According to the Gospel of John, salvation consists of knowing the only true God (John 17:3). But this knowing is not what many in the modern world understand knowledge to be, limited to book learning and resulting from rationalistic argumentation. It is an intimate form of knowing, a relationship of love, faithfulness, and communion. It is sacramental.
Saint Elizabeth Church welcomes all who are drawn to the one true God known in holy Orthodoxy. Our parish consists of many converts to the faith, and we provide a welcoming atmosphere to those who would like to learn more about it. This can be done through the simple act of attending the services we offer, for it is in divine worship that the fullest experience of God occurs.
For those who desire instruction about the faith, we have several interesting classes as well.
One is for "inquirers," people from non-Orthodox, non-Christian, or even non-religious backgrounds who simply want to learn something about our faith. This class is called Orthodox Studies and represents an effort to explore topics in depth. It is attended by many of our own parishioners who themselves want to learn more about their faith. It typically consists of a series of presentations by Father John about a topic such as the sacraments, or a period of church history, or theological doctrines. Samples of these lectures can be heard on our Orthodox Studies page. It meets on Thursday evenings following our Vespers service at 6:30.
Another class is designed especially for our catechumens, those who, after prayer and discernment, have resolved to become Orthodox Christians and require a wide exploration of the faith in its entirety. This catechesis does not go into the same depth as Orthodox Studies, but it does survey the entire range of learning that prepares one for sacramental reception into the Church. It meets on Wednesdays just prior to Vespers.
A third class of much interest to our parishioners and inquirers is our book study class. Led by one of our laymen, it explores various books written by Orthodox authors and provides a great opportunity for discussion and fellowship. It meets on Tuesdays at 10:00 in the morning.
For those who would like to learn about the Orthodox faith through the internet or books, a rich array of information is available. We strongly recommend exploring the vast content of Ancient Faith Radio, which provides podcasts designed for inquirers into Orthodoxy such as the following:
- Ancient Faith Today with Kevin Allen
- Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy with Fr. Andrew Damick
- Faith Encouraged Live with Fr. Barnabas Powell
- Orthodoxy Live with Fr. Evan Armatas
- Glory to God with Fr. Stephen Freeman
- Faith and Philosophy with Clark Carlton
- Search the Scriptures with Jeannie Constantinou
- The Morning Offering with Abbot Tryphon
- The Names of Jesus with Fr. Thomas Hopko