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Through the Cross, Joy

Let us commend ourselves… The first few days after the miscarriage were foggy and confusing. We were devastated. Afraid. Empty. We weren’t so much angry with God as numb. We shut down and withdrew. Why did we have to let go of the child we never met? Our emotional turmoil mirrored the winter weather: swirling…

Changed by His grace

It was Easter morning during my first year at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and I stood at the altar of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Teaneck, New Jersey, wearing subdeacon vestments, listening to our bishop read the gospel of St. Mark. In the traditional Syriac Orthodox melody, he chanted: And entering the tomb, they saw a young…

God does not need words

People often ask: how should we pray, in what words, and in what language? Some even say: “I do not pray because I do not know how; I do not know any prayers.” You do not need any specialized skill for prayer. You can simply talk to God. Many Orthodox Churches across the world use…

The moment we were first called

A homily for the Apostle Andrew, the Holy and All-Praised First Called (commemorated on November 30). Walking through this dark, cold morning, did you happen to ask yourself, “What in the world am I doing?” What were we looking for when we got out of bed this morning? What were we looking for when we…

Jesus will rise here also

During Holy Week and Bright Week, 2015, St. Vladimir’s seminarians Edward Hunter, Lijin Raju, and I had the unbelievable opportunity to travel to Kenya as part of a mission trip sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), and led by Executive Director Fr. Martin Ritsi. As the result of a generous grant, the three…

Unity in Diversity: The Opportunities and the Challenges

“Unity in Diversity.” This expression speaks about a balance between wholeness and difference, between integrity and variety. The idea is sometimes rooted in our teaching about the Holy Trinity: God is a unity, one God, in a diversity of persons, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Unity in diversity can also suggest something very important to…

Lead us not into temptation

This is the final part in a three part series on The Lord’s Prayer by Dr. George Parsenios, Sessional Professor of New Testament at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary. This article is republished with the permission of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Our Father, who art…

And forgive us our trespasses

This is part two in a three part series on The Lord’s Prayer by Dr. George Parsenios, Sessional Professor of New Testament at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary. This article is republished with the permission of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Our Father, who art in…

This, then, is how you should pray…

This is part one in a three part series on The Lord’s Prayer by Dr. George Parsenios, Sessional Professor of New Testament at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary. This article is republished with the permission of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Our Father, who art in…

Holy Saturday: Baptism and the Great Commission

Baptism is Christian initiation. The goal of this process and its culminating rite is not some individualized, purely personal experience. The goal of baptism is initiation into a community of faith, a church. It is entrance into a way of life together, not a rite to do something to or for an individual in private.…