Holy Cross Orthodox Christian Church
Serving Midland and the Permian Basin
The Self Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
CHRIST IS RISEN!
O Lord of Hosts Be With Us
Modern Science Discovers What the Orthodox Church hAs Always Known
The Church as Spiritual Hospital
What makes the Orthodox Church The Way, The Truth and The Life.
The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

The Church is One

 The Church is one because it has One Lord, One Savior, One Great High Priest and Intercessor Jesus Christ who is the image of God the Father, who made the Heavens and the Earth, who is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, who alone trampeled down death by death and rose again, who offers all men salvation through repentance, faithful belief and service in His Kingdom and who will return to Judge the Living and the Dead, who's Kingdom is at hand and will have no end. The Orthodox Church is one with Jesus Christ because it is His true body and He is present within it. 

The Church is Holy

 The Church is Holy because God the Father has sent the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to indwell the Body of Christ, to fill the Holy Orthodox Church with power from on high, to guide it into all truth and preserve it unconquered forever. Therefore, the faithful members of the one true believing and right worshipping church, laity, clergy, and Hierarchs are true icons of His holiness. Thus, the living presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is truely and mystically present in the transformative reality which are the Church's Holy Sacraments and that these Sacred Mysteries make those dead through sin alive in Christ. The Church is Holy because its martyrs have sanctified it with their blood, witness and sacrifice. The Church is holy because through the prayers of its acetics, monastics, and holy elders it leads all people to salvation through the practice of Cross-Bearing, self denial, lived and living repentance, and the aquisition of the Holy Spirit leading to Theosis, bearing witness that God became man that men might become a true partakers of the Divine Nature becoming through grace what Christ was by nature.

The Church is Catholic

The Orthodox Church is catholic because it is complete and whole in itself, lacking nothing, that it preserves, defends, and proclaims the unchanging faith of the Holy Apostles as delivered to it by Jesus Christ himself, neither adding anything or taking anything away from the Faith "Once delivered to the Saints." The Orthodox Church is catholic beause it stands fast and holds the traditions which were taught, whether by spoken word in Holy Tradition or written in Holy Scripture. The Orthodox Church is catholic because it originally recieved and still possesses the fullness of the written revelation of God in its Holy Scriptures, which it interprets though the wisdom of the Church Fathers and proclaims the Good News of the Holy Gospel in order to make disciples of all nations in every generation.

The Church is Apostolic

The Church is Apostolic because it was founded by Jesus Christ himself through his Great Commission of Holy Apostles, that the authority and power of the apostolic office is conferred on their successors through the laying on of hands in consecration, ordination, and holy orders and that every Orthodox Church lives in unbroken continuity with the Holy Apostles through the Apostolic Succession of its Hierarchs from its foundation to the present, living generation. The Church is apostolic because through the priesthood of every believer, it has been sent into the world to make discples, to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel, and to intercede on behalf of all and for all.

Salvation is Cross Bearing
The Gift

     During this time of pandemic sickness, many people are worried, wondering and questioning their basic assumptions about the world, themselves, and perhaps even where God is in the midst of all this trouble and trial. Many wonder why a “good” God would allow suffering, disease, and death to exist. They may even question whether God exists at all.

     Modern people, even people who consider themselves committed Christians, have been socially conditioned to look first to science and material knowledge for answers to the “real” problems confronting them. Science, medicine, and statistics have become the source of ultimate truth for many, at least when it involves mundane and worldly concerns such as an economic recession, a political campaign, or the threat of infectious disease. God has become the keeper of “higher” things; of morality, of spiritual truth, and the afterlife. Religion is now a personal, private, matter which exists only in the mind of each believer that enables them to cope and make sense of life. We have divided reality into a two-story world where man lives in the first floor where science, politics, and academia govern and shape our lives and a second story, a “spiritual” place not of this world, where we go when we die. We are content to have God above and men in charge below. God stays in heaven and out of our business until we call upon Him as a last resort when we have a problem we cannot handle ourselves. We want God to be “on call” for us when we need Him, but otherwise to stay in heaven where He belongs and let us go about our private business in the secular and completely human day to day.

     Corona, COVID 19, is a problem for modern people. Our science can explain it, but we cannot stop it. Our political leaders cannot contain the spread of the plague. Our medical system is overwhelmed and the statistics are scaring us into a state of hysteria. It is tempting to panic, especially when our political leaders are telling us to shelter in place, wear masks and face shields in public, and social distance ourselves from our friends and neighbors. It is frightening, when the stock market plummets, when we get laid off, and when we hear that the government has no idea of when this will really end. Weren’t these the people who were supposed to know what to do? Weren’t they supposed to keep us safe? They had a plan for this, why doesn’t it appear to be working? Why am I still afraid?

Where is God when I need Him?

Orthodox Christians believe in a God “who is in all places and fills all things.” If God is truly all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere and in everything, then He is not in some higher spiritual reality in the second story of the cosmos. God is here, with us, and what’s more, God is in this pandemic and it was sent by Him for nothing happens that is not according to His will. God has sent the Corona virus into a world that has exiled Him to Heaven, yet He is making His presence very clearly known on earth. God has sent this relatively mild pestilence into the world to remind us all that we are not in control. God has sent sickness and death into the world to remind us that life and death belong to God alone.

        The Holy Fathers tell us that death is a gift from God. What a hard thing to hear. Death is the greatest fear of mankind and the great problem we cannot solve. All of our science, medicine and knowledge cannot add even a single breath to our lives. Death is the ultimate and final word in the mortal story of every human life. So how can it be the gift of God?

        God, who is life, made man to be His living icon. Christ became one with us to drawn us into Himself and make us His living body. Yet man turned away from God, and exiled himself from God, turning his mind in on himself, to the earth, and to the consequences of his fall. As a mercy, God provided death that man might not become immortal in wickedness, but might instead receive the new birth of life in Christ through the incarnation of the Divine Word in Jesus, the Messiah promised to Adam. But the door to that new life is death. Truly, we come to the Church to learn how to die.

        “If we die before we die, then we won’t die when we die.” These words are written above the doorway of a monastery on Mt. Athos. We cannot defeat death, we cannot flee from death, we cannot bargain with death. Have but two choices: to fear it or to embrace it. How can modern people understand that which cannot be understood? How can we face this fear? How can we receive the gift of death? How can we modern people become unmodern when all our lives we have lived with the promise of modernity? Can we change ourselves? Can we change our minds? Can we change who and what we are?

        The changing of hearts, the renewal of minds and the healing of mankind has always been the chief business of the Orthodox Church. America needs the Orthodox Church because it is a hospital for those sick in soul and body. Thus the Lord said through the holy prophet Isaiah:

Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:5-9)

What frightened children we become in times like these. When we drop our façade and see how little our knowledge, courage, and strength matter. We call out like a child in the grip of a nightmare and wonder who will hear our cry. Is it any wonder that Jesus said that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we would need to become little children once again? Little children know that as long as they hold tight to their father’s hand nothing else really matters, and even though they may see and hear terrible things, they know that their father will carry them home. Children do not know how the world works; they do not need to. Their father gives them what they need. Children are ignorant, but they know that their father is wise. Children are weak, but they know their Father is strong and that he loves them and will keep them from harm. Children are afraid only when they let go of the Father’s hand and get lost.

     America is lost. We are a nation that has dispensed with the necessity of fathers. Indeed, having seen so many earthly fathers fail, we strain to believe that we are not all alone in the dark. We greet this Covid 19 threat as the cold and heartless hand of fate in an empty and meaningless universe. Yet God is there, watching and waiting for us to learn our lesson; to remember his name. In the end, every knee must bend and every head must bow before the Lord. There is no other way. Either we kneel and bow our heads in prayer while we live, or when we are laid low through death, but we all must leave this world behind and learn to let go of everything except what matters most; Our Father’s Hand. This is the gift of Corona.

Meeting times and Locations:

 Meeting for Worship in our New Temple at 1616 W. Golf Course Rd., Midland, Texas 79701

Please call (432) 741-1040 for more information

Upcoming Events
Sunday, August 9th
9:30 Matins followed by Divine Liturgy with Adult Christian Education, Youth Programs and Hospitality Hour Following
Wednesday, August 12th
7:00 Inklings and Inquirers 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at Brew Street Coffee House and Bakery located at 4610 N Garfield St. Midland, TX. Learn to Chant classes 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at the Church.
Saturday, August 15th
DORMITION OF THE THEOTOKOS
5:00 Great Vespers followed by Confession in preparation for the Sunday Divine Liturgy.
Sunday, August 16th
9:30 Matins followed by Divine Liturgy with Adult Christian Education, Youth Programs and Hospitality Hour Following
Wednesday, August 19th
7:00 Inklings and Inquirers 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at Brew Street Coffee House and Bakery located at 4610 N Garfield St. Midland, TX. Learn to Chant classes 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at the Church.
Saturday, August 22nd
5:00 Great Vespers followed by Confession in preparation for the Sunday Divine Liturgy.
Coffee with Sister Vassa
Be one of the zillions

Wit and wisdom from Vienna's most famous Orthodox Nun

The Trench
What does it mean to be a real person?

We all need love. We all need each other.

Are you a Bee or a Fly?
Be the Bee!

Bees are attracted to things that are sweet, pure and good.

Flies are attracted to foul, rotten, things and death.

Which are you?

What is Orthodox Christianity?
Discovering the Ancient Church Part One
Discovering the Ancient Church Part Two
Discovering the Ancient Church Part Three
The Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer
Monasticism on Mt. Athos

Stop the Slaughter: Pray, Act, Give
We Are All Nasrani!
We Are All Nasrani!
We Are All Nasrani!
Support the Suffering People of Syria

Christian Education for All Ages
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Edmodo Learning Portal for Adults and Inquirers -

Grow in Christ. Renew your minds. Never stop learning.

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Weekly Parish Bulletin
- Weekly Bulletin
Facing the Desert: A Blog by Fr. Mark
Facing the Desert: A Blog by Fr. Mark
Khouria's Corner: A Blog for Orthodox Women and Khourias
Khouria's Corner
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Fulfilling the Great Commission in West Texas
Holy Cross Orthodox Church
REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND!

Welcome to Holy Cross Orthodox Chrisitian Church In Midland Texas. Please see our Service Schedule below. We are a diverse parish with families from the local community and from accross the Orthodox Christian world. Join us in worship this Sunday.

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The West Texas Diaspora

Do you live outside the Midland/Odessa area? We are here to serve you. You are not alone, please feel free to Contact Fr. Mark Telschow at 432-741-1040 or fmtelschow@gmail.com

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