The Way

Live, Love, Learn, The Orthodox Faith

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We found ‘THE WAY’!

What is ‘The Way’?

‘The Way’ is a course in Orthodox Theology and practice developed by the Institute of Orthodox Studies Cambridge under the leadership of Professor David Frost.

Where can we find ‘The Way’?

With the blessing of Archbishop Gregorios ‘The Way’ has just been hosted in the Parish of ‘St Raphael, Nicholas and Irene’ in Enfield North. ‘The Way’ is delivered in English, and has been up and running for many years now. Before the latest presentation of the course  participation has been limited for the Greek Orthodox community in North London due to  infrequency and  geographical locations. It has long been hoped that an opportunity would present itself more locally, and all were absolutely delighted that  the parish of ‘St Raphael, Nicholas and Irene’ was able to welcome and support the Institute and its team in bringing ‘The Way’ to the people of North London. This was only possible because of the leadership shown by community president, Mr. Marios Naziris, the facilitation of the event organised by Mrs Pippa Simou, and the many helpers and contributors.

What’s it like to travel on ‘The Way’?

Our twelve week journey began in January. Each evening began with a ‘Bring and Share Supper’ with delicious contributions from the participants – a rich variety of tasty items, both shop bought and homemade.This all added to the relaxed and convivial atmosphere.

Then, there was a themed talk from one of the principle speakers of the Institute of Orthodox Studies based at Cambridge University. Slides and participant handouts supported each talk.

The first six weeks covered Orthodox Theology exploring topics such as ‘God – The Lover of Humankind’ By Father Demetrios Bathrellos (read in his absence by Professor David Frost), ‘Why did Jesus come to us?’ by Miss Gladys Bland and ‘The Person of Christ’ by Metropolitan Kallistos ( a taste here from the US version).

The remainder of the course was given over to ‘Living the Faith’ considering aspects of how Orthodox Christians live out their faith on a day to day basis. In this section we covered topics such as reading the Bible, Fasting, the Sacrament of Repentance and Prayer.  Other speakers included Dr Christine Mangela Frost, Father Michael Harper and Father Raphael Armor.

After the talk came discussion groups facilitated by group leaders  These discussions  focused on the topic of the week, and gave an opportunity for further clarification and exploration.  Participants were in the same group each week, fostering an atmosphere of trust and friendship. The evening ended with a panel ‘Question and Answer’ session. The Institute Personnel were joined by Father Alexander Teftt and many other visiting clergy came along to some of the evenings, including Fr. John Hookway, Fr.Demetrianos Melekkis and the parish priest, Fr. Ioannis Georghiou.  Each group had the opportunity to present a question to the panel in turn.

Who comes to ‘The Way’?

A whole host of people came along, from people who were nominally Greek Orthodox and wanted to ‘get back into it’, Greek Orthodox believers who wanted to deepen their faith and some enquirers from other denominations. The youngest participant was thirteen years old and the oldest was in her 80s, but overall the core crowd was young people from their mid twenties to their late thirties, some single, some starting young families. All in all, this created a real buzz to the place.

How can I find out more about ‘The Way’ and the Orthodox Church?

Throughout the course participants were further supported via an e-mail group,a facebook page and this website (https://theorthodoxway.wordpress.com) set up by one of our team members.  As you can see it contains many articles and lots of information to assist people on their way! This will remain in place as a place of reference in future for these participants and others too.

What did people think of ‘The Way’?

This is what our participants had to say when asked:

‘What is it that you are able to take ‘home’ from the WAY?’

  • Piety, humility and reassurance that God is there when we seek and He confirms this in shared discussion with believers and by enriching our understanding. Further, I felt comforted that I do belong to a congregation with history and legacy.

  • The Way has given me a new direction into my religion. For the first time I was able to understand matters which were previously unknown to me.

  • A sense of community, togetherness and spiritual well-being provides daily bread for strength!

  • Answers, Light, Knowledge and a greater faith!

  • More than words can say!

  • I was very much inspired by the people (especially some of the lectures) who discovered Orthodox Christianity much later in life. They embrace each and every part of Orthodox Christianity feeding and sharing their spiritual knowledge and the love it fills them, to us all.

  • Food for the soul is paramount. We need to climb above the clouds and see life more spherically. Our faith allows us to succeed in doing so. Gathering together only helps re-enforce that and by allowing the Lord to look after us and guide us, we lead a much more complete and happy life.

Is it too late?

The Institute hope to run ‘The Way’ again soon, possibly as early as October –watch this space for further information.

Further information on the Institute of Orthodox Studies can be found at www.iocs.cam.ac.uk

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