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Author Topic: Evangelising and Icons.  (Read 1391 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peleg
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« on: August 06, 2008, 01:46:42 PM »

My church, St. John's Cathedral in Eagle River, AK, sets up a mini-church at our state fair each year as an outreach, which is a wonderful idea to me.  In it they have all the usual pamphlets on the Church and salvation but they also have a gob of icons for sell.  This strikes me as a distraction, at best, and wrong, at worst.  I've heard Fr. Thomas Hopko say repeatedly that when dealing w/ those outside the church and especially the non-Christian we should focus only on Christ and His saving work.  Not icons, Mary, liturgy but Jesus.  This seems right to me.  What do you all think? 
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Quinault
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2008, 02:45:02 PM »

My concern is the respect for the icons, they are not merely "art" to be hung and treated however one likes.
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Thomas
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2008, 09:03:48 AM »

It probaly depends on what purpose they see the use of icons may be in the evangelization process.  There are very few Russian or Greek Food Fests I have been at that icons and church books were not for sale at. I do not believe that the St. Johns Cathedral at eagle River Alaska has a food festival as part of it missionary effort.  Perhaps they are using the state fair as a similar outreach.  I have  many friends who purchased an icon at such a festival and then seek me out to explain it use privately and later accept an invitation to come to church to learn more. The real goal is evangelism. To reach out we have to use all the tools available to us.

Thomas
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2008, 03:00:32 AM »

Also, Alaska is the original new world Orthodox territory. It is "native" there. Icons and other things like that may not mean anything to one from a protestant background, but to a lapsed Orthodox Christian in those parts...it may look as welcoming and encouraging as a warm apple pie left on a window sill.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2008, 03:41:59 PM »

My church, St. John's Cathedral in Eagle River, AK, sets up a mini-church at our state fair each year as an outreach, which is a wonderful idea to me.  In it they have all the usual pamphlets on the Church and salvation but they also have a gob of icons for sell.  This strikes me as a distraction, at best, and wrong, at worst.  I've heard Fr. Thomas Hopko say repeatedly that when dealing w/ those outside the church and especially the non-Christian we should focus only on Christ and His saving work.  Not icons, Mary, liturgy but Jesus.  This seems right to me.  What do you all think? 
We also need to recognize that this discussion of how to evangelize the locals isn't necessarily an issue of there being only one correct way to evangelize such that all the other ways are wrong.  Neither are Fr. Hopko's words on this matter to be taken as absolute truth, for he was speaking merely his opinion--no doubt guided by years of experience, but still his opinion--of how to best evangelize the dominant culture (of the lower 49?).
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Christy74
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2008, 06:43:23 PM »

I'm excited because this Thursday Night and Friday Morning the Wonder-Working Icon which has been streaming myrrh for the last year is coming from Hawaii to our parish in Sacramento: Annunication Greek Orthodox Church for veneration and so that we can be annointed with the myrrh. Some healings have happened with this Icon. I am hopeful that my co-worker will be healed of his Polio!
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Tags: Evangelism icons missions 
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