Apr
16

Survey Results: Observations and Advice for New Priests

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We are coming up on graduation day for our seminaries, so I fielded a survey to gather the collective wisdom of priests to share with our new graduates and ordinands. These sets of “five things” are offered with thanks to the priests who answered the survey and prayers for all our clergy.  It's a beautiful and blessed - but often incredibly difficult - life. Five Things that Surprised Us in Parish Ministry Worldly Behavior. Read more…

Mar
24

The Meekness of a Spiritual Father

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By Fr. Joseph Gleason From The Orthodox Life (21 March 2015) St. Gregory the Great says that a spiritual father should be gentle and meek. If he reproves a person who unintentionally sinned, this is especially true. If a person has malice, and has sinned willfully, that is a different story. But if a person has sinned out of “ignorance or infirmity”, then the priest is duty-bound to be very gentle when offering correction. St. Read more…

Mar
18

Seminaries: What Were and Are They For?

St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary, South Bound Brook NJ

This was originally presented in a series over the space of several months and contained a great deal of repetition.  I first published it in its entirety.  I have now attempted to out the repetition.  With thanks, Fr. Anthony By Ihumen Gregory (Woolfenden) Published in The Ukrainian Orthodox Word, Issues 1996 8, 9, and 10 Part One. In the history of the Orthodox Church, seminaries as we know them today are a relatively Read more…

Feb
10

A case for wearing the cassock (or even the collar)

Men in Black with Abbot Tryphon

This documentary explains how Orthodoxy studies the world in order to understand and speak to it, but witnesses to it by remaining true to itself.  Abbot Tryphon makes the case for clerics wearing recognizable clerical garb because it allows them to image Christ to others (even if the best cultural referent people have is "wizard"!).  While this is a divisive issue within Orthodoxy, the logic he describes works for both the collar and Read more…

Jan
23

Evangelizing Men without Chests – can it be done?

Professor Esolen writes for Touchstone Magazine - subscribe now!

Professor Anthony Esolen has a real gift for juxtaposing the depravities and weaknesses of modern culture with the strength of traditional Christianity.  While his critiques are strong, one of the things I appreciate about him is that he is criticizing western civilization from the inside.  As such, I think of him as a sort of Roman Catholic David Bentley Hart or C.S. Lewis. In this article, Professor Esolen makes the case that we Read more…

Dec
05

Reality Check: Your parish has a sinful leader

From Logos 6 (awesome software!)

A pastor friend forwarded this to me at an opportune time: the day after I had responded to someone's challenge with acerbic sarcasm.  It happened at a board meeting, and I knew I had gone too far the moment I loosed my tongue.  It became more obvious when that board member left the meeting in tears.  The rest of the board looked on in shocked amazement.  They may have been surprised by the meanness of my response... but I wasn't.  Like 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…