I was stuck in (I mean attending) another Parish Council meeting last night. Don't get me wrong, in a large parish, there is so much going on (for the glory of God!), but the meetings can be overwhelming at times. At the same time as our meeting last night, our associate pastor, Rev Fr Symeon Kees, was leading an Intro to Orthodoxy class down the hall.
My confession is that I haven't had a chance to attend, but I hear its quite the mix of attendants: those inquiring about the Orthodox Faith, those preparing for their own reception into the Life of the Church, and Orthodox Christians (mainly young adults) seeking further understanding of their Faith.
Our meeting was getting to be a bit too much; I needed a break, so I snuck out for a brief minute and walked down the hall to eavesdrop on how the class was going. I couldn't stay long for obvious reasons: a delayed absence from our Parish Council meeting would seem odd AND I would look ridiculous to the few class attendants distracted by the stranger in the doorway. But I did get to hear a few remarkable words of Fr Symeon (I'm sure clergy love being quoted haha), but he told the class:
"If our view of God is off, then so to is our salvation."
These simple, yet profound words kept my attention, as I went back into our Parish Council meeting. That phrase got me thinking (not always a good thing, but I'll make an exception in this case). Three main things came to mind that I tell the teens at St George Houston (over and over again, they must be tired of me saying it, but oh well):
1. "This is must be our foundation: God is the Creator, and we are His creation." -I take credit for the quote, but I'm sure I stole it from someone, just no clue who
2. "If you're not struggling towards salvation, you're not doing it right!" -V Rev Fr Alexander Atty, my former parish priest and spiritual father, now Dean of St Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary
3. "I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior."
-John Newton, Anglican clergyman of the 18th century and author of the hymn, Amazing Grace (For more info, read HERE)
Although I'm not expounding upon these three sayings now, I do hope you make your own assessment into their correlation. Anyway, this has been another installment of...
- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director