New Report: Orthodox Monastic Communities in the United States

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America has published a new report on Orthodox Monastic Communities in the United States (here). The report contains a lot of great information (“great” for nerds like me, anyway), including a whole section entitled, “‘Monastic Economy:’ Ownership of Property and Sources of Income in US Orthodox Monasteries.” According to the report, In summary, the three most common sources of income in US Orthodox monasteries are: Occasional private donations including bequests and offerings for performed sacraments (87% of all monastic communities mentioned this source of income); Sale of religious items (except candles) that are not produced by monastery (52% of all monastic communities mentioned this source of income); Production and sales of candles (24% of all monastic communities mentioned this source of income). Continue Reading...

William J. Abraham: The Treasures and Trials of Eastern Orthodoxy

Last night I attended an engaging lecture at Calvin College by Dr. William Abraham of the Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology. Abraham, whose religious background is Irish Methodist and who is now a minister in the United Methodist Church and the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins, gave a presentation titled, “The Treasures and Trials of Eastern Orthodoxy.” As someone who was once an outsider to the Orthodox Church and is now an insider (as much as a former outsider can be, I suppose), I can say that Dr. Continue Reading...

St. John of Damascus in the History of Liberty

Arabic icon of St. John of Damascus Today (Dec. 4) is commemorated an important, though sometimes little-known, saint: St. John of Damascus. Not only is he important to Church history as a theologian, hymnographer, liturgist, and defender of Orthodoxy, but he is also important, I believe, to the history of liberty. Continue Reading...