About Orthodox Christianity

What is the Orthodox Christian Church?

The Holy Orthodox Church, also known as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the original, pre-denominational Church which has believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2,000 years ago.

Worldwide, the Orthodox Church is a communion of local Churches, bound together by apostolic succession, history, Faith, Creed, Ecumenical Councils, canons, and liturgy. 

It is the second-largest Christian group in the world. Estimates worldwide range from 250–350 million members, while estimates of American members range from 1–2 million. The Orthodox Church is one of the fastest-growing Churches in America.

Our faith has been handed down across the centuries in unbroken Apostolic succession, showing the trustworthiness of Christ's words: "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age."

The Heart of our Faith: Jesus Christ and His Church

The eyes of all creation are set upon the Son of God. He is its center. All finds harmony in Him, for all was made through Him. Yet when the eyes of men's hearts turned each to his own way, harmony was lost. Discord entered into man, into his relationships, and into all creation. Strife, war, pain, decay, and death ensued. All, like sheep, have gone astray

In this harsh winter, the Sun of Righteousness rose and created Spring. The Son of God became man, was crucified, and rose again to re-unite what had become divided and fragmentedman's inner being, God and man, man with man, heaven and earththat God might be all in all. Peace means harmony between beings. Jesus Christ is Prince of Peace.

St Christina's is committed to participating in this awesome reconciling work by being the Body of Christ in the South and East Bay areas. 

Yet, one cannot share with another what one does not oneself possess. Peace must first be established within, and the civil war within the soul expelled.

For that, the hospital of the Church is needed. In the Church, Jesus Christ binds up our wounds, heals our infirmities, forgives our iniquities, and makes straight our paths. The chief act of our faith? To look to Christ. Yet in so doing we also look to His Body, the Church, the mystical organism He established with His very life for the life of the world. The Church is Jesus Christ's plan and means for healing, saving, and restoring the universe. 

In the Church, we join all creation in bowing before Christ as Lord of heaven and earth.

And in the Church, we learn to walk in His ways, by a life marked by repentance; nourished by sacramental worship; strengthened by prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; heartened by fellowship; sustained by the prayers of the Saints; and practiced each day in the home, school, and workplace. 

If anyone has such purity of mental vision that he is able to see, to some degree, what is promised by the Lord in His Beatitudes, he will despise every human voice as having no power to set forth what is meant by them.

On the other hand, if anyone still immersed in material matters has the clear vision of his soul blurred by some bleary-eyed condition, any treatise will be futile as far as he is concerned. For any verbal explanation of light is useless and idle to a person blind from birth, because it is not possible to visualize the brilliance of the sun through the ear.

In the same way, each individual needs with his own eyes to see the beauty of the true and intelligible light.

The one who does see it, through some divine gift and unexplainable inspiration, is astonished in the depths of his consciousness; the one who cannot see will not realize what he has missed.

St Gregory of Nyssa (+ c. 395)

Orthodox Christian Worship

We warmly invite you to experience our worship and welcome your visit. We worship with all our senses and all our being: heart, soul, mind, and strength. Icons, litanies, bows, chanting, Holy Scripture, incense, colors, fasting, bells, teaching, choreography: a surfeit of beauty. Worship fit for the King of all!

If you have any questions about your visit, please contact one of our clergy or greeters. There is ample time to "meet and greet" following most services.

Those unfamiliar with our worship may also find this article helpful: "12 Things I Wish I’d Known."

Learn More

St Christina periodically offers an Orthodoxy 101 course, to introduce basic themes of the Christian life. Contact the parish for details.

We also invite you to have a conversation with our priest, Fr Gregory. See here for contact information.