|ST. JAMES ORTHODOX CHURCH
|VICARIATE FOR THE PALESTINIAN & JORDANIAN
CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX COMMUNITIES IN AMERICA
Question - Are all Orthodox Christians "Greek Orthodox" or "Russian Orthodox"?
No. The Orthodox Church is One Church. Currently, Church organization in North America is divided
among several different "jurisdictions," or governing bodies of varying national origin within the One
Church. The Greek or Russian Church is just one of many.
Question - Does your church practice "Open Communion?"
No. In the Orthodox Church, to receive Holy Communion, or any other Sacrament (Mystery), one must
declare themselves to the total commitment into the Orthodox Faith. While we warmly welcome visitors
to our services, it is understood that only those communicant members (baptized in the Orthodox
Church) who are prepared by confession and fasting will approach the Holy Mysteries.
Question - Why do you have all those pictures in your church?
Icons are not pictures in the sense of naturalistic representations. They are rather stylized and
symbolic expressions of divinized humanity. (See II Peter 1:4; I John 3:2.) Icons for the Orthodox are
sacramental signs of God's Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). We do not worship icons. Rather, we
experience icons as Windows into Heaven. Like the Bible, icons are earthly points of contact with
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|St. James Orthodox Church - 195 North Main St. Milpitas, Ca 95035 - (408) 934-1794