Finding Faith: Always, Now and Forever

Finding Faith: Always, Now and Forever

A recent article in the “Faith & Family” section of the local Saturday newspaper reported on a research study. A sociologist and historian teamed up in Canada to find growing mainline churches by focusing on data from 2003-2013. They defined “growing” and “declining” as an average of two percent or...

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A Most-Profitable Vacation in Great Lent?

A Most-Profitable Vacation in Great Lent?

I have a sweet and dear parishioner who comes from an Old Rite background. She was describing to me the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete–that beautiful hymned dialogue between the self and the soul—as it is served in the Old Believer parish where she is from. “Father, we...

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Understanding and Living Our Faith: How We Experience Lent and Fasting

Understanding and Living Our Faith: How We Experience Lent and Fasting

“Many Christians, unaware of the great value of fasting, either keep the fast with difficulty or reject it altogether. We should not be afraid to fast but embrace it with joy.” (St. John Chrysostom) Fasting is so much more then abstaining from certain foods. Christ reminds us in the Gospels...

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Musings from a Grateful Convert: Thoughts on Fasting

Musings from a Grateful Convert: Thoughts on Fasting

With the coming of another Holy Season of Great Lent, our thoughts turn to the topic of fasting. Here I offer a few thoughts for your consideration. First consider the question: “Is there more than one way to fast?” After encountering a very difficult health issue wherein I lost considerable...

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What’s in the Name?

What’s in the Name?

During my last visit to the monasteries in Egypt, I was asked by family members to baptize their child at the monastery. When I went there the day of the baptism, the monk priest in charge of baptisms asked me to baptize all the kids that came that day—which totaled...

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Top 5 Destinations for Orthodox Jet-Setters

Top 5 Destinations for Orthodox Jet-Setters

Jet set—it’s an old fashioned, 1960s term for those who had money to burn and could just hop on a plane and travel wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and stay for however long they wanted. It implied a rootless, aimless, pleasure-driven existence that had no purpose except to amuse...

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Understanding and Living Our Faith: Dealing with the Noise and Pace of Life

Understanding and Living Our Faith: Dealing with the Noise and Pace of Life

“When God the Logos created human nature, He did not make the senses susceptible either to pleasure or pain; instead, He implanted in it a certain noetic capacity through which men could enjoy Him in an inexpressible way.” (St. Maximos the Confessor) It is impossible to experience God’s presence in...

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Evolving Views or Repentance?

Evolving Views or Repentance?

If you plugged in to the media at all over the past election year to hear politicians share their views on a myriad of issues, you have likely heard the phrase “My views have evolved on this issue”. Both political parties have claimed changes in their beliefs over time: Former...

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Scripture’s Most Valuable Secret

Scripture’s Most Valuable Secret

During one of our Wednesday morning Bible studies, our group tackled the famous verse John 3:16, which reads: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Scholars have cleverly labeled this pericope the...

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Repentance or Resolution?

Repentance or Resolution?

I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions. January is my stay-at-home month, the one time of year when I politely decline social invitations and get into my pajamas as soon as I come home from work. I joke that I’m part bear. In January, all I want to do...

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