Holy Wisdom Orthodox Mission
1355 North 4th Street • Grand Junction, CO 81501
(On the corner of North 4th Street & Kennedy Street)

holywisdomorthodox@gmail.com • 720-295-7715
A mission parish of the
Orthodox Church in America , and the Diocese of the West
The Orthodox Faith
Top Links to Begin Researching and Learning About the Orthodox Faith

What is Orthodoxy?

The Orthodox Church was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ and is the living manifestation of His presence in the history of the mankind. The most conspicuous characteristics of Orthodoxy are its rich liturgical life and faithfulness to Apostolic tradition.

Orthodox Christians believe that their Church has fully preserved the tradition of the ancient Church in contrast to other Christian denominations which departed from the common tradition of first-millennium Christianity. The Orthodox Church numbers 300 million Christians.

What is “Orthodox Christianity”?

From “A Short History of the Holy Trinity Monastery,” Jordanville, N.Y. 1972.
Orthodox Christianity is the Church just as it came out of the hands of Christ, and just as the holy Apostles handed it down to us: pure, undefiled, and unadulterated.

Over two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth and founded the Church through His Apostles and disciples for the salvation of men. The teachings of the Apostles and the Church spread far in the years which followed; many Churches were founded, but all were united in faith, worship and the partaking of the sacraments.


The Orthodox Church is the oldest Christian body in the world. It is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, meaning that the Orthodox Church maintains an unbroken tradition from Jesus Christ and the Apostles to today. It is the first Christian church. It is the Church that was established by Jesus Christ and it is the institution found in the pages of the New Testament.

So just what is Orthodoxy? Orthodoxy literally means “true worship” or “true belief.” We are Orthodox because we believe in the teachings as defined in the Bible, the canons of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and the writings of the early Church Fathers. Our basic statement of faith is the Nicene Creed and the Bible takes a prominent role in our worship and beliefs.

For the first millennia of Christian history, there was one Church. However, in the eleventh century, the Western Church under the Pope of Rome broke off from the Orthodox Church. The Pope asserted that he was the head of the Church, while the Orthodox professed that Christ was the head of the Church. This caused a disastrous and fractious ripple which would echo throughout Christendom leading up to the Protestant Reformation and to the present day.

For centuries, Orthodoxy’s center was Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, immigrants from these countries brought their faith to the New World. Because of North America’s ties to Western culture and religion, Orthodox immigrants were generally ignored. Today, the Orthodox Church is growing in the Americas. People from other Christian traditions have become frustrated with doctrinal, liturgical, and ethical innovations in the churches that they were raised in. Many people are discovering the spiritual realities of Orthodoxy and have found a home in the Orthodox Church.

Unfortunately many Americans have no idea what the Orthodox Church is or often associate it with an ethnicity like “Russian Orthodox” or “Greek Orthodox.” These “ethnic” labels are merely a holdover from the 19th and 20th centuries when Orthodox Christians first emmigrated to America.

In fact, the canonical, or “official,” designation of the Church is "the Orthodox Catholic Church." In this usage, “Catholic” means “universal.” The “Orthodox Catholic Church" is the Church “for all peoples, at all times, in all places” of the world. The English word “catholic” derives from the Latin catholicus, which came from the Greek adjective καθολικός (katholikos). The first use of "Catholic" was by the church father Saint Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans (circa 110 AD).

Whereas the “Orthodox Catholic Church” is the “Orthodox Church for all peoples, at all times, in all places,” the “Roman Catholic Church” is a Roman, or Roman-based, Church for its adherents. The Roman Catholic Church derives its authority from one man, the Bishop (Pope) of Rome, whereas the Orthodox Church is founded on the Christian faith of the first millennium. The Roman Catholic Church once held, and defended, this Orthodox faith, but it departed from it at the beginning of the second millennium.

More Links to Our Parish’s Web Pages

An Introduction to the “Orthodox Church”

The Orthodox Church was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Body of Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:12, 27). It is the living manifestation of His presence in the history of the mankind.

The most conspicuous characteristics of Orthodox Christianity are its faithfulness to the Apostolic tradition and its rich liturgical life. Orthodox Christians believe that their Church has preserved the tradition and continuity of the ancient Church in its fullness. It is a simple objective, or academic, fact that the Orthodox Church today maintains and continues the faith and practices of first-millennium Christianity. Read more...

Our Orthodoxy

From the book: “Simple Preaching for a Simple Priest” (1986) by Archimandrite Ioannikios, excerpt translated from the original Greek by Fr. Emanuel Hatzidakis, 1992.

Our Orthodoxy is the Christian Church just as it came out of the hands of Christ and just as the holy Apostles handed it down to us: undefiled, unadulterated, virginal. Our Orthodoxy is the pure, Apostolic Christianity. Orthodoxy is the Church of the Holy Fathers, who paid homage to her, lifted her up, glorified her and interpreted the holy Gospel correctly, clearly, with the illumination of the holy Spirit.

Orthodox Christianity Worldwide

The one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic Orthodox Church is a worldwide communion of over 300 million faithful. They are distributed geographically among fifteen self-governing, autocephalous Churches, all of which are united in faith, theology, tradition, and worship.

In the United States, eight of the fifteen Churches are represented by local jurisdictions that serve the Orthodox faithful. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America is comprised of all the active, canonical Orthodox bishops of every jurisdiction.

I'm Orthodox: What Does that Mean?

“30 Questions and Answers, A Concise and Practical Guidebook,” Metropolitan Sotirios of Canada, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)

“In order for us as Orthodox Christians to follow the words of Christ recorded by Matthew the Evangelist, we must be properly educated about the Truth of God and His Church, which is the Kingdom of Heaven realized on earth...this small Question and Answer-formatted guidebook was developed to help inform the faithful – and those interested in learning about Orthodoxy – about our Christian faith, which alone leads man to salvation in Christ. Read more...

For further, serious study:
The Law of God
By Father Seraphim Slobodskoy

This is a primary catechetical textbook used in schools, catechism classes, and even in seminaries. It was translated by Protopresbyter Seraphim Alexivich Slobodskoy as a catechetical manual for the school established at Holy Protection Orthodox Church in Nyack, New York. It covers “all the fundamental points of the Orthodox Christian faith and way of life.” Representing traditional Orthodox Christianity, this edifying book has been described as the single best simple overview of the Orthodox Faith with lucid and profoundly simple explanations of the Church’s Feasts and Fasts and its Orthodox practice. From the introduction:

The spirit of this book reflects the mind of the Church. If we cannot supply the Christian flock with the pure, untainted water of salvation, then we have become like the salt of which the Savior speaks ...if the salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. (Matthew 5:13).

May our efforts in publishing this first English edition of The Law of God aid believers in cultivating this grace-filled ‘saltness,’ so that they might be able to answer for their faith to those who ask, and that they might inherit the Kingdom prepared by our Lord for His faithful servants.”


Additional Links to Introductory Articles on the Orthodox Faith
Orthodox Christianity (OCA)

Questions & Answers (OCA)

The Orthodox Faith (OCA)

Doctrine and Scripture (OCA)

Worship (OCA)

Church History (OCA)

Spirituality (OCA)

Daily Scripture Readings (OCA)

Discover Orthodoxy (AOA)

What is Orthodox Christianity (GOARCH)

Online Chapel (GOARCH)

The Orthodox Stand on Controversial Issues (Fr. +Stanley Harakas)

30 Sayings of Ascetic Fathers
An Introduction to Orthodox Spiritual Contemplation

12 Reasons Why I Became and/or Remain an Orthodox Christian
Ancient Faith Radio

Links to Web Pages of Orthodox Parishes in Colorado
About Orthodoxy
Saint Tikhon Orthodox Christian Mission, Parker

An Introduction to the Orthodox Church
Saint John the Baptist Parish, Craig

How to Become an Orthodox Christian
Holy Theophany Parish, Colorado Springs

Beliefs of Orthodox Christianity
Holy Theophany Parish, Colorado Springs

The Holy Orthodox Church
Saint Andrew Parish, Delta

What We Believe
Archangel Michael Parish, Colorado Springs

About Our Faith
Archangel Michael Parish, Pueblo

Orthodox Christian Doctrine
Saint Mark Parish, Denver

What to expect when I visit the Orthodox parish
Saint Catherine Parish, Greenwood Village

12 Things to Know – First Visit to an Orthodox Church
Archangel Michael Parish, Colorado Springs

What to Expect (When you Visit the Parish)
Saint Tikhon Orthodox Christian Mission, Parker

Church Etiquette
Saint Tikhon Orthodox Christian Mission, Parker

Links to Other Web Pages
The Orthodox Faith
The Orthodox Church in America, Syosset, NY

What is Orthodox Christianity?
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, New York, NY

What is the “Orthodox” Christian Church
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Sacramento, California

What is the Orthodox Church?
Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church, Pasadena, CA

What Orthodox Christians Believe
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, Englewood, New Jersey

About the Orthodox Faith
Archangel Gabriel Antiochian Orthodox Church, Lafayette, Louisiana

What is Orthodox Christianity?
St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, Emmaus, PA 18049

Links to Orthodox News and Internet Radio

Orthodox Christianity–News

Morning Offering
Daily Inspiration

Orthodox Christian Network

Ancient Faith Radio
Internet Radio

Links to Introductory Videos

Ten Fun Facts About the Orthodox Church

Five Misconceptions About the Orthodox Church

One Thing That Surprised Me About Orthodoxy

Links to Videos from the series “Welcome to the Orthodox Church”
on Theoria-tv by Khouria Frederica Matthews-Green:

Orthodox Worship Space

Divine Liturgy Overview

Orthodox Fasting and the “Coffee Hour”

About Vespers (Evening Worship)

Choir and Chanters

Why We Repeat “Lord Have Mercy?”

Incense in Worship

Sign of the Cross, Icons, and Traditions

Why we Practice Closed Communion

Experiencing More of God

About the “Jesus Prayer”

Exploring Orthodox Household

More videos from this playlist
More information?
Do not hesitate to contact us for more information:
Come and visit! 1355 North 4th Street – corner of North 4th Street and Kennedy