30. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: Orthodoxy and the Environment

The Way We Were As I recall it was in 1969 when Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River caught fire that protecting the environment became a popular cause in America, supported by almost everyone. Today many of our lakes, rivers and streams are cleaner. (I think. Cedarburg’s picturesque Cedar Creek is just now being dredged so that people can again eat fish from it. And Lake Michigan has an ongoing problem with smelly algae.) When…

29. What I’ve Learned in 79 Years, Part Three

“Everybody loves good advice. Nobody takes it.” But I’m just sharing here because I love you. Take for it for what it’s worth. This is the last of this 3-part series. None of what follows is political. Or is it?  What I’ve learned about the World 18) You may think I’m crazy, but I have come to believe that competition is generally a bad thing. I know: Our whole culture, business, economics, politics,…

28. What I’ve Learned in 79 Years, Part Two

This is the second of what has somehow become a three part series. Proverbs 26:12 says, “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Uh oh. However that advice was obviously written by someone who was sharing his wisdom! So… let’s continue this fool-ish endeavor.` But first, Happy Orthodox New Year! In the Roman/Byzantine Empire, on September 1 every 15 years the…

27. What I’ve Learned in 79 Years, Part One

It is the duty of the old to pass on their wisdom to the young (that would be you) whether they want to hear it or not. Therefore: This is an update of a talk I gave as I hit my 70th birthday and thought I was old. Little did I know. I was going to wait till I was 80 to post it here, in hopes I might learn a little more,…

26. 2006 Trip, Part Three: Forming Authentic Eastern Orthodoxy in the West

As I flew West from Greece I got to thinking about the experiment we are conducting here in America and everywhere in the West. We are taking an Eastern form of Christianity and trying to express it in a way that is accessible to the Western world. Let me give some background to that thought. Christianity’s Middle Eastern Roots Christianity has two chief sources, the first of which is Middle Eastern, Semitic.…

25. My Travels: 2006, Part Two – Exploring Crete

Return to Crete The night after Saint Nektarios did it again, I took the overnight ferry to Crete. In those long ago days of more primitive home computers, I’d had trouble getting my reservation through to the Crete ferry company, so I kept trying and trying. When I got to the ferry office, I discovered that all my attempts had gone through, and I had booked ten rooms! The agent was kind…

24. My Travels: 2006, Part One – Saint Nektarios strikes again!

I try to post every Friday; otherwise who knows when I’d get them done. I’m sorry to be a week late with this one, without giving you fair warning. I was just too busy to post. Our Pastor Father David Moga was away at the national Antiochian Archdiocese Convention, so I the retired priest took the regular weekend and weekday services plus the usual behind the scenes work. And then one of our founding…

23. The Story of the Holy Prophet Elijah – Part Two

So, now began the great confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, between truth and falsehood, between God and paganism. Elijah said, Take two bulls, one for the prophets of Baal and one for me, cut them in pieces and lay them on wood. Put no fire under them. You call on the name of your gods. I will call on the name of my God. The true God is the…

22. The Story of the Holy Prophet Elijah – Part One

July 20 is the feast of the Prophet Elijah. This is a wonderful story – of how God’s faithful prophet stood up alone to paganism and to power, and paid the price and triumphed. In order to tell the story and comment about it in this short space, I’ve had to leave out a great deal. The full text is found in I Kings chapters 17-20 and II Kings chapter 2. The usual…

21. Patriotism?

Now that US Independence Day is past (sorry, you Brits) and also Canada Day (their 150th anniversary!), and the fireworks and flag waving are over… What do we Orthodox think of patriotism? We’re all for it! Patriotism is a good thing: loving, treasuring one’s homeland and people, a sense of belonging, our own way of doing things, our particular gifts from God. Americans have much to be patriotic about. (We’re certainly not…