About the Orthodox
You have heard of the Greek Orthodox, the Russian Orthodox and perhaps others. What is it that defines one as Orthodox? Well as important as one's heritage may be, it is the faith that makes one Orthodox. The word "orthodox" means right belief or worship. For the Orthodox Christians in Norwood, and around the world, this means that we trace our heritage to Jesus and His Apostles. Our faith is a faith shared with those in the first century. Our language and customs may be different, but our belief is the same.
About Saint George in Norwood
Our church traces its roots to Syrian immigrants who arrived in South Norwood in the early twentieth century. One of their primary tasks was establishing an Orthodox church -- the faith of the homeland. Thanks to their diligence and hard work, Saint George became a focal point of the community. Today, their descendants as well as American-born Orthodox continue the work. We at Saint George embrace the faith and work hard to preserve the culture and closeness which have been part of this parish from the very beginning.
Worship in the Orthodox Church
Many folks leave their first Orthodox service, not sure what it is they have experienced. That's okay. The music, the painted icons, the incense, the vestments of the priest all seem a bit foreign at first. They often leave one with a sense of mystery. That is okay too, because in the Orthodox Church, the transcendence of God and the beauty of worship give us a tiny glimpse of His Heavenly Kingdom. The Divine Liturgy is a reminder that our true homes are not in this world.
Orthodox services are rich in tradition and steeped in a sense of holiness. Whether it is the Sunday Divine Liturgy (the Eucharistic service,) a weeknight Vesper service, or one of the special services on a feast day or during Lent, the words and hymns proclaim what the Church believes.
One of the hallmarks of Orthodox tradition, is that the services are in the language of the people. Therefore many American Orthodox will use English. Churches whose heritage is predominantly Greek or Arab may also incorporate those languages into their worship.
What Else Happens in the Church?
First, and foremost, an Orthodox Church is about the worship of God. As a Christian community it is our obligation and privilege to gather and offer up our prayers, just as the first Christians did some two-thousand years ago.
As a community, our activities extend beyond the four walls of the church building. Here is just a sampling of some of the things that go on regularly:
- Sunday School
- For our younger people there is Sunday School meeting regularly between September and May. They meet in the parish hall where they learn about Jesus and the Saints. They also have a good time as they engage in various projects and even a party now and then.
- Adult Education
- There is also on-going education for our adult members and new-comers. This takes the form of classes and Bible studies. We're also working hard to stock our library.
- Ladies Society and the Teen SOYO
- A number of groups exist within Saint George, such as the Ladies Society and the Teen SOYO. These organizations, along with the Parish Council work hard to further their own spirituality, but also help the church. A quick look at our monthly calendar will demonstrate the things they do -- dinners, the annual golf tournament, a street festival, concerts and other functions. We're always looking for extra hands, so don't hesitate to become an active part of our community.
- Caring for the poor and the sick
- Caring for the poor, the sick, the dying and those in need is one of the fundamental aspects of living the Christian life. Many members of Saint George donate their time and resources to the care and well-being of those who are struggling.
- Our Projects
- As a parish we are committed to a number of on-going projects, such as the Norwood Food Pantry, the Food for Hungry People project in our Archdiocese, orphaned children over-seas, poor families at Christmas, our seminary students and people afflicted by natural disasters.