Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

-Discussion Forum is now open on OrthodoxandGay.com
-A new book by Andre Partykevich was recently published
-An apology for a slowdown in reflection postings

1) In an effort to help facilitate free communication between LGBTQ Orthodox Christians as well as those interested in the topic of Orthodox Christianity and LGBT issues, a Discussion Forum Board has been created on orthodoxandgay.com There is no longer any need to respond to a specific reflection on the website (although that is still possible) or communicate only with me. You may participate in the discussion forums anonymously.

2) A new book written by Andre Partykevich has been published by Little Litany Press. The book entitled “Metropolitan Petro Mohyla and the Orthodox Confession of Faith” is available from both Amazon – in print, and Kindle formats – as well as from Barnes and Noble.

3) Finally, due to specific work and family obligations, I have been unable to write and post new reflections for the last few months. Some lessening of work burdens will allow me to get “back on track” in the new year. For the lack of new reflections, I apologize. Thank you for your patience and support.

Hidden Gifts and Hidden Talents

August 25, 2014

My mother has been a resident in a nursing home for some 10 years now. She has dementia as well as the disease of Alzheimer’s. One of the consequences of living apart from my very demonstrative and expressive father, is that my mother’s humorous side has emerged. No longer living in the shadow of her husband, who was always very jovial and quite boisterous, my mother has felt freer to express herself, crack jokes, and be playful with the staff and those who come to visit her. As her son, it has been wonderful to be a witness to my mom’s wit, to be able to tease her, and to see a very different side of her. Perhaps this funny side was always part of my mother’s character, but it had to lay dormant and in the shadows. It took a safe environment and a supportive community for my mother’s gift of humor to reveal itself. I am just grateful, that although she has significant cognitive problems, I am able to see and participate in this incredible gift my mother has been given.

Read the rest of this entry »

Purging the Faithful

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Purging the Faithful

July 14, 2014

Rollkartei_hgDo people use Rolodexes anymore? How many people under the age of 30 even know what a Rolodex is? Pictured here, it is, according to Wikipedia, “a rotating file device used to store business contact information.” The word was created from the words “rolling” and “index”. I imagine that most people, these days, store contacts on their smart phones, eliminating the need for rolodexes and “telephone books”. As a parish priest, my Rolodex was perhaps the most important thing in my office. Each and every parishioner had a separate card with their name, address, phone number and other important information relevant to their relationship to the parish. Read the rest of this entry »

How Do I Know God Made Me Gay?

June 22, 2014,

 

My mothimages017R4VMJer kept a scrapbook for each one of her children. Perhaps because I am the oldest, mine is the fullest. Lovingly glued to each page is a host of memories. First year birthday cards, are next to an envelope with locks of my hair from a first haircut, congratulatory telegrams from relatives in England when I was born, are pasted next to some of the first “art” that I created.

One of the more telling pieces in the scrapbook is an “essay” that I wrote in third grade. The assignment was to write about “what do you want be when you grow up?” At the age of eight, I wrote that I wanted to be a priest. Read the rest of this entry »

Christ Is Risen!

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Christ Is Risen! 

April 19, 2014

Great-and-Holy-PaschaOn this glorious day, and in this triumphant season, we greet all of our readers with the exuberant words of “Christ is Risen!” Many of us will be able to answer just as exuberantly “Indeed He is Risen!” The feast of feast is as glorious, in the words of St. John Chrysostom, for those who have fasted and those who have not; for those who have been vigilant from the 1st hour, as well as for those who have come at the 11th hour. The Lord is merciful to all and receives us all in our richness and in our poverty. That poverty includes our poverty of faith and the dearth of our compassion. On this Pascha Day we sing the very moving words attributed to St. John of Damascus: “This is the day of resurrection. Let us be illuminated by the feast. Let us embrace each other. Let us call ‘brothers’ even those who hate us, and forgive all by the resurrection.”

On this holy day, we hope you are able to embrace your loved ones as well as forgive those who hate you. For gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Christians, these actions of embracing and forgiveness are of vital importance. So much of the world despises us for who God made us to be and who we are called to love. We are among those who experience abandonment, loneliness, and isolation. And yet, we must never forget that the Risen Lord does not abandon, or isolate, or shun us. In the words of the Psalmist: “Therefore my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoices, my body will also rest secure, because you will not abandon me…” (Psalm 16) As we are not abandoned by God, let us not abandon anyone, especially those who hate us; embrace and forgive them. 

On this holy day we especially pray for those unable to fully celebrate the feast, either due to religious persecution, societal, family or ecclesiastical expulsion, or the poverty of their faith. No one is truly alone, no one is ever abandoned. Christ is Risen for all of us!

 

Love During a Revolution

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Love During a Revolution

March 26, 2014

www.rtl.lu

www.rtl.lu

Ukraine has the world’s attention. The largest country within the borders of Europe, with a population of some 44 million, recently went through a significant revolution. The protesters forced a change of government following a particularly volatile protest staged by civilians against a pro-Russian government. The world’s leading powers are still trading threats and punitive actions over the forceful Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Certainly this battle for Ukraine is not over as it has become the center in a struggle between the power and values of West vs. East. A new Cold War era might be upon us. Read the rest of this entry »

Acceptance Comes Before Revelation

February 9, 2014

What would it take for the Orthodox Church to officially recognize that God created some people with same-sex attractions?

What would it take for the Orthodox Church to officially recognize that gay people fall in love and desire to live in loving, sanctified relationships?

What would it take for the Orthodox Church to officially recognize that gay people in life-long relationships sincerely believe that God led them to be with their particular spouse?

What would it take for the Orthodox Church to officially accept same-sex relationships and celebrate the commitments made by the couple with the mystery of crowning, in the midst of a church community? Read the rest of this entry »

Is Silence the Enemy?

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Is Silence the Enemy

January 12, 2014

facebook_covers_Martin-Luther-KingMartin Luther King Jr., the great African-American civil rights leader, delivered a sermon in 1957 in Montgomery, Alabama where he spoke the following words: “in the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” These words ring true for many people, not the least for members of the LGBTQ community. While we have unfortunately come to expect hatred and vile speech from members of the extreme political right, religious fundamentalists and the ignorant[1], we are particularly confused and hurt when our friends and allies in the straight world are silent, and do not defend our civil rights in the face of injustice and bigotry. Read the rest of this entry »

Who Could Love Me?

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Who could love me?

December 15, 2013

 

tessagroves.wordpress.com

tessagroves.wordpress.com

Who could love me? What a very sad question. Who could love me? Of all the challenges and difficulties that we face in this world, we should all have someone to love and someone who loves us. But the question, who could love me, is one that lesbians and gay men face in a particular way and under specific circumstances. Growing up, the teenage boy or girl begins to realize that they have different experiences from those around them. For adolescent boys this can be particularly traumatizing when the words “fag” and “gay” are used frequently to cut someone down, to ridicule and ultimately to dehumanize. Causing even more damage are the adults in the life of the young person, who hear the insults and do nothing to stop them, or refuse to educate those who use such dehumanizing and painful language. Read the rest of this entry »

Patriarch Bartholomew is Not Infallible

November 17, 2013

Bishops make mistakes. They are human, of course they make mistakes. Because they have so much influence, and even control over people’s spiritual lives, when they make mistakes, the results can be quite damaging. Permanent infallibility of the teachings of bishops is a concept which thankfully, has not invaded Orthodox theology. Infallibility, or the impossibility to be wrong on a theological issue, is a teaching that has been adopted by some Christian churches.  Read the rest of this entry »