St. Timothy’s is an exceptional church in three ways.
- Those familiar with the Orthodox Christian Church would not expect to find one here in Toccoa, GA
- We are a home-grown Orthodox Church (see “About Us), which was later adopted into the Orthodox Church in America.
- Unlike most home-grown churches in America, St. Timothy’s did not begin because of it’s members primary concern for doctrine or teaching; it began out of a longing for the truest and fullest worship. That concern is deeply Christian, deeply Orthodox, and it led us into the most ancient and traditional teachings.
Members of our church have answered this question in different ways. Here are some of their answers:
"My shortest answer is: I am an Orthodox Christian instead of something else because I came and saw. Another possible answer is: 'I am an Orthodox Christian instead of something else because I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and I am convinced that the Orthodox Church is the fulness of that Church which He came to establish'." – Russ Mangiopane
"Because of the fact that the Orthodox Church has stood on Holy Tradition since the beginning. I appreciate the fact that what is spoken by the Church today can be traced through Tradition back to the teachings of the Apostles who had the fullness of the Truth revealed to them at Pentecost when the Church had the fullness of the Truth revealed to them at Pentecost when the Church was started. To give a complete answer would take a book." – Alex Carroll
I am an Orthodox Christian because I feel that I have come home to Mother Church, where the faith and practices of the early Church are preserved without change. God doesn't change, so why would we need anything more than what the first Apostles and disciples of Christ taught and practiced. Come and See!" – Donna Hannam
I became an Orthodox Christian after researching the post-Reformation history of the Western Protestant movement and finding an entire )previously unbeknownst to me) linear historically rooted Church that both answered many of my lingering theological questions and led me deeper and beyond with Jesus Christ." – Jordan Thomae
"Becoming an Orthodox Christian was a long and unconventional turn of events. Upon a lengthy struggle through Protestant Christianity, I began to notice that something seemed to be missing. As I began to research the ancient Church, I took a class requiring me to go to a church service that I had never experienced before. I chose the Orthodox Church because I vaguely knew some people there. As soon as I entered into the worship at St. Timothy's, I knew that I had entered into an entirely different service (which was the goal of the class), and that this service was the sort of worship that my heart was crying out to be a part of. After my attendance of the Divine Liturgy that particular Sunday morning, I began researching the Orthodox Church. Getting 'back to the worship of Biblical times' wasn't what they were TRYING to do, it was what has been done for the past two millenia. All of this started with a simple task of 'come and see'," – Quintin Currington
"Why I converted to Orthodoxy: Western Christianity is a tree that has split so many times that the religion is in splinters. The disagreements come when men disagree with other men or when individuals decide that Christianity requires adaptation to survive in the 21st century. Orthodoxy, forever solid, is the faith once given to the Apostles that has come intact down to modern times. It hold the original teachings of the Church sacred, not continuously rewritten through a modern lens. I like having a Church where I know the teachings have been and forever will remain the same, not subject to reinvention every few decades.
"Orthodoxy is the fullness of worship. Every minute of Divine Liturgy worship, the mind and body and soul fully participate. I used to find my mind wandering off in other churches, but never with Orthodoxy! There are no "Grandparent Sundays" etc, every worship event enjoins us to transcend time and space to join the universe of Christians who have kept the faith before us and join the eternal and ongoing worship of the Trinity.
"The visual and physical worship help us to see the saints, who like us, were once sinners, but with perseverance and faith, worked out their salvation. It reminds us that we, too, should not give in to sin, but that we continue to work out our salvation. Seeing the icons, the pictures of those who literally kept the faith, reminds me that others have struggled and earned their salvation. Seeing the saints daily reminds me that Christianity is not just 'here and now" bu is timeless and eternal.
"A visit to an Orthodox church was the first place I heard the phrase, 'I was saved, I am working on salvation, I will be saved.' This, to me, answered all the arguments amongst all the churches, on the concept of salvation. Yess, we begin a journey, but it requires commitment and effort to continue to work out God's plan for us. No, we can't take a one time conversion as a 'free pass' to do what pleases us ever afterward, resting on our laurels.
"Orthodoxy is a lifestyle. This is no Sunday only commitment. Orthodox is better than any personal coach you'll ever find. The Church teaches us how to pray and commits us to a daily program of prayer and repentance and self discipline, helping us to live a sacramental life each and every day.
"Orthodoxy is time tested Christianity. The prayers have taught the true faith as given to the early Christians and have not needed to adapt to cultural concepts and political winds of the passing centuries. We do not have to revise the Bible continuously. The time we live in is not smarter than other generations in the history of man, but we think we are. the ways to overcome sin are the same today as they always have been taught by the Church. the Church shows us it is possible to hold the true faith in the face of contemporary social pressures. It is not just a moral code, but a way to experience the Divine while living." – Dana Anderson
- given at St. Timothy, Toccoa
Especially note Bishop Mark's saying that, during Lent, we do not so much "give up things" for Lent, as we "throw them out." And that, "bad habits are thrown out to be replaced by good ones."
Meat we will eat again (it is then, not a bad habit, whereas feasting on the discomfort of others certainly is!), but as we look forward to celebrating the Great Feast of Pascha, let us not look forward to resuming those bad habits we have worked so hard to throw out! That is part of the cleansing power of the Great Lenten fast.
The Formation of the Canon of Scripture - Part One
The Formation of the Canon of Scripture - Part Two
- given at St. John of the Ladder, Greenville, Saturday, 24 March 2012
For those who heard Bishop Mark at our church Saturday, this is the presentation of all that he discussed more informally with us then. It is excellent. It gives a good sense of the central role of the Scriptures in our Orthodox Christian faith and life.
Here is a link to videos of the presentations Fr. Tom gave on February 7th & 8th, 2012, in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, before and after the ordination of Fr. James Bozeman:
Fr. Tomas' presentation at Furman University on February 6th will be posted as soon as it becomes available.
His talks were well-attended and very beneficial to our spiritual lives.
Church & Family Life - at St. John of the Ladder, Greenville, SC
The Struggle for Inner Peace - talk at Daniel Chapel, Furman University
Garden Room Q & A in the Garden Room at Daniel Chapel, Furman University:
Questions are inaudible due to the setting, but
Metropolitan Johah's answers are clear and quite fascinating,
especially his remarks related to his own spiritual experience.
Fr. Jonah, later Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America, first gave the talks now summarized in this text: Do Not Resent, Do Not React, Keep Inner Stillness, at the St. Mark's Orthodox Church, Irvine, CA. Here are links to the original talks.
The Path to Prayer: Part 1: Do Not React
The Path to Prayer: Part 2: Do Not React Q&A
Path to Payer Part 3 Do Not Resent
Rt. Rev. Meletios (Weber) has been the pastor of Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Santa Cruz, California since 1994. He was received into the Orthodox Church by Bishop Kallistos Ware in 1971. He was educated at Dulwich College and Oxford University in England, and has a doctorate in psychological counseling. He studied Theology at Oxford and the University in Thessalonica, Greece. He has been an high school teacher and a university professor. He was tonsured a monk at the Community of St John on the island of Patmos in 1978. Fr. Meletios has served the Orthodox Church in Greece, Great Britain, Montana, and California, and the Netherlands. In June 2008 Fr Meletios was named abbot of St. John of San Francisco Monastery (Manton, California).
Fr. Daniel Byantoro was the first Indonesian Orthodox Christian in the current era. He has converted over 2,000 to Christianity. Gordon Walker has said of him: "He is truly gifted by God to be an Apostle to Indonesia.
Fr. Daniel has just given three talks in our area. Are three are available here!
1. Furman University (8/1/09): Islam and Orthodox Christianity
2. Toccoa Falls College (8/2/09): How the Qur'an Pointed Me to Christ
3. St. Timothy Orthodox Church, Toccoa (8/2/09): From Islam to Orthodox Christianity
C.S. Lewis on Education & the Human Person
Lewis scholar, Deacon Andrew Cuneo's Phd in English is from Oxford University, England.
Dn. Andrew recently spoke at the Bird & Baby Philosophy Club, at 1008 W. Poinsett St., Greer, SC, drawing his insights from Lewis' book, The Abolition of Man. Many thanks to Dr. Cuneo for his permission to add his presentation to this webpage!
Rev Dr Michael Oleksa's presentations on:
The Orthodox Missionary Legacy in North America,
- delivered at St. John of the Ladder Orthodox Church (Part One),
& at Furman University (Part Two):
Choose Lectures from the lefthand Menu
Fr. Michael preaches greater understanding across race and culture. He is a leader in building cross-cultural relations in Alaska. He is recognized as an "Elder" by the Alaska Federation of Natives, has been honored by the Alaska State Legislature, and the National Governor's Association.