Missions Weekend: South Korea & Albania

October 20, 2017 - October 21, 2017
St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
575 Scarsdale Road
Yonkers, NY 10707

Our annual Missions Weekend will feature two fascinating speakers this year, especially in light of world events—one from South Korea, and one from Albania. A campus student-interest group, the St. Innocent Society, is sponsoring the presentations.

SOUTH KOREA

Metropolitan Ambrosios (Zographos) of the Orthodox Metropolis of Korea will speaking on campus for our annual Missions Weekend, and will be sharing his extraordinary experiences in working with the faithful in Korea. He will give his free and public presentation at on Friday, October 20, 7 p.m. in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building, and an open reception will follow.

“I look forward to seeing your seminary President, Fr. Chad Hatfield, face-to-face, and to the conversations with your students,” replied His Eminence, in response to St. Innocent Society’s invitation.

Metropolitan Ambrosios was born on March 15, 1960 on the island of Aegina in Greece. He was educated at theological institutions in Greece and the U.S. (Holy Cross School of Theology and Princeton Theological Seminary), and did postgraduate work at Princeton University, earning a Master’s degree in Church History and Art History.

On December 21, 1998, he was awarded a Doctorate Degree with distinction by the School of Theology of the University of Athens and on December 23 of the same year he departed to Korea to begin serving the Orthodox Church in Korea as Dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Seoul and as Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Korea. (Read His Eminence's article on the history of the Korean Orthodox Church.)

On December 21, 2006, he was elevated to the Episcopacy as Bishop of Zela by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In addition to many articles in various magazines, he has also published the following major studies and books: The Social Teachings of St. Gregory Palamas, Based on His 63 Homilies; The Contribution of St. Basil the Great to the Formation of the Monastic Ideal; and Iconography in the Liturgical life of the Medieval Greek Church.

ALBANIA

Nathan Hoppe, of Albania, will be speaking on Saturday, October 21, at 10 a.m. His presentation will also be in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium.

Nathan and his wife, Gabriela, are working to inspire, train, equip, and lead Albanians to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples in Albania. Their ministry is focused on seminary students, university students, and children. Nathan teaches the early church fathers at the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy and leads the ministry to students at the University of Tirana. Nathan also directs the Central Children's Office of the Orthodox Church of Albania, a ministry in which he works closely with Gabriela.

Nathan also represents the Orthodox Church of Albania at a number of international gatherings, including the official dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church and the dialogue with the Lutheran World Federation. Additionally, he serves on the steering committee of the Lausanne-Orthodox initiative (LOI), is a member of the Advisory Council for World Vision Albania, and is on the board of the Inter-Confessional Bible Society. Together Nathan and Gabriela lead a team of 25 Albanian Orthodox youth to Kosovo each year where they hold friendship camps for about 1,500 Muslim Albanian children. These camps are part of the social and philanthropic work of the Orthodox Church of Albania.

Nathan was born and raised in Colombia, South America, where his parents continue to serve as missionaries. He is a graduate of Wheaton College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He has now served in Albania for more than 16 years. Gabriela, a native of Albania, is a graduate of the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy and the University of Tirana. She also holds a master's degree in Children's and Family Ministry from Bethel Seminary. In addition to her role in the Central Children’s Office, Gabriela devotes much time to her important responsibilities as wife, mother, and homemaker. The Hoppes have three children.

(Listen to part 1 and part 2 of an interview with Nathan about missionary work, in the podcast series "Send Me" on Ancient Faith Ministries (AFM); and also an interview with Nathan in the podcast series "Speaking the Truth in Love" on AFM.)

Photo credits: orthodoxkorea.org and OCMC.org

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