What The Numbers Tell Us

The Pew Research center recently released its latest numbers on religious affiliation in the United States, finding that the number of people who identify themselves as Christian is declining significantly. In 2007, 78.4% of Americans were Christian, and only seven years later, in 2014, that dropped to only 70.6%. That is a significant decrease, and a sign of the times. America is becoming more secular and less Christian, and this is not…

Great & Holy Friday Youth Retreat

On Great and Holy Friday, our parish offers a day full of beautiful services, and we encourage families to attend all of them. We begin with the Royal Hours in the morning, and then we gather to decorate Christ’s tomb and to place flowers around the church. Christ’s Descent from the Cross (in which Father will invite the kids up to help him wrap our Lord’s body) will happen at 3:00, and the…

Rewarding the Effort

In God’s eyes, the effort is equal to the achievement. Our bishop said that last week, and it’s been on my mind ever since. Our Lord rewards our efforts regardless of whether they are effective. Whether or not we achieve our worthy goals, God sees and rewards the effort. It’s a good message for Lent, as we begin to see whether we’re accomplishing the goals we set out for ourselves. We probably…

Note — The End of Days: Holy Pascha

If your conversations with your kids about the End Times leaves them fascinated and yearning for more, you might be interested in this: two Orthodox priests created a gorgeous graphic novel version of The Book of Revelations. Joel Miller offers an excellent review, including images from the book, at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/joeljmiller/2013/06/a-new-way-to-see-the-book-of-revelation/    

Homily for Fr. Tom’s funeral, by Fr. John Behr

The OCA posted the text of Fr. John Behr’s Homily at Fr. Tom Hopko’s funeral, and I am so moved by it that I wanted to share it with you here. May his memory be eternal. Homily at the Funeral Service of Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko The Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, March 23, 2015 Offered by Archpriest John Behr, Dean, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary How can one find the words, the…

Children in Church

With Great Lent just around the corner — along with its increase in church services — I’ve been thinking about this podcast episode from 2012 and thought I’d repost. Just about every parent is at least sometimes frustrated with their child or children’s behavior in church. Some of us were less regular about church attendance before we had children, but becoming parents got our attention: we realized that if we want our…