The Week of Sunday, May 12th, 2012: Bishop Antoun’s visit

This coming weekend, Saturday, May 11th, and Sunday, May 12th, our church community will be blessed with a visit by our archpastor, Bishop ANTOUN of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Miami and the Southeast.

*** NOTE: The services this weekend will not be held at our usual location.

Vespers will be held on Saturday evening, May 11th, at 5:00 p.m., at the Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Banner Elk (1522 Clark’s Creek Road, Banner Elk, NC), followed by a fellowship meal.

Thanks to Pastor David Mielke and his congregation for generously and graciously offering the use of their beatiful and historic Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall for Bishop Antoun’s visit!

Map to Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Banner Elk

On the morning of Sunday,May 12th, there will not be a Divine Liturgy served in Boone. We will all gather at Holy Resurrection Antiochian Orthodox Church in Johnson City, Tennessee, (302 Wesley St, Johnson City, TN), to share with our sister congregation in the joy of the celebration of the First Sunday after Pascha, and of Sayidna Antoun’s visit, with Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.!

About Bishop Antoun

His Grace Bishop Antoun was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on January 9, 1983 at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn, where he served as pastor. His consecrating bishops included Metropolitan Philip (Saliba). He became a diocesan bishop on October 9, 2003 and currently bears the title Bishop of Miami and the Southeast.

Bishop Antoun has served as a beloved pastor and educator in many settings, including St. Vladimir Orthodox Seminary in Crestwood, NY; St. George Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. George Church in Toronto, Ontario; St. George Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania; and St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently assigned by Metropolitan Philip to the Archdiocesan Chancery in Englewood, New Jersey.

Bishop Antoun was born Antoun Yssa Khouri on January 17, 1931 in Damascus, Syria. At the age of fourteen, he entered Minor Seminary at Balamand Monastery in Lebanon, where he met and befriended Philip Saliba, the future Metropolitan of North America. He received his diploma in theology from the Balamand Seminary.

On October 28, 1951, Antoun was ordained a deacon by Patriarch Alexander III at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Damascus. Upon graduation from Assiyat Orthodox College in 1957, he was assigned to the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Brazil. In 1959 he came to the United States to pursue a Master of Divinity at St. Vladimir Orthodox Seminary, from which he graduated in 1962. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1960, by Metropolitan Antony Bashir, and was elevated to the Archimandrite by Metropolitan Philip (Saliba) on August 3, 1969.

Bishop Antoun’s namesday is January 17 (Anthony the Great).

“You must follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there, just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic [universal] Church.”

—St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8:1-2, AD 107

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

(Image from

The Sunday of Saint Thomas

Saint Thomas Sunday

For the Sunday of Saint Thomas – Tone 7
While the tomb was sealed, thou didst shine forth from it, O Light. While the doors were closed, thou didst come in to thy Disciples, O Christ God, Resurrection of all, renewing in us through them an upright spirit, according to the greatness of thy mercy.


Acts 5:12-30 (Thomas Sunday)

Great God is our Lord and of great power.
Praise ye the Lord; for he is good.

The reading is from the Acts of the Saintly and Pure Apostles

Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem. Yet more than great numbers of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he came by. A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.
Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, “Go stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.”


John 20:19-31 (Thomas Sunday)

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be to you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be to you.”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

Saints of the Day: Germanos, patriarch of Constantinople, Epiphanios, bishop of Cyprus; Venerable Theodore of Kythera; New-martyr John of Wallachia; Hermogenes, patriarch of Moscow.

(texts from Saint Thomas Sunday Icon from