Tuesday, August 17, 2010



"We have concluded that when the principle of phyletism (i.e. ecclesiastical nationalism) is juxtaposed with the teaching of the Gospel and the constant practice of the Church, it is not only foreign to it, but also completely opposed, to it. We decree the following in the Holy Spirit: 1. We reject and condemn racial division, that is, racial differences, national quarrels and disagreements in the Church of Christ, as being contrary to the teaching of the Gospel and the holy canons of our blessed fathers, on which the holy Church is established and which adorn human society and lead it to Divine piety. 2. In accordance with the holy canons, we proclaim that those who accept such division according to races and who dare to base on it hitherto unheard-of racial assemblies are foreign to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and are real schismatics." The Pan-Orthodox Synod of Constantinople, 1872

There is a parish of the Orthodox Church in America in the little town of Saratoga. English is the liturgical language with some parts repeated in Slavonic and/or Greek. It has been there since since 1951 but still meets in a remodeled house on land it owns. It offers many services per week but on Sundays and some major feasts it violates The 80% Rule. The parish needs a larger temple. It struggles financially.

There is also in Saratoga a more recently established parish of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It was established in 1961 but has few services per week. It has plans for a beautiful temple and meets in a temporary building on land it owns. I might be wrong about this, but it does not seem to be any closer to building the new temple than it was 10 years ago.

Suggestion: Merge these two parishes, build much larger building designed by this firm, sing the services in English with Serbian, Slavonic, and Greek. Sell the smaller property, and incorporate two 3-bedroom apartments in the design of the church for clergy and their families. The parish name could be "Orthodox Christian Church of Ss. Michael and Nicholas". They could have two altar feasts each year. And there is recent precedent out of England for a parish having two bishops, which would have to be the case until the Great and Holy Council unifies the jurisdictions in America.

5 comments:

Cyndi said...

Hm, what kind of food do the Serbians eat?

DebD said...

sounds like a great plan... somehow I think it won't go as smoothly as one would hope.

Marie said...

What is the 80% rule? Link doesn't work for me.

Matt said...

Marie, thanks for letting me know the link wasn't working. It is now.

Jim said...

I agree about merging the parishes...Division among Orthodox in America makes outsiders see Holy Orthodoxy as just another denomination...