Justice as Asceticism

During our week with Project Mexico, fasting came up a number of times. It started with the effort to find food in the airport which did not contain meat, inspiring a few conversations about the idea of ‘travel mercies,’ the leniency granted to travelers who may not be able to find options which fulfill the fast. The conversation continued at the Orphanage. Due to government regulations imposed by the Mexican government, a certain amount of meat must be served each week at Orphanages.

Altar Girls?

Recently the OCA issued a statement regarding the liturgical service of girls in the altar.

Sermon: Putting on Christ

Today, we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises of God. Today, we celebrate the revelation of the Trinity, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the day tradition views as the beginning of the Church. Today is Pentecost, a day when the promise of the book of Joel is fulfilled:

I will pour out my spirit in all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves,
In those days, I will poor out my spirit.
(Joel 2.28-32)

The Memory of Sylvia Muntean and her sister Helen

To: The Family of Sylvia Muntean (and her sister Helen)
From: Former employee of Sylvia Muntean (Dragos Coal Co.)

I just happen to be fooling around on web search and typed in Dragos Coal and to my surprise I came across a site dedicated to Sylvia Muntean.

To: The Family of Sylvia Muntean (and her sister Helen)
From: Former employee of Sylvia Muntean (Dragos Coal Co.)

I just happen to be fooling around on web search and typed in Dragos Coal and to my surprise I came across a site dedicated to Sylvia Muntean.

Before Surgery: The Hospital Room as Sacred Space

The first time I was scheduled to serve overnight as the on-call chaplain, I was paged at five a.m.  I groggily called the Intensive Care Unit, and spoke to a nurse who requested that I visit an anxious, weeping patient who would be undergoing surgery later that morning. I was told that the patient, "Andrew," was Orthodox Jewish. The nurse said that Andrew had a tracheotomy, and therefore could not speak.

In Memory of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel

Elisabeth Behr-Sigel has been referred to as a "mother of the Church" in and for our time. Born in 1907, she was a living memory of the Church in the 20th century. Baptized into the Protestant Church, Madame Behr-Sigel heard the call to follow Jesus at an early age. She followed this call and was one of the first women students of theology in France, graduating from the University of Strasbourg. After graduation she served as the pastor of a country parish in the Reformed Church for one year.

The Word became Flesh

A handsome, charming twenty-eight year old, “Michael” had spent recent years making money, dating successful women, wining and dining and feeling fulfilled. I met Michael in an isolated, stark white room, in the locked psychiatric unit of the hospital where I served as chaplain. Michael had attempted to take his own life the night before, by swallowing extreme amounts of painkillers.

An Open Letter to the Hierarchy of ROCOR

Dear Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishops and Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,

Christ is Risen! We ask for your blessings and that you hear the concerns of many women of the church. The commencement of the All-Diaspora Council on the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women - without the participation of women - has left many of us with a personal spiritual pain and desire to express our views.

Dear Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishops and Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,

Newness of Spirit: The Ordination of Men and Women

The question of the participation of women in the liturgical and priestly ministry of the Orthodox Church is a relatively new question, one which has come to it from the “outside.” Yet, for the last 30 years, the question has been seriously considered by Orthodox theologians who have made it our own. This is true of theologians who both oppose and support a greater participation of women in liturgical service.

Sighs Too Deep for Words

On the first day of my chaplain residency, a nurse called me to provide spiritual care for a grieving couple on the hospital's birthing unit. This was my first crisis referral, and the couple was Greek Orthodox. I entered the room quietly, and met "Ana" and "George." When I told them I was the chaplain, and that I was Orthodox, they embraced me, kissing me on both cheeks." There was an immediate closeness among us.