In May 2009, when we launched in Cluj the Romanian translation of Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism (Ortodoxie si evanghelism. Trei perspective – which is already sold out and we hope to be able to publish some time in the near future a second edition), Bradley Nassif, one of the authors of that book spoke to me for the first time about The Way, asking if there is any way I could help with this project, which was for some time in financial difficulties.
In July this year, I have visited the Institute for Christian Orthodox Studies in Cambridge (ICOS), UK, in order to explore the possibility for World Vision to support this project. The visit was quite enlightening and we have decided to support this extraordinary project., since it fits perfectly World Vision committment to support the Church in its ministry to children and their parents, alike.
During this visit, I have also travelled to Oxford, where Metr. Kallistos Ware has kindly received me, in order to discuss about the possiblitity for World Vision to support The Way.
Before going any further, let me explain, concisely what is The Way.
About seven years ago, an initiative group at ICOS started working on an adaptation of Alpha for Orthodox churches, under the authority of Metr. Kallistos Ware, one of the most respected Orthodox hierarchs in the West.
The starting point for this programme was a keen awareness of the need for a modern adult catechism, in response to the high level of nominalism in many Orthodox churches, especially in the diaspora. The programme is now close to being finalised. As it stands now, it is not just an adaptation of Alpha, but really a ‘rebirth’ (or ‘reincarnation’, if you wish) of Alpha for the Orthodox context.
Here is how ICOS presents this project:
[The Way] is the outreach programme of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies. It is a course of 10 sessions, usually over 10 weeks, and consists of:
- a meal together
- a talk on a central aspect of Christian belief
- free discussion in small groups
- a “question and answer” session, where members of each group put questions to a panel
Find out more about this programme HERE.
There is a high interest in using this course not only in the Diapora, but also in majority Orthodox countries, like Romania and Russia, for example. In Romania, this divetails perfectly with the child catechism programme called Christ to the Children (Hristos impartasi copiilor) and Fr Naclad, who coordinates this programme is highly interested in translating, adapting and using The Way in Romania.
Here is the message I have received from Prof. David Frost, Principal and Administrator of IOCS, in response to our support:
5 August 2009
Dear Petros, Danut and Brad,
I realized when I started to write this note of acknowledgement that tomorrow is the Feast of the Transfiguration: a feast that has had special meaning for me since my twenties and one which I will now think of as marking the transition of THE WAY from being a kitchen-table creation by a few enthusiasts to something that has potentially an international impact.
We received formal notice today from our bank of the arrival of £10,000 into THE WAY account, and though we are somewhat daunted by the transition your joint efforts have made possible, the whole Organizing Committee is deeply grateful for the opportunity you have offered us. We will need your prayers, so that we are inspired way beyond our natural limitations.
I am writing to the three of you jointly, since I think of you as the Benign Triumvirate: Brad for considering where to go for support and more than delivering on an initial promise to try and help; Danutz for giving us the very serious scrutiny and encouragement without which we wouldn’t have had the courage to go forward; and Petros for putting what we are trying to do in the context of what was lacking when he was a second-generation Cypriot growing up in England.
Thank you all for your trust in us. I have written today to the designer with draft material and design specifications and tomorrow I’ll alert the video production team. The editorial process gets under way from Monday and the twelve presenters have already been asked for final revisions.
Pray for us, brothers!
Yours in Christ,
Professor David Frost MA, PhD (Cantab.)
Principal and Administrator
Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge
Wesley House, Jesus Lane,
Cambridge CB5 8BJ
Please pray for the successful completion of The Way.