• GoodGuysWearBlack

    Announcement: GGWB now has an AFR podcast!

    Good Guys Wear Black A Podcast for Priests Who Need Priests This podcast is designed to provide information, encouragement, and entertainment for priests, other clergy, and those who love them. We’ll talk about self-care and the many joys and challenges that come with the Read more…

  • welding

    Eight Characteristics of the New Bivocational Pastor

    by Thom Rainer As predicted, this is a trend which those preparing for priesthood should be aware of as Christian exclusion increases. They are appearing on the scene quietly. Not many pundits are noticing the emerging trend. They are a different kind of bivocational pastor. The Read more…

  • 001 a empty

    Why 734 Pastors Quit (and How Their Churches Could Have Kept Them)

    by Lisa Cannon Green Not from an Orthodox source, but no less informative. Maybe even more important for Orthodox clergy. Self-care isn't essential for clergy. It is an existential reality for any one in a pastoral role. If it doesn't exists for those in a pastoral role, neither will you for Read more…

  • 2006, Erdmans.

    On Transitions – how to leave well

    On 13 September 2015, I served my last Divine Liturgy at St. Michael's in Woonsocket, RI.  Although in many ways the situation was ideal (it was an amicable parting; I wasn't driven out by them or by frustration with them), it was still very difficult.  I wanted to do it well, for their benefit, for Read more…

  • 001 Liturgy of St. James

    The Authority of the Priest

    by Fr. Sergei Shveshnikov All too often, a priest acts as if he were a secular leader, a board president, a CEO of a non-profit, a manager of an organization. To be sure, priests do hold a position of authority in the Church. But what kind of authority is it? What kind of headship? I really Read more…

  • Kirill - 800x350

    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 Read more…

  • meninblack588

    Royal Inadequacies of the Royal Priesthood

    by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov One of my favorite writers, Fr. Sergei is the author of Imagine That: Mental Imagery in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Private Devotion, and I recommend it to everyone, especially those discerning a priestly vocation. You can get it on Amazon HERE. “Behold, how good Read more…

Dec
02

On Transitions – how to leave well

On 13 September 2015, I served my last Divine Liturgy at St. Michael's in Woonsocket, RI.  Although in many ways the situation was ideal (it was an amicable parting; I wasn't driven out by them or by frustration with them), it was still very difficult.  I wanted to do it well, for their benefit, for my benefit, and for the benefit of the priest that followed me (and of course, so that God could be glorified the brightest).  I was helped Read more…

Nov
02

The Authority of the Priest

by Fr. Sergei Shveshnikov All too often, a priest acts as if he were a secular leader, a board president, a CEO of a non-profit, a manager of an organization. To be sure, priests do hold a position of authority in the Church. But what kind of authority is it? What kind of headship? I really like the Roman Bishop’s official title: “the servant of the servant of God.” Regardless of how it is realized in the life of any particular Read more…

Oct
15

The Priest As A Role Model

by Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky To be a model for others requires an enormous amount of spiritual gifts to offset his glaring imperfections. And if he thinks of himself as a prototype for others, he’s already in trouble. “Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy 4:12) Through the years I’ve been gifted with more than a few pectoral crosses, the sort Read more…

Oct
14

Refresher for the Orthodox Pastor

by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) 1. Having accepted the grace of ordination, bear in mind of what a gift and of what mercy the Lord has found you worthy – and what responsibility you now bear. A priest is an apostle to his flock. "I do not belong to myself, but to others," said the great Russian pastor Fr. (now St.) John of Kronstadt. 2. Scripture says, "The priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the Read more…

Oct
12

How to Avoid the Priesthood

by Fr. Sergei Begian Whoever has been to an ordination knows how grace fills the church at the moment of the imposition of hands…. Joy fills the hearts of those praying, even if they do not personally know the person being consecrated to the priestly rank. With what stateliness and joy do they sing the troparia “Holy Martyrs,” “Glory to Thee, O Christ God,” and “Dance, O Isaiah”! The man being consecrated to the priesthood is Read more…

Sep
09

Advice for New Deacons

One of the many blessings I enjoy in my present assignment (St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket, RI)  is that I have three deacons serving with me.  It's the sign of the health of our parish that we have grown three diaconal vocations within our parish over the last few years (note that one moved and serves elsewhere while one of our serving deacons moved here from elsewhere).  Our deacons are more than Read more…

Sep
08

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…