This time awards goes to posters who contributed with slightly lighter and more humorous approach:
A few more:
- We want to start a parish library but are running into some difficulties. Deacon Nicholas wants to donate his collection of works by Fr. Seraphim Rose, but Father Alexander and Mr. Theodore thinks this is a bad idea since they do not like his theology at all and thinks it could cause confusion. On the other hand Mr. Theodore wants to include works by Jung, Nietzsche, and others of a similarly unorthodox phronema. Mr. Theodore has argued vehemently that we should "know our enemy," and that besides this that there is much of value in such authors, just as the ancient Fathers read the pagans and took what was beneficial and ignored what was harmful in them. Both Deacon Nicholas and Fr. Alexander are in agreement that such secular authors are unacceptable and out of place in a parish library. However, a substantial donation from Mr. Theodore accounts for 80% of the entire budget for the library, and besides that it is his wife Patricia who is going to be in charge of it. How can we resolve this?
- Another problem in our parish concerns an icon. There is a really, really, really ugly icon of St. Fyodor the Black, which almost everyone hates to even look at. However, Fr. Alexander fears that if we get rid of it that those who donated it, the Stephanzinsky family, will get mad and leave. We thought that we might be able to avoid this by offering the icon to you. We can then tell Bob and Ruby Stephanzinsky that we will make a sacrifice in the parish by giving up our "prized" icon for the betterment of the archdiocese at large, thereby making everyone happy. Of course, it is you, Met. Philip, who would be making the real sacrifice by accepting this icon. Will you undertake this ascetic podvig and help us in this matter?
- One further matter that we need resolved. I have a terrible foot fetish, as do many members of our parish. Yet several ladies refuse to properly cover their feet during services, despite being terrible temptations to us. Does not modesty require someone to cover themselves if they are causing others to lust? I mean, really, how hard is it to find a pair of boots? Would you please release an announcement that outlines the standards of Christian decorum and propriety that is expected of Orthodox Christians?
This entire conversation is bordering on the absurd.
I didn't want to state my general observations about bishops in general here in public out of respect to the Office of Bishop in the doctrine of the Orthodox Church. Please, don't misunderstand me, but over the course of my life, growing up in and around the Church, being from a family of priests over four generations and having had numerous Orthodox Bishops sleep in my family home, eat at our table, enjoy a good story and a fine scotch, I probably have a different (not better, just different) perspective than others.
It seems to me that most folks in the average church really don't "care" about bishops, including their own, unless the bishop does one or more "bad" things impacting them or their parish.
Ranked in no particular order:
1. He talks way too long.
2. He grants a divorce.
3. He refuses to grant a divorce.
4. He moved our popular pastor.
5. He won't remove the priest my friends and I don't like.
6. He has a diocesan assessment which is way tooooo high.
7. He is too pompous.
8. He isn't "spiritual" enough.
9. He can't sing.
10. I don't like his beard.
11.How dare he lecture ME about values!
And so on.
You get my drift.