In just three weeks St. Barbara's will host a gathering of Deanery Clergy as well as V. Rev. Dr. John Behr. Fr. Behr "is the Dean of St Vladimir Orthodox Seminary and Professor of Patristics, teaching courses in patristics, dogmatics and scriptural exegesis at the seminary as well as at Fordham University, where he is the Distinguished Lecturer in Patristics" (svots.edu).
On Thursday afternoon, November 5, Deanery Clergy will gather in St. Barbara's parish hall for a meeting and discussions. Vespers will follow at approximately 5:00 pm, with an Open House Public "Meet and Greet" and Reception at approximately 6:00 pm at which Fr. John will speak a bit about the work of St. Vladimir's Seminary.
On Friday morning, November 6, we will celebrate the Divine Liturgy, followed by brunch and a formal presentation to the clergy by Fr. Behr. Friday afternoon and evening are free, but we will try to reserve private time on that day for discussions with Fr. Behr and prospective seminarians. A presentation will be offered by Fr. John on Saturday morning, November 7 for members of St. Barbara's, as well as other interested parties. The topic: "The Challenge of Bearing Christian Witness Today."
On Saturday evening, November 7, Fr. Behr will travel to Dallas delivering a talk at St. Seraphim Cathedral immediately after a Vesper service. He will return to Ft. Worth, concelebrate the Divine Liturgy and offer the homily at St. Barbara's on Sunday morning, November 8. We have asked him to provide a talk at the banquet that day focusing a bit on Archbishop Dmitri's newly published, "Commentary on St. John," as well as on Christ's Incarnation.
We hope that many of our members and friends will join us for this particularly eventful weekend.
A little about Fr. John: "(He) hails from England, though his family background is Russian and German - and clerical on both sides. From the Russian side, his great-grandfather was sent to London by Metropolian Evlogy to serve there as a priest in 1926; his father was also a priest, ordained by Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom), as are his brother (at St Paul’s Monastery on Mt Athos) and his brother-in-law (Sts Cyril and Methodius, Terryville, CT). His maternal grandparents met at Karl Barth’s graduate seminar in Basel, and served in the Lutheran Church in Germany, where his grandfather was a Lutheran pastor.
"After completing his first degree in Philosophy in London in 1987, Fr. John spent a year studying in Greece. He finished an M.Phil. in Eastern Christian Studies at Oxford University, under Bishop Kallistos (Ware), who subsequently supervised his doctoral work, which was examined by Fr. Andrew Louth and Rowan Williams, now Archbishop of Canterbury. While working on his doctorate, he was invited to be a Visiting Lecturer at St Vladimir’s Seminary in 1993, where he has been a permanent faculty member since 1995, tenured in 2000, and ordained in 2001. Before becoming Dean in 2007, he served as the editor of St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, and he still edits the Popular Patristics Series for SVS Press.
"His early work was on issues of asceticism and anthropology, focusing on St. Irenaeus of Lyons and Clement of Alexandria. After spending almost a decade in the second century, Fr John began the publication of a series on the Formation of Christian Theology, and has now reached the fifth and sixth centuries. He has recently completed an edition and translation of, and introduction to, the remaining texts of Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia. He has also published a synthetic presentation of the theology of the early centuries, focused on the mystery of Christ" (svots.edu).
Again, please mark your calendars for this first full weekend in November and join us for services and special activities surrounding the visit of Fr. John Behr. For more information please do not hesitate to contact Fr. Basil.