Monday, November 28, 2022 First Day of the Nativity Fast Commencement of Advent in the Orthodox Church
Growing up, I was taught many things about the Christian faith that did not seem exactly right. One puerile notion that was especially debilitating was this idea that fidelity to tradition was somehow antithetical to the more romantic adventure of discerning revival, i.e., what God is doing NOW, in our own day and age. According to this notion, the divine mercies that are “new every morning” have to make a clean break with what came before, and the Christian revolution should break with the old, worn out traditions as well.
Ah, dear friends who are local to Boston, starting next Friday, December 10 in Groton, MA, four Friars (a family record!) will be performing live on stage and we would love to see you in the audience. A message lies below from the Messenger who hauntingly blesses Ebenezer Scrooge with a life-giving path of repentance. Please read it and accept our invitation to come. And a Merry Christmas to ye!
I wanted to let you know that New Life Fine Arts is again producing “Musical Theater That You Can Believe In”.
Coming this December 10 -19, 2021 we will be bringing the original adaptation of the Charles Dickens famous Christmas Classic, “Ebenezer Scrooge: A Christmas Carol” back to the stage in Groton, MA for 8 performances.
Of the making of books there is no end and much study wearies the body.
Another calm before the fall storm. My brilliant wife suggests squeezing at least one last trip to the beach in before the crazy fall schedule prohibits us. We go with the three youngest children and our baboushka (“little grandma” in Russian) to Old Silver Beach on Cape Cod, one of the few west facing beaches just over 1.5 hours from Boston. It’s like our back-to-school beach, as it works well to drive here on a mid-afternoon and stay until sundown. A last minute surplus from our local food pantry leaves us well supplied with road food and a picnic supper.
Want to recommend the practice of camping out there to all of you with family looking for an inexpensive vacation. Throughout this summer, we have had the good fortune to tent and cabin up at two of our favorite sites in Massachusetts, Lake Dennison in Winchendon and Camp Denison in Georgetown, MA. One of our friends has extolled the experience of camping with kids, especially kids who usually live confined in the city, as allowing them to roam freely, like free range chickens. While camping has many challenges, this overall experience really makes it all worth it. Here are some of the best pictures from our recent outings.
Made it to the Cape after my older three went ahead a day early with their uncle and a family friend. They were very happy to see me come along with my van full of bikes, groceries, and fun-in-the sun implements. Timing is perfect as temperatures in Boston soared to an unseasonable 90 degrees, leaving the Cape and the Islands hovering around the high 70s and low 80s: I call it Southern California weather.
Monasteries are the center of Orthodox Spirituality and are unfortunately mostly highly underrated. For a while I thought of them as a place to pray and plant seeds. But after visiting St. John the Baptist Monastery in Warwick, MA on many occasions my perception changed.
This small monastery in Western Massachusetts has a very relaxed atmosphere. Encompassed by forest, this place is surrounded by beautiful nature. Having this relaxed, calm setting sets a deep sense of inner peace. The quiet area helps calm the soul and leave all the worldly cares behind.
There are many monasteries around the world, and all of them have a unique setting. But the important key to the quiet beauty is the peace and calmness that is in the core of these Orthodox communities.
Day 3 of our vacation at Cape Cod and by all accounts this was a very good idea. The house we rented from a Family friend is extraordinarily well-organized, with drawers and even light switches labeled. Situated in Chatham Massachusetts, our lodgings sit in proximity to several good beaches, a private freshwater lake, and bikeable roads leading to dedicated rail trails. It is the perfect cure for families tired of being cooped up in quarantine. We simply take our quarantine somewhere else with only a few more added to the mix.
News of the Kingdom of God first sounded not in the muggy, dusty capital cities, but on the shores of an azure lake among green groves and hills, reminding us that the beauty of the earth is a reflection of the eternal beauty of heaven.
— Fr. Alexander Men
I can still remember the strong impressions from my first time apple picking with our local Orthodox Christian School. I was a recent transplant from the Midwest, a good ole’ boy adrift in the complicated, concrete urban jungle of Boston. My idea of fun was sitting on the front porch and watching the grass grow. The city overwhelmed me, and I pined away for the countryside where a blade of grass stood a chance to survive.
Ever since we saw our first Little Free Library on the beach at Cape Cod, our family has been envious. We love books, but especially free books, and the democratic concept of engaging the open public with your particular collection that you have outgrown is just too appealing.
We founded our own Little Free library on Sunday, April 28, 2019 to commemorate Pascha (Easter). We decided to call it The Farm Church: “Farm” because my father made it out of 200 year-old wood from our original family farm in Gibsonburg, Ohio; “Church” because it is constructed in the shape of the church and so many of the books we will donate to it concern matters of theology and the world to come. We also offer an assortment of children’s picture books, other religious texts, and classics. Continue reading →
Tuesday, August 15/28, 2018, Boston, MA
Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God
It is an amazing gift that with the blessing of Patriarch Neofit and the blessing of the beloved Prelate of our diocese, Metropolitan Joseph, three Hierarchs, the Metropolitans Serafim of Nevrokop, Grigorii of Vratsa, and Daniil of Vidin, together with Archimadrite Epifaniy came from Bulgaria to Boston to officiate the tonsuring and ordinations of our beloved Brothers in Christ from the parish of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Boston, MA. Continue reading →