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Pastoral Witness
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul: A Lesson for Healing the Divisions among Us - 07/12/14

While we may be surprised to see such behavior among Christians, it is nothing new. In fact, Christians have even gone so far as to claim patrons from among the saints – and even Christ Himself - as proponents of their fallen notions. Let me give you an example from today's feast. One of the things that created divisions (and eventual schism) within the Church was an argument over who had the power to decide matters of faith and direction. The Romans, seeking to bolster the centrality and power of their pope, turned Saint Peter into the patron of their cause, reading into his life proof that their position on (Roman) Papal Primacy was the only correct and natural one. When we read such claims, we learn more about Roman Catholic doctrine and its defenders than we do about the actual life and ministry of St. Peter. He was clearly the “first among equals”, but the rock of his confession and the keys to the kingdom were not uniquely his, but the salvific witness and ministry of the Church.


Vacation from God? - 07/11/14

Ah, summertime! Each of us looks forward to the time of year where we get a break from our daily work and school routine.

In the United States, we call it vacation. Other countries call it holiday. Irrelevant of the name, it brings images of leisure time, travel, friends, family, and sometimes adventure.

Whether it is a trip to the shore, a cabin in the mountains, a tent in a park, a luxury hotel, or a cruise on the open seas, we all need a break from our normal routine to recharge our personal batteries. As each of us is different, we all have our own idea of what constitutes the best use of our time away from the office or the classroom.


Sunday of All Saints of Ukraine – What is the Purpose for this Sunday? - 06/16/14

On the second Sunday after Pentecost our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church celebrates the Sunday of All Saints of Ukraine. Sadly, many of our parishes are witnessing a decline in Sunday worship and in membership. Our parishes are doing everything possible just to keep up with the monthly expenses. Is praying for the bills to be paid the main purpose for the Church? There is another purpose for the church – that purpose is to make people holy. A church that does not make it’s people holy is not a church, it is merely an organization which uses the word 'Church'. The Church celebrates the memory of the holy ones, the saints, to show us living examples of people whose souls were saved, so that we can imitate them in our lives. They teach us how to please God. Today is the Sunday of All Saints of Ukraine and we commemorate all of those men, women and children that are famously known to us and those who are known only to God.


The Feast of Pentecost - 06/05/14

The Feast of Pentecost is often an under-appreciated Feast, given its high ranking. However, it is also often misunderstood. For example, we see that some call Pentecost “the birthday of the Church.” However, the Church teaches us otherwise. The Synaxarion states the following: “Some erroneously hold that Pentecost is the ‘birthday of the Church.’ But this is not true, for the teaching of the holy Fathers is that the Church existed before all other things.”


OrthoAnalytika!
Weekly reflections by Rev. Fr. Anthony Perkins, pastor of St. Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket, RI. Click here>
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Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
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