The Future of the Church

Preserving the Church for the Next Generation We are living in an age that has witnessed changes on a massive scale as never before. The way we communicate has changed with the coming of the internet, with information available that would have required a library and advanced degrees to access in the past. Ideas and information are available that leave…

The Mystical Supper

The Divine Liturgy is the center of the Church’s life, and her most profound prayer At the Mystical Supper in the Upper Room Jesus gave a dramatically new meaning to the food and drink of the sacred meal. He identified Himself with the bread and wine: “Take, eat; this is my Body. Drink of it all of you; for this…

Coming Home

Finding one’s true home in the Orthodox Church The one thing I have learned since my entrance into Orthodoxy is that this is the preserved Church that Christ founded, and the very Church whose first pastors were the apostles themselves. Preserved once and for all, it is neither East nor West, but simply the Church of Christ on this earth.…

The Domestic Church

The incubator for a life of righteousness Prior to electricity and central heating, most families gathered in parlors, spending evenings with reading, sewing, and family conversations. The notion that everyone would retreat to bedrooms, kitchens, or dens, separating themselves from other family members, was unthinkable. The communal nature of the family was natural. I can remember, as a child (this…

Be Yourself

Don’t shelve the part that makes you unique  When we enter into communion with one another in the life of the Church, we come broken, and far from the image and likeness that God intended when He created us. We, to a one, are in need of the healing that comes from a life in Christ. Yet we often hinder…

Balance

The balance between rejoicing and repenting Within the self there is a battle being waged between good and evil and we endanger our soul if we start to treat God as though He were a sweet old grandpa who will love us regardless of what we do. His love does reign supreme, but so does His righteousness. He desires to…

No Looking Back

Don’t hold on to guilt and shame There are many people who cling to memories of past sins, holding on to guilt and shame, reliving things long ago confessed, as though they happened yesterday. They struggle with regrets, often revisiting shame as though they were archeologists, digging for historical artifacts that must be preserved. Such is not the case with…

Focusing On One’s Own Sins

If you are to win the battle, focus only on your own sins When we take our eyes off our own sins we focus only on the sins of the other.  As we allow their sins get our attention, we fail to struggle with the passions that keep us from the wholeness that God intended, and we move  ever closer…

Does God Exist?

How do we find God in an unbelieving world? God is a merciful God, quick to forgive, quick to show mercy, quick to embrace us when we turn to Him. In all of eternity our God chose to create humankind in His image and likeness, offering His creatures the opportunity to commune with Him in the endlessness that is time.…

Strife and Division

And the workings of the Enemy of the Church Recent disturbing events within the life of the Church have left many, including some clergy and monastics, with the sense of gloom, wondering what’s coming next. During times like this it is good to remember that nothing has changed during the two thousand years of our Orthodox Christian faith. There have…

Becoming a Philanthropist 

The act of giving can change everyone’s life for the better As any history buff knows, these times we are living in can sometimes seem like reruns. News reports are filled with stories of wars, disasters, dictators, attacks on the innocent, increased crime, and the ever present persecution of Christians in various parts of the world. We’ve witnessed increased attacks…

Prison Ministry

I was in prison and you came to Me (Matthew 25:36) I served eight years as a volunteer Orthodox chaplain within three Washington State Prisons in Monroe, WA. With the goal of bringing the love of Christ to those, who, for whatever reason, found themselves serving hard time, I found my eyes opened to the importance of truly believing in…