St. James Orthodox Church is located in Buford, Georgia, in the northeast metropolitan Atlanta area. Founded in 2013, we are a quickly growing mission of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Our services are family-friendly and are celebrated in English. We encourage you to visit and to discover for yourself the enduring appeal of the Eastern Orthodox faith. "Come and see." (John 1:46)
Saint James is at the Taste of Suwanne Festival!
Come join Saint James Orthodox Church on Saturday October 10th as we sponsor a booth at the Taste of Suwanne Festival! We'll be handing out cookies and gifts, as we meet all our new neighbors. Whether you're Orthodox and just discovering our new parish, or a visitor that's interested in hearing about our spiritual traditions, we welcome all! We'll be at the booth from 12 - 5pm, so come by and say hello.There is plenty to do!
Over 30 local restaurants and vendors participate in an afternoon of sampling appetizers, entrees and desserts from their menus. Dish Network will air college games live for the football fanatics. The event will also offer entertainment to please every palette, including a concert stage with live music and performances. The Kids Zone will return with new and improved inflatable activities, rides and games. After dining, festival-goers can meet Community Partners and stroll through the Artist Market for arts and crafts from local artists.
|07/07/15||Response of Assembly of Bishops to Obergefell v. Hodges - |
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America strongly disagrees with the United States Supreme Court decision of June 26,Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court invents a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry, and imposes upon all States the responsibility to license and recognize such "marriages."
The Supreme Court, in the narrowest majority possible, has overstepped its purview by essentially re-defining marriage itself. It has attempted to settle a polarizing social and moral question through legislative fiat. It is immoral and unjust for our government to establish in law a "right" for two members of the same sex to wed. Such legislation harms society and especially threatens children who, where possible, deserve the loving care of both a father and a mother.
As Orthodox Christian bishops, charged by our Savior Jesus Christ to shepherd His flock, we will continue to uphold and proclaim the teaching of our Lord that marriage, from its inception, is the lifelong sacramental union of a man and a woman. We call upon all Orthodox Christians in our nation to remain firm in their Orthodox faith, and to renew their deep reverence for and commitment to marriage as taught by the Church. We also call upon our nation's civic leaders to respect the law of Almighty God and uphold the deeply-rooted beliefs of millions of Americans.
|06/20/15||Martyr Julian of Tarsus - |
Julian was of noble and senatorial origin. He lived in Tarsus in Cilicia and suffered during the reign of Diocletian. Even though he was only eighteen years of age when he was subjected to torture for the Faith, St. Julian was sufficiently educated and strengthened in Christian piety. The imperial deputy led him from town to town for an entire year torturing him and all the time trying to persuade him to deny Christ. Julian's mother followed her son from a distance. When the deputy seized Julian's mother and sent her to counsel her son to deny Christ, for three days in prison she spoke the opposite advice, teaching him and encouraging him not to despair in spirit but with thanksgiving and courage go to his death. The torturers then sewed Julian in a sack with sand, scorpions and serpents and tossed the sack into the sea and Julian's mother also died under torture. His relics were tossed by the waves to the shore and the faithful translated them to Alexandria and honorably buried them in the year 290 A.D. Later, St. Julian's relics were translated to Antioch. Later on, St. John Chrysostom, himself, delivered a eulogy [an oration of praise] for the holy martyr Julian. St. John Chrysostom said: "From the mouth of the martyr proceeded a holy voice and, together with the voice, a light emanated brighter than the rays of the sun." Further, he added: "Take anyone, be it a madman or one possessed, and bring him to the grave of this saint where the relics of the martyr repose and you will see how he [the demon] without fail will leap out and flee as from a burning fire." It is obvious from these words how numerous miracles must have taken place at the grave of St. Julian.
|06/02/15||Summer Adult Bible Study on Wednesday Nights at 7:00 p.m. - |
Fr. Steven will be teaching an adult Bible study class on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians beginning Wednesday, June 3, at 7:00 p.m., following Vespers at 6:30 p.m. Please join us, and bring your Bible!
|05/31/15||The Meaning of Pentecost - |
On Pentecost we have the final fulfillment of the mission of Jesus Christ and the first beginning of the messianic age of the Kingdom of God mystically present in this world in the Church of the Messiah. For this reason the fiftieth day stands as the beginning of the era which is beyond the limitations of this world, fifty being that number which stands for eternal and heavenly fulfillment in Jewish and Christian mystical piety: seven times seven, plus one.
Thus, Pentecost is called an apocalyptic day, which means the day of final revelation. It is also called an eschatological day, which means the day of the final and perfect end (in Greek eschaton means the end). For when the Messiah comes and the Lord’s Day is at hand, the “last days” are inaugurated in which “God declares: ... I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.” This is the ancient prophecy to which the Apostle Peter refers in the first sermon of the Christian Church, which was preached on the first Sunday of Pentecost (Acts 2: 1 7; Joel 2: 28-32).
Once again it must be noted that the feast of Pentecost is not simply the celebration of an event which took place centuries ago. It is the celebration of what must happen and does happen to us in the Church today. We all have died and risen with the Messiah-King, and we all have received his Most Holy Spirit. We are the “temples of the Holy Spirit.” God’s Spirit dwells in us (Rom 8; 1 Cor 2-3, 12; 2 Cor 3; Gal 5; Eph 2-3).
The Divine Liturgy of Pentecost recalls our baptism into Christ with the verse from Galatians again replacing the Thrice-Holy Hymn. Special verses from the psalms also replace the usual antiphonal psalms of the liturgy. The epistle and gospel readings tell of the Spirit’s coming to men. The kontakion sings of the reversal of Babel as God unites the nations into the unity of his Spirit. The troparion proclaims the gathering of the whole universe into God’s net through the work of the inspired apostles. The hymns “O Heavenly King” and “We Have Seen the True Light” are sung for the first time since Easter, calling the Holy Spirit to “come and abide in us” and proclaiming that “we have received the heavenly Spirit.” The church building is decorated with flowers and the green leaves of the summer to show that God’s divine Breath comes to renew all creation as the “life-creating Spirit.” In Hebrew the word for Spirit, breath and wind is the same word, ruah.
The Great Vespers of Pentecost evening features three long prayers at which the faithful kneel for the first time since Easter. The Monday after Pentecost is the feast of the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Church, and the Sunday after Pentecost is the feast of All Saints. This is the logical liturgical sequence, since the coming of the Holy Spirit is fulfilled in men by their becoming saints, and this is the very purpose of the creation and salvation of the world.
|03/02/15||Fr. Steven's Podcast Series: The Life of the Church Today - |
Listen to Fr. Steven's newest podcast series, "The Life of the World Today," on the Ancient Faith Radio website! Fr. Steven discusses the Church at work in the world and important topical issues sometimes hidden from view.