Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pillar and Ground

There are many wonderful parts of our journey into Holy Orthodoxy. One of the blessed extras has been that we get to be part of a congregation that is building their own church for the first time. Our priest, Fr. Anthony Michaels, often tells our congregation that when he commemorates the ever-memorable founders of this holy temple, that will mean all of us! Very, very interesting. It makes me think of the parable about the laborers in the vineyard. Some worked all day in the heat of the sun and received their denarius. Others showed up at the very end of it all and received the same denarius. Likewise, many of the parishioners labored their whole lives to make this building a reality, while some are just now becoming members of the Church here at St. John Chrysostom. Orthodoxy is full of grace. (Yeah, I know the parable isn't about our church building project, but this is just what comes to mind.)

Here are some pictures. They have erected the pillars, and they have planted grass seed throughout the grounds. I will spare you pictures of straw-covered ground, though eventually either I or my wife should show off the newly finished parking lot with the landscaping. All in due time.

(What, did you think I was going to post about something else?)

Catecheis has been going well, though it seems like we can never meet as often as we'd like. When we do, though, it is a lot of fun. Fr. Anthony never fails to tell us what he thinks is "the best," and we try to show him some of the books we have or the stuff we're reading.

One good book is The Earliest Christian Heretics by Arland Hultgren. The other I'm enjoying right now which we showed to our priest is The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis. This thing is fantastic. It's two volumes (really three, but published in two), the first covering the Jewish and Gnostic heresies, the second covering all the rest. It's just astounding. St. Epiphanius has really helped my personal and catechetical journey into Holy Orthodoxy. Especially in volume two nearly every page is filled with edifying goodies mixed with his well-styled brand of delivery. His love for the Scriptures and his teachings about the Church were especially great. Sadly the Panarion will have to be returned to the library very soon. Perhaps I will check it out again sometime. It was worth the five dollars I had to pay my library to get it through inter-library loan (I had to pay because of state-wide budget cuts in Ohio).


rightwingprof said...

Here in next-door Pennsylvania, our parish is parenting a Lutheran parish that converted to Orthodoxy. They have services once a month, led by one of our priests and deacons, until their minister finishes seminary and is ordained. The other Sundays of the month, they attend our parish.

Benjamin Harju said...

Which branch of Lutheranism did they come from? What liturgy do they use once per month in their conversion?

I'm always impressed when an entire congregation chooses to convert together. I'm also always glad to hear when a Lutheran congregation converts. There's a lot of hard feelings and misinformation among Lutherans regarding the Orthodox Faith.

rightwingprof said...

I'd have to ask. We have loads of Lutheran churches here, but none of them advertises which brand they are on the signs outside the church, or even in the Yellow Pages.