The Power of the Priestly Cassock

by Fr. Moses Samaan One of the most disturbing ideas I’ve heard in the recent push to “modernize” the Coptic Orthodox Church and make it more “attractive” to people in today’s society is the idea of priests putting aside their priestly cassocks in favor of pants, shirts, and collars, like other western clergy. The general arguments in favor of abandoning the priestly cassock essentially argue that it is too traditional to the Read more…


Christian Priesthood and Ecclesial Unity

Some Theological and Canonical Considerations by Professor Contantine Scouteris School of Theology of the University of Athens 1. The records of the early Christian tradition leave no doubt that Christian priesthood is not a "function" necessary for the institutional being of the Church. Nor is it an autonomous, isolated and self sufficient office belonging to the ordained individual. It is rather a ministry related and belonging Read more…


Survey Results: Observations and Advice for New Priests

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…


The Meekness of a Spiritual Father

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…


7 Things the Church Can’t Do for the Pastor

By Ron Edmondson (March 2015) at RE RonEdmondson; thoughts on leadership, church and culture Pastor, there are some things your church can’t do for you. They simply can’t. Please understand. I love the church. Greatly. I’m a local church guy. But, they simply can’t do these things for you. And, if you think they can, or you leave it up to them to do these things, you’ll someday find out the hard way — they can’t. I’ve Read more…


Reality Check: Your parish has a sinful leader

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…


Don’t preach “the devil’s homily”!

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…