On Starting at a New Parish (AFR Podcast and Notes)

The Podcast is here. Review: Ten (Eleven!) Commandments for Pastors New to a Congregation In a previous post and podcast, I reviewed Rev. Lawrence W. Farris’ book Ten Commandments for Pastors Leaving a Congregation. It was full of good advice to help set your successor and the parish you are leaving up for success and ensure […]

Homily of the Prodigal Son – The Metaphor of Food

Homily on the Prodigal Son:  A Metaphor on FoodSt. Luke 15:11-321 Corinthians 6:12-20  Introduction Some people think of sin, judgment, and salvation as a courthouse: God gave us rules we have to follow.  Because we fail to follow the rules, God must condemn us at the Great Judgment.  The only thing that keeps this from […]

Homily Notes: Publican and Pharisee

Big problem:  the deep-rooted temptation/sin of self-justification.  Justifying by religion – especially by religious leaders. Hypocrites are the worse.  Priests and bishops really do have to set a good example The news gives us constant reports of clergy who make a mockery of the faith with their lifestyles; I always wonder why they didn’t get […]

Specialization as a threat to spiritual growth

One of the problems I have seen in Orthodoxy is [excessive] clericalism, the idea that religious experts are responsible for our spiritual needs.  We are all members of the royal priesthood!  Bishops and priests provide necessary sacramental services, grace, and guidance [etc.] … but we are all responsible for the state of our souls and the health […]

A Meditation on MLK Jr and Our Own Cowardice

The Lord God stands in the midst of the Divine Council and judges among the gods.”How long will you rule unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?Defend the poor and fatherless, maintain the rights of the afflicted and the destitute.  Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 81/82:1-4) One […]

The Joy of Baking Prosphora

I love baking phosphora.  I’ve worked at it and learned what I can from my betters, but I certainly can’t claim to be great at it… so it’s all the more humbling to realize how this offering is transformed into something so glorious (a prefect metaphor for the Christian life!).   Here’s my current approach. […]

The Illiberal Demand for Kosher and Halal Bacon

The Joy of BaconWith just a few days left before Pascha, the dominant logismoi distracting me from proper prayer (and analysis) is … bacon.  I love it.  I especially love the really fatty kind that just melts in your mouth.  The best of the best is fried salo, a sort of bacon cut so that it […]

Fast Mimicking Diet (dry eating)

From https://www.quora.com/What-is-an-example-of-fasting-mimicking-diet Grocery List Quick oats Wheat bread Baby carrots Broccoli Bananas Blueberries Strawberries Avocado V-8 Juice (normal) Macadamia nuts (unflavored) Dry roasted almonds Peanuts Recipe One: Easy Mode Day 1 Water 1 cup dry quick oats, ample water, pinch of salt, 2 teaspoons of butter (10g protein, 12g fat, 54g carbs) 3 ounces carrots (~9 […]

Nazerite Vow Completed – anybody have 2 bits?

The Setting: the church fire brings new challenges At four-thirty in the morning of the feast of St. Michael, the police came to the rectory bearing some terrible news: the church was on fire.  It had obviously been burning for several hours; fire was coming out of the roof and windows.  In that moment, I […]

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 […]