40 Days of Blogging: Eden

Today's topic is "Eden".  Genesis is one of my favorite books of the Bible, and its description of our life in paradise is certainly one of the reasons.  Humanity has been plagued since that time by its sense of loss and emptiness and driven by the resulting desire to fill that void and either regain or recreate the paradise we were created to inhabit.  Most especially, this has centered around restoring our loneliness.  Our separation from God, from one another, and from creation is not natural to the human condition and our psychological and sociological constitutions have maladapted to this isolation, resulting in all kinds of physical, mental, and communal ills. It is to end this separation - and heal the illnesses that have risen up … [Continue reading]

40 Days of Blogging: Bread or Beer? Or Bozhe?!

Today's topic is "bread or beer"?  I'm writing from Constantinople (Istanbul), a country that was once the heart of a vibrant Christian empire... but is now 99% Mulim.  It's a shock.  But I've seen it before even in my lifetime: so many Christian youth give up their baptismal garment to pursue demonic idols ("the gods of the nations are idols/demons" says the prophet!).  In America, the idol is often the pursuit of satiety and pleasure (or numbness).  And they do this - causing themselves, their families, their communities, and their nation - while the True God is always their offering The Better Way.  This choice can be symbolized in the choice of Bread or Beer or... Bozhe (the Ukrainian familiar for "God")? Bread.  Mankind's … [Continue reading]

40 Days of Blogging: Immortality

Today's topic is immortality.  Priests spend a lot of time immersed in the reality of death, and yet we simlutaneously proclaim the truth of Christ's victory over death.  How can a rational mind keep such concepts juxtaposed without compromise or … [Continue reading]

40 Days of Blogging: The Mighty Chicken

Day 3 of The 40 Days Blogging Challenge. We've really lost something in separating ourselves from the land.  I know men who can maintain a mean lawn, but can't be bothered to plant a garden.  What does it say about us that we put resources into … [Continue reading]

40 Days of Blogging: Sunday Best

(From Jerusalem) At midnight last night, I was blessed to celebrate the Resurrectional Divine Liturgy at the site of the Resurrection, the Holy Sepulcher.  The experience was overwhelming in the same direction and way that every Paschal service is … [Continue reading]

40 Days of Blogging: Rules and Vocational Discernment

I have been the Director of Vocations for the UOC-USA for about a year and a half now. It has been a real blessing to help men and women understand, discern, and live their calling to serve God and His children. There are challenges, though. One of … [Continue reading]

Podcast 20141104: Ukrainian Orthodoxy from the Inside

Two Ukrainian Orthodox priests share their thoughts on history and current events After a bit of satire on Putin's war against Ukraine, Fr. Anthony has a long discussion with Fr. Paul Koroluk, a priest of the UOC-KP (the largest, though … [Continue reading]

If Putin were President of Mexico: the Reconquista (update)

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The Background: Before Putin came to Power in MexicoDue to the annexation of large portions of Mexican territory in the 19th century and generations of immigration, a significant portion of the population of US border areas was comprised of … [Continue reading]

From Unchurched to Disciple: the dynamic of discipleship

Pentecost Icon by Michael Kapeluck

The continuum of commitment and membership in the Church looks like this: The Unchurched.  According to survey research, “none” is the fastest growing religion in America.  We should not be surprised.  People who have not truly given their lives to … [Continue reading]

Podcast: Rapturemania and the Underground Church w/ Fr. John Peck

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20140929  Rapturemania and the Underground Church   The rapture: why are people excited about it and what's it all about?  Why is the Church facing hard times and how can/should it respond?  Fr. John Peck and I talk about these things, an … [Continue reading]