Health and Human Rights in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS: A Modern-Day Civil Rights Struggle

As Orthodox Christians, we are charged with viewing people of all races equally, both under God as well as societally. This stems not from political opinion, but rather our shared view that we are all created in His image. This year, as we commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of his tremendous work towards racial equality and the sacrifices he made for civil rights. When evaluating the impact he has had on the world, we must not become complacent. As Archbishop... Read More

Orthodoxy Helps Overcome Life’s Challenges

If we seem accepting of the events around us in this American culture, Orthodox Christians must address the false gods that beg our attention and our action, our works.

Many of us may be saddened by the many, many acts of obvious cruelty and neglect of those who, because of war, must flee their situation and risk everything to find a more quiet place so their lives may not be threatened.

We live in a republic that declares the truth that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is our vision,

It is that vision that has drawn many people to the United States. Each of us have this emerging hope as part of our personal family history.

It is almost (at times like the present) seems like “an embarrassment of riches.

” The opportunities presented to each of us we have appropriated by hard work in an occupation, in acquiring knowledge through public education, in freedom to be mobile geographically, in being able to choose our lifestyle, in being a responsible citizen, and to worship God, as we declare in our currency, “In God We Trust.”

In this new millennium that began 16 years ago, many of the above values have come under threat. As a result, fear abounds and extremely serious issues appear to grow daily. The time of testing has always been with us. Our collective cultural history has been under siege in so many ways. From the earliest desires to have freedom, to have freedom to worship, has led us to divisiveness and separation from one another.

Neither the vision of “In God We Trust” nor “E Pluribus Unum” (from many, one) have been fulfilled to the greatest degree for the general public or minorities expressed by nationality, language, race and wealth.

Our system of republican government, though called “the noble experiment in democracy” has been continually emerging through difficult trials within and from outside our borders from imperial appetites.

The capacity to govern ourselves and be responsible in our public dealings, our economic growth, our religious understanding and knowledge have lagged behind the moral and spiritual sensibility so necessary!

Our Christian Orthodoxy with its valuable rituals, hymnology, deep mystical belief, sacramental attitudes and lifestyle initially arrived here on this continent in Alaska, California and Florida as a missionary endeavor.

Orthodoxy followed the exhortation of Christ Himself, to “go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit…”

Orthodoxy was not then, nor is now, an occupying force. It came to this foreign place to bring the gospel of the Divine Conqueror, Christ, who guarantees eternal life and the capacity to struggle, to overcome all obstacles through prayer, fasting and sharing life through the giving of alms.

Orthodoxy brought to this continent the idea of mutuality, a sense of community proscribed by the voice of Christ when speaking to His Disciples as He speaks to us today when there was then as there is now the controversy of primacy.

He brought them to true understanding by saying to them, “the first shall be last and the last first.” A life dedicated to service, humility and love but, above all, agape love.

The vision is still valid for Orthodox, yet quite rigorous. We are given this reminder in every Divine Liturgy, “Let us love one another so that we may with one mind confess”…The response by all present, “the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one in essence and undivided.”

The Creed that we confess and profess is the necessary element in overcoming the current challenges of “flood, fire, war, displacement, civil unrest and invasion by alien forces.”

Our way of love has always been the solution to our individual and national identity. Let us claim the gift of “mercy and judgment” as we address our immediate future.

The world is looking to us all as the example of goodness, generosity and hope. Let us each who are eligible express our conscious, thoughtful decisions for leadership so that it is prayed in the Divine Liturgy…”our leaders may govern in peace and that in their tranquility we may live a serene life in piety and holiness.” May it be so!

Fr. Eckley serves the parish of St. John the Prodromos Church in Amarillo, Texas.

Society & Culture
The 102nd AHEPA Supreme Convention opened for the first time in Cyprus in a show of solidarity to mark the 50th dark anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus. On July 22, 2024, the official...
With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, at the 47th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress the Department of Religious Education (DRE) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of...
NEW YORK--Thought to have been lost, a powerful film that brought awareness to the American public of the plight of the Cypriot refugees following the 1974 invasion of their home. The film's...
We came to our National Shrine today, to pray and to worship, and to ordain a young monastic; but we also came here – in this place where injustice and tragedy have forever marked the land – to...
NEW YORK, NY - Saturday, July 20, 2024, Orthodox faithful gathered in Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center for Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the Feast...
Join us on Saturday, June 20 2024 for the celebration of the Feast of the Glorious Prophet Elias, presided by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. His Eminence will offer memorial...
In the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasaï-Central province, an inspiring initiative is taking root, offering a beacon of hope in a landscape marked by adversity.
With the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and in consultation with His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the...
Hellenic College Holy Cross welcomed 49 students to the HCHC campus this week for their in-person sessions as part of our Diaconate Program.
With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, the Department of Religious Education (DRE), through Orthodox Marketplace, announced at the 47th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress that a new...
Read all articles about Society & Culture