26 March 2009

More Photos of the New Sanctuary

More (and much better) photos of the newly completed sanctuary at Holy Incarnation.

17 March 2009

Photos of the New Sanctuary

Photos of the newly designed and built sanctuary at Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church have now been posted.

Be sure to check out other photos of Holy Incarnation here.

13 March 2009

Invitation to an Open House

Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church will host an open house on Sunday, March 29 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The open house will showcase the church’s newly redecorated sanctuary.

This event will celebrate another significant milestone for our little parish, which held its initial Mass in February 2007, purchased its own facility in February 2008, and now has redesigned the interior so that it looks like a traditional church.

We would be honored if the local readers of this blog would join us sometime during the day. If your schedule permits, please feel free to join us also for Mass at 9:30 a.m. or for Vespers at 4:00 p.m.

Read more about the open house.

Read more about Holy Incarnation.

02 March 2009

Thoughts about the Parable of the Seed

The Lord's parable of the seed (Lk 8.4-15) is chiefly about the Father's reckless spreading of His Word (Logos) which is carried aloft by the pneumatic wind. However, one cannot discount the metaphor of the four soils which Our Lord also employs in telling the story. When one considers the soils, it is not uncommon for the heart to be pricked and to ask, "How do I keep myself from becoming thorny, rocky or hard ground"?

According to the fathers, the making of good soil and the bearing of fruit is a cooperative effort intiated by the Holy Spirit, who both carries the seed/word to all soils and also begins the work of preparing the soil.

Yet we also have a part; namely, the life of repentance. Should we depart from constant repentance, we can quickly revert to thorny soil (being caught up with this world's false promises), rocky soil (consenting to faith intellectually but not in spirit) and finally to hard ground (where God's word matters little to us, and we matter most).

The life of repentance, which is our part, is aided by prayer, fasting and almsgiving--as the season of Lent teaches us. St Augustine says it another way in the form of a prayer: "Teach me, Lord, to see You so that I might love you truly, and to see myself so that I might cease loving myself."

To strengthen us in this life of self-denial, God's grace is necessary as He proffers it and pours it upon us generously by the Spirit in the sacred mysteries, most particularly Private Confession and Holy Communion.

Once a Lutheran pastor, now an Orthodox priest

On Sunday, 15 February, Deacon Daniel Hackney, a former pastor in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, was ordained an Orthodox priest. Bishop MARK, the Bishop of Toledo in the Antiochian Archdiocese, ordained Fr. Hackney at St Elias in Sylvania, Ohio.

Fr Hackney continues his studies at St Tikhon's seminary in Pennsylvania and hopes to be accepted as a chaplain in the U.S. military.

Click here to read a fuller article about Fr Hackney.