What’s Going On?

It has been quite some time since I did an update of what has been going on around here.  I have been trying to keep the blog updated by posting at least 3 times per week.  Some weeks it is better than others, but I keep plugging away.  I will be participating the 40 days of blogging that Fr. John Peck does each year during Advent to kick start pastors into blogging.  The idea is to blog each of the days during Advent in the hopes that those who being will continue after Advent is over.

Since I mentioned Fr. John, a plug for the excellent work he does with website design and branding.  If you are in the market for a new website, or a website redo, give Fr. John a call and let him amaze you with what he can come up with.  These pages you are reading now are his creation, and I am extremely pleased with what he was able to do.

Fall is always a busy time in the parish.  Bible study has started again, although I should not call it Bible Study since we are taking a look at the 7 Ecumenical Councils of the Holy Church.  I think it is essential to look at history from time to time to put things into perspective.  Since out Orthodox Doctrine and practice comes from these councils I felt it was necessary to examine these.

The Community Meal is continuing with our three times a month meal that we offer to the people here in Southbridge and the surrounding area.  This has become or primary ministry here at St. Michael and we are feeding between 60 and 70 people at each meal.  The idea is to bring the community together, around the table, to break bread and have a conversation.  It is a time for folks to come together, who perhaps have not seen each other since the last meal, and catch up.  New friends have been made, and old friendships renewed.  I have an incredible group of volunteers who give of their time each week and I could not do it without them.

The garden has been put away for the season, and we await the first frost of the winter.  The garden was spectacular this summer although I did plant my tomatoes a little too close together and they grew into a bush.  I did manage to harvest an abundant crop from them and would use the same varieties next year.  Summer squash and Zucchini grew like crazy!  I had more than I knew what to do with so I spent one afternoon canning all of the leftovers.  I now will have enough to last all winter and possibly into the spring.  The Chickens continue to produce some of the largest eggs I have even seen, but we did lose 2 just this past month.  I have had them for just about a year now, and I have a plan to replace the ones that I lost to keep the egg production going.  The water heater and the heat lamp will soon be installed in the coop for the winter months.  It is quite sad to look out and see the empty garden, but it also brings hope that after the cold winter planting will begin again.

We are anticipating a visit from our Archbishop in November.  The Romanian Archdiocese is blessed to have 2 bishops who make a point of visiting each parish in the Archdiocese yearly.  This will be the first time in three years that the Archbishop has been with us, and we are planning an exciting weekend.  He is bringing with him relics of a new Romanian Saint who also happens to be the patron of our Ladies Society so we have commissioned a new Icon for our Church in honor of this occasion.

Like any old buildings our buildings here at the Church are in constant need to repair and maintenance.  We have a list of projects longer than there are days in the week, but we knock them off one by one.  Some are in the process and some and finished.  There is satisfaction in crossing a task off the list that has been on it for a long time.  We are doing the best we can to keep our Church looking neat and clean and to make sure that all of the maintenance tasks are completed before the winter months set in.  There are some tasks that have been on the list for years, and we hope that this is the year that we finish them.

Just before the summer I released a new book.  Listening to the Heartbeat of God is a small book that came out of several talks I have given on the topic of prayer and Spiritual Fatherhood in the Orthodox Church.  Published by Regina Orthodox Press the book has sold well and is still available.  I spent some time this summer traveling and speaking on the topic of prayer, and that was exciting to go out and meet folks and talk about prayer.

This fall and winter I will be working on another book.  This will be a collection of sermons and essays that have appeared here on the blog over the last seven years.  It is difficult to believe that I have been blogging that long but November 11, 2012 it will be seven years.  So as the cold sets in for the winter I will be working on the new book.  I hope to have it finished and published in the Spring.

Well, I think that brings things up to date here.  Another year is coming to a close, and another is queuing up to start.  What are your goals and aspirations for the coming year?

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