• Image from http://bibleyp.com/verses/joy/

    People Want Loving, Active, Joyful, and Evangelical Leadership

    A couple of months ago, Pew Research announced a finding that surprised me: 49% of Americans want preachers to speak about "political issues."  This was roughly the same percentage that do NOT want them to do so.  I have not looked closely at the data, but I am willing to bet that people who go to Read more…

  • This is humble rectory at St. Michael the Archangel parish in Woonsocket, RI.  The church building is to the left and the hall is behind it.  The back portion of the rectory contains classrooms, the parish office, and an apartment.

    Living in the Rectory – some pros and cons

    As a new priest, the first piece of advice many experienced priests have given me is to buy my own house.  We live in the rectory and, while it does bring challenges, we have found it to be rewarding for the parish, my family, and my ministry.  From the stories I have gathered, it seems that when Read more…

  • From the ceiling: the ceiling on each side of the icon was destroyed; St. Michael was not.

    When Fire Strikes: some lessons learned

    Two years ago, during the pre-dawn hours of the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, the parish of St. Michael in Woonsocket (UOC-USA) suffered from a terrible fire. It got up into the rafters and destroyed the roof. It was only due to the bravery and proficiency of the firefighters that it was kept Read more…

  • sheep

    Am I Called?

    The Gospel reading for Matins this Sunday answers the question "Am I Called?" When you have understood this, you know what to do next. So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I Read more…

  • welding

    10 Reasons Bivocational Ministry Matters

    By Chuck Lawless “I didn’t come to seminary to be a bivocational minister, to have to get another kind of job,” my student told me. I may not have agreed with my student, but I did understand his thinking. Back then (almost 15 years ago), we weren’t talking much about bivocational Read more…

  • Flickr/Scallop Holden

    Autopsy of a Burned-Out Pastor: 13 Lessons

    Another short gem from Thom Rainer, this one based on his "autopsies" of pastors whose ministries - and persons - were rendered "mission incapable" by their inability to cope with the cumulative pressures of parish life.  Please note that only two of the factors: serving dysfunctional parishes and Read more…

  • A lame duck president finds it hard to lead - mores the pastor!  Image from http://accentoninterpreting.blogspot.com

    The One-Term Curse (and how to avoid it)

    In this essay, Thom Rainer describes a parish phenomenon that is all too common among pastors: the three year tenure.  I grew up in a tradition - Methodism - that had institutionalized a four year rotational schedule for its ministers.  While short tenures have some benefits, they do not allow for Read more…

Nov
15

40 Days of Blogging: Rules and Vocational Discernment

From OrthoAnalytika, by Fr. Anthony Perkins (15 November 2014) With thanks to Fr. John Peck (Preacher's Institute) for setting up the 40 day challenge. 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 them is that in order to Read more…

Nov
08

People Want Loving, Active, Joyful, and Evangelical Leadership

Image from http://bibleyp.com/verses/joy/

A couple of months ago, Pew Research announced a finding that surprised me: 49% of Americans want preachers to speak about "political issues."  This was roughly the same percentage that do NOT want them to do so.  I have not looked closely at the data, but I am willing to bet that people who go to church are more heavily represented in the first group.  All this is to say that the majority of people in our parishes *want* their priests Read more…

Oct
29

Patriarch Kirill: “Being a Clergyman Today Means Scaling the Most Difficult and Greatest Heights”

Kirill - 800x350

by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow October 26, 2014. His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, presided over the Great Consecration of a church in honor of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian on the premises of the Saratov Theological Seminary and celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the newly consecrated church on October 26, 2014. Following the divine services, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Read more…

Sep
26

Don’t preach “the devil’s homily”!

It's not always easy to love your enemies, but it is always the right thing to do.

In every parish (even the dream ones), there are going to be people whom it is hard to love.  Like flies that get into the car when you take your garbage to the dump, their words and actions will continue annoying you long after you've left their physical presence.  Sometimes it can get so bad that your mind will actually create imaginary conversations so that these alleged "scribes and pharisees" can anger and tempt you with Read more…

Sep
15

Living in the Rectory – some pros and cons

This is humble rectory at St. Michael the Archangel parish in Woonsocket, RI.  The church building is to the left and the hall is behind it.  The back portion of the rectory contains classrooms, the parish office, and an apartment.

As a new priest, the first piece of advice many experienced priests have given me is to buy my own house.  We live in the rectory and, while it does bring challenges, we have found it to be rewarding for the parish, my family, and my ministry.  From the stories I have gathered, it seems that when rectory life goes well it is pretty good ... but when it goes poorly it is really, really, REALLY bad.  I am a "late vocation" priest and we Read more…

Sep
14

Knowing God’s Will

knowing-the-will-of-god-copy

by Fr. Stephen Freeman “What is God’s will for my life?” No question is either more poignant nor more misguided on the lips of a Christian. It cuts particularly deep because it is most often spoken by the young or by those who feel they have lost their way. It is misguided because it makes a large number of false assumptions about the nature of our relationship with God as well as false assumptions about our human capacity to know Read more…

Sep
05

When Fire Strikes: some lessons learned

From the ceiling: the ceiling on each side of the icon was destroyed; St. Michael was not.

Two years ago, during the pre-dawn hours of the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, the parish of St. Michael in Woonsocket (UOC-USA) suffered from a terrible fire. It got up into the rafters and destroyed the roof. It was only due to the bravery and proficiency of the firefighters that it was kept from being a complete loss. Through your prayers, the intercession of our patron and all the saints, and the grace of God, we hope to begin Read more…