Orthodox faith explored
Students can learn about the Antiochian Orthodox Christian faith when Basil Essey, bishop of the church’s archdiocese in North America, speaks tonight at 7 p.m. in the Methodist Student Center.
A guest of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Essey said he will speak about how the Orthodox faith is learned through the worship services and liturgy, which means coming with God to church and praying.
The Orthodox church is a Christian faith that traces its roots back 2,000 years to the apostles Peter and Paul and split from the Roman Catholic Church around the year 1000, Homsey said.
He also said he wants to introduce Orthodoxy to Oklahoma State University students and faculty.
Jeff Benza, club member, said the bishop has a positive affect on people because he speaks at all levels.
“He relates to young people,” he said.
Jack Salem, youth director of St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City, said the bishop speaks about the Orthodox theology on an ordinary level where individuals can understand unfamiliar religious terms.
Valerie Homsey, club president, said Essey practices what he teaches.
“The example that he wants to teach, he lives,” she said. “He exemplifies Christianity to people.”
Essey said it’s important to set a good example because “talk is cheap.”
“People want to see how you live,” he said.
Salem said the Orthodox faith is not just a religion, it’s also a history.
Since the apostles came, approximately after the Pentecost, five major metropolitan churches were established in Constantinople, Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch. In the 1000s, Rome split from the other four churches. The Romans then became the Roman Catholic Church, and the others were called Orthodox Christian.
Salem said the bishop is informative. He talks about ideas people haven’t heard before from a historical point of view.
Benza said he wants to hear about what issues are facing people now, and what we can do to deal with them from the bishop’s speech.
Essey said after he speaks, he will answer questions.
Benza said he wants those attending to gain an understanding of religion.
Tamer Shawared, club member, said, “I hope people give this a chance.”
Rev. Michael Bartley, United Methodist minister, said the bishop’s speech will provide an opportunity for people to learn about this religion.
Homsey said she wants this event to be exciting for the students because most people aren’t familiar with the Orthodox Christianity.
Essey was born in Moneesen, Pa. and he currently resides at the chancery in Wichita, Kan. He was elected as bishop to the episcopacy on Nov. 14, 1991.
SOURCE: O’Colly Est. 1895