Finally Oriented

by Fr. Barnabas Powell The Pentecostal church I grew up in had a profound impact on my life. The lively services, the thundering sermons, and the emotional altar calls gripped my young heart and fed my hunger for an intimate encounter with God. As a young man growing up in a Pentecostal church, I always knew I wanted to be a preacher because all the powerful men I had ever known had been men in the pulpit, and I wanted to be just like them. In my Pentecostal church I was told that a stream is purest at its source, so what we had to do was to be like the Church in the Book of Acts. If we were going to affect our world for … [Read more...]

Moving East: Part Two

by Phil Silouan Thompson I read on from the earliest Fathers into the third and fourth centuries — Irenaeus, Athanasius, Basil. Where was the break I was expecting? Where was the change from congregational democracy and unstructured charismatic worship, to liturgical, hierarchical religion? That change was nowhere to be found; instead, it looked more like the writers of the first and fourth centuries were all on the same page, all in the same Church. Of course there were variations of opinion, but all these ancient writers, from across the civilized world, shared the beliefs of those first-century teachers who’d written … [Read more...]

My Great Adventure in Search of the Truth

From Sister Matthaia Osswald This story tells how a Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church... Childhood and adolescence. I was born in 1961 from Protestant parents, in a town in South Germany. We lived in a suburb which had earlier been a separate village and later was integrated into a municipality. There was only one Roman Catholic family, the rest of the inhabitants being Protestants. The daughter of this family, whom I used to like very much, was in my class at the elementary school. I still remember very well that I was strictly forbidden to visit her, because they told me that it would be … [Read more...]

Moving East: Part One

by Philip Silouan Thompson Phil Thompson is the author of the Silouan blog, an excellent site for information. He is also a well known iconographer in North American Orthodoxy, and this, his story, was taken from his own website. "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon every soul, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common… Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising … [Read more...]