A Personal Note of Thanks


For a couple of years I was an occasional poster on Pontifications, the Blog created and maintained by my dear friend, Fr. Al Kimel, and it was he who suggested that I create my own. It was a friendly suggestion. Yesterday, after a little more than two months, we passed 50,000 views, which is far more readership than I would ever have imagined. It felt like a milestone, but mostly like encouragement.

I’m writing a small note today to thank you who read, and the wonderful notes, responses, questions that have come my way since starting this small effort. A friend sent me an email yesterday that said, “Your writings are like your heart.” It was a very kind thing to say and perhaps not too far from the truth, except that I try not to post the darkness of my heart which exists in plenty.

But I have been able in writing to speak from a place that is not always accessible to me. Sometimes I find it when I’m preaching, but those are very blessed moments. Somehow writing is easier. I also enjoy finding pictures, mostly from my files of shots I’ve taken on my trips this past year, with occasional “family album” stuff.

I am grateful for the relationships that are created in this strange “blogosphere” – relationships are great anywhere you can find them. Thank you again for reading, for thinking and sharing. I pray God will bless all of us in our service to Him and one another.


  1. The photo is not very flattering – but the memory is one of pure joy. Our trip to the Southwest, including the Grand Canyon last year was the first “vacation” my wife and I had taken alone (without children) since, well, children. Not that I wouldn’t love to go back again with all of them with us. But it’s a picture from a day’s journey down the rim (way too far to go to the bottom for me). But, unkempt as it is, it probably accurately portrays me – draw your own conclusions.

  2. Father,

    Great blog. I am currently Episcopalian (well, I guess Anglican now, as our church recently left ECUSA) but my wife and I have found ourselves heading Eastward in our journey. I stumbled across your blog a few months ago, searching for Orthodox resources on the web. There is a spirit of humility and love that comes through in your writing that is very refreshing in the sometimes nasty world of the blogosphere. I have particularly enjoyed your discussions of salvation, justification, etc.

    God bless.

  3. Thank you again for running this blog Father Stephen. It is the only Orthodox blog that I faithfully check every day. I’m not going to write a “great post!” comment every day, but I could. Controversial posts get the most comments but many of your meditations that draw few comments are the most enriching.

    I was a Pontifications reader starting back when Fr. Kimel and I were both Episcopalians, and ran parallel to him until he turned west and I turned east. His site bore many good fruits and your site is one of them. I am glad you have continued to write.

  4. Thank you also, Father. I have greatly profited from many of your posts.

    Excellent picture. Having been born and raised Flagstaff, it makes me a little homesick, though.

    Kissing your right hand,

  5. I love the windblown look! But no cassocks in the Canyon?

    I for one am glad Fr. Kimmel urged you to start your own blog. I second MRH comments on your meditations!


  6. Father, bless!

    Since your blog has been so well received, I pray that, the Lord willing, you will continue. I read your blog everyday and am continually challenged and blessed by it. I love the Grand Canyon picture (and all the pictures you post).

  7. Father, your blog has taken its place as part of my spiritual reading for the day. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and compassion with which you reflect. I’m sure it is a commitment of time and heart to do this, but it is a real gift to your readers. Thank you.

  8. One of the faithful at St. Nicholas Antiochian in the town where I go to school referred to your blog as “an island of calm and peace on the Internet.”

    I would enthusiastically agree.

    Thank you, Father.

  9. Fr. Bless! Thank you as I echo the many sentiments here already posted. I know your are not fishing for any compliments; just know that you are truly appreciated.
    the handmaid,

  10. Fr Stephen, it has been a great joy watching your blog so quickly become simply the best Orthodox blog out there today. Thank you for your hard work and creative faithfulness.

  11. Fr. Stephen, thank you for this blog. As an Episcopalian (yet) I relish your reflections on the Fathers and Orthodox theology. I have actually incorporated some of your insights into my homilies (lay preacher) at my parish. Thank you so much.

  12. Fr. Stephen, let me offer my congratulations as well. You keep an extraordinarily pleasant and instructive blog. Even when I disagree with what is said, the discussions consistently help me think freshly and fruitfully about this pilgrimage called The Christian Life. Thank you for the time, thought, and effort you put into it.

  13. Fr. Stephen, congratulations and thanks for creating this blog afresh every day. Your insights are simply remarkable.

  14. Your blog has been such a source of refreshment for me. I often read your posts and the comments to my husband, so we are both blessed. Even the people who offer comments to your posts are so often very thoughtful and engaging.

    Thank you for providing this “stream in the desert.”

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