Rejoice O Barren Woman…

It’s always so fascinating to me to see the wisdom of the Orthodox Church year. Here we are approaching the birth of the Messiah, the God-Man, the Savior of the World, and today we celebrate the miraculous Conception of the Theotokos by St. Anna, her mother. Of course, you know this story. It is a familiar one to anyone who has read the Old Testament: An elderly couple has never been blessed…

Leaders, Be Serious!

Bookstores all across the country have hundreds of books in the “Business” sections talking about how to be a good leader. They have lists and lists of characteristics and behaviors that a “good” leader has or needs. And they sell well because most of us who are leaders really do want to be successful in being leaders. And, to be sure, many of these books offer helpful advice. But what about a…

Created To Be A Copycat! Sunday Homily

The hunger hardwired into each of us for community or intimacy AND the opposite fear of intimacy are at the root of our internal and even external conflicts in our lives. Until we understand how to tame our desires and our natural tendency to mimic others is solved in our following Christ, we will continue to be in turmoil. The evil one wants to “disintegrate” our lives and our societies. The Lord…

Wage the Good Warfare

Let’s face it, we live in a society that has exalted radical uncertainty to a virtue. Where the “really sophisticated” people pride themselves on being able to “see all sides” of an issue without ever coming down clearly on a position. Modern thinkers fear being labeled “fundamentalists” or “close-minded” and fear this so strongly that they fundamentally refuse to hold a position on anything except that they refuse to hold a position…

St Nicholas, the Servant-Leader

“I’m their leader! Which way did they go?” I have a cap with two bills on it, one in the front and one in the back with that slogan on it. It’s funny because it’s so often true. Leadership is always such a rewarding and challenging calling. In fact, if you could get most leaders to share their deepest and most honest feelings, you would find that most leaders feel quite inadequate…

All Things

I remember the look on his face when I told him that Orthodoxy is “maximalist, not minimalistic.” And then I reminded him of years of government promotion of the “minimum daily requirements” of this or that vitamin to be healthy. He slowly began to understand what I meant when I added “We don’t treat spiritual illness with an aspirin. We use the full dose of timeless wisdom.” The light turned on in…

The Flattery of Imitation

One of the Substacks I read regularly is Common Sense, and recently they had an article by Luke Burgis entitled “Why Everyone Wants the Same Thing.” It was absolutely brilliant. Sadly, it’s behind a paywall but the gist of the article is “Human beings are expert imitators (mimetic comes from a Greek word meaning “to imitate”). Science has shown that we are the most imitative creatures on the planet, and we imitate…

TRADITION!

What do we mean when we use the word “tradition?” To many, especially the millions of American Christians formed and shaped by popular Christianity, it is usually seen as a negative. You know, the “traditions of men” that Jesus warned us to avoid (see Mark 7:8-9). For others, formed by various religious and cultural traditions, it can mean the nostalgic longing for the “old village” or “the way things used to be.”…

How Do You Use Media in the Church?

Recently a pastor in a Protestant denomination called The Church of the Nazarene ask me to be with him on his podcast as he explored using media and live streaming in the Church. He had been watching our sermons on Faith Encouraged TV on YouTube and reached out to talk to me. I enjoyed the experience so I thought I’d share it with you. Here’s the link – https://anchor.fm/tomatotomatopodcast/episodes/Episode-3–Interview-Father-Barnabas-Powell-e1reu9e/a-a8urs8q Let me know…

Giving Tuesday!

Wow. Thank You! Our Giving Tuesday participation launched our End-Of-Year Campaign off to a great start! Thank you to everyone who participated! But it isn’t too late to give! Our Campaign runs until the close of the year. Did you know that most non-profits make the majority of their operating budget during the months of November and December as folks make their gifts during this time? It certainly is true for Faith…