Orthodox Frontline

I am attending the Orthodox Frontline (Emergency Response Network of the International Orthodox Christian Charities) conference in Washington, D.C. Orthodox clergy and lay volunteers from across the nation, trained and experienced chaplains, counselors, therapists, emergency response managers, social workers, medical doctors, registered nurses, emergency medical technicians and other related fields, are gathering in the White House complex, to plan for…

Watchfulness

If we truly desire to be transformed and made whole, we must keep alert and be vigilant. We must live in all sobriety, and with all attentiveness we must guard our inward thoughts. We must keep pure our heart, and maintain guard over our intellect. We must keep watch. With love in Christ, Abbot Tryphon Thursday December 13, 2012 28th…

Emergency Responders

Emergency Response Network of IOCC I have had the honor of serving King County Sheriff’s Department and Vashon Island Fire and Rescue, as an Emergency Response Chaplain, for some ten years. During this time I have grown to love and respect those among us who, on a daily basis, put their lives on the line for the rest of us.…

The Sins of Others

If you are to Win the Battle,Focus only on Your own Sins When we take our eyes off our own failings, shortcomings, and sins, we notice the failings of others. As the sins of others get our attention, our focus turns away from our own struggles with the passions, and we begin to fall further into sin, our eyes having…

Bastions of Ethnic Heritage

Seattle as seen from the Water Taxi The Problem of Ethnic Purity Within the Life of the Church We Orthodox Christians, as a whole, are guilty of abandoning our Christ directed mission of making disciples of every nation, by preserving the needs of ethic groups (Russians, Greeks, Arabs, Serbs), often at the expense of welcoming our non-Orthodox neighbors. Although we…

Like a Garden

Letting Our Life be a Witness to God When others see how we negotiate our life, how we treat our fellow workers, and our family, they should see how we live in devotion and praise of God. Our deeds and our speech must reveal the love of God to those who come in contact with us. Our whole being must…

The Cure

Visitors from Norway, together with Hammi, the Norwegian Forest Cat Cooperating with the Physician of Our Souls Although imprecise, we often use anthropomorphic language when speaking about God. Thus, we can say that God is like a mother whose sick child is in need of healing, and is not offended by the child’s sickness. Yet, given the truth that God…

Walking Together

Walking Together Towards the Kingdom I recently heard a wonderful story of a group of African children who were assembled before a large basket of fresh fruit. They were told that the first child who could reach the basket could have all the fruit for themselves. The Western adults who had set up this “test” stood in awe as the…

Sin as Illness

Members of Saint Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church visit monastery Sin is the Sign of Our Illness In our sense of guilt over our sinful nature, it is quite easy to gaze upon God as though looking upon a judge. We, as sinners, are guilty, and we stand in the dock as one before a judge. Yet the truth of our…

Passing the Crucible

My bodyguards at Pacific Lutheran University Ministry is Never about Me This blog article is late, and whenever I am this late, someone, somewhere, will email me, wondering if I am alright. Since many of my essays are posted shortly after midnight, or certainly before eight in the morning, when I’m this late, and given my rather advanced age, people…

Alone

When God Seems Absent We all have those moments in our lives when we feel as though God is absent, even perhaps nonexistent. Those times leave us feeling alone and abandoned, as though we are lost in an empty stadium. We feel as though we are on a boat that has been set adrift without an engine, floating further from…

Giving Thanks

Remembering to Give Thanks Frequently “We thank thee, O Christ our God, that thou hast satisfied us with thy earthly gifts, deprive us not of thy Heavenly Kingdom; but as thou entered into the midst of thy disciples, O Saviour, and gave them peace, enter also among us and save us. Amen.”  This prayer is one of my personal favorites,…