1978-2001: Where My Monastic Training Took Root
The Byzantine-rite monastery in upstate New York I entered had around a dozen brothers, with a sister-monastery of about a dozen nuns 4 miles away. On February 23rd of 1979 the monastic communities officially entered the Orthodox Church In America where I took discipleship to my spiritual mentor in the monastery very seriously. I became one of the four cooks, helped out once a week in the butcher-shop making sausage, and was put in charge of the Publications branch of the monastery.. Since the monastery breeds and raises German Shepherds I dealt with adult dogs and scores of puppies in the kennel. Eventually, I became the Vocation Director, the Guestmaster for 18 years, began a Day Lily breeding program, became professionally involved in the art world, and was ordained as one of the four Priests for the monastery! WHEW!
2001-2002: Stepping Back Into Society
By 2001 the desire to live outside the monastery’s boundaries found me on May 10th, 2001 at 2:30am climbing into a small Penske truck rental and heading off to reside at our National Cathedral in Washington, DC for three months. They were the most glorious of all of my adult life! For the first time in my adult life I had no responsibilities except to attend a liturgical service on Saturday night and Sunday morning. I lived on Embassy Row and every day I walked down it was fascinated by all of the architectural diversity! I spent day after day visiting museums, galleries… gorging on all of the cultural offerings! After nine months I was assigned to become the Pastor of our small mission based in Savannah, GA which just happens to be one hour away from where my Mother and Sister live!
2002-2011: My Most Meaningful Work
On March 10th, 2002 I became the Parish’s Pastor and we soon purchased 2 acres of property outside Savannah in Rincon. A 32′ by 80′ double-wide trailer affords us a place to worship, a place for Fellowship, and two private rooms for me to live. Over the past ten years we have experienced a vibrant parish life, became legally incorporated, built our Temple at the front of the property, built a picnic pavilion and have held 4 yearly Russian Festivals for the community! WHEW!