© 2012 - Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church    602-253-9515                    All rights reserved.



About Us





© 2016 - Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church    602-253-9515                    All rights reserved.



About Us




Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church

1614 E Monte Vista Road

Phoenix, Arizona 85006


Regular Services


 5:00 PM  Great Vespers


 9:00 AM  Divine Liturgy

The Right Reverend DANIEL, Bishop of Santa Rosa, Rector

Priest David Balmer, Attached, Retired


Andrew Maxwell


The Consecration of His Grace Bishop Daniel

The 1st Anniversary of His Grace Bishop Daniel’s Consecration

Ninth annual OCA Diaconal Liturgical Practicum trains deacons and diaconal candidates


Bishop Daniel with Practicum participants after Divine

Liturgy on July 15.  “Click Picture to see more”

Twenty-three deacons and students in the Diaconal Vocations Program of the Orthodox Church in America gathered on the campus of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary here for worship, theological reflection, and focused liturgical training. For the ninth year in a row, this gathering has provided an important opportunity for deacons and candidates to connect with faculty and each other as they seek to expand their ministries at the altar.

The Diaconal Liturgical Practicum began on Sunday evening, July 12, 2015 with supper, introductions, and an icebreaker that helped participants appreciate some of the challenges of learning to serve the divine services correctly. Archpriest Dr. John Behr, Dean of the seminary, formally opened the program with the singing of a Molieben in the seminary’s Three Hierarchs’ Chapel. The Practicum’s beginning coincided with a week of instruction for students enrolled in the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program and both cohorts were enriched by being able to pray together and to receive a blessing with holy water at the beginning of the week. Father John then led the Practicum in an engrossing study on early martyrdom, Scripture and Eucharist in our lives in Christ and the Paschal passion. As one participant noted, “I would have made the trip to the seminary for this talk alone!”

The next day opened with an early morning celebration of the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Father John and participants of the Practicum. Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov, Director of Diaconal and Late Vocations of the Orthodox Church in America, gathered with participants at 7:00 a.m. to prepare for the Divine Liturgy. “It is not always possible in our parish life for the deacons and servers to be the first to arrive at the church,” explained Archdeacon Kirill. “In these intensive days of training, however, we are able to practice and model the full order of services and all of the preparation required for a peaceful and orderly serving of the divine services. From filling oil lamps to chanting the prayers of the Church, the participants learn best by actively doing and with repetition.”

Following the first liturgy, students practiced proclaiming the Word of God by reading in church and learned about the proper use of their voices in a first of multiple sessions with Archpriest Sergius Halvorsen, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at the seminary. Sessions on voice featured chanting a section from the Epistles of the Holy Apostle Paul and receiving feedback from Father Sergius and peers on clarity and sound.

Workshops led by Archdeacon Kirill aimed at providing participants with the frameworks, patterns, and skills needed to serve effectively in the Orthodox Church as an attentive server or deacon. Sessions focused on the typical celebration of the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom. Instruction and practice in hierarchical services met in smaller groups to better approach these complicated services with the additional guidance of Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon.

Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor, served Vespers and met with the participants to discuss issues facing ordained clergy and the Church and the Church’s work in this world. As Chancellor, Father John is a member of the Board of Theological Education, which supervises the work of the Diaconal Vocations Program. As on Sunday, a long day of work and study ended at 10:00 p.m. with planning for the following morning’s Divine Liturgy.

On the second day of the Practicum, Tuesday, July 14, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by seminarian Priest Aleksey Paranyuk, Archdeacon Kirill, and Practicum participants. In addition to liturgical workshops led by the archdeacons, Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Assistant Professor of Canon Law and Byzantine Studies and the John and Paraskeva Skvir Lecturer in Practical Theology, taught liturgical theology fundamental to the ministry of the deacon and to the understanding of every Christian.

The Practicum was honored by the presence of His Grace, Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa, Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of the West, who came to the seminary for the Practicum at the invitation of Metropolitan Tikhon to preside at the divine services, to be with the participants in conversation, and to meet with them as a group to discuss expectations that the Church has for all men who are called to serve her in ordained diaconal ministry.

Tuesday also marked the eve of the feast of the Holy Great Prince Vladimir, Equal of the Apostles, patron of the seminary. The community joyously celebrated Great Vespers with Practicum participants and those attending the D.Min. program. The celebration was heightened by the prayerful presence of Metropolitan Tikhon, who serves as President of the Church’s seminaries and chairs the Board of Theological Education. He spoke convincingly of the darkness in the world that Saint Vladimir worked to convert to Christ and the encouragement we receive from the saint’s example to us in our own time and place. The celebration continued with a cookout in honor of the feast hosted by the Alumni of the Seminary. Following the festive evening, the Practicum participants continued their work late into the night on reading and voice with Father Sergius.

On Wednesay, July 15, the Practicum experience was crowned by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the feast of Saint Vladimir. Bishop Daniel served the full hierarchical order with the assistance of ten priests, six deacons, and Practicum participants who served as subdeacons or sang in the choir.

Participants attended the Practicum from nearly every diocese of the Orthodox Church in America and from other Churches. The “goodbyes” at departure movingly showed that participants not only learned more about the liturgy and their vocations in Church service, but also benefited spiritually from their new connections to teachers and brothers. As one participant explained, “it is a true joy to have received the opportunity to meet you all and to call you friends.”

The Holy Synod of Bishops requires participation in at least two practicums for candidates to complete the Diaconal Vocations Program of the Orthodox Church in America. Ordained deacons benefit from attendance as part of the Continuing Education discipline of the Church.

Further information on the Diaconal Vocations Program is available at
http://oca.org/dvp. More information on Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and its programs of theological study can be found at www.svots.edu.

New OCA Statute becomes effective November 1


The new Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, adopted by delegates to the 18th All-American Council in July 2015, becomes effective November 1.

The new
Statute is available on the OCA web site in sections, as well as in PDF and Word formats for downloading.

As detailed in the
Statute’s Article XVIII, dioceses, parishes, monasteries, institutions, offices, and organizations of the Church shall review their governing documents and administrative practices and conform them to the Statute by December 31, 2017. The Diocesan hierarchs will be working with the parishes, monasteries and institutions under their omophoria in the review process as necessary.

Questions may be addressed to the
Commission on Canons and Statute at canonsstatutes@oca.org.

His Grace, Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa chairs the Commission, while Archpriest Alexander Rentel serves as Secretary. Archpriest John Erickson and Priest Ioan Cozma serve as Commission members.

Detroit site of Holy Synod of Bishops’ Fall Session October 19-23

Detroit, MI [OCA]

Members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America will hold their annual Fall Session at Saint Andrew’s House here Monday, October 19 through Friday, October 23, 2015.

Among the many items on the agenda are

According to Father Tosi, “a considerable amount of time also will be devoted to discussing and planning the agenda, main areas of focus and implementation of programs and ministries for 2016 and the next triennium.”

Assembly of Bishops issues message at conclusion of sixth annual meeting


The sixth annual meeting of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA drew to a close on

Thursday, September 17, 2015.

The hierarchs issued a Message to the Faithful, the full text of which appears below, at the conclusion of the three-day gathering. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon was among the message’s signatories, together with the other US members of the Orthodox Church in America’s Holy Synod of Bishops: His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel; His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon; His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin; His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek; His Eminence, Archbishop Mark; His Eminence, Archbishop Michael; His Grace, Bishop Alexander; His Grace, Bishop David; His Grace, Bishop Paul; and His Grace, Bishop Daniel.

In other business, the hierarchs, in response to a five-step plan submitted by the Assembly’s Legal Affairs Committee, unanimously authorized commencement of the plan’s first three steps, by which relevant legal documents of the Assembly’s member jurisdictions will be assessed and analyzed. The hierarchs also approved the Assembly’s 2016 budget. Assembly minutes and related documents and reports will be posted in the immediate future at

The seventh annual meeting of the Assembly is tentatively slated to convene in October 2016.

Message to the Faithful
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA
September 17, 2015

To our beloved Orthodox Christian faithful throughout the United States of America:

“We know that for those who love God everything contributes to the good [Romans 8:28].

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,

We, the members of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, gathered in Chicago, Illinois, for our sixth annual meeting on September 15-17, 2015, greet you with paternal love, as we offer glory and thanksgiving to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Forty-five bishops assembled in order to recognize and affirm our unity in the Orthodox faith, to celebrate our communion in the Holy Eucharist, to recall what has been achieved in fraternal collaboration over the past year and reflect on the challenging work that lies ahead of us.

We express our deep gratitude to all those who labored for this year’s Assembly meeting. The Greek Orthodox Church of Saint John the Baptist in Des Plaines, Illinois, welcomed us on behalf of His Eminence, Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago for the opening Divine Liturgy. A special Pan-Orthodox Doxology was also held at the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois, where we were blessed to sponsor a Youth Event hosted by His Grace, Bishop Longin of New Grachanica and Midwestern America in order to communicate with teens and young adults and address their concerns.

We express our gratitude to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for meeting with the Executive Committee of the Assembly earlier this year and for emphasizing our unique responsibility—as a significant and representative segment of the Orthodox Church throughout the world—to provide insights about the work of our Assembly for consideration by our Mother Churches and by the forthcoming Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches, which is scheduled to take place in Constantinople on Pentecost 2016.

In the opening session, our chairman Archbishop Demetrios of America underlined our responsibility as bishops in reflecting the Gospel message of love and unity in our own relationships, in our local communities as well as in the broader, global society. After hearing the executive reports from the officers of the Assembly, we turned our attention and deliberation to matters of canonical regional planning.

The Committee for Canonical Regional Planning, which met over the course of the past year, took into consideration the diverse positions of our Churches in the United States of America and drafted recommendations for discussion and deliberation by all the hierarchs. Moreover, during the visit of the Assembly Executive Committee to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, member hierarchs were reminded by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew that the Mother Churches are still awaiting from our Assembly a “plan to organize all the Orthodox faithful in the region on a canonical basis”, as per the Chambésy Rules of Operation.

Thus, in a spirit of mutual trust and fraternal openness, we had the opportunity to listen to one another and to examine carefully various possibilities and options to assist in resolving the existing canonical anomalies in the United States through the perspective of Orthodox ecclesiology and canon law and with a view to recent immigration trends. In this regard, we confirmed our commitment to working together with greater cooperation and coordination on the future of a more unified Orthodox Church in this nation.

The final sessions were dedicated to pastoral issues and practices related to marriage and divorce in an effort to resolve critical differences that significantly impact the lives of our faithful and their families, as well as to other procedural matters.

Finally, we agreed on the following resolutions:

We fervently support the convening of the Holy and Great Council in 2016 and entreat all those responsible for its realization to work in a spirit of unity and harmony in order to reaffirm the conciliarity and collegiality among our Churches.

We unequivocally denounce the increasing violence and bloodshed throughout the world. In the Middle East, hostility and brutality are occurring among members of different religions, sometimes supposedly in the name of religion. We pray for peace and justice in the Middle East, for protection of Christian and other minorities in the ancient lands of Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, as well as for the cessation of racial discrimination and religious fanaticism.

We strongly implore government and civil leaders in this country and throughout the world to offer refuge to the countless victims of intimidation and displacement; and we express our unconditional solidarity with all those who have been forced to leave their homelands because of military violence, ethnic persecution and deprivation of natural resources in the Middle East, especially in Syria.

We continue wholeheartedly to appeal for the release of our brother bishops in Syria, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi (brother of His Beatitude, Patriarch John X of Antioch), the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop John Ibrahim, as well as all other kidnapped persons.

We pray earnestly for peace and stability in Ukraine, where armed conflict persists among our very own brothers and sisters. We appeal for a humanitarian response to the victims of this conflict. We call upon church officials to be instruments of peace and government leaders to act with restraint in a spirit of reconciliation.

We reaffirm our disagreement with the US Supreme Court case of June 26, 2015, which held a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry. We continue to uphold and proclaim the teaching of our Lord that marriage from its inception is a life-long sacramental union of a man and a woman.

We share the deep concern and sadness of all those who in our land grieve over the unspeakable violence that is widespread in our communities, our schools and in our houses of worship. We pray for the victims of violence and their families.

In conclusion, we continue to pray for all of you that, “being rooted and grounded in love, you may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God [Ephesians 3:18-19]. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman
Bishop John, 2nd Vice Chairman
Bishop Basil, Secretary
Metropolitan Antony, Treasurer
Metropolitan Iakovos
Metropolitan Methodios
Metropolitan Athenagoras
Metropolitan Isaiah
Metropolitan Alexios
Metropolitan Nicholas
Bishop Andonios
Bishop Demetrios
Bishop Sevastianos
Bishop Apostolos
Bishop Daniel
Bishop Ilia
Bishop Gregory
Bishop Thomas
Bishop Alexander
Bishop John
Bishop Anthony
Bishop Nicholas
Metropolitan Hilarion
Archbishop Kyrill
Bishop Peter
Bishop Theodosy
Bishop John
Bishop Nicholas
Bishop Longin
Bishop Maxim
Archbishop Nicolae
Metropolitan Joseph
Bishop Daniil
Bishop Saba
Metropolitan Tikhon
Archbishop Nathaniel
Archbishop Nikon
Archbishop Benjamin
Archbishop Melchisedek
Archbishop Mark
Archbishop Michael
Bishop Alexander
Bishop David
Bishop Paul
Bishop Daniel