Posts Tagged ‘Fr. John Peck’

Fr. John Peck, Nostrodamus?

November 14, 2008

crystal-ball

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.

Fr. John Peck’s Future Coming True?

October 25, 2008

USA Today magazine is reporting the “suprising” news that – are you ready? – the Orthodox Churches in the United States are full of converts!  No big news for most of us out in the hinterlands where we have and will continue to expect church growth based on converts.  The only thing I find a bit unusual is the questions they asked about major concerns for these new Orthodox.  A common date for the celebration of Pascha/Easter?  Sorry, but that one’s not been a big concern with the converts I hang with.   Well, that’s just fine if the Pope wants to agree to the Orthodox formula for calculating Pascha/Easter.  Maybe after that his Holiness will be interested in coming ’round on the issue of Papal infallability and the Filioque.

I’m not sure if this is really any kind of statistical confirmation of Fr. John Peck’s predictions for the American Orthodox church of the future, but it’s all the anectdotal evidence I need to hope for many of the others to come true.

To read the original study go to the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute and click on the links here.

This is America Isn’t It?

October 6, 2008

An excellent and eloquent article, The Orthodox Church of Tomorrow, has been floating around the net for the last three weeks, but was recently removed from the original posting site by something we Americans don’t take too kindly to – infringement of our right to free speech.  Fr. John A. Peck of Prescott Orthodox Mission in Prescott, Arizona, posted the most honest, in-your-face article I’ve ever seen on the subject of the future of Orthodoxy in America and what needs to be done to survive and thrive.   I should rather say Fr. John “was” a pastor of Prescott Orthodox Mission, because since the article came out he has been removed from his post and the article was taken down by him out of obedience to his superiors.  An infringement on his right to free speech by any other name. 

I would never suggest any one, laity or ordained clergy, do anything that is contradictory to church teachings or the authority of the hierarchy.  But after reading this article several times, I can honestly say there isn’t anything that questions either.  Should we stop speaking the truth in love because it might destroy entrenched positions?

I’m not on the inside of anything, but it certainly appears that the same straight talk and practical ideas that spread Fr. Peck’s article like wildfire throughout Orthodox circles is the same reason it’s too hot for the powers that be within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.  The removal of Fr. Peck and the purge of his article cannot change the power of the Internet.   The written word cannot be suppressed.  Pray for our hierarchs that they can overcome their sensitive feelings and entrenched provincialism to see the truth and the great promise in Fr. John’s article.