Our Mission Is To the Person in Front of Us

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost / Fifth Sunday of Luke, October 30, 2016 II Corinthians 11:31-33, 12:1-9; Luke 16:19-31 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Today we continue to explore the theme we’re focusing on for several weeks: What is our mission? And with today’s Gospel from…

“The Netflix for the Church” Just Called My Orthodox Church

Since we do not have a parish secretary, I just fielded a marketing call from an online service that is billing itself as the “Netflix for the church.” (“Are you familiar with Netflix, sir?”) I asked who generates the media that they sell. A list of names was rattled off (Matt Chandler, Dave Ramsey, Andy Stanley, etc.), kind of a who’s who in popular…

#LivesMatter. But Why?

It’s been something of a rough week for news in America. Two very controversial police killings of black men were followed by a protest against police brutality in Dallas that turned deadly when snipers killed several police officers and wounded others. And not too many weeks ago was the deadly mass shooting in Orlando. Outrage. Politics. Hypocrisy. Outcry. Violence. Hatred. Injustice. Race war. These…

How I See Things After the Orthodox Council in Crete

Please note: The following represents my personal opinions and is not in the name of anyone but myself. The big Crete Meet of 2016 has come and gone, and (despite what some seemed to be suggesting) the world has in fact not ended, the Orthodox have in fact not been sold out to union with a non-Orthodox body, and it all really had nothing…

Is It Wrong to Want to be a Priest?

Every so often I encounter the idea that anyone who wants to be ordained a priest—or, especially, a bishop—never should be. Such a man is probably a control freak, vain, naive, etc. People like that should never be allowed anywhere near the priesthood. St. John Chrysostom’s famous flight from ordination may well be referenced with nods of knowing approval. And certainly, a young woman…

The Priesthood Is… (Anonymous Comments from Orthodox Priests)

I recently had the idea to ask Orthodox Christian priests to give me a short sentence or two about the priesthood—something honest and anonymous. I was delighted at the responses I got, from experienced priests, from those ordained only a short time, and from those somewhere in between. Some were heartening. Some were painful. Some were paradoxical. And some were a bit humorous. Some…

Christianity is Not About Your Spiritual Life

Sunday after Theophany, January 10, 2016 Ephesians 4:7-13; Matthew 4:12-17 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. “To each one of us is given the grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” This phrase from Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians is appointed for us to…

You MAKE Me So Angry: How Do I Acquire the Spirit of Peace?

Why is it that some people so easily make us mad? It seems that even some person we don’t know on the Internet can drive us crazy, stir up anger, inspire our scorn and derision, etc. Or some people can send us spiraling into anxiety, despair or depression. When this person or that does (or doesn’t do) that one thing, well, I just get……