A Debt of Gratitude to Elisabeth Behr-Sigel

My Personal History With Elisabeth

For a while, in college, I decided I was against the ordination of women. The reason was simple: it was the best way to guarantee that I myself would never have to become a pastor. My grandpa was a pastor… my dad was a pastor… I was majoring in theology… there was just a dreary inevitability about it.

An Open Letter to the Hierarchy of ROCOR

Dear Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishops and Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,

Christ is Risen! We ask for your blessings and that you hear the concerns of many women of the church. The commencement of the All-Diaspora Council on the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women - without the participation of women - has left many of us with a personal spiritual pain and desire to express our views.

Dear Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishops and Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,

The Word became Flesh

A handsome, charming twenty-eight year old, “Michael” had spent recent years making money, dating successful women, wining and dining and feeling fulfilled. I met Michael in an isolated, stark white room, in the locked psychiatric unit of the hospital where I served as chaplain. Michael had attempted to take his own life the night before, by swallowing extreme amounts of painkillers.

In Memory of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel

Elisabeth Behr-Sigel has been referred to as a "mother of the Church" in and for our time. Born in 1907, she was a living memory of the Church in the 20th century. Baptized into the Protestant Church, Madame Behr-Sigel heard the call to follow Jesus at an early age. She followed this call and was one of the first women students of theology in France, graduating from the University of Strasbourg. After graduation she served as the pastor of a country parish in the Reformed Church for one year.

Before Surgery: The Hospital Room as Sacred Space

The first time I was scheduled to serve overnight as the on-call chaplain, I was paged at five a.m.  I groggily called the Intensive Care Unit, and spoke to a nurse who requested that I visit an anxious, weeping patient who would be undergoing surgery later that morning. I was told that the patient, "Andrew," was Orthodox Jewish. The nurse said that Andrew had a tracheotomy, and therefore could not speak.

Sighs Too Deep for Words

On the first day of my chaplain residency, a nurse called me to provide spiritual care for a grieving couple on the hospital's birthing unit. This was my first crisis referral, and the couple was Greek Orthodox. I entered the room quietly, and met "Ana" and "George." When I told them I was the chaplain, and that I was Orthodox, they embraced me, kissing me on both cheeks." There was an immediate closeness among us.

The Memory of Sylvia Muntean and her sister Helen

To: The Family of Sylvia Muntean (and her sister Helen)
From: Former employee of Sylvia Muntean (Dragos Coal Co.)

I just happen to be fooling around on web search and typed in Dragos Coal and to my surprise I came across a site dedicated to Sylvia Muntean.

To: The Family of Sylvia Muntean (and her sister Helen)
From: Former employee of Sylvia Muntean (Dragos Coal Co.)

I just happen to be fooling around on web search and typed in Dragos Coal and to my surprise I came across a site dedicated to Sylvia Muntean.

Newness of Spirit: The Ordination of Men and Women

The question of the participation of women in the liturgical and priestly ministry of the Orthodox Church is a relatively new question, one which has come to it from the “outside.” Yet, for the last 30 years, the question has been seriously considered by Orthodox theologians who have made it our own. This is true of theologians who both oppose and support a greater participation of women in liturgical service.

Sermon: Putting on Christ

Today, we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises of God. Today, we celebrate the revelation of the Trinity, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the day tradition views as the beginning of the Church. Today is Pentecost, a day when the promise of the book of Joel is fulfilled:

I will pour out my spirit in all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves,
In those days, I will poor out my spirit.
(Joel 2.28-32)

Conference: Gifts of the Spirit-Boston, 2000

Nearly two hundred and fifty women gathered this past 17 an 18 November at St. John of Damascus Orthodox Church in Dedham, Mass. to participate in a conference for Orthodox Christian women entitled, "Gifts of the Spirit." Sponsored by the St. Nina Quarterly and the Council of Eastern Orthodox Churches of Central Massachusetts, and with the help of a dedicated local planning committee, this was the first time that Orthodox Christian women in the New England area gathered as one to explore the ministry of women in the Church.

Altar Girls?

Recently the OCA issued a statement regarding the liturgical service of girls in the altar.

Justice as Asceticism

During our week with Project Mexico, fasting came up a number of times. It started with the effort to find food in the airport which did not contain meat, inspiring a few conversations about the idea of ‘travel mercies,’ the leniency granted to travelers who may not be able to find options which fulfill the fast. The conversation continued at the Orphanage. Due to government regulations imposed by the Mexican government, a certain amount of meat must be served each week at Orphanages.

St. Nino and the Role of Women in the Evangelization of the Georgians

O handmaid of the Word of God, who in preaching equaled the first-called Apostle Andrew, and imitated the other Apostles, enlightener of Iberia and reed pipe of the Holy Spirit, holy Nina, equal to the Apostles, pray to Christ God to save our souls. - Troparion

The story of St. Nino [the Georgian form of Nina], Equal to the Apostles and Illuminator of the Georgians, has had an interesting history.

Our Editorial Board

Get to know our editorial board by reading the short biographies below.

Women in the Eastern Church

The very title of this year's annual meeting - "Invisible No More?" - speaks both to the backseat role which women historically have played within Christianity and, with its interrogative punctuation, to the uncertainty regarding our roles both present and future. The increasing attention being paid to the place of women in the Church is at once both a positive development in its reevaluation of long-held practices and yet a reminder of the limitations placed on women's active participation in the life of the Church.

The Life of St. Nina

Born in Cappadocia in the late third century, St. Nina (or Nino, the Georgian form) was the only daughter of a Roman general, Zabulon, and his wife, Susanna. On her father's side, she was related to St. George, and on her mother's, to the Patriarch of Jerusalem. When Nina was twelve, her family traveled to Jerusalem, where with the Patriarch's blessing, her father became a monk; her mother became a church worker; and Nina became the foster child of Nianfora, a pious elderly woman. Under the tutelage of her foster mother, Nina quickly learned the rules

More on the St. Nina Quarterly

Our Philosophy.

Some key components for growth in service to the Church are prayer, worship, education, communication, encouragement, and dialogue.

Witness and Ministry of Orthodox Women in the 21st Century

The issue of women's ministry and witness in the Church's next millennium can only be properly addressed within the context of our fundamental identity as members of the body of Christ, as Church.

Sermon: Working Together

"I am going to paint the house," said a big can of paint, waiting, already mixed, in the workroom.

"No, I am going to paint it!" the paintbrush asserted, bristling with indignation.

Denver Conference on Women in the Church

WOMEN's Second Annual Symposium on "Women in the Church" held Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, 1995 in Denver, Colorado yielded a weekend of dialogue, excitement, and eagerness for more than thirty attendees from four Orthodox jurisdictions throughout the United States.

International Conference of Orthodox Women from the Middle East, Asia and Africa

As part of the various programs offered during the Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women, the World Council of Churches is sponsoring two conferences for Eastern and Oriental Orthodox women, the first having taken place last October 4-10 in Damascus, Syria. This conference, which brought together Orthodox women from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, was entitled "Discerning the Signs of the Times" and focused on the ministries and concerns of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox women.

Doing Women's Work in Damascus, Syria

In September, 1996, the World Council of Churches, which had designated the years from 1988-1998 as Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women, invited me to serve as a resource and spokesperson at the meeting of Orthodox Christian women to be held in Damascus in October, 1996. The theme of the meeting was "Discerning the Signs of the Time," which focused on the life of women within the life of the Orthodox Church.

WOMENViews - Introduction

Welcome to WOMEN and the St. Nina Quarterly.

The Women's Orthodox Ministries and Education Network (WOMEN) was founded in Colorado in 1995 as a non-profit organization. The prime goal of WOMEN is to offer encouragement and support to Orthodox women worldwide in their service to the Church. Networking is WOMEN's only product. This is accomplished in two ways - by supporting the publication of the St. Nina Quarterly in print and electronic form, and by promoting and publicizing conferences about subjects of interest to women.

Mission Statement

The St. Nina Quarterly is a publication dedicated to exploring the ministry of women in the Orthodox Church and to cultivating a deeper understanding of ministry in the lives of all Orthodox Christian women and men. We profess firm faith in our Church's teaching that each of us is created in the image of God and called to grow into His likeness. We believe that all persons are endowed with gifts of the Holy Spirit in ways that uniquely express the fullness of their humanity and contribute to the fullness of the entire community of believers.

Orthodox Women Face Challenges

At the recent Clergy-Laity Congress, Archbishop lakovos urged members of Philoptohos organizations to find their "missing sisters." This means that some Orthodox women are "lost to the church."

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