Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ode to the Greek Church

Last year, while sitting in class, me and my friend Ray composed a sonnet to the Greek Orthodox Church in North America. It is a wonderful piece of poetry that we feel quite accurately highlights the main goals and traits of the Greek Church. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it. Enjoy!

Ode to the Greek Church
By: Theodore Paraskevopoulos & Roland Ray Fulmer III

The Greek Orthodox Church in America,
Built on the blood of the Archons,
Guided by the vision of a one-eyed bishop,
Taught by the valedictorians of summer school.
Supported by the elderly,
Renounced by the spiritual,
contained in the building,
Hallowed by the iconostas.

Lo, though all the forces of decay and rot set upon it,
It shall not waver in its singular commitment to it Lord and Master;

When the need is great, countless sacrifice,
To establish and maintain a working and Holy Greek School.
For the Greek language gave us Christ,
And He will judge all believers in their native tongue.

As God told Abraham in the Septuagint,
"I Bless you that you be a blessing to all nations."
Now the covenant has passed to its true inheritors,
And in the fullness of time the Messiah will restore Hagia Sophia,
And the gentiles will come to learn the Law,
Being justified by their nationality.

As the Apostles, these saints of the Gospel,
Will come to mount Olympus, the new Zion,
To hear the Word that is never read.
To pray for the Eucharist that is never consumed.
For them, Christ is broken but never distributed,
He is given but never received,
for the Greek Word sustains us. Amen.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Orthodox Priorities

Well, the time of the year came around again when we performed our White Castle Feed the Homeless Run. I would have to say that it was a great success in the sense that we raised $263.00 which allowed us to hand out 300 burgers spread over 75 packaged meals that included burgers, chips and soda. This was the most we've every been able to prepare. Yes, in this sense it was a great success.

However, in regards to the willingness of Orthodox Seminarians to actually put the Gospel into practice in their daily lives, it was a HORRIBLE FAILURE. I say this because out of approx. 120 seminarians studying for priesthood and various other positions in the church, we had to beg people to help with the distribution. It was even harder to get people involved than last time we did this. Although the monetary donations were generous, they came from a very small and dedicated group of people. If we actually had the whole student body contribute, the result would have been astronomical.

But lets get back to giving up one's time. I mean, I know that people are busy and have essays to write (as if the people who actually went live on another planet and do not have essays), but lets face it the majority of people procrastinate when it comes to work and then they have the audacity to tell me that they decide on the morning of the homeless run that they need to buckle down and do their essay. C'mon people, who are you kidding. Just tell me the truth; you don't wanna go and you'll gladly give me money to go away. I've heard every excuse in the book from choir practice to laundry day. As if any of these things have to do with salvation or the person who is starving on the street. I mean really, I think that the choir will understand if one misses so they can feed the homeless. What's disturbing is that all these people are the future leaders of the church who will be great at preaching the social gospel but never practicing it. Unless it's convenient of course. If you got no time to come and feed the poor and then you ask me if I wanna see a movie tonight, there's something seriously wrong.

Now I know I am no saint and God knows I am lazy and gluttonous and probably self righteous, but that doesn't change the truth of what I am saying. As Orthodox Christians, especially ones at seminary, we should be clearing our desks when it comes to feeding the homeless, or any other social activity for that matter. NO EXCUSES! That' why next time we're going during exam week, just to piss everyone off. If we can't prioritize when the pressure is on, than we will never do it as priests. That's all.

Oh, and just in case the message was not clear enough in the above paragraphs, what I am saying is POOR PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ESSAYS, EXAMS, OR GOOD GRADES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!