Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Reason to Rejoice!

Happy Dance
Doing the Happy Dance!
photo by Frank Peters, used under the creative commons license.
check out more photos here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/fwp/
I had a great reason to rejoice on my 88th time at my Orthodox Parish but more about that later. First, let me say, I went early to Church because, at 5pm Fr Gary was running an "Orthodoxy 101" class~ basically, an inquirers/catechumen's class which he opened up to the entire congregations so they could get a refresher course in the Faith.  He was using a taped class done decades ago (yes, it's on VHS, can you believe it?) I walked in just before 5pm and I really wasn't sure where to go. According to the bulletin, it was in the "Education Building" and I didn't remember seeing any building, other than the parish hall. It turns out, that the very small former parsonage was converted into an education building. So I found it and walked in.

Jim Martin was there, along with Tammy and John and others. I met a man named Robert.  As I sat down, Jim Martin, who was surprised to see me said, "Oh, you got a week-end pass!" Jim was always one who had a quick witticism to share.  The class was very good. I started to get some tea but because Fr Gary wanted to start the tape, I abandoned waiting for the water to boil and sat down. Tammy, ever the gracious hostess, gave me the tea later.  The class took some getting used to. It was simply a tape of a man (either a reader or a priest, not sure which) standing in a Church Nave with a blackboard, giving a lecture. But, it turned out to be interesting. This was the fourth class and only the first one I've made it to.

Later on as we were sitting in the Nave after the class, Jim Martin turns to me and says, "So what are you doing May 4th/? I said, "Huh?" He said, "That's Easter, the Real Easter" and he waved off the idea of March 31st -Sorry, Western Church:) - "Because, me, Tiffany (his daughter) and Ben (her friend) will be Chrismated at the Easter Vigil."

PRAISE THE LORD! (Sorry, I am slipping back into my Evangelical ways....)

But, seriously, This is fantastic. Jim and I have known each other for years. We served together in my protestant parish in different ministries. I have heard him preach from a pulpit (He's a great speaker, by the way). I have seen him dissatisfied with our church (Maybe that is why he left) and I have known his daughter since she was teen in the youth group (of which I led for a while)....So, to know now that they have both found a Home in Orthodoxy gives me great reason to rejoice. Yes, it made my day! :)

I am glad that I had a very small part in it. For those who have read my blog, you may remember that. But you can read about it here.  Briefly, Jim noticed I was reading The Orthodox Study Bible on Goodreads and asked me my opinion. I gave it and also told him how I was attending Vespers and I pointed him to my blog.  He ended up reading my entire blog and then ventured to our parish....and now, a year later, he is being received into the the Church, along with his daughter!

So it was a great evening at Vespers!

Glory to God!


  1. What a blessing indeed! Many Years!

    1. Mimi,
      Yes, It is a blessing. I do like that even though Fr Gary is running a cathcism class, he invited the whole congregation to get a refresher, if you will. A larger group makes for better discussions.

  2. Great! Whatever happened to his blog?

  3. I'll ask him the next time I see him....I'll tell him his fans are clamoring for more! :)

  4. I, too, have wondered how Jim's journey was progressing. So glad to hear that he is becoming Orthodox at Pascha. Enjoyed his blog.

    Maybe next year you'll be able to lead your family into the church.

    Still praying. Bill

  5. thanks for praying, Bill....as for Jim, I hadn't mentioned anything in the blog because I really didn't see him much. I hadn't seen him at Vespers but Tiffany said he was still going to Divine Liturgy on Sundays so I never really saw him.

    As for coming into the Church, keep praying that the Holy Spirit would continue to nudge me about that and, perhaps, work out some situations where it's possible.

    Thanks again for your prayers.