Sunday, June 29, 2014

Peter and Paul ~ Great Apostles; Not two-thirds of a 1960's Folk Music Group!

My 141st Visit to my Orthodox Parish was a blessing.  I arrived early and was able to venerate the Icons before Vespers began. I know that most people who arrive a few minutes late to the Service, still venerate the Icons before they take their place among the Faithful but I was never really comfortable with that idea. I guess wants Fr. Gary starts the Service, I would feel too self-conscience to venerate the Icons while he is leading us in the Prayers. Someday, I hope to overcome that, People who are venerating Icons and, in a sense, saying Hello to the Saints and that seems proper to do.

As I sat down waiting for the service began, Tami made her way over to me and said, "I'm not much for Facebook, I'd rather just see the face!" I laughed, knowing my friend was not much for computer stuff. You see, I had checked a box on my LinkedIn account that sent out an invite to everyone in my email address book and Tami responded to the email asking what it was all about. I told her that LinkedIn was like Facebook, a sort of  social media for job seekers.  Tami, however, is not one for social media. She'd much rather sit down over a cup of coffee and talk to friends in person. There is something to be said for that!

Today was the celebration of the Feast of St. Peter and Paul.  All during the hymns, I was able to look at their Icon, both in the center of the Nave and at the larger Icon on the Iconostasis. The choir reminded us of their work and how by their preaching, the Gospel spread.  Fr. Gary's homily echoed this theme.  That very afternoon was a Church Growth Conference at St. Peter and Paul Church in South River, NJ. How fitting that Church growth should be discussed at the parish whose patron's were great evangelizers. Fr. Gary read a couple of passages from the book of Acts which described how the Church grew by the thousands.  He said, today, it seems like the world doesn't want to hear the Message because there are no mass conversions as recorded in Acts. Yet, it is our responsibility to preach that Message. The world needs to hear it! Fr. Gary was very passionate in his homily and you could tell that he really believed what he was saying.  I had to fight off the urge to yell Amen!, squashing down my Pentecostal roots!

At the end of the service, Tami came over to me and said how she was really looking forward to her brother's birthday. You see, along with the rest of the Church, she had participated in the Apostle's Fast and was eagerly looking forward to meat! I smiled saying that she should make sure she had some prime rib. Tami said, she'd settle for a hamburger.

I was pleased that Fr. Ken was in attendance.He stood among the Faithful and did not serve in the Altar this evening.  Every since he was ordained a Priest, I don't see him much. Talking to him after the service, he said he had spent a lot of time doing yard work and it was nice to come to Church this evening, just to pray. We chatted a bit a more and he finished up our conversation by saying, "Having heard Fr. Gary's message, it's time to GET ON BOARD!" Fr. Ken punctuated the last three words with friendly pokes to my chest.

GET ON BOARD! Yes, it sounds great!

Remember me in your prayers!


  1. When I was once explaining the summer fasts to my (non-Orthodox) husband, he said, "So let me get this straight - you fast for Peter, Paul, and Mary?" :)
    A blessed Feast to you!