Church Work is Mostly Disappointing

Clergy often share ministry stories and then say, “They didn’t teach me that in seminary!” One of the things that I wasn’t taught in seminary (and wish I were) is that ministry in church life is mostly a disappointment. We clergy don’t often like to talk about that. I mean, who would like to say that most of the time, the work they do,…

Holiness How-To: Imitate our Gospel Parents

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost / Tenth Sunday of Matthew, August 13, 2017 I Corinthians 4:9-16; Matthew 17:14-23 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. For though you have a myriad of tutors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for I begat you in Christ…

The Transfiguration as Model for Ministry

Holy Transfiguration of Christ, August 6, 2017 II Peter 1:10-19; Matthew 17:1-9 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Today we see God. Today we see Jesus Christ standing on Mount Tabor before His three inner circle disciples—Peter, James and John—and He is transfigured before them, His…

Are All Orthodox Christians Supposed to Evangelize? (UPDATED)

The following is culled from comments I made on a Facebook thread in a private group in which it was being alleged that most Orthodox Christians aren’t meant to function as missionaries. The argument was mentioned that the Lord’s command to go into all the earth and preach the Gospel was given only (or mainly) to the apostles. Allowance was made for certain rare…

Seven Ways to Argue on the Orthodox Internet

Orthodox Christians argue on the Internet. It seems like everybody does it. Well, it’s not everybody, of course. But, boy! is it rampant! I figure that, so long as we’re going to do it, we might as well keep some things in mind so that we can do it better. 1. Actually, you probably shouldn’t. It’s so super-easy to get into arguments on social…

Where Does Zeal for God Come From?

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and the Fifth Sunday of Matthew, July 9, 2017 Romans 10:1-10; Matthew 8:28-9:1 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (Romans 10:2) St. Paul says this…

Is Faith Like in the Bible Even Possible?

The Placing of the Robe of the Theotokos / Fourth Sunday of Matthew, July 2, 2017 Hebrews 9:1-7; Matthew 8:5-13 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Only say the word, and my servant will be healed. (Matt. 8:8) It is hard for us, living in the…

A House of Prayer for All Nations

Vespers for the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost, July 1, 2017 Mark 11:17, Isaiah 56:1-8 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick Eastern Dioceses Parish Life Conference, Morristown, New Jersey In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. After the Lord Jesus upends the tables of the money changers in the Temple in Mark 11, He…