Monday, January 14, 2008
Orthodox bishops speak about growth of media ministry in new Web TV program
For Immediate Release
Fort Lauderdale, FL (Jan. 14, 2008) - Four Orthodox bishops, as well as other special guests, joined Fr. Christopher Metropulos and the staff of the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) for a special, one-hour Web TV program yesterday. The bishops spoke about the importance of Orthodox media outreach in North America, and how parishes can join with OCN in its pan-Orthodox missionary effort during "Share the Light" Sunday on or near to January 20, 2008. The show is currently available at www.MyOCN.net for all to watch on demand.
The first hierarchal guest was His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and Chairman of SCOBA. His Eminence spoke of the "real foundation" that OCN has laid in its 10-year effort to develop media outreach programs for the Orthodox Church on the radio and the Internet, and expressed his desire to see those efforts grow "exponentially" through "Share the Light" Sunday.
"Share the Light" Sunday is an annual event designated by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) to spread the word about OCN's programs and mission, and to raise financial support for the growth of its national outreach programs. Parishes throughout North America traditionally observe "Share the Light" Sunday on or near to January 20th by taking a special offering, mentioning OCN in the homily, and reading the Share the Light Sunday encyclical letter by the SCOBA hierarchs.
The next guest on the live Web TV program was Fr. Demetrios Tonias, pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Concord, New Hampshire, one of many "Share the Light" parishes around the country that partner with the Orthodox Christian Network. Fr. Tonias spoke about how his parish's OCN-produced Internet radio station is making a real difference in the life of his community.
"It's continued to be an active source of ministry for us," he said. "Once you use it, and if you do use it, you'll begin to see the value of it."
After that, His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, Hierarch of the Metropolis of Boston in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, expressed his vision for the growth of OCN's outreach programs, especially Come Receive the Light, the only nationally syndicated Orthodox radio program in the United States.
"I would like to see Share the Light Sunday reach out, and, in the future, [for Come Receive the Light ] to be heard throughout the United States," His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios said. "I know that a tremendous effort has been made these last few years to reach the greater American public in many of the major cities of the country. I'd like to see it reach every corner of the United States -- not only once a week, but why not every day? There are other denominations that have radio and television programming on a daily basis. Why not Orthodoxy? And, of course, not every jurisdiction and presence in America can afford doing that, but through this united Orthodox effort, we have not only a possibility but a responsibility to make this a very beautiful experience for our people."
After Metropolitan Methodios, Fr. Metropulos introduced Dr. George D.
Mekras, the son of a well known Orthodox priest and the Chairman of the
Board of OCN.
"SCOBA, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, has designated us as an agent to create a national and effective media outreach for all the Orthodox Churches in the United States," Dr. Mekras said. "Share the Light Sunday, which is the reason we are speaking to you today, is a day -- one day of the year -- that we have the opportunity to present to you who we are, and how valuable we feel we can be, if we aren't already, to you, the communicants and the faithful of the Orthodox Church. I have been a 'Share the Light' Partner for four years. That's a designation for someone who gives over one thousand dollars, up to five thousand dollars, on an annual basis to help sustain this great ministry. I look forward, along with Fr. Chris and his very capable staff, to welcoming you to share 'Share the Light' Sunday with us, on January 20th, 2008. And we look towards you for contributions to help us maintain this ministry down the road."
The next guest was His Grace Bishop Joseph, Hierarch of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. His Grace spoke about the spiritual need for media-based Orthodox evangelism.
"We are not immigrants to this country, but we are missionaries," His Grace Bishop Joseph said. "We must bring the ancient Faith to the new world. To do this, we must use any media resources at our disposal, and OCN is a vital tool for this Christian-commanded work of the Church. We must use the media to our advantage, just as the heretics have been doing for a long time. Our spiritual work begins with prayer, and blossoms forth into preaching. We must preach where the people are, where they can find our Gospel message. This is the good work of OCN, which we should all support. I encourage all the Orthodox parishes throughout the nation, every home, every thirsty individual for the Truth of the Gospel, to support and listen to the OCN."
The last guest on the program was His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman, the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America. His Beatitude emphasized that it is "crucial" to convey the eternal message of Orthodoxy to younger generations in an "accessible, engaging and relevant" way on the Internet, and commended OCN for its efforts to do just that.
The broadcast included many other highlights, and exciting news about some of OCN's new programs, including a regular show that will feature Orthodox teens from South Florida, as well as other Orthodox teens from throughout the country.
Visit www.MyOCN.net to watch the Web TV program, and to find out more about how your parish can be a part of the growth of media-based Orthodox evangelism during "Share the Light" Sunday on or near to January 20, 2008.
Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is a pan-Orthodox media ministry and one of the official agencies of SCOBA, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. OCN uses modern media to raise awareness of the Orthodox Christian faith in the minds of the general population and produces media tools for local parishes designed to increase the effectiveness of their own media outreach. OCN also produces Come Receive The Light, a nationally syndicated Orthodox radio program, as well as two Internet-based, 24-hour Orthodox radio stations, The Ark and The Rudder. Visit www.MyOCN.net for more information.
For more information, please contact:
Orthodox Christian Network (OCN)
PO Box 4690
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33338-4690
Toll free: 877-273-2348