Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Deanna and the twins -- week 32

UPDATE!! UPDATE!! (DATED FEBRUARY 1, 2006, 4:15pm)

I don't wanna steal Owen's thunder, so instead of posting another message, I'll just revise this one by adding some new information at the top.

Deanna called this morning to say that there's a home-care space for her now, so she'd be coming home today! So I rented a car, and then helped her pack, and then we bought groceries and a few pharmaceutical items, and then we came home an hour or two ago.

So ... if anyone was planning on visiting Deanna, you'll have to visit her at our apartment, and not at the hospital!

She still has to go back for a test of some sort next week, and the doctor we spoke to today said they are thinking of inducing labour on the Monday or Tuesday of the week after that. I told him that that Monday would be our wedding anniversary. Hmmm.

In the meantime, I get a kick out of the "notes" from the twins that Deanna's mother taped to the wall of the bathroom, where she could read them when she was, um, in there. Who knows, you might get a kick out of them too. Click on the image at right for a larger version of that image.

- - -

Hallelujah, Deanna is now off bed rest! For now, she is staying at the hospital -- but at least, as of last Thursday, when she officially reached 32 weeks, she is no longer confined to her bed!

Last night, Deanna went for one of several recent ultra-short walks to the nearby hospital lounge, and then out onto the patio, and it was a joy to see her standing outdoors, leaning against a railing and taking in the view. (She really likes trees, of which there are a few around the hospital, and the moon liked quite nice, too.) It was also encouraging to find out that I no longer need to hold her hand in order to help her walk -- though I do miss doing that. (She tells me it's easier to walk if she's holding her belly.) Alas, I did not have my camera with me last night, and when I brought it tonight, the rain was coming down fairly hard; so I snapped a picture in the lounge, instead.

The plan right now, as I understand it, is for Deanna to stay at BC Women's until and unless a spot opens up on the home-care waiting list. If and when it does, she will then come home.

But the doctors are also talking about possibly inducing labour in a couple weeks (coincidentally, around the time of our first wedding anniversary), because they are now concerned that the twins -- who now measure 4.75 pounds and 5.75 pounds according to the most recent ultrasound -- might become too big for a natural childbirth at full term. Seems like only yesterday the dilemma we faced was that the twins were too small and not developed enough.

So, while it is possible to say, on any given day, that Deanna will still be at BC Women's tomorrow morning, it is impossible to predict where she will be beyond that. She might come home; she might stay at the hospital; and who knows, the twins might decide to pre-empt the induction. Anything's possible.

As always, Deanna loves visits, but if you're thinking of dropping by, phone her hospital line first (604-875-2424 ext 6271) just to make sure she's still there! And thanks, as ever, for all the prayers and stuff.

Welcome Baby Owen Lanteigne!!! 8 lbs. 9 oz. this night! Glory to God!

Amy went from 0 to 10 cm in an hour!
They are ecstatic! And so grateful for all your prayers!

Prayers for the excited/anxious

Just a quick note… the job application is due tomorrow and I am sitting on edge—still waiting for future course information for the summer (course history required and needed for the application), waiting for a fax with the job description, hoping the cover letter and resume I am working on is the well done…. Any prayers for me as I finish this off, are fully welcome!

On another note… how is everyone? I realized I have not heard in the blog land, much from Neo, Graves, and others who are on our 'blog-member' list. And how are the people we have been praying for? Can we have some updates on some of these things. Also, please forgive my St. Herman’s ignorance, but Amy who is having a baby – do I know her? (from the time I was there)? How are the people you asked us to pray for Kimberly? And others….

Am still rejoicing that Jonah is doing better, and that the Twins are thus far doing well…

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Onion Dome is back!

...and among the new articles in the latest issue is an account of a strangely familiar wedding celebration.....

Sunday, January 29, 2006


We heard today that the arrival of Deanna and Peter's children could be anytime now... I thought it best to remind everyone that I am collecting the funds for the stroller. Deanna and Peter have said this would be a very useful gift.

The stroller pictured here is not necessarily the one we hope to purchase but I recommend something very similar. This is much more useful than having side by side - some grocery aisles are very narrow. The big wheels are important - and you need a good suspension system. My stroller was my lifeline to the outside world. It allowed me to get outside and walk everyday ...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

calling all women of God!

I just found this great site. It looks to be Antiochian Orthodox in origin, but of course, pan-Orthodox in relevance. Anyway, this is not the purpose of this post. I would like to ask for your help. We (Juliana and I) are organizing an Orthodox Women's Retreat for February 2007. Don't laugh! We had to book the speaker early!! (can you guess who this is? have you already heard? are you beside yourself with excitement? I am). The nature of the aid I need from all of you strong, intelligent, thoughtful women is this: what would you like to hear our speaker speak about? What is on your mind? What issues are pressing and relevent to modern Orthodox women? And please nothing on motherhood or marriage. Not that we're all such amazing wives an mothers already, but there are already so many such resources available, and we would like something big and shattering and epiphanal (is that a word?). Whether or not this is possible remains to be seen. All my ideas just sounded so pedantic; I thought I'd throw the challenge out to y'all:) Anyway, if you could, please give it some prayerful thought; this is important. I will keep checking back here periodically to see what jewels you've posted. Thanks ladies!

...and just after I published my last post

.... I discovered Fr. Justin has now posted the new issue of the calendar and newsletter. Hard copies will be at church this weekend, but this is cool-- Fr. Justin has added a couple of links to the online version! So if you want to be in the know before the Luddite contingent, hop over to the parish website and say "ha-ha!" like Nelson from the Simpsons....

thanks Fr. Justin!

-- Mat. D., cultivating a bit of a silly mood to counteract the grim grey outdoors we are currently experiencing......

Friday, January 27, 2006

Holy Fathers

I was blessed to visit the skete up in Gibsons yesterday, I rode my bike there from the ferry, quite a hill for those of us who drive everywhere...
it was so good to see them, to pray vespers.
I got to bring a letter from Dn. Gregory about Papa John and his gratitude for Fr. Gregory's influence, we talked a great deal abouut Papa John and his Holy Foolish Generosity, His wife's strength and beauty, and their legacy.
I showed them some pictures of the funeral.
Mostly I was blessed to know how far reaching the love and generosity I experienced was, how it was so well and widely known. Fr. John trusted our Father for everything, and did it with a child like naivete that only comes from years of knowing. Beautiful.

So grateful for all of our Fathers here, the ones in the bush and the ones in the churches.

The KRF report

Well we're up to $37 now.
Getting closer to that 1600 every minute.
(I'll give you guys a full report on Sunday.)

By the way, Matt wrote a good story about

the fire alarm going off in Edmonton at the pinacle of Divine Liturgy!
Bishop Seraphim was there and handled it in classic style.
Check it out. Just Another Sunday

Also, please add my tired friend Andrea and her unborn child to your prayers. Her pregnancy is experiencing trauma, and yet this little one's heart just keeps beating. It's totally touch and go as she is just entering her second trimester. Her husband is Sam. They are so dear to me and have had an extremely difficult year, now trying to pack and move this weekend to Kelowna in the midst of it all. May God have Mercy on them, and may his will be done.

Thanks very much.

Look forward to
being back with you
this Sunday.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

CBC News: Missing B.C. boy may have met man on internet

From my friend Jen’s blog:

CBC News: Missing B.C. boy may have met man on internet: "'I know he goes on the internet all the time with his friends, but I had no idea he was in contact with someone so far away.' "

I want to call this father an idiot, but he's not alone - there are way too many parents out there who STILL don't get the risks associated with the internet. It's taken talking to stranger to a whole different level.

My own comments:

One, we should pray for this boy and his parents.

Two, all of those on this blog who have children, be sure to be monitoring their use, esp. blogs and chats… logging the chat information is also a good idea…

Lord have mercy on us all in this time…

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Deanna and the twins -- week 31

Hi, y'all. Time for another Tuesday update.

Last week, I said Deanna might be coming home by the end of this week. As of yesterday, however, that isn't looking so likely; in fact, today she told me that she has specifically been told that she won't be coming back home just yet, and there is even some debate over whether to keep her at BC Women's or to transfer her to St. Paul's. (Since St. Paul's is only three blocks from our home, I would very, very, very much like it if they could move her there, but we shall see what happens.)

I'll spare you all the clinical details, but suffice to say that a minor complication came up yesterday morning, which led to Deanna being given some antibiotics intravenously for the next couple days, and the doctors want to keep her where they can watch her. So, as usual, we keep on praying.

I don't think there's much else to report. Deanna's birthday was last Sunday -- her first since we were married -- and I'm sure she appreciated hearing the choir sing "Many years" to her over Dave's cell phone. A couple friends came over Sunday night and helped me do some cleaning up, though the real spring-cleaning still lies before us. I've been watching videos on childbirth and C-sections and other fun stuff. And meanwhile we wait ... and wait ... and wait ...

Joyful Sorrow - Incredibly Beautiful Music

As I mentioned over on 1 Timothy 4.12, I have just discovered this incredible musical duo from the States called Joyful Sorrow. I can honestly say that I do not gush like this about many bands. Our friend from St. Athanasius Mission, Micha, shared it with Krista and I, and I've had it on repeat pretty much continuously since Saturday. Joyful Sorrow are a husband wife duo that put out this amazing recording called Quietude, with nine songs - each inspired by the life of a particular saint.

I thought I might share here on Spruce Island the lyrics of the song about St. Herman, called Forest to Forest.


We were picking mushrooms in the forest
Who knew we'd find you
They spoke of revolution in the country
While you just stood in constant prayer
Living a life so otherworldly
Silently interceding for our souls

There are no church bells to be heard
There's no incense to be burned
Miles away in your humble abode
Only the animals know your name

Your elder spoke so much
Wisdom with his words
He said humility is power
And patience is defence
While love is protection
And where there is love, there is God
And where there is God there is goodness

You're going to America

And when you came here, you met the natives in Alaska
With violence they wanted to kill you,
In peace you strove to know them
Like home, you built a hut in the forest
Prayed for God's mercy
The natives came to love you (x3)

Lyrics by Steven Zydek

S. Zydek - vocals, guitars, bass
H. Zydek - vocals, keyboard
S. Lamos - drums

prayer within our beloved blog

Dear Everyone,

I have not written much lately on our beloved blog… I wanted to say that I still really appreciate it though… and love that I can pray for people because of it… to rejoice that Jonah is getting better, to pray for the twins-within-Deanna, and to pray for those who have experienced heartache, it is all such an honour….

and... (speaking of prayer requests)... I am starting my job search (found out today that I will be done my classes August 11 2006)... I hope to get a library job in Ottawa... and a lot of these jobs take a while to get... the first one I am applying to is due next week, on the first! Please pray for me... and I am always honoured to pray for you...

Thank You...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

fake new years 2006... we ate, we laughed, we stayed up late (drawing angry eyebrows on those who fell asleep too early:)

sorry these are a little overdue, folks, I just received these by email last week (or was it 2 weeks ago?) anyway, thanks abby, for all these wonderful pictures. I think there are a few more I missed, I'll have to go back and check, but to see the album, clickety-click here!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Today is my Names Day so I thought I would tell something of Macarius. I like him so much. Each time I read his story I am encouraged. I began to look for more of his story when I noticed that many of the daily prayers that we pray are his. Just before my baptism I noticed that he reposed on the eve of my birthday so that clinched it for me. I would ask him to be my patron saint to look out for me and to pray for me. Also 1. He struggled hard to not care what people thought of him, only being mindful of what his Heavenly Father thought, and 2. He was an artisan, a weaver of baskets. Anyway here's his story.

Saint Macarius the Great of Egypt was born around 331 in the village of Ptinapor in Egypt. At the wish of his parents he entered into marriage, but was soon widowed. The Lord sent him an experienced Elder, who lived in the desert not far from the village. The Elder accepted the youth with love, guided him in the spiritual science of watchfulness, fasting and prayer, and taught him the handicraft of weaving baskets. At one point he was falsely accused by a woman from a nearby village of seducing her and fathering her child. The villagers dragged him out of his cell and jeered at him. St. Macarius endured the temptation with great humility. Without a murmur, he sent the money that he got for his baskets for the support of the pregnant woman. The innocence of St. Macarius was manifested when the woman, who suffered torment for many days, was not able to give birth. She confessed that she had slandered the hermit, and revealed the name of the real father. When her parents found out the truth, they were astonished and intended to go to the saint to ask forgiveness. Though St. Macarius willingly accepted dishonor, he shunned the praise of men. He fled from that place by night and settled on Mt. Nitria in the Pharan desert. Thus human wickedness contributed to the prospering of the righteous. Having dwelt in the desert for three years, he went to St. Anthony the Great, the Father of Egyptian monasticism, for he had heard that he was still alive in the world, and he longed to see him. Abba Anthony received him with love, and Macarius became his devoted disciple and follower. St. Macarius lived with him for a long time and then, on the advice of the saintly abba, he went off to the Skete monastery (in the northwest part of Egypt). He so shone forth in asceticism that he came to be called "a young Elder," because he had distinguished himself as an experienced and mature monk, even though he was not quite thirty years old. "When the saint reached the age of forty, he was ordained to the priesthood and made the head of the monks living in the desert of Skete. During these years, St. Macarius often visited with St. Anthony the Great, receiving guidance from him in spiritual conversations. St. Macarius worked many healings. People thronged to him from various places for help and for advice, asking his holy prayers. All this unsettled the quietude of the saint. He therefore dug out a deep cave under his cell, and hid there for prayer and meditation. Despite attaining such heights of holiness, he continued to preserve his unusual humility.One time the holy abba caught a thief loading his things on a donkey standing near the cell. Without revealing that he was the owner of these things, the monk began to help tie up the load. Having removed himself from the world, the monk told himself, "We bring nothing at all into this world; clearly, it is not possible to take anything out from it. Blessed be the Lord for all things!"

When the monks asked him how to pray properly, he answered, "Prayer does not require many words. It is needful to say only, "Lord, as Thou wilt and as Thou knowest, have mercy on me." If an enemy should fall upon you, you need only say, "Lord, have mercy!" The Lord knows that which is useful for us, and grants us mercy." One time St. Macarius sent a youth to a cemetery to rebuke and then to praise the dead. Then he asked him what they said to him. The young man replied, "They were silent to both praise and reproach." Macarius told him, "If you wish to be saved, be as one dead. Do not become angry when insulted, nor puffed up when praised." The prayer of St. Macarius saved many in perilous circumstances of life, and preserved them from harm and temptation. His benevolence was so great that they said of him: "Just as God sees the whole world, but does not chastize sinners, so also does Abba Macarius cover his neighbor's weaknesses, which he seemed to see without seeing, and heard without hearing."The monk lived until the age of ninety. Shortly before his death, Sts. Anthony and Pachomius appeared to him, bringing the joyful message of his departure to eternal life in nine days. After instructing his disciples to preserve the monastic Rule and the traditions of the Fathers, he blessed them and began to prepare for death. St. Macarius departed to the Lord saying, "Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit." Abba Macarius spent sixty years in the wilderness, being dead to the world. He spent most of his time in conversation with God, often in a state of spiritual rapture. But he never ceased to weep, to repent and to work. The saint's profound theological writings are based on his own personal experience. Fifty Spiritual Homilies and seven Ascetic Treatises survive as the precious legacy of his spiritual wisdom.Several prayers composed by St. Macarius the Great are still used by the Church in the Prayers Before Sleep and also in the Morning Prayers. His holy relics are in the city of Amalfi, Italy.

About ten years ago, my friend Josh sent me a picture of himself aboard a boat just off the Amalfi Coast. I didn't know anything about St. Macarius at the time and just came upon this photo a couple of days ago in packing. I just learned yesterday that St. Macarius's relics are in the city of Amalfi. I have decided to add that picture to my collection of things in my little box of things about Macarius and I hope to visit and venerate his relics sometime in my life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Spruce Island

Yes, this post is a self-referent of sorts.
Perhaps it is obvious to most, but one of the things that shows the blessing that this blog can be is how those of us at a distance are able to be connected to each other, whether it is the far off metropolis of chilliwack (aka the 'wack) or the even farther flung ville of Oshawa Ontario, or perhaps the ever so distant yukon. not to mention those stuck in the nether regions south of the border, no disrespect intended, okay well just a little in jest. In any case, I just wanted to extend a small feel good thank you for my times away, and I know that whenever we travel, we are blessed to know that we are cared and prayed for, as is noted when reading Dan's post below.

In other news, I have been reading about how the transition between Jewish liturgical practices and Christian liturgical practices took place, and it is amazing how many similarites there are between their prayers and ours. It is so clear that they are derivatives.


Hello everyone. I was wondering if you could keep me in prayer for the next week. I'm in Ontario visiting family, and our conversations about Orthodoxy have so far been more challenging than I had anticipated (although, I believe that they've ultimately been good). You prayers would be greatly appreciated!


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Deanna and the twins -- week 30

I hope no one minds if I flex my graphics muscles a little -- these images are both a few weeks old now, and instead of scanning them I took photos of them with my new digital camera, so they're both kinda fuzzy and outdated. But what the hey, they're the most recent images I've got. And aren't they kind of spooky?

FWIW, I almost called this post "week 31", but the pregnancy doesn't officially reach that number until Thursday, so I'll play it cautious.

Nothing much new to report this week, except that Deanna came home on another "day pass" last Saturday -- which, thankfully, was our first day of real sunshine in ages. Actually, we had an hour or two of good sunshine when Deanna came home the previous time, too, on New Year's Day; that was when I parked the car in the parking lot by the beach. I think the weather likes Deanna.

Because the twins are basically "in the clear" now, our thoughts have turned from urgent life-or-death matters to subjects of a more mundane nature.

Such as paperwork. Dealing with the folks at Employment Insurance has been fun. We applied for it over a month ago, and they're still calling us and writing us to let us know that our case is being reviewed, or to ask us to give them certain bits of information that we've already given them, etc., etc. My favorite bit so far is the message that someone left on our home-phone voice-mail yesterday, saying that she called the hospital number Deanna had left for her, and "it sounded like a work number, but you say you're not at work." Have they never called sick-leave applicants at the extensions in their hospital rooms before!?

I am awed and grateful beyond words to hear and read so many people making plans to help D and me once she comes home and/or once the twins are born. During my first-ever Pascha service -- I had only known Deanna for a few months, at that time -- I remember thinking, "This would be a good environment in which to raise children." I was thinking of the service and its beautiful expression of the truth of the Resurrection. But I realize more and more that the people who attend these services and make them happen are a good environment, too, and I am glad to think that my children will be growing up among folk such as yourselves. :)

That said, as I mentioned last week, Deanna might be coming home at the end of next week, and we're not entirely sure what we'll be doing churchwise. I hope to keep coming to St. Herman's at least every other week, but Deanna doesn't want to commute all the way out to Langley in her condition, so we might also go to Holy Rez every other week, or perhaps we'll check out the Saturday liturgies at Holy Cross. Then again, by the time she comes home she'll have only 8 weeks of pregnancy left at the most, and it might take her a while to get her "land legs" back, so this should be a very temporary dilemma.

Just a couple more things. As of today, the doctors figure the boy twin is 5 pounds and the girl twin is 4 pounds -- genderwise and sizewise, we're assuming we can trust the doctors' interpretation of the ultrasounds -- and apparently they are now concerned that one of the twins has fallen behind the other. Seems like there's always something for them to be concerned about, but whatever.

Plus, Deanna tells me that she's been telling people the names of our twins, but I've been holding that information back. So, in a spirit of compromise, I can let slip that the boy's initials will probably be TL and the girl's will probably be EJ. Again, that's assuming the doctors haven't misinterpreted the ultrasounds.

Feel free to guess what those initials stand for, and to guess which of the images above goes with which name. :)

Vespers tonight

Just reminding everyone that Vespers is happening this evening!

Where: St. Mark's College Chapel (UBC/Vancouver School of Theology)
When: 6:30pm

And, of course, there will be coffee, cookies, and more coffee afterwards.
Check the Holy Cross UBC site for the official word.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Would someone be so kind ....?

Dear Friends at St. Herman's and others,

I don't know if Fr. Gregory Papazian knows about Fr. John's repose. They served together in the early years of the english langauge Orthodox mission in Ottawa. If someone at St. Herman's could let Fr Gregory know about Igumen John's death, it would be much appreciated.

Maybe somebody could ask Mother Anna or someone else with Fr. Gregory's phone number to call the monastery and leave a message.

Fr. Gregory may already know but please make sure he does.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I love church!

I know I wasn't the only one mesmerized by little Thomas' wonderful personal sign-language interpretation of "The Creed" this morning. Wasn't that simply delightful?

And it was so good to see you Jordans looking so...so full. Especially so full of love and joy. The gratitude you have for the blessings in your life was evident on all your faces. It was also good to see Jonah looking so spunky and spry. I am so happy for you guys!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Veneration of the Holy Cross: An Orthodox Apologia

Mark threw a good question my way about the Orthodox practice of venerating the cross, so I've just added a quick post to my blog on the subject.


Giardiasis is a parasitic infection of the small intestine. It's a protozoa.
This is what ails Jonah. So weird. And relieving. So after 5 days of medication, he should be back to full health, God grant.
We were envisioning a much more complicated and dire diagnosis.
We're glad it's not. I just wish I knew how he caught it (and the other kids didn't). I read some stuff about it, and it sounds yucky, kinda like getting lice. Oh well. I'm thankful my boy is going to be healthy again!

Friday, January 13, 2006

and now for something completely different...

Okay, my previous post was a little on the heavy side, so this time let's go from the not-so-sublime to the definitely ridiculous. Last time I said "don't look if you aren't feeling serious!" This time—don't look if you aren't feeling silly!

The Onion Dome has not been updated for a long time. The editor, Alex Riggle, has gone on hiatus and left a couple of very fine webbabas in charge. And even though they love the Dome, they have lives, so they aren't able to get it updated as often as they and the Domies of the world would like. I have had a couple of articles accepted by them, but those will only be up whenever they have time to put a new issue together.

So while we are waiting for the next issue—I for one will never last till Lent without something resembling an Onion Dome fix-- my newest piece(not one of the ones the Dome is holding)will appear at the Rafters Scriptorium instead.

This one is a lesson in "be careful what you put in your blog; anything you post can and will be used against you!";-)

A mere two days after Christmas, a member of our very own community was so very foolish as to remark on her own blog for all the world to see "I am sick of chocolate". Her punishment for such an intemperate remark is now recorded at the Rafters Scriptorium.

And oh yeah—see all you ladies at the women's group dessert night…… ;-)

The Candle

A poem to ponder perhaps when we light our candles before the Lord this week...

By Derek Liebenberg

They say the light from a single candle
Can be seen for miles through the gloom
Of a black forgotten night.
They say that the heat from even one small candle
Can save the life of a stranded motorist
Held fast in the icy grip of a blizzard.


That one so obsolete in an age of microchips and halogen lamps
Should possess the power
To give hope
To give life.
That the fragile flicker of a flimsy wick
Shines forth with a redemptive power
So much greater than the sum
Of its string and wax.


A billion candles blazing out
Defying the deathly darkness
Undaunted by their own frailty.
Myriads of tiny flames
Gathered in a city on a hill.

Glowing in a symphony of light
A beacon
Beckoning to the weary traveller
Bursting through the black
To fall upon the eyes of those
Whose lives are engulfed
By the grim chill of the night.


Grant that the mysterious
Tongue of fire
Shall never become dull or simply peter out.
Ignite hearts yet unlit.
May our fires unite
A burning reflection of your glory
To a generation of unseeing eyes.
Teach us to pass on the flame
To those who follow.
Make us truly
The light of the world.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Thanks, Mat. Donna, for the Project Mexico plug -- only 3 months to go! Wow!
Gettin' ready to eat some serious enchiladas. Oh, and work, of course. . .


One of my coworkers asked me today if I've been Orthodox all my life. I told her that I converted a few years ago. She promplty asked, "Were you Christian before?"
I said, "Yes, I was a Baptist."
She replied, "Oh you were a Baptist. That's not a Christian." At that point I smiled quizzically and started to turn my attention to other things but then another coworker jumped into the budding conversation.
He said, "Of course that's Christian." So she quickly explained to him that it wasn't and that saying you're Baptist and a Christian is like saying you're pentecostal and saying you're a Christian (the bizarre part of that is that her own church webpage says it's a pentecostal church). He said, "Oh, it doesn't matter. As long as you believe in God you're good in my book. Yup, just worship God."
She said, "No! Worship Jesus!" He looked at her as though she were crazy and said, "Well, Jesus is God."
"No he isn't!" she insisted. "God is God because he's the Father and then there's Jesus. He's not God. I'm _______ and we believe in Jesus! Jehovah's Witness's worship God because "Jehovah" means God but we worship Jesus not God!"
I sat in my seat completely at a loss for words. I mean, where do you begin? Finally, she turned to me and demanded, "Well!" I tried to act innocent as though I hadn't heard the conversation but she persisted and so all I could muster was, "Well, Emmanuel does mean 'God with us.'" Then I asked her, "Does your church believe that Jesus is God incarnate?" (I know full well that it does.) I'm fairly certain she didn't know what the word 'incarnate' meant but she said, "Well, I don't know. But how can Jesus be God and Jesus as the same time?"
I thought to myself, "Well now that's a very mysterious question that the Church has pondered for 2000 years."
Amazingly enough the title of her church bears the phrase "God in Christ" within it. Apparently that escaped her reasoning. I was completely befuddled by her line of thinking and I reminded myself how important it is to try and understand how other people are processing things and how that influences they way they take in what they hear (of course the same is true for me, too).
The good news is that apparently in her world, as evidenced in surrounding conversation, Orthodox Christians are indeed Christians.
Of course the entire conversation began when she and some other coworkers got into an argument over the fact that I've chosen to leave sex for marriage (they think that is ridiculous and talk about it almost daily -- they used to try and argue with me but I would merely smile and remain silent so now they just discuss my oddness amongst themselves theorizing loudly about why I'm an idiot, hoping that I'll 'wise up' by osmosis or something). "It's a part of her faith" one coworker explained, "so we should just respect her for that." I happen to know that well over 95% of my coworkers belong to a Protestant Christian denomination. How strange that such a choice is merely a part of my faith.

Franciscan travel blessing

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths and superficial relationships
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice,
oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may wish for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Evil, rudeness and charity

Forgot to note here the other day that I have a new post on my blog

It's long, and some of it's sort of heavy, so please don't feel obligated to surf over there if you aren't in the mood. But I will just put the conclusion here, as it should be of interest to all here:

"...there is another charity to benefit children in need with which we will have a more direct connection. The Project Mexico/St. Innocent Orphanage has been the recipient of donations and labour from members of our Archdiocese for a number of years now; this year at least one member of our local parish, Kimberley Francis, is planning on going on this mission trip, to help out the children of Project Mexico. This is something those of us who aren't actually going can at least support financially, whether as a parish or individuals-- there is a poster for the Victoria fundraiser on our bulletin board, but even if we can't go to that, we can make direct contributions to help provide for the costs Kimberley will incur in this good work, and thustake part in it too."

Peter Drobac

hey y'all, Mag is looking for Peter Drobac's email address, if you could post it here without actually posting it, you know, use the
words like at and dot instead of the symbols so that his email address is not snagged by some lame computer program harvesting email addresses, I am sure she would appreciate it.
Hey Vic,
Did Abby send her party pictures to you, to post?

Monday, January 09, 2006

It's getting closer

As most of you know, Kim, Mira, Mat Jenny, some others and Myself are going to Mexico in March, on the Project Mexico trip! Most exciting yes, but it's coming fast and I will be traveling to Vancouver first before we all go on to Mexico. I plan to come in on the 9th of March (which is a thursday) and hopefully spend some time with some of you. It is lent then (coming soon isn't it) so there will be evening services, which I hopefully will be able to attend. So the reason I'm posting this is to ask if someone from St. Herman's is willing to host an orange-haired Saskatchewanian (me ;) for a few days and nights. And perhaps some are willing to have a few little outings. Mira suggested that I should sometime get to the monastery and see the monks there. Which I would love to do. Anyway, if anyone would be willing to have me or whatever that would be pretty awesome. I really can't wait to see everyone.

God Bless!
Later days.


Can anyone help me find a patristic source for the etymology of the word religion? or any ancient source? I hear it is an augustinian thing, but...if anyone else has any ideas, that would be great. thanks.

when it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year...

What a week last week was. It's not over yet, the differently weighted woman has yet to sing her aria on so many different issues in our lives; Jonah is the first among them, but they are many. (our name is legion?)
But I was pondering community last night, as I lay in bed, thinking how blessed we were to be "surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses". And then I read something (my bedtime reading these days is a jewel of a book I found at the Bookman downtown: "A Circle of Quiet" by Madeleine L'Engle). I started writing down favourite quotes, but quickly abandoned this to the realization that I would basically be scribing the whole book into my journal. So I sticky-noted the pages I liked to my heart's content. Anyway, to make a long story longer, I read a wonderful passage she wrote on community:

[on media and the news] - We can't absorb it all. We know too much, too quickly, and one of the worst effects of this avalanche of technology is the loss of compassion... I am apt to pay less attention when the daily figures for deaths on battlefields are given; it is too far away; I cannot cope emotionally. Occasionally it hits me hard when I hear the announcer say that there were only fifty-four deaths this week: only? what about the mothers, wives, sweethearts, children, of the fifty-four men who were killed? But it has to happen close at home before I can truly feel compassion.
We are lost unless we can recover compassion, without which we will never understand charity. We must find, once more, community, a sense of family, of belonging to each other. No wonder our kids are struggling to start communes. No wonder they will follow insane leaders who pull them into a morass of dope or murder. If they have no heroes, if we don't provide guidance, they are open to manipulation...
Compassion is nothing one feels with the intellect alone. Compassion is particular; it is never general.

She was writing more about compassion, but within the context of community. And I was reading it thinking: aha! exactly! this is the gift we have found at St.Hermans! Thank You Lord! We are a body. Never is this more evident than when one of us is suffering. The rest of us feel it. The rest of us gather round, and pray and comfort and do what we can. We feel it too, and we suffer with our brother and sister. Not out of contrivance, but out of love, and unconsciously. And they shall know us by our love. My favourite place is my church. It's where I feel accepted, loved, forgiven, upheld. It's like our Papa Lawrence says, where one walks and stumbles, he falls, but where there are many, with arms intertwined, one may stumble, but he won't fall.

John 13.34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

How-to Q

Can anyone tell me how to cut and paste material from, say, a Word document into a post? I tried the usual highlight/copy/ but when I click in the compose window, it will not give me the paste option.

I've got the poster info from the upcoming Saskatchewan youth retreat and thought it would be good to put it here, as well as printing a poster for the church bulletin board.....

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Munch on this:

"Prayer is a technique or art of loving, a method of Being in Love, who is God. It's effect is to hold the world together. Prayer is the measure, the key, the keystone of all things. If the Prayer is right, everything will be right. Your prayer will reveal to you your condition, as a mirror."
- an Orthodox Monk

Thursday, January 05, 2006

another request.

I know Kurt sent out an email prayer request this morning, or last night, but I would like to request one of all of you.
Jonah saw a pediatrician today, and she was, frankly, baffled. He is over his strep-throat, but continues to vomit (2 or 3 times a week) and lose weight.
She ordered a battery of tests for him, so all day we made the rounds of the hospital, the lab, the x-ray clinic, etc. (I think I picked something up along the way, I'm feeling awful now, but that could be the endlessness of the day combined with the emotional stress of it all).
He's had every fluid imaginable taken from him, and hopefully this will solve the case. I'm feeling a little fragile about all this, and managing to keep myself in check. We were at the x-ray clinic at the end of the day, and it was all I could do to 'breath down' some tears watching my son standing barefoot in a small hospital gown before that big machine in that cold cold room. I don't want to alarm him or anybody. God grant, this may turn out to be something simple like a virul infection of some sort. The doctor mentioned Celiac disease, and at this point, if that's all it was, I would be vastly relieved. Wow, the fears that race through your mind. I've done my best to dismiss them, but please pray for Jonah, for us. When you're in the midst of the testing, the labs, the hospital, it's hard to keep your imaginings at bay.
Thanks everyone.

grumbling (but only from my stomach)

Can anyone out there tell me if I'm allowed to eat food today?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Question for the Orthodorks

Anyone know of a way to start learning the typicon? In form, function, and meaning/history?



I update my own blog so irregularly, that it seems (to me at least) mildly noteworthy when I do. If you're not one of those people who run away screaming when poetry is mentioned (and there are remarkably few of those here at St. Herman's, in my experience), feel free to stop by and check out my poetic personal response to a remarkable photo-journal that Aaron lent me and a conversation we had about small-talk, and, much better, my favourite of my grandfather's poems.