The Diocese of the South
Orthodox Church in America
St Tikhon\'s Seminary Opens Search for New Dean

March 26, 2013

(South Canaan, PA)  The Board of Trustees of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA (www.stots.edu) announces a vacancy in the office of Dean, to be filled effective July 1, 2013.  Applications, nominations, and expressions of interest for the position of Dean are now being accepted.
 
Saint Tikhon’s Seminary is an institution of professional Orthodox Christian theological education, affiliated with the Orthodox Church in America, chartered by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and nationally accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.  St. Tikhon’s Seminary offers the Master of Divinity degree, as well as the Bachelor of Arts in Theology degree, and a certificate in diaconal formation studies.
 
The primary purpose of the Seminary is to provide the necessary theological, spiritual, and moral foundation for Orthodox men to become good shepherds of Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church and for others to pursue advanced theological study and personal enrichment.

Dean’s Role
 
The Dean is the Chief Operating Officer of the Seminary.  The Dean manages and oversees all spiritual, educational, communal, financial, and legal activities of the Seminary. The Dean represents the Seminary before all agencies – ecclesiastical, educational, and civil – to which it is accountable.
 
Candidates for the position of Dean of the Seminary should be deeply rooted in the Orthodox Faith, possess the general qualifications for a full-time position on the Seminary faculty, and hold a terminal degree.  They should have demonstrated success in exercising effective spiritual, academic, pastoral, administrative, and developmental leadership skills as well as the ability to communicate the vision of the Seminary and to interact effectively with the entire Seminary community, constituencies, supporters, donors, and potential students.

Applications
 
Applications should include a detailed letter demonstrating the candidate’s suitability for the position, a current curriculum vitae, and a list of the names and contact information of at least three (3) individuals who have agreed to serve as references.  All communications will be held in strictest confidence.  The Job Description of the Dean is available upon request.
 
Completed applications are to be mailed to:  Dean Search Committee; Michael Herzak, Chairman; 6709 Springview Drive, Independence, Ohio 44131 (e-mail:  mherzak@inssys.com), and received no later than May 15, 2013, at which time the formal review of applications by the Search Committee will commence.
 
Committee Membership
 
The Search Committee consists of His Grace, Bishop Michael, Rector; Michael Herzak, Board Chair; Igumen Sergius, Acting Dean; Archpriest Theodore Boback, Alumni President; Harry Boosalis, Ph.D., Regular Faculty; Alexander Bratic, JD, Board Member; Leda Dzwonczyk, Board Secretary; Mary Ford, Ph.D., Regular Faculty; Moses Hibbard, Student Government Vice-President; Jason Rossiter, JD, Legal Counsel; Eli Stavisky, DMD, Board Vice-Chair; and Archpriest David Shewczyk, Adjunct Faculty.
 

Fr Martin LeBrecht, Memory Eternal

Updated March 25, 2013

      Members of the Diocese of the South were saddened this day by the news of the repose of Rev. Fr. Martin LeBrecht.  Fr. Martin, retired and attached to the Orthodox Cathedral of Seraphim of Sarov in Dallas, Texas, fell asleep in the Lord, Friday morning, March, 22, 2013.

      Born, August 22, 1930, Fr. Martin and his family, lived in Munich, Germany and then Rome, Italy until 1940.  At that time the LeBrechts immigrated to the United States and settled in Irvington, New Jersey.  They came to Texas in 1948 where Fr. Martin took up agricultural studies at Tarleton State College.  He found his real love to be music, however, and received a degree in Music Education from the University of Texas in Austin.

     After serving his country in the Air Force, Fr. Martin taught in the Houston School District and took further courses at the University of Houston.

     He returned to Austin, attended the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest and was ordained a priest in 1960.  As an Episcopal priest Fr. Martin served parishes in East Texas, as well as congregations in Phoenix, Arizona;  Stephenville, Texas;  McKinney, Texas; and All Saints Episcopal Church in Ft. Worth, Texas. While in Phoenix, Fr. Martin and his wife Betty saw the birth of their children, Mary and Andrew.

     When the Episcopal Church began to experience theological and disciplinary changes, Fr. Martin and Betty began exploring the Orthodox Christian Faith.  They studied initially with Archimandrite Thomas Green in Dallas, but took up further studies with Fr. Michael Dunbar at St. Barbara Orthodox Church when the couple moved to Ft. Worth.  Fr. Martin was completing his studies in the field of aging.  The family was received into Orthodoxy by (then) His Grace Bishop Dmitri at St. Barbara's on St. Thomas Sunday in 1980.   

     Fr. Martin continued Orthodox theological studies with local Dallas clergy, and took correspondence courses from St. Tikhon Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.

     He was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence in May, 1989 and to the priesthood in April, 1990.  He was awarded the Gold Cross by His Eminence in January, 2000, and retired in 2004 having served as Priest-in-charge of the Mission of St. Sava in Plano, Texas.

     In retirement Fr. Martin continued to help with services at the Dallas Cathedral and at parishes in the DFW area.

     He is survived by his wife Matushka Betty, daughter Mary, son Andrew, daughter in law Christina, and granddaughters, Fiona and Catriona.  

     Services for Fr. Martin are scheduled for Monday evening, March 25, at 6:30 pm, and Tuesday morning, April 26, at 10:00 am, at St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas.  More information may be obtained by calling (214) 528-3741 or (214) 522-4149.

     May Fr. Martin's memory be eternal!  "May the Lord God beatify him, give him rest in Abraham's bosom and number him among the righteous."

Theosis: Steps to Transformation

March 22, 2013

Please see the link for more information on "Theosis: Steps to Transformation."  This retreat will be held April 12 - 13 at St John of the Ladder Orthodox Church, Piedmont (Greenville), SC.

Dignified Death and Burial: A Return to Ancient Practices

March 22, 2013

Please see the linked flyer for more information on a "Dignified Death and Burial: A Return to Ancient Practices."  The talkwill be April 6, 2013 at Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, Mt Pleasant (Charleston), SC.

What Generation None needs now

March 12, 2013

Please visit this link for Fr Peter Robichau's article, What Generation None needs now.

Update on the Episcopal Search from the Diocesan Council Meeting on Feb 5

March 8, 2013

Update on the Episcopal Search from the Diocesan Council Meeting on February 5, 2013, at St. Mary of Egypt parish in Atlanta.

A regular business meeting of the Diocese of the South's Diocesan Council was conducted with updates by the Chancellor, and an extensive Treasurer's Reports. Not only was Archbishop Nikon, locum tenens of the Diocese of the South present, but Metropolitan Tikhon was able to join the Diocesan Council for the afternoon session.

Archbishop Nikon reported that it was the desire of the Holy Synod to modify the episcopal selection process. The new process would provide (ideally) for only vetted candidates being placed before the Special (nominating) Assembly of any vacant diocese.  Once a vetted candidate is nominated in a diocese, he would be placed as the administrator of the diocese for a period of up to a year prior to the locum tenens submitting his name for formal election by the Holy Synod.

The Archbishop shared his concern over the possibility that a nominated candidate might in fact be rejected by the Holy Synod, thus the vetting process by the Synod should ideally precede any nomination by the diocese. At this point the Synod has not vetted any candidate for the  Diocese of the South; thus Archbishop Nikhon suggested to the Metropolitan that he might consider having the Lesser Synod conduct a preliminary vetting of any candidate in order to expedite the process. Regardless, the Holy Synod is expected to be vetting candidates at their upcoming Spring session.

This new process would allow the clergy and faithful of the Diocese to get to know better any nominee during this period of administrative responsibility, while also allowing the candidate to become familiar with the Diocesan administration while still under the omophorion of the locum tenens.

In other developments in the Episcopal search, following the 2012 DOS Assembly in Miami, FL, the Chancellor and Deans together with the Diocesan Council compiled a further list of potential episcopal candidates.  From this list the background, resumes and cv's of another seven to ten potential candidates were considered, leading to the interviews of several of these men by the Chancellor and Deans. The names of two of these potential candidates were then submitted to the Diocesan Council at the meeting in Atlanta for further consideration.  After reviewing the information provided by the Chancellor and Deans, the Diocesan Council has decided to pursue one of these individuals as a potential candidate.

Any Special Assembly for consideration of any Episcopal candidate, therefore must wait the outcome vetting process to be completed and the further interviews of the Diocesan Council (which we hope to be concluded by the end of March at the latest).  Look for further updates soon.

VRev Fr Marcus C Burch
Chancellor, DOS

April 8 - Archbishop Dmitri Memorial Lecture in Ft Worth

March 5, 2012

     His Eminence Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South, Orthodox Church in America (+ August 28, 2011) was known for his desire to share the Orthodox Faith with whomever he met.  More specifically he had a profound love for scripture, church history and theology, as revealing the identity and mission of Jesus Christ.

     In keeping with His Eminence's first love, St. Barbara Orthodox Church in Ft. Worth, Texas announces an Archbishop Dmitri Memorial Lecture, entitled:  "The Vulnerability of the Incarnation:  God made Man," sponsored by the parish.  The main presentation will take place on Monday evening, April 8, but will be preceded by a weekend of opportunities to meet and hear the keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Sergius Halvorsen, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary in Crestwood, New York, and Assistant Priest at Christ the Savior Church, Southbury, Connecticut.  Monday morning and afternoon, as well as Tuesday morning will see activities more focused on the work of local and deanery clergy.

     The Monday evening presentation will take participants from the Birth of Christ, to His Cross and Resurrection, focusing on the earthly ministry of our Lord.  The title and content of Fr. Halvorsen's talk was chosen as consistent with the Lenten season, as well as with the Archbishop's love for Christ.  Fr. Sergius will also relate, in a specific way, the emphasis in His Eminence's teaching on the Incarnation.   Fr. Marcus Burch, Chancellor of the Diocese of the South, will also be present.  

     Fr. Sergius' four day itinerary that week will be as follows:  he will be present at St. Barbara's for Vespers on Saturday evening, April 6, afterwards the parish will host a personal meet-and-greet with guests of honor.  On Sunday, April 7, Fr. Sergius will preach at St. Barbara's during the Liturgy, and at the Coffee Hour that day deliver a brief presentation on, "Hearing God's Calling," followed by a discussion and Q & A on the work of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary, and the important role of Orthodox Seminaries generally.  That evening at 6 pm, he will speak at Pan Orthodox Vespers celebrated at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox in Euless, Texas.  

     On Monday morning and early afternoon, Fr. Halvorsen will meet and talk with a number of local and deanery clergy.   His topic for priests and deacons will be:  "Orthodox Ecclesiology from the Perspective of Preaching."  Monday evening, April 8, will be the keynote address on the Incarnation, open to the public, with a reception and Q & A.  Tuesday morning the clergy will meet once again with Fr. Sergius for a final wrap up and discussion.

     The parish's hope is that a number of people will be present for this event, and that the visit of Fr. Halvorsen will be a kick off to similar yearly events at St. Barbara's and in the DFW area, focusing on the work and mission of Christ as taught by the Orthodox Church, and as preached by Archbishop Dmitri, of blessed memory.  

     For those needing motel accommodations the La Quinta Inn & Suites at 4900 Byrant Irvin Rd. in Southwest Ft. Worth is recommended, located about 4 miles northwest of the Church.  The cost per room is $79.00 per night for Sunday evening, April 7, and $89.00 for Monday, overnight, April 8.  Reasonably priced restaurants are located next door, or across the street, all within easy walking distance.  St. Barbara's however, plans to offer most meals related to the lecture and clergy gathering.   For best results it is also recommended that motel space be booked by March 22 to insure availability.  No special name or code is needed.  Participants may call the motel front desk at (817) 370-2700.    More specific information may be obtained by calling St. Barbara's at (817) 294-0325 or by visiting the Church's website:  saintbarbarafw.org.