Orthodox culture: things I take for granted


I was born to a white English father (himself born to Irish and French parents), and a black Kittitian mother, whose ancestry three or four generations earlier was found in African slaves.

In the Orthodox Church, I was not out of place.  The bishop who ordained me to the subdiaconate was a white German convert from Lutheranism, whose English was decidedly American.  My parish had a reader from Nigeria, and within our wider diocese were clergy who were English, Russian, Latvian, and Canadian.  My current bishop is from a Jewish family but has a Spanish surname, and I visited his monastery in Holy Week to find myself making friends with a German priest, a French priest, another English subdeacon, and a former monastic novice who is South African with a French surname, among others.

I just thought I would share how utterly fantastic I find the experience of being an Orthodox Christian to be, and the benefits of being part of an international family that knows something of the breadth of the human experience.

And people will come from east, west, north and south, and they will recline at table in the Kingdom of God.
- Jesus Christ (Luke 13: 29)

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