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?).