The Challenge of Our Time

"The great Russian bishop of the last century, Theophanes "The Recluse" (d. 1894), in one of his pastoral letters makes a startling statement. What the Russian Church most needed, he said, was "a band of firebrands," which would set the world on fire. The incendiaries must be themselves burning and go around to inflame human minds and hearts. Theophanes did not trust a "residual Christianity." Customs could be perpetuated by inertia, he said, but convictions and beliefs could be kept only by … [Read More...]

callapostles

Launching Into the Deep

The Gospel of Luke 5:1-11 At that time, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night … [Read More...]

The Dash

If you have been following these pages for the last few months you know that I have begun working as a chaplain for a local hospice provider.  This work has added a dimension to my ministry that I never thought I would have.  Helping people, both patients and their families, during their last days has many rewards and I am glad I decided to pursue this work. At a recent meeting of the hospice team, one team member mentioned the Poem The Dash.  I had never heard of this poem before so I did a qu … [Read More...]

The Face Of Evil

Over the last few weeks the world has come face to face with an absolute evil known as the group ISIS or whatever it is we are calling it now.  As I write this, word has come that another person has been beheaded by this so-called group of religious fighters.  I have not watched, nor do I recommend that you watch, the videos of these three murders, as they are very gruesome.  It is very difficult to not hate the people who are doing this but, as Christians, that is exactly what we are called to d … [Read More...]

judge_uni

Fr. Mychal Judge, Saint of 9/11

On September 11, 2001 Fr. Mychal Judge was going about his daily routine when he heard that a plane had struck one of the buildings of the World Trade Center.  Fr. Mychal had the honor of being the Chaplain for the New York City Fire Department and when the call went out, he grabbed his gear and went right to the scene. The Chaplain usually stands at the Command Post to be available to the scene commander and also to be available if he is needed by one of the guys working the fire ground.  Fr. M … [Read More...]

NRM

Preparedness Month 2014

by Fr. John A. Peck ~ Guest Blogger National Preparedness Month is almost upon us, and in light of that, I thought a quick look at why being prepared makes sense, and can, in fact, be a fun activity for yourself and your family. Why should you do it at all? Let’s quickly review a few things we’ve seen in the past few months. Extreme Drought is crushing not only California, but a great deal of the west and south, resulting is smaller herds of livestock; The Ebola Outbreak threatens t … [Read More...]

Patriarch Bartholomew On The Present Violence In Iraq

The recent wave of violence against innocent families and children in Iraq has rendered the world shocked and horrified. We will not remain indifferent or silent before such irrational persecution, cultural intolerance and appalling loss of life, especially when it is caused by religious hatred and racial hostility. The targeting of tens of thousands of Christians (including Arameans, Chaldeans, and Assyrians) and other religious minorities (including Turkmens, Yazidis, and Kurds) can never be … [Read More...]

Orthodoxy and Suicide

Like many of you, I was shocked and saddened by the suicide of Robin Williams.  This illustrates that we never really know what is going on in a person's life and one might appear, on the surface, like everything is fine, when deep down inside their life is in turmoil. Depression, like all mental illness, is very complex and is not always the same for each person living with it.  There are many unanswered questions but the questions need to be asked. For clergy it is even more complex.  I le … [Read More...]