The more time I spend in the US, the more obvious it becomes to me that people here have been deeply affected by the ethnic obsession of most Orthodox groups. By far, the most frequent questions I have to answer are concerned with the language we use in our services at the monastery, whether we shall receive novices from non-Orthodox countries, if the monastery will act as a self-contained cultural group or will reach out to the local population and culture, and so on.
I hope the following lines will answer some of these questions:
Yes, our monastery is mission-oriented.
Yes, our services are celebrated in English.
Yes, we are doing our best to integrate into the local culture.
Yes, we welcome novices from non-Orthodox countries.
Yes, we promote and pray for genuine unity among all the Orthodox groups in the UK.
Yes, we pray for anyone – Orthodox or not, Christian or not, religious or not: if God created you, then He must love you; who are we to interfere with that?
I cannot even imagine a different way of doing things. Any sort of restriction we impose on people around us only limit their chance to get to know Christ: how shall I stand before God and defend the ‘virtue’ of rejecting a human being’s chance to salvation because they belong to a different language, culture or ethnicity?
Have a blessed Lent, everyone; and please, remember to support us.