the coronavirus...

Be the Bee #143 | How to Build Healthy Habits

Struggling to start a good routine, like saying prayers every morning? Finding it impossible to break a bad habit, like watching too much TV? Don't worry, we're here for you. Steve and...

Be the Bee #142 | Why I'm an Orthodox Christian (w/ Fr Andrew Stephen Damick)

As an Orthodox Christian, you're often the only one in the room. How do you share your faith in Christ with others? Why are you an Orthodox Christian (rather than part of some other...

Be the Bee #141 | What is Christian Unity? (with Fr Andrew Stephen Damick)

Christians seem more divided than ever. Is there really such a thing as "one" Church? Does Christian unity even matter? Father Andrew Stephen Damick joins Steve to tackle these important...

Be the Bee #140 | Does God Promise Happiness? (with Hank Hanegraaff)

If we are faithful, does God reward us? Does He promise wealth and blessings? Or is true happiness so much more...

Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, joins Steve at the start of Holy...

Be the Bee #139 | Christianity Under Quarantine

We're stuck at home We haven't been to Church services in weeks.

What does it all mean? Steve shares a prayer and a parable that can help us see this with the eyes of a bee.

Be the Bee #138 | Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?

Can you be spiritual without organized religion? What does it even mean to be spiritual?

Maybe we need to rethink what we mean by spirituality and religion...

Maybe we need...

Be the Bee #137 | What Does it Mean to be Good? (with Dr Tim Patitsas)

Who decides what is "bad" vs what is "good?" Is being "good" simply about following the right rules? Dr Timothy Patitsas, author of "The Ethics of Beauty"...

Be the Bee #136 | The Emptiness of the Christian Life

Our lives can feel empty and alone. But the Church offers us a different kind of emptiness: one that will lead us to be full of the Holy Spirit.

Policies for the Safety of Children and Youth are Being Implemented Throughout the Archdiocese and in Every Metropolis

The implementation and enforcement of the Policies for the Safety of Children and Youth take another step forward towards the goal of ensuring that every ministry and event is physically,...

The Importance of Service(s) (with Archbishop Elpidophoros)

Archbishop Elpidophoros of America joins Steve to explore why service is at the heart of our lives as Christians. But he also reminds us that, if we truly want to emphasize service, then we must...

Why Do Bishops Get Enthroned?

When Archbishop Elpidophoros comes to America, the first thing that’s going to happen is his enthronement on June 22. Yet that word, “enthronement,” can be confusing. After all, a bishop isn’t a...

The Future of Youth Safety

We're ready to take the next step in Youth Safety. Watch the video to learn more.

Books of the Bible

A companion to “Live the Word,” this series will help you make sense of the Scripture by offering context and ideas to help you better understand the books of the Bible as you read the Scripture,...

Live the Word

The Live The Word Video Series takes a closer look at the Sunday Epistle and Gospel readings with two videos each week for the upcoming readings.