Times They Are a Changin’ Lecture Series

Previous Topics

Losing Our Youth

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An Orthodox Christian View of Islam

Orthodox Christianity has had a long history of encounters with Islam beginning in the seventh century. While the Islamic faith is constantly in the media for many negative reasons, Christians are taught to “love your neighbor as yourself.” However, Christians face a challenging future relating to the Islamic faith through increasing religious violence.

St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral is pleased to once again present “The Times They Are A Changin’: A Series on Contemporary Issues.” The third presentation in the series, “An Orthodox Christian View of Islam,” features Fr. Thomas Soroka, pastor at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks and host at Ancient Faith Radio.

Fr. Thomas will address the current challenges that are posed by the rise of radical Islamic terrorism and how we as Christians are taught to understand Islam. Learn more about the history, practices, and religious tenets of Islam from an Orthodox Christian point of view.

Join us on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM, as Fr. Thomas explores this vital topic, followed by questions and discussion. Light refreshments will be served.

About Fr. Thomas Soroka
fr-thomas-sorokaFr. Thomas is the rector of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks, PA. He is a graduate of Duquesne University holding degrees in music education and music theory. He attended St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY and descends from a long line of priests. He has held management positions for major corporations in the area of learning and development. Fr. Thomas is the host of two popular podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio: The Path and Sermons at St. Nicholas. He resides in Pittsburgh with his wife, Joni, and their three daughters.

Establishing Godly Priorities in Changing Times

In contemporary America, we are too often left gasping and exhausted by the very speed of life: by upheaval in society, morals, technology, lifestyles. How can Christians cope with these changes, and keep focus on what is truly important in our lives?

St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral is pleased to once again present “The Times They Are A Changin’: A Series on Contemporary Issues.” The second presentation in the series, “Establishing Godly Priorities in Changing Times,” features Mother Paula from the Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration in Elwood City, PA.

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Explore how an ever-changing world requires Christians to adapt in order to keep our priorities — and our lives — centered on God. Mother Paula will address concerns that we have all encountered, and provide practical guidelines to how we might deal with a changing world.

About Mother Paula
Mother Paula’s experience stretches well beyond her calling to God as a nun. For 25 years, she was an elementary school teacher in Indiana and Ohio, as well as a teacher and director in church schools in multiple parishes. She has been keenly interested in helping others in need around the world, traveling to Kenya, Russia, and Guatemala with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center. Mother Paula entered the Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration in 2003 and took monastic vows in 2010. Her main obediences (duties) include providing hospitality for guests at the Monastery, serving in the altar, and providing tours of the Monastery church.


A Good Death: Everything God Planned It To Be

In contemporary America, death is seen by some as unnatural; by others as unfair; and by still others as the final and unfortunate end to life. But what if death is none of these?

St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral is pleased to present “The Times They Are A Changin’: A Series on Contemporary Issues.” The first presentation in the series, ” A Good Death: Everything God Planned It To Be,” features gifted speaker and teacher, Paul Graycar.

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When God created the world, each act was followed by, “God saw that it was good.” It was not perfect, but it was everything God wanted it to be. “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death, than the day of birth… for this is the end of all men and the living will lay it to heart.” (Qoheleth 7.2) For centuries Christ sent missionaries to teach us; angels to protect us; teachers to guide us; singers to inspire us; physicians to heal us– but Christ Himself will come back in person to take us home. (John 14.3) Then, even if we never understood it before, we may see that death is good.

About Paul Graycar
graycarCounseling and supporting the dying and their families have engaged the heart of Paul Graycar for the last ten years, as a Pastoral Bereavement Counselor for the Pittsburgh area. Over the years, he has taught Sacred Scripture to young men studying to become priests, assisted refugees from all over the world to find a permanent home in the Pittsburgh area, worked for the Courts of Beaver County presenting a monthly, four-hour seminar for divorcing parents to minimize the hurt to their children, and counseled children with mental illnesses, both in the home as well as in the classroom. He is a graduate of Duquesne University [AB, MSED], Catholic University of America [STL], and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome [SSB].