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

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The "principal characteristics" of the zealot according to knowledge are the following: "fervent love for God and neighbor, gentleness, religious tolerance, forbearance, graciousness of manner."