Le cheminement secret d’un chef amérindien Mohawk vers l’Orthodoxie ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French

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SAINT JEAN DAMASCENE

Le cheminement secret d’un chef amérindien Mohawk vers l’Orthodoxie

Samedi soir. Très peu de lumières étaient allumées. Dans la cathédrale russe de Saints Pierre et Paul, les vêpres venaient de commencer. Les silhouettes sombres de quelques fidèles qui assistaient au service étaient devenues plus distinctes car des cierges avaient été allumés, un à un, sur leurs supports. L’iconostase de l’autel était très imposant, il avait été sculpté par des artisans expérimentés, au début du siècle…
C’était la deuxième fois que je venais aux Vêpres, il y a de cela des années… Les paroles de la prière “Lumière joyeuse” en slavon donnaient une sensation de paix intérieure et de détente. Tout semblait être en prière à ce moment-là, dans ce jour qui était fini et ce jour qui devait venir. Après la folie de la journée, ce refuge de louange calmait effectivement les bêtes sauvages de l’esprit…
Dans la faible pénombre, je pouvais distinguer quelques-uns des profils de ceux qui étaient là: une vieille dame russe avec sa petite-fille, un homme grand et maigre d’âge moyen, une jeune fille de près de quinze ans, une jeune famille avec ses deux enfants… Et soudain, mon attention fut attirée par un personnage près de la grande fenêtre. Directement au-dessous, je distinguai une silhouette qui était complètement différente de toutes les autres. Il s’agissait d’un Indien de cinquante ans, vigoureux, aux traits caractéristiques, avec des cheveux longs attachés en queue de cheval qui atteignaient sa taille. Mon regard s’arrêta sur lui… Quel étrange personnage ! J’imaginai que c’était seulement un visiteur.
À la fin de l’office, je ne pus pas lutter contre l’envie de savoir. Je m’approchai de lui, désireux de le rencontrer.
-Yannis, lui ai-je dit en anglais. Bienvenue…
– Vladimir, répondit-il.
– Je suis grec. Et vous? Lui ai-je demandé.
– Moi aussi, répondit-il.
J’étais abasourdi… C’était la dernière chose que je m’attendais à entendre!
– Parlez-vous grec? Demandai-je.
Il fit une pause pour réfléchir un moment, puis il cita [le prologue de l’Evangile de saint Jean] en grec:
– “Au commencement était le Logos et le Logos était avec Dieu, et le Logos était Dieu.”
En finissant cette phrase, il éclata de rire. Je ne savais quoi dire.
– Je suis indien, dit-il brusquement. Mais de toute façon, je me sens aussi russe et grec et serbe et roumain, parce que… je suis orthodoxe…
Une lueur apparut dans son œil, comme dans mon coeur …
C’est ainsi que Vladimir et moi nous nous sommes rencontrés. Son vrai nom était Frank Natawe, avant de devenir orthodoxe et d’être baptisé sous le nom de Vladimir. Je mourrais d’envie d’entendre l’histoire de sa vie, à la fois par Continue reading “Le cheminement secret d’un chef amérindien Mohawk vers l’Orthodoxie ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French”

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Becoming Orthodox – Jim Forest, USA & the Netherlands

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Becoming Orthodox

by

Jim Forest, USA & the Netherlands

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Jim & Nancy Forest

Becoming Orthodox

JIM & NANCY FOREST

I am sometimes asked how the son of atheist parents ended up not only a Christian but a member of the Orthodox Church.

In fact it wasn’t so big a leap as it sounds. For starters my parents weren’t people for whom atheism was a religion unto itself. Their atheism seemed to mainly to do with being on the Left. Their real interest was in the down-and-out — people who were being treated like beasts, underpaid or jobless, trapped in slums, without health care, etc. When I was growing up, they were both Communists. It was part of Marxist dogma that there was no god. For them it was not so much a question of agreeing with that tenet of Marxism as not disagreeing. In fact both of them had been shaped and inspired by their religious roots. Mother was a Methodist Communist, my father a Catholic Communist. Mother’s parents, both devout Methodists, raised their children to take Christianity seriously, and with an eye to its social implications. Dad, a fervent Catholic in his youth, had once looked forward to becoming a priest.

I was born in November 1941 in the Vatican of Mormonism, Salt Lake City, Utah. At the time my Father was working as regional organizer for the Communist Party and my Mother was a social worker. When I asked about Mormons later in life, Mother spoke with respect of the ways Mormons helped each other when anyone was out of work or facing other troubles. However, she tended to judge religion by how attentive its members were not just to each other but to the woes of the world. On that score, the Mormons didn’t impress her.

During the several years that followed, I have only splinters of memory. There is a photo of me when I was about a year old, standing upright while my mother, wearing a beret and smoking a cigarette, is sitting on a park bench in a Chicago park. Later we lived in Denver, where my brother, Richard, was born in 1943. Dad was in the Army part of the Second World War, stationed in Hawaii. In 1944 Dad fell in love with a Communist Party co-worker and filed for divorce. During the next decade, he was an occasional visitor whose home was far away. Remarkably, divorce didn’t seem to embitter Mother. I cannot recall her ever speaking ill of Dad.

Following the divorce, my mother, brother and I moved to Red Bank, New Jersey. This was the town where Mother had grown up in. While her parents by then had both died, her sister and brother-in-law were living there. It took some good will and squeezing, but we lived with them until we had a house of Continue reading “Becoming Orthodox – Jim Forest, USA & the Netherlands”

Reason #1: the ever-changing church – Why I have converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church

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COMING HOME – ORTHODOXY

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Reason #1: the ever-changing church

Why I have converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church

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Reason #1: the ever-changing church

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

This series of articles are from the “Becoming Orthodox” blog.

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting reasons why I have converted to the Orthodox Church. They are listed in no particular order. Some are big, important reasons; others may be small, wonderful but non-essential reasons. I hope they offer food for thought.

A few months ago I read an article in Christianity Today that highlighted a Christian movement in Mexico. It’s been awhile since I read the article and I can no longer recall the particulars, but one line really stood out: “How will the church in Mexico continue to change?” asked the columnist.

If the church is the pillar of truth (1 Timothy 3:15), then it should be unchanged since the day that it was founded by Jesus. Yet in any particular church group (save one) you will find numerous changes. Roman Catholics have a pretty long history, but they change the rules all the time. Protestantism is no different, being that it was borne out of a desire for change; a desire that certainly continues to this day when we have thousands of different denominations.

I’m disturbed by all of these changes. Truth doesn’t change. Neither should the Church.

 

Answering Main Street Canada

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Answering Main Street Canada

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Answering Main Street Canada

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

We offer you an article written by Fr. Geoffrey Korz, Managing Editor of Orthodox Canada and the Dean of All Saints of North America Orthodox Church in Hamilton ON, Canada.

Some years ago, I had the pleasure of dining in Toronto’s “Greek Town” with a sister in Christ, a Greek grandmother who had been around the Church all her life, and who was a true realist. As we walked through the warm summer streets, surrounded by mobs of young people – many of them Greek, and presumably Orthodox Christians – my friend let out an audible exclamation.

“Look at them, Father – they don’t even know what an Orthodox priest is! Why aren’t they at Church?! They should be ashamed of themselves!”

Of course hearing this, all these young people heard the voice of their own yia-yia, or grandmother, confronting them with their own lack of piety, spiritual observance, and Continue reading “Answering Main Street Canada”

Deep Roots In Fresh Soil – Orthodox Christianity Comes To Erie, Colorado, USA

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CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

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Deep Roots In Fresh Soil

Orthodox Christianity comes to Erie, Colorado, USA

250-member St. Luke grew from tiny Lafayette church established nearly two decades ago

By John Aguilar

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

Deep Roots In Fresh Soil

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

The building is brand-new, the land never before scraped, but the site in Erie where St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church now sits has roots going back nearly two millennia.

A vivid, larger than life-size image of the Virgin Mary, accompanied by a young Jesus, stretches her arms out above the altar. The Messiah — surrounded by painted prophets — gazes down from the dome inside the church’s temple, which is adorned with Byzantine arches and columns.

There’s no organ here — all music is chanted or sung a cappella. There are no statues — warm-hued iconography is the rule.

Standing inside St. Luke evokes a different time, a different era.

”It’s the one that was established by the Lord and the apostles,” said the Rev. David Mustian, pastor at St. Luke. ”When people look at the Orthodox Church, it feels new to them, but when they start digging, they see it has old Continue reading “Deep Roots In Fresh Soil – Orthodox Christianity Comes To Erie, Colorado, USA”

The Gift of Orthodoxy – Elizabeth Huestis, USA & Australia

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CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

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The Gift of Orthodoxy

by Elizabeth Huestis, USA & Australia

Source:

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The Gift of Orthodoxy

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

St. Paul speaks of being “an Apostle out of due time” in the sense that he did not know Jesus first-hand, and did not travel around with Jesus the way that the other Apostles did. Yet God chose him particularly to have a special and useful place in the Church. In the same way, converts are not natural inheritors of Orthodoxy in the same way as are those people born in traditionally Orthodox countries and cultures. But God takes us from all sorts of places, adopting us in a special way, making us a part of His Church in a way that we would have no natural inherited right to. (Someone born Greek or Serbian or Russian would normally inherit Orthodoxy.)

Because God has chosen to give us Orthodoxy outside of normal means, perhaps we tend to cherish it more and also to feel the obligation to share it with those who do not have the gift and also to help those who have inherited it to understand and appreciate it better. This becomes more true when in retrospect it is possible to see that our becoming Orthodox was not just a Continue reading “The Gift of Orthodoxy – Elizabeth Huestis, USA & Australia”

Fr. Barnabas Powell, Georgia, USA: Finally Oriented – From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

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Fr. Barnabas Powell is the priest

at Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Greek Orthodox Church

in Cumming, Georgia, USA

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Finally Oriented

by Fr. Barnabas Powell

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JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

The Pentecostal church I grew up in had a profound impact on my life. The lively services, the thundering sermons, and the emotional altar calls gripped my young heart and fed my hunger for an intimate encounter with God.

As a young man growing up in a Pentecostal church, I always knew I wanted to be a preacher because all the powerful men I had ever known had been men in the pulpit, and I wanted to be just like them.

In my Pentecostal church I was told that a stream is purest at its source, so what we had to do was to be like the Church in the Book of Acts. If we were going to affect our world for Jesus then we needed the same power the Early Church had, and that meant being Pentecostal.

The whole purpose for our emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, lively, emotional worship services, and powerful, motivating, sermons, was to keep us motivated to win lost souls. If you weren’t witnessing, you weren’t on fire for the Lord.

I was the youth choir director and our youth group traveled around the Southeast singing and preaching the Good News. Sometimes I would give the sermon, but that had been a honor earned on the streets, since none of the young preachers were allowed to speak at church until they’d proved their metal by preaching on the street corners. It was there that we got our first speaking experience.

Every Saturday we’d gather at the church and get our sound system and go street preaching. We’d set up usually across from a strip shopping center near a traffic light so we could witness to the shoppers and the folks in their cars. Only one at a time could speak so the rest of the group fanned out in the shopping center with Gospel tracts in hand, ready to lead lost people to the Lord. One of the greatest badges of honor was if you were preaching and someone in one of the cars stopped at the red-light heckled you. That was suffering persecution for the Gospel.

Over the years, I began having difficulty dealing with those times when the level of religious excitement wasn’t at a fevered pitch. I knew I was excited about Jesus, but I began questioning whether I knew Him or not. I knew I didn’t Continue reading “Fr. Barnabas Powell, Georgia, USA: Finally Oriented – From Protestantism to Orthodoxy”

Ancient Faith Radio: Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai & San Francisco (+1966) – July 2

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Ancient Faith Radio:

Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai & San Francisco (+1966)

July 2

This brightly-shining Saint of our own day was born in Russia in 1896. In 1921 his family fled the Russian Revolution to Serbia, where he became a monk and was ordained a priest. From the time of his entry into monastic life he adopted a severely ascetical way of life: for the rest of his life he never slept in a bed, sleeping only briefly in a chair or prostrated before the icons. He ate one meal a day, in the evening. Teaching seminarians in Serbia, he instructed them each day to devote six hours to divine services, six hours to prayer (not including the divine services!), six hours to good works, and six hours to rest (these six hours obviously included eating and bathing as well as sleeping). Whether his seminarians followed his counsels we do not know, but he himself not only followed but exceeded them.

In 1934 he was made Bishop of Shanghai (in the Russian Church Abroad), where he served not only the Russian émigré community but a number of native Chinese Orthodox; from time to time he served the Divine Liturgy in Chinese. When the Communists took power in China, he laboured tirelessly to evacuate his flock to safety, first to the Philippines, then to various western countries including the United States. He served as Bishop in Paris and Brussels, then, in 1962 was made Archbishop of San Francisco. Throughout his life as monk and hierarch he was revered (and sometimes condemned) for his ascetical labours and unceasing intercessions. During his life and ever since, numerous miraculous healings of all manner of afflictions have been accomplished through his prayers.

Once, in Shanghai, a caretaker, investigating strange noises in the cathedral after midnight, discovered Bishop John standing in the belltower, looking down on the city and praying for the people. Years later, when he visited Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, the priest responsible for hosting him found the saint walking through the halls of the monastery, standing outside the door of each room and praying for the monk or seminarian sleeping within. When the Archbishop had prayed outside each room, he returned to the beginning of his circuit and began praying again; and so he spent the entire night

Even as Archbishop, he lived in near-absolute poverty. His appearance was striking: His cassock was made of blue Chinese “peasant cloth,” crudely decorated with crosses stitched by orphans who had been in his care in Shanghai. His Bishop’s “miter” was often a cloth cap to which he had glued paper icons. Even in the United States, even while serving the Divine Liturgy (which he did every day), he went barefoot in all seasons. (Eventually, after he was hospitalized with an infected foot, his Metropolitan ordered him to wear shoes; thereafter, he wore sandals). Needless to say, he was an embarrassment to those who like their bishops to make a more worldly appearance, but among his various flocks throughout the world, there were always those who recognized him as a Saint in his own lifetime.

Following his repose in 1966, a steady stream of healings and other miracles was accomplished through his intercessions, and in 1996 he was glorified as a Saint of the Church. His incorrupt and wonder-working relics can be venerated at his cathedral in San Francisco. At St John’s funeral, the eulogist told his mourners (and all of us): because Archbishop John was able to live the spirituality of the Orthodox Church so fully, even in modern, western, urban society, we are without excuse

Footnote: An acquaintance of Monk John once met him on a train in Serbia. When asked his destination, Monk John replied, “I’m going to straighten out a mistake. I’ve gotten a letter meant for some other John whom they intend to make a bishop.” The same person met him again on his return journey and asked if he had been able to resolve his problem. John answered, “The mistake is much worse than I thought: they did make me a bishop.”

(From Ancient Faith Radio)

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Video: Orthodox Church Plants Seeds in Moses Lake, Washington, USA

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Orthodox Church Plants Seeds in Moses Lake,

Washington, USA

The Mane Man – An Interview with Troy Polamalu of Pittsburg Steelers Team, Samoa & USA – Journey to Orthodoxy

An Interview with Troy Polamalu

The Mane Man

By

Gina Mazza

Pittsburgh Magazine, August 2009

Source:

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http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/08/24/wild-interview-with-troy-polamalu/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Football is a given: How was this year’s Super Bowl experience versus XL? Tomlin versus Cowher? Goals for the coming season?

Fatherhood is new in Polamalu’s life since the birth of his son, Paisios, named after a beloved contemporary Greek Orthodox monastic, Elder Paisios, on Oct. 31, 2008. Has daddy-dom been life-changing? Will he encourage his son to play professional sports? How’s that
beautiful new mom doing?

And last but not least: Faith. In order to properly meet Polamalu where he lives, this is the requisite, the grounding force that gives meaning to everything he does, every play he makes. Polamalu’s evident gratitude to the one who made him is marbled throughout our talk – from his training regime to his travels to Mount Athos, a monastic site in Greece, a place he calls “heaven on earth.”

While he has a reputation for being one of the NFL’s fiercest players, Polamalu would prefer “Tasmanian angel” over “Tasmanian devil” because his ball game is about glorifying God. “Football is part of my life but not life itself,” he says. “Football doesn’t define me. It’s what I do [and] how I carry out my faith.”

Whether shooting a Coke Zero commercial or running up the sand hills on Manhattan Beach to train – which he’s probably off to do after this interview – Polamalu, 27, is refreshingly modest and introspective, choosing his words as precisely as he picks his spots on the gridiron. He’s intense when the Continue reading “The Mane Man – An Interview with Troy Polamalu of Pittsburg Steelers Team, Samoa & USA – Journey to Orthodoxy”