CWN - Amid calls for the postponement of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which is scheduled to begin on June 19 in Crete, Orthodox leaders in Albania and Cyprus came to the defense of the council and its agenda.

“The convening of the Great Council was decided unanimously by two Synaxes of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches without any objection being raised,” Archbishop Chrysostom of Cyprus said in a June 9 statement. “This reality ensures unity and unanimity among us, which is why we believe that any other statement or proposal, at the last moment, jeopardizes this unity; those who are complicit—knowingly or unknowingly—in disrupting this unity will bear the burden.”

“The cancellation of the convocation of the Holy and Great Synod cannot occur without a new decision taken by the body who decided on this convocation,” the Albanian Orthodox Church said in a statement issued the previous day. “It cannot be canceled at the last minute through declarations and messages delivered from various directions.”

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Antioch have already said that they will not take part in the Council in Crete. The Patriarchate of Moscow-- by far the largest of the Orthodox churches-- has called for postponement of the long-awaited event, as has the Serbian Orthodox Church.

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Teachings of Christ

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Prayer is grace. God gives it when there exists zeal and humility…. Let Christ not be missing from your heart.