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Frequently Asked Questions

What is AXIOS?
AXIOS is an organization of Eastern & Near Eastern Orthodox, and Byzantine & Eastern-rite Catholic Gay & Lesbian lay Christians.
 
What does the word AXIOS mean?
It is taken from the Greek liturgical word which describes a truly worthy and deserving person.
 
Who belongs to AXIOS?
A Gay or Lesbian person who belongs to, or has been educated and reared
in, or converted to the Eastern Christian tradition.  It often, but not always, means people of Greek, Slavic, Albanian, Semitic or Armenian heritage.  Though AXIOS is a lay organization, bishops, priests and other clergy have also become members.
 
Who founded AXIOS?
AXIOS was founded in Los Angeles, CA in 1980.  Interested gay people in New York established an east-coast branch founded on the same principles as the Californian group.  Chapters also have formed in Colorado; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA, Detroit, MI, and Las Vegas, NV.  We also have two chapters outside the U.S., in Canada and Australia.
 
While Roman Catholics and Protestants have had recourse to their own varied support groups, Eastern Christians have had none until the founding of AXIOS, an organization in which all may participate who come from the various Eastern Christian traditions.
Together we can render support and positive reinforcement based on our common situations: being a religious minority in the United States and within that, and above all, a sexual-orientation minority as well.
 
Why was AXIOS founded?
  • In order to address the issue of human sexuality within Eastern
    Christianity.
  • In order to affirm that gay men and women can live an active life of
    prayer and witness.
  • For our mutual spiritual strength, stability, and well-being.
  • For our desire to bridge the gulf between the church community and
    the gay community with love and through dialogue, prayer, service, and
    education.
  • For the comfort, help, and support of our brothers and sisters and
    their families in realizing the joys and responsibilities of God's
    wondrous gift of sexuality.
  • For the protection against stigmatization, repression and acts of
    intolerance.
  • For the opportunity to serve others in acts of charity and love as
    individuals and as a group.
  • For the study of our rich and varied heritages and traditions.
  • For a true sense of appreciation for each other and to achieve a
    spirit of fun and enjoyment in our development.
What is Eastern Christianity?
We number predominantly Orthodox of the Greek and varied Slavic Churches, and their counterparts among Byzantine-rite Catholics.  We also include non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Christians as well as their Catholic affiliates.
 
In general we all employ the same Eastern liturgical rites and
follow the Byzantine-rite prayer book.
 
Among the membership of AXIOS, we use English in our prayer meetings
and accept in ecumenical brother- and sisterhood all Eastern Christians.
 
What does AXIOS do?
Meetings begin with a Vespers service and typically include a guest
speaker, discussion, or presentation.
 
Members engage in research, dialogue with church authorities and members of
the gay and lesbian community, help with the newsletter or other projects.
We keep in regular contact between meetings and share and disseminate news of
interest to our community.
 
The New York and Washington, D.C. chapters have been regular participants
in the Pride festivals of their respective cities and also have participated
in other events, e.g. the Spiritual Rainbow and some N.C.C.C. conferences.
 
We refer members to understanding priests or warn them about hostile ones,
where the information is available.
 
(From AXIOS USA)