Sunday, August 25, 2013

American Orthodoxy
Sharing the Faith of the Apostles 
with our American Neighbors
If there be one major reason for all of us to work towards an administratively united American Orthodox Church, it is that we might fulfill of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). Each bishop would govern a different city, uniting all parishes under his Omophor, regardless of ethnic  or cultural roots. As long as we remain ethnic conclaves, separated from one another by our ethnic, cultural, and liturgical traditions, our ministry will remain focused on our own people, and the huge missionary field that is America, will remain untouched.

As long as our pastoral efforts remain with "our own", those people who live within our towns and cities who have never been exposed to Orthodoxy, and have never been invited to explore our faith, will remain in the wasteland that is American religiosity. We can not continue to stand in our churches, worshiping the Holy Trinity in all truth and light, and not be willing to share the faith that has been given to us. We can not let our Orthodoxy be lived out like a closed ethnic club, where only those who share our cultural experience, or understand our liturgical language, are welcome.

We must all become missionaries to our fellow Americans, and recognize that it is not enough our temples are unlocked on Sunday mornings, and that visitors can freely enter. A parish that does not make an effort to invite the public to learn about Orthodoxy, is not missionary minded. A parish that does not warmly welcome visitors with a smile at the door, and inviting them to the parish meal, or the coffee hour, is not missionary minded. A parishioner who does not welcome a stranger with a smile and a welcome, ignores the Great Commission, and hoards the faith as though it were only for "the right people".

If we excuse ourselves from the Great Commission, on the grounds that our newly arrived ethnic Orthodox Christians need to have things just as they were in the Old Country, we will doom their children to a life without Orthodoxy. As their parents seek a better life for themselves and their children, in the United States, these children will adopt an American identity, eventually finding their parents ethnic faith as something to shun. 

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, one of the best-known contemporary Eastern Orthodox theologians, and who was the Spalding Lecturer of Eastern Orthodox Studies at the University of Oxford from 1966 to 2001, tells of a story of a Greek priest in London. The priest was asked why he was walking with an open umbrella on a sunny day. He answered that it was raining in Athens. His Eminence went on to say that until English replaced Greek in Orthodox parishes in England, Orthodoxy would remain unknown to most in Great Britain.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon


Photos: It is with great joy that I am able to post photos of the newly completed Royal Doors, painted by one of the great iconographers of the West Coast, Matushka Ann Margitich, wife of Archpriest Lawrence Margitich of St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church in Santa Rosa, California. The Deacon's Doors, as well as an icon of the Face of Christ, yet to come, will complete our long awaited icon screen. 

Matushka Ann Margitich

Sunday August 25, 2013 / August 12, 2013
9th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Dormition (Theotokos) Fast. Food with Oil

Afterfeast of the Transfiguration.
Martyrs Anicetus and Photius (Photinus) of Nicomedia (305).
New Hieromartyrs Barlaam abbot of Belogor St. Nicholas monastery and brotherhood: hieromonks Sergius, Ilia, Viacheslav, Iosaph, John, Anoty, hierodeacons Mikhey, Bessarion, Mathew, Euphemia, monks Barnabas, Demetrius, Sabbas, Hermogenus, Arcadius, Euphemia, btothers John, Jacob, Peter, another Jacob, Alexander, Theodore, another Peter, Sergius, Alexis (1918).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Leonidas, John and Nicholas priests (1937).
Hieromartyr Alexander, bishop of Comana (3rd c.).
Martyrs Pamphilus and Capito.
Venerable Pallamon of Egypt, instructor of St. Pachomius the Great.
St. Muredach (Murtagh), first bishop of Killala and founder of Innismurray (Ireland) (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Molaise of Devenish (563) (Celtic & British).
St. Seigine, abbot of Iona (652) (Celtic & British).
Sts. Sergius and Stephen, monks (Greek).
Soldier-martyrs of Crete (Greek).
Monk-martyrs Gerontius, Serapion, Germanus, Bessarion, Michael, and Simeon of Garesja, slain by the Lekians (1851) (Georgia).
Translation of relicts of St. Edwold, hermit of Cerne.
St. Jambert, archbishop of Canterbury (Celtic & British).
You can read the life of the saint in red, by clicking on the name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.

With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

1 Corinthians 3:9-17

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

Matthew 14:22-34

Jesus Walks on the Sea

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Many Touch Him and Are Made Well

34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.

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