Salt of the Earth, Light of the World…

Living the Similitudes in Our Communities

OPF North American conference

October 29-31, 2004

St. Nicholas Ranch, Dunlap, California

The Similitudes are the words of Christ that immediately follow the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount: “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.” While the Beatitudes speak of the interior qualities of those who await the Kingdom of God, the Similitudes have particular reference to the way these characteristics are lived out in the world.

The 2004 Orthodox Peace Fellowship North American Conference will be a symposium on ministries of peacemaking, social outreach, and environmental stewardship, featuring lectures and workshops that focus on finding ways of living our Orthodox faith within our local neighborhoods and communities, so that others “may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.”

Featured Speakers:

Jim Forest is secretary of the International Orthodox Peace Fellowship and author of The Ladder of the Beatitudes, Praying with Icons, Confession: Doorway to Forgiveness, The Resurrection of the Church in Albania, etc. His topic is “You are the Salt: an Orthodox understanding of peacemaking.”

Fr. John Chryssavigis is a deacon of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He has served as professor of theology at St. Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney and Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston, and currently serves as theological advisor to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on environmental issues. His books include Beyond the Shattered Image; Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer, and Light through Darkness (appearing in summer 2004).

Fr. John Chryssavgis will speak on the theme: “Icon and Cosmos: Theological and Spiritual Dimensions of Nature.”

Greg and Margaret Yova are founders of Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage. Project Mexico is a ministry that specializes in involving young people in the alleviation of suffering by building homes for Mexico’s poor. St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage in Tijuana provides a home for teenaged boys who live on the streets. They will speak on “Love Charity, and Sacrifice: There is No Greater Witness in this World.”

Partial list of ministries invited to participate:

Byzantine-Latino Quarter Urban Redevelopment, Los Angeles; Fellowship of the Transfiguration – Orthodoxy and the environment; Martha and Mary House Women’s Shelter – crisis pregnancy counseling; Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Prison and aftercare ministry; Philanthropia AIDS ministry; Southern California Philoptochos Society Kids ‘n’ Cancer Ministry; Project Mexico Orphanage and home building, Mexico Raphael House Homeless shelter, San Francisco; St. Nicholas House Urban Outreach, Los Angeles; Spiritual Renewal Ministries, Metropolis of San Francisco

The cost of the conference is $199, which includes registration, lodging, and all meals.

St. Nicholas Ranch & Retreat Center is located 38 miles east of Fresno, California, and is accessible by plane via Fresno-Yosemite International Airport, as well as by Amtrak train and Greyhound bus. For those interested, we will be providing round-trip shuttle service to and from Fresno for the conference, for an additional charge of $35.00 per person.

To register for the conference, access www.stnicholasranch.org/retreats.htm#OPF.

St. Nicholas Ranch

Dunlap, California

Tel: (559) 338-2103, or e-mail: info@stnicholasranch.org.

Saint Nicholas Ranch website: www.stnicholasranch.org