• Men in Black with Abbot Tryphon

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

    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 Read more…

  • Professor Esolen writes for Touchstone Magazine - subscribe now!

    Evangelizing Men without Chests – can it be done?

    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, Read more…

  • From Logos 6 (awesome software!)

    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 Read more…

  • 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…

Oct
29

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

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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

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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…

Aug
21

Am I Called?

sheep

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 love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Read more…

Aug
16

10 Reasons Bivocational Ministry Matters

welding

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 ministries. Now, that conversation has shifted. Pastors are beginning to embrace as their primary calling the role of bivocational minister. Some Read more…