The Last First Step

by Stephen Brannen Back in 2011 I started writing a series of posts entitled “According to the Whole” which was focused on exploring the issue of Christian disunity and where I was looking for possible solutions. The posts were personal and were informed by my own intellectual and experiential journey, but they weren’t overtly autobiographical. I used them to ask questions, make diagnoses, and offer prescriptions in a general sense, but I didn’t use them to tell much of my story. Now my story which spawned those questions and thoughts has reached a definitive point, even a conclusion of sorts, and I want to finally tell it. I was born to … [Read more...]

Three Truths from Childhood

by Fr Andrew Philips I'd like to thank Tudor Petcu once again for sending us this new journey story.  Introduction Most say that our earliest years are our most formative years, when all else is decided, and that much depends on the happiness or unhappiness of childhood, which determines all that follows. For my part, over six childhood years, between the ages of six and twelve I learned three truths, all the essential realities, that have shaped the rest of my life. You may argue with how I have interpreted those truths, interpretations patterned also by other events and meetings, but I do not think that the truths themselves can be … [Read more...]

The Scottish Abbess of Gethsemane Convent

ABBESS MARY (ROBINSON) OF THE GETHSEMANE CONVENT July 8/21, 1896, Glasgow – November 7, 1969, Gethsemane   Abbess Mary (Robinson). Photo: internetsobor.org Gethsemane became one of the first places of the Holy Land to be visited by modern Russian pilgrims. From the tomb of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary people walk up a narrow, steep street. After visiting a Franciscan monastery, where old olive trees of the Garden of Gethsemane that were witnesses of the life of Christ on the earth still grow, Orthodox pilgrims come up to the gate of the “Russian Gethsemane”. It is here that the holy relics of Grand Duchess Elisabeth the New Martyr and … [Read more...]

My Journey to Orthodoxy

by Paul Smith Allow me to begin this with a simple disclaimer. I do not presume to know the judgement that God holds in his own mercy, and his own providence so do not view this in that light. I do know that I have found the New Testament Church and want to share THIS one place where I know the "words that contain Life" are presented. Salvation is a common theme in church circles, many have their concentration on it and many think their way to understand it is correct. Over the years I have progressed through many churches, belief structures all under the name of Christianity. I was consistently searching for the "New Testament Church" and … [Read more...]