Blog Posts

Minimal iconostasis

My favorite memories of the church are always at night or in the early morning before the sun has risen. My favorite pictures of the church are always those that play black and gold against each other: the gold of the icons, flickering in the candlelight; the black of the shadows of the church; the pinpricks of light dancing from every surface; the gold of the haloes shining round darkened faces. To me, it makes accessible this strange interplay between revealing and concealment that is at the heart of the liturgy: it shows us how this interplay is inscribed on the architecture of our churches, and most especially in the iconostasis.

Vibrant Life Panel Discussion

We all want to thrive in our religious life, but what does that look like? How do we know what we're aiming for and what it will look like when we get there?

On Sunday, February 27, 8:00 pm Eastern / 7:00 pm Central, moderator Carrie Frederick Frost with panelists Sherry Shenoda, Miho Ochiai Ealy, and Melissa O. Papayannis will share their ideas and experiences.

Admission $12 (please let us know if cost is an impediment for you)

Register here!

Coptic Annunciation icon

A dozen of us spent a restorative 90 minutes last Sunday at our online Craft ‘n’ Sip. Thank you to all who attended, and to Kristina Baktis, who not only volunteered to lead the event, but also gave us this beautiful prayer:

St Mary Magdalen with apostles

When I was a “Woman of the Week,” a few readers asked me to keep them updated on my studies at Harvard Divinity School. This is a reflection on one of the texts that struck me in my first semester as a Master of Divinity student. This fall, I encountered the early Christian text, the Gospel of Mary, in a course entitled, “Orthodoxy and Heresy in Ancient Christianity.” We analyzed the discourse of orthodoxy and heresy, and considered how the earliest followers of Christ in Christianity’s first centuries addressed their differences and similarities.

Coptic women saints mosaic, Cairo

For our first blog post of 2022, it seems fitting to share with you a litany we often use when we get together, introduced to us by Judith Scott, adapted from the original in Shane Claiborne's book, Common Prayer.

We walk in the company of the women who have gone before, mothers of the faith both named and unnamed, testifying with ferocity and faith to the Spirit of wisdom and healing. 

They are the judges, the prophets, the martyrs, the warriors, poets, lovers, and saints who are near to us in the shadow of awareness, in the crevices of memory, in the landscape of our dreams. 

We walk in the company of Deborah,who judged the Israelites with authority and strength. 

Greek-style Chant Stand

I am quite incapable of writing objectively about the chant stand, the analogion, that precarious collection of seats and a rotating music stand and piles of dusty books which forms the home for the chanters of the Greek church. For me the chant stand is simply the beating heart of the church, whose throbbing sound provides the lifeblood of the services: inescapable, absolutely necessary. But I have an unusual history.

Jen on pilgrimage

Our resident pilgrimage expert--who is also a member of our executive board--talks here about how to bring movement into your spiritual practice. Although she talks mostly here about walking, if you can't walk, you can apply these principles to any kind of movement that you can manage outside, or even at a window. Intentionality and unplugging from the world around you are what's key. You see Jen here early in her 2018 Camino walk.