The Youngstown-Warren Ohio Chapter of the Society of Saint John Chrysostom has approximately 60 members. Of the 60, several are priests, deacons, nuns, and brothers. The members are Catholic (Eastern and Western), Eastern Orthodox, and Coptic Orthodox. Our Chapter membership is varied in terms of occupation, age, and gender. That which unites us is the desire for unity among the Apostolic Churches.
The Chapter meets every other month to offer a program arranged by Chapter members on a topic related to the Eastern Churches. Local programs utilize local, regional, national and even international resources when available. We also promote the annual Eastern Churches Traditions Seminar held at Notre Dame College in Cleveland, and the Orientale Lumen Conference held in Washington D.C. In addition to regular meetings, the Chapter sponsors special events. We’ve had “Three Bishops” special meetings in which Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic bishops have spoken on a topic relevant to our membership. Also, in conjunction with the Christian Formation courses for Catechists of the Diocese of Youngstown, we have offered seminars on the theme: “Who Are Eastern Christians?”
For our regular meetings the Chapter meets at a different church each time. The meeting begins with a prayer service in the tradition of that particular church. Then the group adjourns for refreshments—often with ethnic food prepared by church members. There follows a business meeting, which is always begun with the reading of the Chapter Manifesto and with the attendees introducing themselves. After the business meeting, the speaker of the evening is introduced. The speaker is not necessarily the pastor of the particular church, and the topics vary greatly.
Following the presentation there is time for discussion and questions and answers. Our meeting ends with the Chapter Prayer from an akathist of St. John Chrysostom.
On the months where there is no meeting, a newsletter called “Light of the East” is issued, informing members of items having to do with ecumenism and interchurch relations as well as local matters concerning members.
We encourage those interested in the unity of the Apostolic Churches to join our Chapter or consider forming their own local chapters of the Society of St. John Chrysostom.