Orthodoxy in Small-Town America

by By Xenia Kathryn Tussing  I grew up in a small town on the southern coast of Oregon. My family was Protestant, and after “church-hopping” for most of my early years, my parents settled on attending the local First Presbyterian Church once we moved to Oregon from the South. Although we tithed and were active in the church community, we never became “official” Presbyterians. My childhood was a happy one. I made friends with a good group of girls, and those friendships lasted until graduation– and some, even today. For this, I consider myself very blessed. I had quite a few Catholic friends, along with some agnostics and an atheist. I … [Read more...]

Ashland, OR Church Goes By The Book

By John Darling Bursting the seams of its tiny church inside the Newman Center next to Southern Oregon University, the 45 members of Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church are welcoming their new priest, Rev. Andreas Blom — and promising to do Christian services as close as possible to how the apostles did it 2,000 years ago. A native of Sweden and a former evangelical missionary, the bearded Blom speaks perfect English, wears a floor-length black cassock all day, every day, and conducts services in the old tradition where parishioners light candles, sing almost everything, do a brief and private confession, stand up for everything except the … [Read more...]

The Lure of the Mystical Path

By Alice Tallmadge, Correspondent Originally published in The Oregonian, Sunday, April 9, 2000 From Ashland to Portland, the Orthodox tradition is drawing Oregonians to its ancient depths EUGENE — The Saturday night buzz is revving outside the doors of St. Eugene Orthodox Church in the Whiteaker neighborhood. Motors race. Doors slam. Nearby taverns begin to fill with eager revelers. But inside the walls of the humble, dome-topped church, an otherworldly peace reigns. Pungent incense hangs in the air. Gold-flecked icons, lit by flickering tapers, line the dark red walls. Women, their long hair covered with scarves, stand on one … [Read more...]