Tag: Pastoral Notes

  • The Ecumenical Councils and Us

    Dear Friends in Christ, On Sunday, we commemorated the Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, all those bishops and teachers who assembled on seven occasions between A.D. 325 and A.D. 787 to debate and define precisely the Christian faith against those who were challenging it from within. This is an aspect of the Orthodox Church […]

  • American Independence and Our Freedom in Christ

    Dear Friends in Christ, On Sunday, we celebrated American Independence Day, our nation’s birthday, a day when we thank God for the freedom we have in this country to live where we wish, work in the profession we choose, and worship God as we choose to. In centuries past, and even today, many people have […]

  • Loving Our Enemies

    Dear Friends in Christ, During the liturgy last Saturday morning, the Gospel appointed to be read was Matthew 5:42-48: Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But […]

  • The Samaritan Woman

    The Samaritan Woman

    Dear Friends in Christ, Christ is Risen! Χριστός ανέστη! We’ve passed through half of the Paschal season, and will soon be celebrating the Feast of Pentecost, which falls this year on May 23. Pentecost is the day when Christ sent His Holy Spirit upon His Apostles so that their souls would be illumined and they […]

  • Pascha: Our Renewal

    Dear Friends in Christ, Christ is Risen! Χριστός ανέστη! I write you this message during Bright Week, the glorious week immediately following Pascha, the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. The theme of Pascha (Easter) is exemplified by the following hymn: It is the day of Resurrection; Let us be radiant in the festival! Let […]

  • The Prayer of Saint Ephraim

    Dear Friends in Christ, As I write this message, we’ve already celebrated two Sundays of Lent, and the Sunday of the Holy Cross is approaching. Lent is thus almost halfway over. Lent is truly a time of joyful mourning, where we are reminded through fasting and penance of our sinful nature, while at the same […]

  • The Prodigal Son

    Dear Friends in Christ, We’re in the midst of the Triodion now, the service book which provides us with hymns for the four preparatory weeks before Lent, and the weeks of Lent itself, ending with Pascha, the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. Two weeks ago, we celebrated the feast of the Publican and the […]

  • Christ Is Born! Glorify Him!

    Dear Friends in Christ, Christ is Born! Glorify Him! Χριστός Γεννάται! Δοξάσατε! Christmas is upon us again, the Nativity of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ! St. John Chrysostom, who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries, and for whom our most common Divine Liturgy is named, composed a sermon for this feast from […]

  • Spiritual, but not Religious

    Dear Friends in Christ, We sometimes hear people say that they are “spiritual, but not religious.” In our present age, it is fashionable to champion some type of spiritual relationship with God, while rejecting all the formalities and dogmas of organized religion. Such people view these formalities and dogmas as things that inhibit spirituality, a […]

  • Thanksgiving Even in Hard Times

    Dear Friends in Christ, 2009 has been a tough year for many of us, financially, socially, and spiritually. We are living in an era of great change, which leaves us often feeling unnerved and unsure. While affirming the difficulty that many of us are in, we also are nearing the time of Thanksgiving, when we […]