Holy Nativity of the Lord
Orthodox Church in America
Welcome to Holy Nativity Mission - 318-455-4219

God is With Us!

Holy Nativity of the Lord Mission is a community of the Diocese of the South, Orthodox Church in America under the Omophorion of His Beatitude, The Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada and Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South. 'Holy Nativity Mission' is currently meeting on Sundays at the Barksdale Federal Credit Union South Branch Community Center (5490 Barksdale Blvd) at 10:00 AM to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and on Wednesday evenings at Fr. Jason and Mat' Ashley's House for Vespers, Bible study and dinner. There are two Orthodox Christian parishes in Shreveport, LA – St. George Greek Orthodox Church and St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church. Together, the Mission and the other two sister parishes are part of the greater Orthodox Church that is made up of over 300,000,000 Christians around the world. As one, we seek to bring the ancient faith and tradition of Christ and His apostles to the people of Shreveport and Bossier. In doing so, we pray that those who join us will experience the fullness of life in Christ and His Church.

Holy Nativity is an eclectic mix of people from various backgrounds. Some are ‘cradle’ Orthodox, while others have converted to Orthodoxy as the result of a spiritual journey. Our former backgrounds include but are not limited to Southern Baptist, Methodist, United Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Charismatic Non-Denominational, Roman Catholic, Episcopalian and various Reformed faiths. Until recently, the majority of Orthodox Churches in the United States were made up of immigrants who brought the treasure of the Apostolic Faith with them from the Holy Lands, Greece, Turkey, Russia and other areas that once made up the Byzantine Empire and beyond. Fortunately, the theology and liturgy of the Church is now accessible to all as the original writings, like the New Testament, have been translated from Greek and other languages into English. Although the Mission uses English as the common language for teaching and worship, we still value and cherish the cultural traditions that protected, preserved and passed on the historic faith of the undivided Christian Church and seek to incorporate them in our liturgical life in order to enrich our experience together. 

We welcome all people to visit the mission. Also, because we understand worship to be a family affair, our older children, toddlers and infants join us in all services. If you are planning to pray with us one Sunday or attend another gathering during the week, please contact Fr. Jason so he can make sure we prepare a special guest packet for you. This will help you learn more about the Mission, and give us the opportunity to show you how much we appreciate your visit. 

We pray your journey of faith continues to move you more and more towards the likeness of Christ. Please know the heart, mind and hands of the Mission are available to assist you as needed on your pilgrimage. Our desire is show the people of Shreveport-Bossier the same love we continue to receive from God and, by His grace, demonstrate to each other.

Vist Our Facebook Page!

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Be sure to follow us on FB (Holy Nativity of the Lord Mission) for the most up to date newsletter,  building program progress reports, mission projects/activies and parish life photos. 

All Saints Winter Camp 2016 - January 15th - 18th

Winter Camp 2016 Info: 

Directions: From I-20 East or West (pdf attached if needed) 

Sky Ranch, Van Texas, 24657 County Road, Van, TX 75790:  
I-20 Frontage Rd in Van Zandt County. Take exit 537
Take FM 16 E and FM1805 to Sky Ranch Rd in Smith County
24657 County Road 448, Van, TX 75790

Telephone: 903-266-3300

Arrival Time: 5pm to 10pm.

Drop Off Location: Green Parking Lot (there will be counselors there to direct and a wagon to carry camping gear and supplies to our cabins) 
Pick Up Location: Main Center on Monday starting at 10:30am
 
Emergency Contact Numbers: Fr. Jason 318-455-4219 and Matushka Ashley 318-455-4186 - also see attached pdf for Sky RanchnEmergency Info. 

What to Bring: 

Spending Money for optional activities and Sky Ranch snack shack  

Sleeping bag and pillow (can bring extra blanket if desired) or twin sheets 
Closed toe shoes (required for some activities) 
Jeans (required for some activities) 
Long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt for outdoor activities and fireside 
Shorts and t-shirt for indoor sports 
PJ's or sleeping clothes 
Socks
Gloves for those who hands may get cold. 
Hat (if preferred)
Underwear
Toiletries (hair brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, towel, shampoo, soap, etc.)
Sunday Divine Liturgy attire
Flashlight 
Bible 
 
Camp Schedule: 

Friday

5pm Arrival (No meal provided on Friday night. Snacks will be provided later. Please eat before you arrive) 
5-9 - Check in - Games 
9:30 Fireside/Prayers 
10:30 Lights Out 

Saturday
 
7:00 Morning prayers
7:30 Breakfast
8:30 1st Session
9:30-11:30 Activities
11:30-12:30 Lunch
12:45-1:45 2nd Session
1:45-4:30 Activities
4:30- Great Vespers
5:30 - Supper
7:00 - Night Games/Fireside
10:30 Lights out
 
Sunday
 
9:00 Divine Liturgy
10:30 Snack
11:30 Lunch
1:00-2:00 3rd Session
2:00- 4:45 Activities
4:45-5:15 Prayer
5:30-6:30 Supper
7:00 - Fireside
10:30 Lights out 
 
Monday
 
7:00 Prayers
7:30-8:30 Breakfast
8:30-10:00 closing Prayers and announcements
10:00 Parent Pickup 
 

 

Welcome to Our New Catechumens: Chris, Saige, Lilly, Kathy and Noah

God has blessed us with two new families that have become catechumens. Please keep Chris, Saige and Lilly and Kathy and Noah in your prayers. 

Chris, Saige and Lilly
Chris, Saige and Lilly
Chris, Saige and Lilly
Kathy and Noah
Kathy and Noah
Kathy and Noah
Christmas Ministry Pics!

We had a wonderful time with our youth bringing the love of Christ this Nativity to our shut-ins at four local nursing homes and sharing Christmas Day lunch with our friends at the Jefferson Hotel! 

New Church Building Update

South Entrance
South Entrance
South Entrance
Inside Nativity Night
Inside Nativity Night
Inside Nativity Night
Parish Hall/Rec Area
Parish Hall/Rec Area
Parish Hall/Rec Area

We are getting closer to formally moving into our new location at 2155 Southern Loop Dr in Shreveport. Following are a view pics of where we are in construction process!

All American Council Diocese of the South Video

DOS Video

At the All American Council in Atlanta, the following video of the various parishes, missions and ministries of the Diocese of the South was presented. It contains pictures and interviews from Holy Nativity. Take a few minutes to watch it and see what how the Church is growing and minstering to people throughout the south! Glory to God! 

Pray for our Catechumens!

Please Pray for our Catechumens at Holy Nativity

Please keep Tim, Kirsten, Alaina, Will, Victoria, George, Robb, Ryan, Amanda, Samuel, Evie, Elijah, Ava, Chris, Saige, Lilly, Kathy and Noah in your prayers as they prepare to enter the Church.

 

 

 

OCA News Daily Scripture Readings

OCA News
OCA News

Recognizing our Orthodox Christian Scouts
5 Feb 2016 at 9:31pm
Scouts

Every year since the mid-1940s, religious communities around the US have celebrated “Scout Sunday,” which in 2016 falls on Sunday, February 7.

“The Orthodox Church became involved with Scouting in a formal way in 1955, when Metropolitan Leonty, our Primate, along with the other leaders of the Orthodox Churches met together with the Chief Scout Executive,” according to Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov, Director of Diaconal and Late Vocations of the Orthodox Church in America and recipient of the Quartermaster Sea Scout Award.  “The programs and awards that the Church endorses for scouting programs are a way to encourage the youth of our Church as they grow in their conversion to Christ.”

The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting [EOCS], which works under the aegis of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, supports Orthodox Scouts and units chartered by local parishes in their important work.

“We encourage each of our parishes to actively support the celebration of ‘Scout Sunday’ this weekend,” explained Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary and Eagle Scout.  “We call on the reverend pastors and faithful of our parishes to support and recognize their youth engaged in parish and neighborhood units.  Integrating a young person’s Scouting experience in the fullness of Church life and the Church’s youth ministry programs is a powerful witness to our conviction that ‘Christ is all and in all’ [Colossians 3:11].”

Parishes are encouraged to participate in Scout Sunday every year.  How can your parish honor its Scouts?  Father Eric offers the following suggestions.

  • Develop occasions on which a parish’s Scouts can get together regularly.  Quite often, Scouts are scattered across different troops, dens and packs, and rarely interact.  Consciously planning special gatherings will get them to identify with one another.
  • Look into sponsoring a parish Scout troop or pack.  While getting Orthodox Christian scouts together under the “church’s roof” will help build identity, this also is a good way to open up the program to others—and introducing them, perhaps for the first time, to Orthodox Christianity.  Many scout troops are in need of meeting space, so parishes that can do so can “rise to the occasion.”
  • Encourage Scouts to pursue the Saint George, Chi-Rho, or Alpha-Omega Orthodox Christian badges.  Requirements can be found on the EOCS web site.  Hosting an award ceremony is always a boost to the parish community.
  • Nominate local adult scout leaders for the Prophet Elias Adult Religious Award to recognize their good work and ministry.
  • Organize a parish service project for Scouts.  This is a “win-win” situation—Scouts need to earn service Have the parish’s scouts do a service project around the church or for a parishioner. Scouts need to pursue service projects, while another item on the parish’s “things to do list” will benefit the whole community.
  • Encourage Scouts to complete their Eagle or Gold Award project at the parish.  Such projects are a tremendous resource involving the whole scout troop and parish—another “win-win” situation.
  • Parishes and individuals interested in knowing more about how Scouting can be integrated into parish and Church life are encouraged to avail themselves of the resources available on the EOCS web site and to contact area or diocesan youth directors.  egtosi@oca.org and ksokolov@oca.org are also available to answer questions and connect you with appropriate Scouting resources in your area.










  • OCA hosts 14th annual Pan-Orthodox Youth and Camp Workers’ Conference
    4 Feb 2016 at 10:30pm
    Youth ConferenceOver 80 clergy and lay ministers attended the annual conference.

    Over 80 clergy and lay youth and camp workers gathered at Saint Seraphim Cathedral here January 21-23, 2016 for this year’s Pan-Orthodox Youth and Camp Workers’ Conference.

    “This annual conference is sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Camp Association and the leaders of all the different jurisdictions’ youth departments,” said Andrew Boyd, OCA Youth Director.  “This year’s gathering was hosted by the Orthodox Church in America—and it was especially joyous to see so many come together to work to do better for our youth.”

    Youth ConferenceFr. Steven Voytovich leads a discussion on burnout and self-care.

    The theme of the conference—“Feed My Sheep: Crisis, Trauma, and Everyday Life”—was explored in two keynote addresses by Archpriest Dr. Steven Voytovich, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA, and numerous workshops.  Father Steven focused on mental health and development in youth and young adults, as well as burnout and self-care for pastors and youth workers.  Workshops focused on ministering to young veterans, responding to crises at camp, building effective young adult ministries, developing youth ministry programs in smaller parishes, and planting and expanding campus ministry efforts.

    Youth ConferenceParticipants enjoy fellowship and exchange ideas and best practices.

    “This year saw a record number of both clergy and lay attendees from the OCA,” Mr. Boyd added.  “Representatives from the Bulgarian Diocese, the Diocese of the Midwest, the Diocese of New England, the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, the Diocese of the South, and the Romanian Episcopate participated.”

    “I came away from the conference energized and ready to continue working with my parish’s lay leaders to deepen our youth ministry,” said Priest Justin Patterson.  “I was also excited that the workshop I led on youth ministry in a small parish garnered so much interest and feedback.  Coming home, I feel energized by what is happening in so many parishes across Orthodox America.”

    Youth ConferenceAttendees listen attentively before offering feedback and questions.

    His Grace, Bishop Thomas the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston, and the Mid-Atlantic of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, who chairs the Youth Committee for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, presided at a meeting of that committee’s consultants, focusing on youth formation and opportunities for more Pan-Orthodox cooperation among the youth.

    Next year’s conference will be hosted by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America from January 26-28, 2017 at a location yet to be determined.












    Archdeacon John Chryssavgis presents timely Fr. Schmemann Lecture
    4 Feb 2016 at 1:11pm
    SVOTS

    The Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, archdeacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, presented the 33rd Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture, titled “Toward the Great and Holy Council: Retrieving a Culture of Conciliarity and Consensus,” to an engaged, capacity crowd.  The lecture was preceded by an academic convocation at which the Seminary’s Board of Trustees and faculty bestowed a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, on Father John.  A Doctor of Canon Law degree, honoris causa, also was awarded to former Seminary Trustee and distinguished Orthodox layman Charles Richard Ajalat.

    “Charles’s work for the Orthodox Church and beyond over the last decades has been extensive, hugely significant, and influential,” remarked the Archpriest Dr. John Behr, Dean of Saint Vladimir’s, before bestowing the honorary degrees on the two recipients.

    Father John called the evening’s guest lecturer “a truly great friend of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and the Orthodox Church in America,” stating that “we owe him a great deal for all that he has done for us.”

    Days before the lecture, Father John Chryssavgis was present at the Synaxis of Primates of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches in Chambésy, Geneva, Switzerland, where it was decided that the Council would proceed at the Orthodox Academy of Crete from June 16 to 27, 2016.  “This is, in fact, the first presentation about the Council anywhere in the world after the Chambesy meeting,” noted Father John.

    Speaking candidly with both humor and passion, Father John placed the Great and Holy Council in a historical context. “The forthcoming council is unprecedented,” he said.  “It will mark the first ever gathering from fourteen autocephalous churches, including the ancient patriarchates, except Rome.”

    Father John then went on to outline the Council’s agenda items, which he grouped into three separate categories: internal relations among the Orthodox churches; issues of a pastoral and practical nature; and relations with other Christian churches and the world.

    In reflecting on the possible outcomes of the upcoming Council, Father John stated that “the most consequential and enduring pronouncement will be its determination on the diaspora.”

    He also commented on the relationship between conciliarity, consensus, and communion. “Conciliarity implies retrieving a process that involves relearning fresh ways of being and working together. Consensus was never a model of conciliar expression.

    “Our Church can play a major role in the world,” said Father John in closing. “But for this to happen, all of the churches must be placed at the service of God, the Gospel, and the Body of Christ.”  At the conclusion of his lecture, Father John received an immediate and robust standing ovation. He then offered further reflection on particular aspects of the upcoming Council, as he publicly responded to questions from seminary faculty, students, and friends.

    Several noted guests attended the lecture, including His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and President of the Seminary; members of the Board of Trustees; and members of the Ajalat family, including Dr. Ajalat’s son, Richard, a 2013 Master of Divinity graduate of Saint Vladimir’s.

    Archdeacon John Chryssavgis currently serves as a special theological advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on a range of matters, from environmental concerns to broader inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian relations. He studied theology and philosophy at Athens and Oxford, and taught patristics and church history in Sydney and Boston. Since 2006, Father John has served as a visiting professor or occasional lecturer at numerous and prestigious institutions around the world such as Princeton, Yale, Harvard, University of Chicago, and Utrecht University. Father John has published 35 books and numerous articles on the Church Fathers and Orthodox spirituality, including the two-volume Primacy in the Church, published by St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press in January 2016.

    The Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture was inaugurated in 1984, one year after the repose of the seminary’s beloved former Dean. Well known scholars and ecclesiastical leaders have spoken on topics ranging from patristics and sacred art of the Orthodox Church to personal remembrances of Father Alexander. A complete list of the lecturers may be found here.

    The lecture may be heard in its entirety on the Seminary’s podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, Voices from St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and a full gallery of the evening can be found on the SVOTS website.




























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    February 4, 2016