Once again, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are pleased to announce that they have each received $15,000.00 grants from the Prokopis Charitable Foundation to underwrite for 2007 the official Theological Consultation between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches in the U.S.

Twice each year, twelve Orthodox theologians and twelve Roman Catholic theologians gather for the North American Orthodox/Catholic Theological Consultation that was initiated in 1965 by SCOBA and the USCCB. Having read many of the papers and statements issued over the years by this oldest ongoing official dialogue between the two Churches, Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Prokopis have decided to cover the costs of the Consultation for a third year. Similar grants covered all the costs of the Consultation in 2005 and 2006. Mr. Prokopis has expressed many times his genuine interest in the success of this dialogue. He noted that he and Mrs. Prokopis "offer this gift to aid in the rediscovery of the unity that existed during the first millennium. These efforts are of importance to me personally, as well as to all Christians."

The religious philanthropy of the Prokopis Charitable Foundation is guided by the following principles: preserving the Word of the Lord; the health, morale and welfare of parish priests; education; and embracing mixed marriages.

In expressing thanks on behalf of Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman, and the SCOBA hierarchs, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, General Secretary of SCOBA, said "It is certainly a great inspiration to know that the significant work done by our theologians over the past forty years is beginning to bear fruit. Seeking to implement our Lord's prayer 'that all may be one,' our hierarchs and theologians, both lay and ordained, embarked on this long and difficult journey four decades ago. Your very generous support of the work being accomplished by the members of the Consultation, is received with much love and gratitude."

For his part, Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba of Milwaukee, the Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB, thanked Mr. and Mrs. Prokopis for the grant, and said that "your support of these multi-faceted efforts has been most appreciated and, I believe, fully corresponds to Our Lord’s desire that we be reconciled.”

Statements produced by the North American Orthodox/Catholic Theological Consultation can be found on the SCOBA website at www.scoba.us.

For further information CONTACT: SCOBA General Secretariat, Tel: 212-570-3593.

Source: www.goarch.org 19-Dec-2006

Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ, mentally saying: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

St. Seraphim of Sarov