Wednesday, December 3. 2008
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A lot of people would think that I am a huge blabbermouth as I have posted here quite a lot over the past 3 years, but when the hierarchy say the right things and do the right things, the less I actually feel compelled to speak.
Accountants, for the most part, aren't a chatty bunch unless you violate the basic premise behind accounting.
The 'joyful' epistle should be normal.
Its nice to be at loss for words. I doubt anyone will appreciate what this truly means.
May God grant Bishop Job many years.
#1 Daniel E. Fall on 2008-12-03 21:23
What he said!
It's hard to feel that you have to speak, and I doubt that anyone who has spoken about the mess publicly has done so without that nagging feeling of "what if I'm wrong? What if my words and actions are destructive?"
Embracing peace and calmness is a great relief. The hard work remains, and some conflicts will come, but we are now working together in the light.
#1.1 Rebecca Matovic on 2008-12-04 08:54
The OCA will change only if practical principles are applied to the love and forgiveness mantra. There is a big gap between the words and the reality. Compare the work of the OCA in the world to, say Youth With A Mission, or World Vision, or Map International, or ALPHA (check it out!), to name only a few. The words say "We are the true faith on which Christ's love for the world stands. We are the Bride of Christ, the salvation of the world. Monasticism saves millions because monks pray and prayer is the foundation of salvation." But the actions say "Ho hum I'm Orthodox and if nobody else wants it, too bad for them."
Accountability. Integrity. Truth. Love. I heard a priest talking about a new icon that the parish had just acquired. He said something to the effect that only Orthodox had touched it, as though if any non-Orthodox had touched it, it would be unclean. I read an online Orthodox discussion about whether antidoron should be distrubuted to other "Christians" but certainly not to non-Christians! I overheard a priest tell an innocent person devastated by recent events in her life, to take the beam out of her own eye because she was angry with those who hurt her. I read a letter posted publically to a grieving priest who had recently lost his wife that he was out of line and inappropriate when he expressed his hurt at being shunned by the other priests in the area. That priest died just a few weeks after his wife's death. Don't you think he was hurt by that public post? Good grief! What is wrong with you people!
Without action, prayer is nothing. Sorry, so sorry bur it's the truth. When I first participated in Forgiveness Sunday I couldn't believe it. How wonderful! As with every Tradition and service in the Orthodox Church, there is much to be said for Forgiveness Sunday in principle. But principles don't save people. Asking for forgiveness and being told you are forgiven by everybody who happens to be at the service makes everybody feel good. In principle. In principle, singing "We have found the true faith!" -- if it is true -- should turn the world upside down.
OCA, you were built on the backs of the immigrants who were shunned by the Protestant basis that is the bulk of American religion. Those backs were plowing fields to survive, keeping the Orthodox faith alive in America in their homes, in prayer corners, in front of icons brought over from the old country, when there was no church to attend, no priest to serve. St Raphael of Brooklyn and others like him crisscrossed the country to establish parishes in America. That was then. Then, words saved Orthodoxy in America. The words uttered to God by the mouths of the isolated, alienated faithful, kept the flame of Orthodoxy in America flickering for decades.
But that was then. This is now.
#1.2 Anonymous on 2008-12-07 08:39
As the process of renewal of the OCA goes forward, leaders such as Archbishop Job are critical to the task at hand. His love and wisdom will be needed for many years to come, so let us hope and pray that he will be encouraged enough to put his retirement plans on hold.
#2 Marc Trolinger on 2008-12-04 06:45
Amen and amen!
#2.1 Ever and anon. on 2008-12-04 13:22
I'm sorry but I'm not onboard. I'm not convinced that anything but administrations has changed. In fact, now the infection may have just been driven deeper.
Every time I read one of Archbishop Job's letters my teeth decay from all that sugar. So we have a new Metropolitan, the guy has no experience as a bishop and knows very little about his holy cohort.
The AAC may have done nothing more than downed a big heap'n help'n a-Kool-Aid. I have gone from excited to the realization that the worst times for the OCA may be ahead. Decay may be the future.
#2.1.1 depressed on 2008-12-04 16:55
Really? get over yourself, and become educated about what is happening instead of drowning in whatever it is you are drowning in.
Have you read the reports of those working to reform in Syosset? Have you looked at the budgets these people have worked out the past couple of years? Have you called the secretary or treasurer in Syosset and asked for explanations of their work? Are you really paying attention? or just delighting in throwing cold water on things and being "above it all?"
We all know it isn't over yet, we are not that naive or inexperienced. We know the OCA is not at its best yet, we know there are still money problems, we know that Metropolitan Jonah is new and untested, but we also know that God's hand is firmly in the middle of this, and HE will get us on the right path. We need to all be repentent, HUMBLE, and supportive of those making a difference.
To compare the Pittsburgh AAC to the total death and destruction of Jim Jones' compound is really disgusting, totally rude, and disrespectful.
I am a free woman of the Diocese of the Midwest, and have heard Bishop Job speak many times. He is open, frank, accepting of criticism, and quite upfront about his own failings in the past few years. Yes, he has missed the mark on a some things AND he has admitted it openly, confessed it to us, asked for forgiveness, and continues to be this way. Your criticism is out of place, and unwarranted.
If you are bold enough to make these sad statements, be bold enough to sign your own name. I am.
#126.96.36.199 Dianne Combs on 2008-12-04 20:38
If you feel that way, you have an obligation to explain the objective reasons why.
I don't believe you have done so.
"Decay may be the future" could mean all sorts of things. You might mean that you expect our population to decline. You might mean the church will dwindle because the flock won't fund it properly. You might mean our hierarchy will fall back into the to hell with accounting mode.
If we had only changed heads, I'd agree, but I believe substantive changes were made. Perhaps one of the biggest was the repeal of the 1998 bylaw that basically threw audits out the window. Now, audits are being done. The church has made its budgets public. It is reporting financial activities.
It isn't wise or fair to simply fly above and speculate 'decay may be the future'. It certainly may. Iterating it provides us with nothing, not even an incentive to prevent whatever it is you are referring to...
#188.8.131.52 Daniel E. Fall on 2008-12-05 16:41
God bless and sustain Vladyka Job. We owe so much to him, to his courage, steadfastness, humility, integrity, and above all, his LOVE. It is hard to find words fitting to express it. Eis polla, eti despota!
#3 inga Leonova on 2008-12-04 12:53
Thanks for your post Inga. I should have focused on Archbishop Job's humility in my own post. It is his living example of humility and love that are so needed in this time of renewal. All Orthodox Christians are blessed to have shepherds like Job + to keep the Faith alive as we strive to overcome the tribulations of the current times. His love and humility are truly a living icon of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, and a reflection of what a bishop should be.
#3.1 Marc Trolinger on 2008-12-04 15:55
Speaking of humility, did anyone else notice that +Job was the only hierarch at the AAC that wore his name tag?
#3.1.1 Michael Strelka on 2008-12-05 07:34
Elder, give us some words of wisdom:
"He that dawneth the name tag shall humble be"
- sayings from the urban dwelling hermit, Paphtheomaxcolus
(Editor's note: LOL. Clearly the light of the spirit did not help the Elder's spelling abilities, though. Donneth, not dawneth.)
#4 Anonymous on 2008-12-05 14:20
Being a member of an OCA parish in the Midwest, Archbishop Job's letter to us is received happily. Also being a former member of the NYS/Washington diocese, it is very good to have a new young bishop to tend to his flock and now clean what the previous bishops left. So we have a new Metropolitan to lead us and we will just have to wait to see what his leadership will bring to the OCA. Even though Metropolitan Jonah talk was encouraging (both before the election and after, I was able to listen to them via Ancient Faith radio), he has only just begun his post. Grass roots (parishes and local dioceses) must change from being self-centered as well as Syosset must change from being self-centered. How much will change is still yet to be determined. But what has changed is for the OCA to start to heal and become united in spirit and faith. The faithful still does not have the full truth of what really transpired in the scandal. The former Metropolitans and others have yet asked forgiveness (in public) and have yet revealed what really happen to the stolen ADM Funds, and charity funds. When Syosset gives 100% of what it collects for charity to the designated charity funds, then we can say there has been real change at Syosset. Until then, I will not send any charity money to Syosset, but to the charities that I decide to support directly.
#5 anonymous on 2008-12-06 06:47
Bold statement sending no charity money since Syosset has eliminated the charity appeal. Thus if you are against missions and seminarians, and consider them charity, then you have a bigger problem.
Put your money where your mouth is and trust in God and those who He has put His trust in to lead His Church.
(editor's note: Ah, you might want to amend that last phrase. Let us say, given the events of the last twenty years, trust in God, and verify that those He has put His Trust in to lead his Church are doing just that.... Anything less, and we end up right back where we began three years ago.
#5.1 Anonymous on 2008-12-07 07:12
Well isn't that YOUR job on the Metropolitan Council? You want to be watchdogs. Then do your job. If you do your job then the rest of us can rest easy.
(Editor's note: Sorry. We are all soldiers in the same army, and all required to be vigiliant, for our adversary never rests. If you want to rest easy, you are in the wrong religion, friend! )
#5.1.1 Anonymous on 2008-12-07 16:16
Annonymous, you have raised the single most important question - where did all those funds go?? Perhaps the IRS or the FBI will be able to get to the bottom of this but should not the OCA be asking these questions and demanding answers! From the time that it was known these funds had gone awol the OCA should have begun to seek answers as to where exactly they had gone to and taken legal steps to get them back. Would anyone care to suggest why this was not done? Remember we are not talking nickels and dimes but millions of dollars! These funds could have been used for evangelization or the building up of new missions and hopefully, if and when, we get them back they can be put to proper use.
#5.1.2 Fr. Ian. - Port Charlotte,FL on 2008-12-08 09:54
A decease relative of mine gave generously to St. Tihon's and now St. Tikhon's is being investigated (with due cause). I'm a member of a mission, who has only received financial help from our diocese. I believe in giving to charities who use those funds for which they are designated. Many people probably feel the same way as I do.
#5.1.3 anonymous on 2008-12-09 11:36
"editor's note: ...Anything less, and we end up right back where we began three years ago."
What many people here don't realize is that the OCA financial crisis didn't begin three years ago. It really goes back into the 1980's. It escalated when RSK became Chancellor and the 1990's were when the majority of theft took place. Apparently, + Herman was dipping into his own till way before this.
(Editor's note: If you are going to make such claims, writer, please offer some evidence. How does the financial crisis go back into the 1980's, beyond what the SIC has reported? How is it "apparent" that +Herman was "dipping" into his own till before this? )
#6 Anonymous on 2008-12-08 07:39
Please complete your entire investigation regarding St. Tikhon's and it's financials. Thorough interviews with those close to + Herman since his enthronment would be helpful.
#6.1 Anonymous on 2008-12-09 07:40
Do any other readers of this website feel leery that the OCA is planning to have a $100.00 a plate enthronement banquet on the 28th of Dec? This seems to be more of the lavish overspending that we have been used of old from Syosset. After the church has been bilked of millions and in the middle of a severe recession, is this the message of change that we should expect from the Church?
What is even more an example of lavish overspending is the move in the NY/NJ Diocese and the greater Washington area to have parishes contribute $200 each to buy the new Metropolitan a new panagia costing (please sit down for this one, folks!) - $13,000!!! If that isn't part of the "same old, same old" of the old regime, I don't know what is!!
#8 David Barrett on 2008-12-17 13:55
Taking everything into account, it is not morally right to spend $13,000 on a new panagia for the Metropolitan. There is nothing that can justify it or make it reasonable. Metropolitan Jonah, at least we feel that we can communicate with you. We hope that you are not out of our reach. Why is the NY/NJ Diocese and the greater Washington area making the parishes contribute $200 each to buy you a $13,000 panagia?
#8.1 Anonymous on 2008-12-18 08:23
I am a parishoner at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, and have heard that Syosset has been putting lots of pressure on the St Nicholas Cathedral administration and parish council to sell tickets to the banquet -- as of last Sunday only 75 had been sold. Syosset is worried because they were hoping that a sufeit of sales by the local parish would cover the costs for all the freebies who have been invited.
#9 Martin McGuigan, Washington, DC on 2008-12-19 11:27
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