SAINTS ALIVE! Blogging

Every week in my parish bulletin, I include a short life of one of the saints commemorated in the coming week. (You can find my weekly bulletins here, if you care to see – Weekly Bulletins from Prescott) I try to include a wide variety of saints – well known, obscure, men, women, children, families, […]

Playing Catch: Evaluating an Effective Sermon

by Fr. Jonathan Cholcher Sermons can always be better, that is, more effective. Improvement does not happen by accident, but by the deliberate process of understanding key elements of sermon effectiveness and constantly evaluating one’s performance based on these criteria. Three key elements, or criteria, are suggested by the ancient writer Plutarch’s likening of public […]

Heaven & Hell in the Afterlife Acc. To The Bible

By Peter Chopelas I (Fr. John) came across this excellent article recently, and used it to craft an important sermon on heaven and hell in the afterlife according to the Scriptures and the teaching of the Orthodox Church, and found it to be an excellent and thorough resource for this important homiletic topic. Since then, […]

"The Art of Speaking" Workshop

“An obligation has been laid upon me. Woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel!” 1 Corinthians 9:16 “The art of speaking comes not by nature, but by instruction.” St. John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology has announced that it will be hosting the APC (Archdiocesan Presbyters […]

Sermons and Snickers Bars

by Fr. John A. Peck This little article recounts an important object lesson, given at a St. Herman Seminary homiletics class in 1996. I attended St. Herman Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska. At that distant outpost of theological instruction, we took homiletics very seriously, as we knew that on any given day or week, we might […]

Brother, Can You Spare A Paradigm?

by Fr. Aris Metrakos This essay was first published June 30, 2006 on Orthodoxytoday.org, and not only uncovers the dangers of old paradigms of priestly identity, but also reveals the only one of value in the Church. We reproduce it here with permission. Is it time to retire “paradigm shift?” This overwrought cliché is used […]

The Troublesome Nature of Apologetics: Part 2

A continuation of last week’s Pastoral Pondering on Apologetics,  for Sunday, June 21 2009. I have suggested that the discipline of apologetics, the reasoned defense of the Christian faith, is sometimes troublesome to the pursuit of theology. It seems to me that the history of soteriology, the theology of salvation, manifests a singular case in […]

The Troublesome Nature of Apologetics: Part 1

One of Father Pat’s Recent Pastoral Ponderings, this one for June 14, 2009: All Saints Sunday deals with Orthodox Christian apologetics. An important part of the proclamation of the Christian faith to the world is, of course, a proper defense of that faith. We are not surprised, therefore, that this defensive ministry, called “apologetics,” is […]