Newly Illumined!

The following is the text of a toast I gave in honor of my parents’ reception into the Holy Orthodox Church on Sunday, May 12, Third Sunday of Pascha in honor of the Holy Myrrhbearers and American Mother’s Day. My father was received by Baptism and my mother by Chrismation at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in East Syracuse, NY.

20190512_093841“Nobody knows the trouble I seen. Nobody knows but Jesus.”

These simple, yet profound lyrics from an old negro spiritual express the longing of many a Christian lost in the multitude of denominations and confessions of the Church in this country and in the world. This family alone has experienced not less than 15 in our collective lives. But when I first witnessed the Orthodox Church I could see a church where, “Every generation chanteth hymns of praise to Christ.” Everyone from the smallest infant to the oldest great grandmother, all gather together in one Church. Today this prophecy has been fulfilled in your eyes: Not in a church designed principally for the youth, not in a church designed principally for the elderly, but in the Church where family integrated worship has never gone out of style. Continue reading

Don’t Help Herod

Holy_Innocents__99381.1420682146.1280.1280December 27/January 11
14,000 Holy Innocent Infants slain by Herod at Bethlehem

In the New Testament, Herod sought out Jesus. Instead of directly looking for him, he decided to kill all males under the age of 2. In doing this he killed 14,000 infants, without being stopped by anyone. The poor babies’ mothers could not do anything to help them.

Nowadays, the highest rate of killing young helpless babies is abortion. Approximately 125,000 babies are killed by abortion every day, and 56,993,299 abortions have been made since Roe vs. Wade in America. These mother’s had a choice of whether or not to kill their own children, unlike the babies’ mothers in 1 AD. Continue reading

Throw it on the Street

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Immigrants, who long to come to America, hear stories that the streets are paved with gold. But, because careless Americans leave their own trash right on the street, those immigrants find America more paved with trash than with gold.

Well then, if you are not an immigrant, then you might be a random American watching “Landfill Harmonic” feeling really bad about all the trash in the movie. And you really want to do something about it. Why not do something to help your neighborhood and all the world in beatification?!?! Almost everyday I walk around my Boston neighborhood “Wow, there’s a lot of trash on the sidewalk, because some people are too lazy to pick up their own trash in America”.

While thinking of this I remember the trash cans in Russia. They are a fourth the size of the trash cans in America. So, stop throwing trash away America and think of saving the future by of reusing and recycling! If we people in America and in all the world want to be proud for their country and live in a beautiful place, the least we can do is pick up some trash!

The 12 Days of Christmas

flierWorking up another Boston Byzantine Concert with Charlie Marge. This time, it is local to our nation’s capital in Washington, DC. Though our family is currently living in Syracuse, NY, we are still members of the Boston Byzantine Choir, attending practices by means of live streaming. I LOVE the 21st century, in which you can still play a part in a choir separated from you by hundreds of miles. Hey, if you are local to DC, come and see us in a few weeks for a program highlighting the 12 days of Christmas, Orthodox (byzantine) style. I promise all you theology nerds out there will NOT be disappointed. And for those who cannot drop everything and rush to Washington in the second weekend in December, there is Good News! We will be cutting almost everything we sing on a new CD to be released sometime in the next year in honor of the choir’s 25th anniversary. Stay tuned…

A Not So White Winter

Our whole family loves winter. It is a season of fun. I like winter when it is snowing. I fly outside into a blanket of white. This winter [of 2016-2017] we did not have much snow except one pretty big blizzard. The blizzards’ snow was so deep and fluffy and so fun to play with that we stayed outside for a whole two hours! You could make snow houses, snow men, or slide down on hills. The rest of the days of this winter were much warmer. So the snow melted fast.

Boys and Blizzards

61teuikzunlThe blizzard today in New England gave our own family the chance to read one of our favorite picture books by John Rocco. Blizzard tells the story from the author’s childhood  in 1978 Rhode Island when snow was so high that his family could not leave their front door or even shop for food at the local store. Little Johnny, according to the book, had been reading a survival book that informed him how to strap on tennis rackets to his feet and wax down his wooden sled runners to command 4 feet worth of snow without sinking through it. Continue reading

Agents of Reconciliation

I am re-posting this excellent article from my boss, The Rev. Todd Miller, Rector of Trinity Parish in Newton Centre. It is based on a sermon he preached shortly after the Presidential Election of 2016, after which so many were struck with fear over the possible uprising of old hatreds.

st-peter-and-st-paul-2In the Episcopal Church’s Catechism, the stated mission of the Church “is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ (The Book of Common Prayer, p 855).  In Eucharistic Prayer A – the form of the Eucharistic prayers used most often at Trinity – we give thanks to God that God “sent Jesus Christ… to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all” (BCP, p 362).

Our Christian faith is about “restoring all people to unity with God and each other in Christ;” we Christians, following the example of Jesus, are called to be agents of reconciliation.  Our country, sharply divided over the recent election and in transition to a new administration, is counting on us Christians to live into our identity and to be agents of reconciliation. Continue reading