I’m beginning to believe Fr. John Peck has got some kind of cystal ball under his riassa. It seems that every week brings some new revelation or finding that supports his beliefs about the present state and future life of the Orthodox churches in America. In reviewing the list of predictions and speculations in his now infamous article, The Orthodox Church of the Future, I realized we’ve got several more to check off:
- More (and younger) bishops – Well, Metropolitan Jonah was a bishop, albeit briefly, but I think a young Metropolitan will do just fine. This is not to denigrate the wisdom and experience of an older hierarchy, but in the present times we need someone with the vigor, energy and time to see a renewed vision through in the long run.
- Publicly renowned Orthodox media and apologetic ministries – Only three words are necessary: Ancient Faith Radio. I’d like to expand on this in another post, but is there any doubt about how important it was to provide the faithful with contemporaneous downloads of the proceedings of the 15th All American Council? Their professionalism and expertise provided the link that made all of us feel that for once, we were a part of the proceedings. We didn’t have to wait for word-of-mouth or gossip, some uninformative pastoral announcement or a month old article in The Orthodox Church magazine. This is the power of an effective Orthodox media.
- A different demographic of clergy – i.e. converts. This could also read ‘a different demographic of hierarchy’. There are quite a few convert hierarchs, our beloved Vladyka Dmitri, for example. But can anyone name me a convert Metropolitan prior to his Eminence Jonah? This is the ultimate example of the convert shift in Orthodoxy.
And this may be the most compelling evidence for Fr. Peck’s prophecies – hope. The events of this past week have given me such a renewed sense of hope and joy, an expectation that just around the corner is greatness. Not material wealth, not esteem and secular laurels, but the fulfillment of the Orthodox Church’s potential in this country. As Fr. Peck predicts
Orthodoxy is about to take flight on new beautiful wings. These are the birth pangs of a new era for Orthodoxy. God is giving us a time of freedom and light.