Conclusion

Let me start wrapping up.

Two thoughts:

First: If you want to experience Orthodoxy, attend a service. If you want to know its heart, visit to a monastery.  My wife and I have a favorite monastery in Michigan which we visit at least once a year.  Each has its own personalityk, but they share in common a life dedicated to growing closer to Christ; which they live out through prayer, worship and hospitality.

Second: In practicing  ‘your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven’ we have much to share with each other. You are questioning traditional models of missions, I think this is good and “Launch Lab” has many similarities to the missionary model used by St Innocent, bishop of Alaska; where the natives learned in their own language, and became business leaders, navigators and ship captains – some who circumnavigated the globe multiple times. Only today, I think you are doing it better than we Orthodox are. We need more conversation.

I want to close with a story from the Desert Fathers, monks of the 3-4th century. As a language clarification: An abbot is the head of a monastery, who is responsible for its organization and worship, as well as keeping it running on a daily basis – a hard job.

“There came to the abbot Joseph the abbot Lot, and said to him, “Father, according to my strength I keep a modest rule of prayer and fasting and meditation and quiet, and according to my strength I purge my imagination; what more must I do?”

The old man, rising, held up his hands against the sky, and his fingers became like ten torches of fire, and he said, “If I were truly holy, my whole self would be one flame.””

Questions?

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