Speakers

The V. Rev. Michael Oleksa

Father Michael Oleksa is a widely known speaker who travels almost weekly throughout North America speaking from two perspectives – Orthodox Christian and as an expert on Cross Cultural Communications, typically speaking to state, federal and educational agencies. After 40 years in Alaska, Father Michael is convinced Alaska has a mission to the rest of the Church, just as the Church has considered Alaska a mission field for over 200 years.

Father Michael is most well known for his widely acclaimed four-part PBS television series, “Communicating Across Cultures”. He describes culture as being defined by:

The way you see the world
The game of life as you understand and play it
The story into which you were born
Father Michael has published four books:

Alaska Missionary Spirituality – Published by SVS Press
Orthodox Alaska – Published by SVS Press
Another Culture/Another World – Published by the Association of Alaska School Boards
Conflicting Landscapes – Published by The Kuskokwim Corporation, Anchorage.
Father has been the honored recipient of awards from the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska, the Alaska State Legislature, The National Governors’ Association, the Alaska Federation of Natives and the Alaskan of the Year Committee, as well as the Order of St. Innocent from the Orthodox Church in America.

Currently the acting chancellor of the Diocese of Sitka, Anchorage and Alaska and rector of St. Alexis Toth Orthodox Church in Anchorage, he serves as adjunct faculty at Alaska Pacific University and on the faculty of St. Herman’s Seminary in Kodiak as well.


The V. Rev. Laurent Cleenewerck

Fr Laurent Cleenewerck is the Editor of the “Eastern / Greek Orthodox New Testament” and of the forthcoming “Catechism of the Orthodox Faith.” He received his theological training at Saint Sergius in Paris and St Tikhon’s in Pennsylvania, and has served as Academic Advisor at the Theological Institute of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Mexico where he completed his doctoral studies. He is currently the rector of St Innocent’s Orthodox Church in Eureka, California and serves on the faculty of Humboldt State University, Ukrainian Catholic University and EUCLID. He is the author of the well-received book “His Broken Body” on the Orthodox-Catholic schism and more recently of a book called “Ever Virgin” which is a comprehensive study of the Orthodox teaching on the virginity of Mary and the identity of the relative of Jesus.