This year’s OCABS Symposium was hosted in Charlotte, NC. Special thanks to event organizers Fr. Bill Mills and Fr. Timothy Lowe, and to the parishioners of Nativity of the Holy Theotokos Orthodox Church for their gracious hospitality. The symposium brought together pastors and academicians from as far away as Los Angeles, CA; Houston, TX; Alberta, Canada; and El-Koura, Lebanon. The quality of this year's ten OCABS Symposium papers reached the highest level ever in bridging the gap between academia and the parish. These papers, along with other contributions by pastors and scholars who could not attend, will be published in a Festschrift volume, to be edited by Ms. Andrea Bakas.
In addition to the fine presentations, the Friday session ended with a dinner in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi's birth, along with the recent release of his magnum opus The Rise of Scripture (OCABS Press, 2018). Many of Abouna's students, friends, and family offered touching testimonials to the many valuable contributions he has made to so many over the years. The gala event was also graced by the participation of OCABS co-secretary, Dr. Daniel Ayuch, Professor of New Testament at the Institute of Theology, University of Balamand, in Lebanon. In addition to presenting the first paper of the symposium, Dr. Ayuch delivered the Saturday luncheon keynote address, "Nomads of the Word: Reading the Book of Acts from a Semitic Perspective."
Already we are excited and looking forward to next year's 2019 OCABS symposium, details of which will be sent out within a few months. In the meantime, let us encourage one another as we continue our labors on behalf of the teaching of Scripture in the classroom and the parish. Remember that OCABS Society is our shared resource for support and encouragement and the exchange of information.