JHP17 & LPK .. Firstly God Bless you and your families... thank you for your concern ,efforts and prayers.
I am sorry to say though but our Church organizations are becoming more social / political gatherings rather than religious and I am finding it hard to accept it as I am now looking at a larger holier picture.
Just a simple example that I use often...
Here in Adelaide we have 2 Serbian Orthodox Churches .... each Church on any given Sunday might have 20-25 parishioners (except Christmas or Easter off course!). On Friday Nights their is 200-300 people at the Church hall for folklore practice, bocce bowls, 8-ball, chess and the "bar" etc.... Now it is a fact that the 200-300 that come Friday nights "pay the bills" and the 20-25 that attend Sunday services pay pittance in comparison. The two Serbian Communities here have always been at arms length and relationships were strained for whatever reasons. (this is a similar situation with the other communities ie. Russian, Ukranian, Greek, Bulgarian etc...)
What I can't accept NOW that I am a father and have a family to take care of both financially and spiritually is this lack of unity, compassion and acceptance in our proud nation(s) and peoples.
We have strayed from God and our Faith and accepted a capitalist view of the world.. which I think is perhaps even more dangerous because it slowly "reels you in" to believing that a nice Church Hall and LCD TV's and cable and a "great bar" are more important than the Church itself and our necessity to attend services regularly. Ohh I was at Church on Friday night ??
Getting drunk on a Friday night and singing Serbian patriotic songs at the bar does not make you a good Serbian Orthodox Christian, quit the opposite I think. (I know because I was one of these fools previously
So when you ask the leaders in our Church community what have you done for the "Church" their answer will be...(if not the same but similar) we put a new roof on the hall, we bought a picnic ground (which is used once a year), we have a new LCD and Plasmas, cable, Fox etc.... new pool tables.
NOT ONE OF THEM WILL GIVE YOU THE CORRECT ANSWER... AND THE ONLY CORRECT ANSWER IS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR CHILDRENS FAITH.
OUR CHILDRENS FUTURE DOES NOT LIE IN THE FOUR WALLS THAT WE BUILT BUT IN THEIR SOUL, IN THEIR FAITH, THEIR HERITAGE - TRUE ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY.
Because if our children loose their faith and the true values of the Holy Orthodox Church and accept the western worlds values regarding materialism/capitalism/liberalism and all the other "isms" that are satans view of the world as many of us have unknowingly, then our community is not going to exist in 50-100 years time.
All the Serbian (and Russian, Ukranian, Greek etc...) Orthodox Churches and the Church Halls will be empty because we will have lost them to the "West".
FORGIVE ME IF I AM COMING ACROSS AS PERHAPS NEGATIVE, I ASSURE YOU I AM NOT. WE HAVE TO ACT ON THIS, AS THIS IS THE PATH THAT WE ARE HEADING AT THE MOMENT.
We need ORTHODOX UNITY FIRSTLY and our Patriarchs must act on this as we are scattered around the world and heading in all different directions. Don't you agree ?
Enter by the narrow gate as the wide gate and path that everyone follows will lead to destruction.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL. PRAISE JESUS