The Staretz Never Came

When I was inquiring into Orthodox Christianity, I (and the group I was a part of) became convinced early on that we needed a staretz, an elder of profound holiness and insight to guide us. At the time, it made perfect sense. In the milieu from which we came, sincere earnestness was the primary—if not the only—indicator we had to spiritual vitality. And since we were an intensely earnest bunch of enquirers,…

America Coming to Orthodoxy

I got an e-mail today from a colleague in the world of Orthodox Christian publishing who commented that “America is not coming to Orthodoxy.” It was at once a statement of realism and apparent resignation. However, I do not think his observation is correct. If by “America coming to Orthodoxy” we mean a massive conversion on a popular level–revivalist fervor, tent meetings with icons, incense and golden chalices, along with the accompanying…