Friday, March 30, 2007

Info on B.C. churches

My dad is back in Canada and currently staying in Salmon Arm. He wants to go to church for Pascha, but doesn't know anything about any of the Orthodox churches in the area. Does anyone have any information and suggestions about where he can go to church, priests for him to contact, etc.?
I know there is a Ukranian one in Kelowna that we visited on our honeymoon, and I seem to recall an OCA mission somewhere there, too, but I don't know any details.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Nativity Story -- an audio commentary

Just in case anybody's interested, Fr. Justin and I recorded our very own audio commentary for The Nativity Story a few days ago. You can download it as an mp3 and play it on your iPod or whatever as you watch the DVD. Details here.

And Not a Lemur

Originally uploaded by gigascoigne.
See? How cute is THAT? Much cuter than Tom and Katie's. Now no more questions.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Indeed he is REAL

Originally uploaded by gigascoigne.
Maria T. took this photo when Theo was a week old, just after his very first bath--he was a little cold so I snuggled him. We can't wait for his Holy Bath on Pascha. Looking forward to seeing you all next Sunday!

Rhi and Theo

Friday, March 23, 2007

Widget Real? or, Surrey Suri

Hey!!! What's with the no information whatsoever about the most anticipated Gascoigne since Bamber to hit earth?

We on the Island are beginning to think there is no Widget, that it was all pillows after all, or that said Widget (who is reported to be named "Theodore", but can we really be sure, huh, can we) is so horribly strange looking (cf 'The Lemur Boy of Milton Keynes') that the 'parents' are currently in negotiations with certain media outlets (most of which have the word 'Star' in the title) to rake in the cashola at their little mutant's expense! Oh the horror, the shame! Can I have some?


God Bless the OCA

Oh man.

Many Years to our beloved archbishop, and not to take away from his elevation, but I have to write about this news piece on the OCA website that explains the financial scandal.
I am almost in tears (good ones) feeling honoured and loved as a member of the faithful who has been so honestly spoken to by the higher ups in the church. they have come forward, dealt with a very difficult issue, opened it wide for all to see, and humbly asked that we all ask forgiveness, of each other and of God.
Honestly, I was so upset by a church that hid its problems ( I was 19 or 20, so perhaps at the height of idealism) and this is such a healing balm. Yes, the chancellor was in the wrong, and he will be disciplined, but for his own salvation, God grant, and the leaders of our churches did as best they could. They didn't hide anything, and they admitted that things were worse than they were first willing to admit.
I read this and I feel as though these men really are Loving God enough to admit to the whole world their own weakness.
I was very blessed to read it.

and yes, Many Years, your eminence, for our sake and yours.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Eis Polla Eti Despota!!

The Holy Synod of the OCA has elevated our Vladika Seraphim to be Archbishop! Glory be to God!

From our chancellor:


At the spring session of the Holy Synod this week in Syosset, NY, Bishop Seraphim was elevated to the rank of ARCHBISHOP.

Therefore throughout this Archdiocese as of today , in commemoration and your prayers, please remember now His Eminence Archbishop SERAPHIM, Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada.

Is pola eti despota!

Archpriest Dennis Pihach
Archdiocese of Canada OCA

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


A world without hatred...

I was surfing around recently and came across this quote:

"I can easily imagine a world without violence - a world without hatred - a world of love, peace, kindness and understanding.

I can also imagine that we should attack this world, for they wouldn't expect it and our losses would be minimal."

As an ex-soldier, I snickered at the obvious humour of it.

But then I thought about it...

The fallen world that we live in would react that way if suddenly faced with a peaceful world. As a matter of fact, they do react that way when the true peace of Christ that exists within Christian hearts is expressed. Why is there hostility toward the Gospel? Because true peace is something that evil cannot abide.

So these words then, quoted above, from the fallen human condition, speak truthfully.

But that's just a quick thought of mine, feel free to ignore it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy Saint Cuthbert's Day!

Just because it is the day of one of my favorite saints, I figure I can get away with promoting my own blog here...;-)

Here is an Orthodox hymn for St. Cuthbert, but it does not really tell you what it is about the "English St. Seraphim of Sarov" that appeals to such a wide following.

Kontakion Tone 1

Having surpassed thy brethren in prayers, fasting, and vigils, thou wast found worthy to entertain a pilgrim-angel; and having shone forth with humility as a bright lamp set on high, thou didst receive the gift of wonderworking. And now as thou dwellest in the heavenly Kingdom, O our righteous Father Cuthbert, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.


I have decided not to live in a van. I know it would add stacks and stacks to my cool-o-meter, but it would also slow the debt paying, so I will be taking the responsible route, and merely taking you up on all of your offers for hospitality without the van. I will come and visit and you can feed me, but you won't need to lend me a shower, I will maintain my close proximity to one of those, not only for you, my lovely friends, but for the unexpected case of visitors on sunday, so they aren't scared away by 'eau-de-van'

the van was cool, and a good price, but I already have a car. so I will keep the status quo. thanks for the offers...

and make sure you bring your kids to youth group this week.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

There goes the neighbourhood!

Anyone here checked St. Herman's address at Google Maps lately? I was curious to see how up-to-date their maps and satellite images were, and, well, here's the satellite image:

And here's the "hybrid" image -- note how the map already takes into account new streets that did not yet exist when the satellite image was taken:


I am thinking of buying a van, which, I know isn't in itself a big deal, but I am thinking about living in it for a while. Now, I know this won't help the project that some of you are strongly encouraging me towards (marriage and children so that you may point and laugh-thanks Kurt) but it will help save money and it has been a dream of mine for a while. I would actually get to do it and find out that its not what I thought it would be, or that it is, and either way would realize that romanticizing things like this is silly.
In any case, I want to know if there are any willing participants out there. not roommates, or vanmates as it were, but would you be willing to host me for a night of showering and laundering etc if I needed it. I think I will have a homebase near the langley area, but knowing that I was welcome to show up (with warning) and clean myself and my clothes and perhaps even eat with you and your family would be awesome. This is all a part of paying off my student loans, and also the canadian dream of living in a van, down by the river. Granted, there wouldn't be the constant flow of people on thursday nights, nor would the van be a great place to host gatherings, but maybe there would be more riverside campfires and BBQ's in the summer.
anyways. just thought I would put that out there in public to see what interest there is in this sort of thing.

and, while I am at it, I want to wax orthodox a little, since I used to write so much on here, and its been a while, the cobwebs are still in my vision.

I love being orthodox. I love our community. it is so much more real to me the more time I spend here, I knew it would be like what I hear about getting married. For the first while I was SO enamoured with it, I talked about it nonstop,I was legalistic and hard core about the walls, the boundaries, and I was just blinded by excitement and love for this new way of seeing the world. I am now much less emotionally twitterpated, and am realizing how much real life and normal work needs to happen in me to become less sinful, and that it really is not about the heart shattering intensity with which I discovered this that my life will continue, but with soul strengthening sobriety and slowness of action that I will stabilize and grow in every aspect of my being due to the form that Orthodoxy takes. change? what change? slow, deliberate and possible change. we are healed slowly, we grow slowly, but the healing and the growth are real specifically because they are the result of perseverance through faith in the truth of how the world works.
God made this place to work in a specific way, love, forgive,die;repent, rinse, repeat.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Everyone may have already seen this, but it was new to me, and I thought it was so cool, I just had to let everyone know about it. Being in Vancouver with the East Side, it gives one pause...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's a...

Ladies and gentlemen ....

The first one out of the womb is a .... BOY!

That's right. He's John Samuel Zacharias and he is cute, was born on March 8 at 5:32 am, weighs in at a lean 7 lbs 5 ounces and stands a towering 22 inches.

We appreciate your prayers and we ask you to continue praying for the health of mom and child and the spiritual strengthening of this growing family.

All our love and gratitude for your prayers and gracious gifts.

sincerest love,
John Samuel, Cheryl and Matthew Zacharias

(Oh. And Biss would like everyone to note how terribly excited she is.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Big Poppa Gascoigne

IMG_0117.JPG, originally uploaded by gigascoigne.

he looks a bit tired eh? click the pic to see more...

Just for fun...

Sometimes during Scripture readings, we hear things differently from the way they actually are:

I found this over here.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Widget has emerged!

Mom & baby are doing fine. The wee boy is only waiting on a final selection from the short list of names!

Friday, March 02, 2007

(ssshhhh, it's a double post)

Raising Men

I found this wonderful wonderful post at Wittingshire.

When my boys were three and four, they spent a good bit of time patrolling the perimeter of the back yard with stick guns. One day they were making particularly gruesome sound effects and my feminine squeamishness, which I try to keep tamped down while mothering boys, got away from me. "I really don't like you pretending to shoot people," I told them.

"We're not pretending to shoot people," my older son said. "We're shooting pretend people. Dangerous ones."


As one who has both boy and girl children, I can tell you they're different from birth. My daughter is something of a tomboy, and still she's nothing like her brothers. She has never hit anyone over the head with a zucchini, for one thing. She has never knocked her father's legs out from under him and laughed when he fell on her with bone-crushing weight. She has never lost a toenail or fingernail, climbed higher in a tree than the cats will go, picked up unidentified insects with her bare hands, or picked them up again after being bitten the first time. She has never captured a big black spider in my good Tupperware and left it for me to find unexpectedly while putting away leftovers.

My boys--sweet and well-behaved as they truly are--do those things regularly.

My job as mother is to keep my mouth shut unless death or dismemberment is imminent. "They're boys," Jonathan says, when I come to him worried about their latest escapade. "That's what boys do."

Now, my boys memorize poetry. They clean up the supper dishes, with a little reminding. They tell their sister that they love her, and they prickle with indignation when other boys talk about girl germs. They're not Neanderthals. They're going to be good men, strong and tender, trustworthy, confident, brave.

They aren't learning this from me (except by my refusal to squelch it). They're learning it from their father, grandfathers, uncles; from the men at church who greet them with outstretched hand and expect them to answer audibly and shake firmly, from the men who lead worship; from the male friends who take them up in cherry-pickers, bulldozers, fire engines, and out in boats, who stop by to show them a new motorcycle, who talk to them with great seriousness about dinosaurs, asteroids, and snakes. Thanks to these men, my boys are going to know how to be men--not bullies, not henpicked eunuchs, but men.

Unfortunately, they have many friends who won't know how to be men, who are already less than confident in their maleness.

Some of these are boys whose mothers watch anxiously the whole time they're playing lest they hurt themselves, who forbid toy guns and swords and urge their sons to play "games everybody wins," which to a boy means a game nobody wins, that has no point.

Some are boys whose fathers are gone and who carry the weight of guilt not their own, who feel somehow complicit in other men's abandonments, other men's unreliability, other men's cruelty.
Some are boys whose energy is treated by teachers and parents as a curse, whose enthusiasm is treated as naivety, whose curiosity is treated as a distraction.

It's almost as if some people don't like little boys.

I do. I like their energy, their toughness. I like their forthrightness, their ruthless logic, their dislike of cant. I like their natural gallantry, their instinctive desire to protect those who are smaller and weaker. And I like that they include me in that group, though I am yet, for another few years, larger and stronger than they.

So I sympathize with Russell Moore, who "is aiming to raise up violent sons." Moore is being deliberately inflammatory, of course, but in a very real sense he means what he says:

I am not seeking to raise sons who are violent in the amoral, pagan sense of contemporary teenagers playing Grand Theft Auto video games or carjacking motorists. I want them to be more violent than that.

I want them to understand that the Christian life is not a Hallmark Channel version of baptized sentimentality. Instead, it is a cosmic battle between an evil dragon and the child of the woman, an ancient warfare that now includes all who belong to the Child of the Promise (Rev 12). I want them to forgive their enemies, not because they are good boys, but because they understand that vengeance against the Serpent comes not from their hand, but from that of the anointed Warrior-King (Rev 19), whose blood-soaked garments don’t often transfer to the imagery of a Precious Moments wall-hanging. And I want them to exercise self-control of their passions, not because it is polite, but because they are called to struggle against the Evil One, even to the point of cutting off their own limbs rather than succumb to devices.

And as Gary of Both Worlds says:

Men are in the image of God. And our need to prove ourselves on some field of combat, to confront danger and, yes, to win a beauty, reflect a side of God which few hymns uplift. Men and boys are often bored in church because many churches have become overloaded with feminine sensibilities and sensations.

So men and boys light out, like Huck down the Mississippi--not irresponsibly, but in search of something. Into the unknown, or the backyard, we go, Aslan at our sides. There be wild things here, and adventures to be had.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tell their stories!

Aaron is making a doucumentary, for school. Its about Icons, or more specifically, people telling stories of their patron saints. He wants to film people with the icon of their own patron saint, telling their stories and maybe your relation to them. Basically to share these amazing stories with people that might not have a clue about them.

He will need around three people, and will film you in your home (or outside of your home, it dosen't really matter as long as there is enough light). Kids are welcome to participate as well!

So, if you're interested contact either one of us.