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Wednesday
Nov182009

Fr. David Bissias

Fr. David is available to speak on: Gender and Sexuality, Eschatology, Ecclesiology and Anthropology, among others. Learn more »

Biography

Fr. David BissiasA native of Chicago, Father David graduated from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1993. Upon ordination, he served as deacon to (then) Bishop Iakovos of Chicago and was later assigned as the associate pastor of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Milwaukee, WI. In 1996, he was assigned as the pastor of the Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Hammond, IN, where he continues to serve. Since 2004 he also serves as a Special Administrative Assistant to Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. Additionally, he is a member of the Metropolis Council, the Bishop’s Task Force on AIDS, and has represented the Metropolis at various ecumenical and interfaith events.

“As a parish priest… I am aware of the various ‘reductions’ of the Truth to partial understandings that occur among many parishioners, which lead to distortions of the Christian faith and Gospel.” So writes Father David Bissias in The Mystery of Healing: Oil, Anointing, and the Unity of the Local Church (Rollinsford, NH: Orthodox Research Institute, 2008). Countering such reductions and distortions is the main interest in his teaching ministry. His concerns are most often related to how we think about our life as members of the Church.

“Repentance means more than turning away from sin or acting differently,” he notes, “but also literally to change our mind, the way we think.” He adds, “The sacred tradition and customs of the Church originate in a worldview much different than our own. If we want to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord in the 21st century, we cannot simply repeat them without both understanding and explaining them to others.”

He has been invited to speak on numerous subjects related to Orthodoxy, from parish seminars and retreats to academic symposia. He has recently published The Mystery of Healing, and is completing his forthcoming work: The Question of Gender: Male and Female in Orthodox Tradition, expected in 2010. He resides in Munster, IN, with his wife and two children.

Topics

Father David prefers to fashion his presentations anew for each audience and need. Below is listed ‘topics of interest’ as well as a partial list of previous presentations.

Topics of Interest:

  • Orthodox Faith and Theology (general)
  • The Eucharist and Sacramental/Liturgical Theology
  • Orthodox Anthropology and Gender/Sexuality
  • Ecclesiology
  • Genesis
  • The Gospel according to John

Previous Speaking Engagement Topics:

  • It is Time for the Lord to Act: The Many and the One
    On the nature of the Church (ecclesiology) and the centrality of the Eucharist as our mystical incorporation into the one Body of Christ (becoming christs in, with, for and as Christ). Presented to parishioners to understand why we do what we do at the Eucharist and what this means for daily life, especially noting that all participants in the Eucharist are mystics.
  • Serving the Lord in Gladness: Finding Joy in the Eucharist
    Finding the fulfillment of our personhood in the work of the liturgy (the offering of self, stewardship, creation); as well as the joy of sacrifice: All phenomena require the Cross—Saint Maximos the Confessor.
  • The Eucharist and Healing: Anointing and Communion in Community
    The practical and intrinsic connection between Eucharist and Holy Unction and the role of the Church community (i.e. clergy and laity) in the healing/transformation of her members. Special emphasis on why we celebrate a service explicitly for the sick and suffering in a corporate setting (especially Holy Week). Also special emphasis on the meaning of healing in the context of the Eucharist and eschatology.
  • The Passion of the Christ and Orthodoxy: A Response to Gibson’s Vision
    A comparison with popular portrayals of the Lord’s Passion from an Orthodox perspective, with particular attention to the film by Mel Gibson.
  • The Evil Eye, Old Wives’ Tales and Superstitions: Are they Harmful?
    An overview of various Greek folk superstitions (with emphasis on vaskania, or the evil eye) and their relationship to our Orthodox Christian life.
  • Marriage: An Orthodox Christian Perspective in Ecumenical Context
    A comparison of Orthodox Christian perspective of the Mystery of Holy Matrimony to popular conceptions and Western Christian teaching.
  • Authority and Freedom in the Eastern Christian Tradition
    An exposition of the concepts of authority and freedom from an Orthodox Christian perspective, with special attention to the difference between freedom from authority and freedom in authority.
  • Toward a Theology of Gender
    An overview of gender issues facing the Church and contemporary society, including human sexuality, marriage, ordination and so forth.
  • Evolution from an Orthodox Christian Perspective
    Explores the relation of Orthodox doctrine to modern science, the compatibility/incompatibility of evolutionary theory with biblical truth and Orthodox anthropology/theology.
  • The Last Times and Thereafter
    An overview of Orthodox eschatology with special emphasis on the question about life after death, including a critical response to The Soul After Death by priestmonk Seraphim Rose.
  • The Last Judgment and Our Response to the Gospel
    A reflection on Matthew 25 and the notion of judgment in Orthodox eschatology.
  • Orthodox Iconography: Windows into Heaven
    An overview of Orthodox iconography and its relation to liturgy and the Incarnation of our Lord.
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