Native American Pathways to Orthodoxy – Marriane Poulos

http://americaofmyheart.wordpress.com

AMERICA OF MY HEART

Native American Pathways to Orthodoxy

by

Marriane Poulos

Source:

http://www.stlukeorthodox.com

http://www.stlukeorthodox.com/html/evangelist/1998/nativeamericanpaths.cfm

ST. LUKE ORTHODOX

I first felt the words of Christ come to life on a Pueblo Native American reservation in New Mexico, at “Ok’Ay Oh Ween Geh,” (Place of the Strong People.) The first time I stepped into the home of my Pueblo friend I was told, “This is not just my home, it is yours, too. And know that you always have a place to come home to, no matter how long it takes you to return.” How Christ-like this Indian elder was. The more our friendship grew, the more I was able to admire his goodness. Once I even saw him give the last of his money to an enemy. I also began to learn more of his people’s history. When the Spanish first came to the Southwest they called the Native Americans pagans. By force the colonizers converted them to Catholicism. They severely beat and hung many tribal leaders unless they allowed themselves to be baptized, immediately. They were made slaves. They were given Spanish names. “The Pueblo,” as a name did not exist yet. To themselves they were simply known only as “The People”. So it was in this atmosphere of evil The People were introduced to Christ, for the very first time. Despite the surrounding cruelty in which the Word came to them, they accepted it anyway. And this is what made the Native Americans such great Christians – they forgave their enemies.

To many Native American elders, the Word and the Way of Christ seemed so much like the teachings the Great Spirit had given to them. When they heard the scriptures they were convinced of Jesus, but they wondered why these bringers of his worWord were so unlike him – searching the Southwest for the mythic “Seven Cities of Gold,” My elder friend told me, “We knew where the gold was, but, you see, in an Indian way it would be bad for the people. It might make us greedy or start fighting, so we just left it buried there. In the Indian way a person’s worth was not determined by what he could accumulate, but by how much he could give.” Another Native friend of mine once told me, “Our ancestors grew up fearing the cross.” To them it had become a symbol of violence and death, comparable to the swastika.

One can only wonder how it would have been had the Pueblo Indians been introduced to Christ through the Orthodox Christian church like the Aleutian peoples of Alaska. The Aleuts, who were not mono-theistic, were taught the Christian gospel over a period of then years, and not so much by teaching and preaching, but by personal example. The life of Orthodox Saint Hermen of Alaska was one of humble service to the Kodiak people. His miracles of healing and prophesies concerning the future confirmed the Sugpiaq faith in Orthodox Christianity.

Today Alaska has become the home of four Orthodox saints, all who have been canonized by the church. This includes the martyred Kodiak Aleut Peter who died under torture in California for refusing to renounce Orthodoxy, after being captured by the Spanish. (Alaskan Missionary Spirituality, edited by Michael Oleska) Perhaps there are many pathways to the Giver of Life, Who is Everywhere Present, Who Fills All Things.

But the question remains, can one reject Christ and still achieve spiritual wholeness? The famous medicine man Black Elk believed the Indian tradition had been given by God to prepare the Indians for the revelation of Christ. (Michael Streltenkamp’s Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala, University of Oklahoma Press.) In comparing the various Native American Traditions to the mystic heart of the ancient Orthodox Christian Tradition (the original persecuted Christian Church of Christ,) we can find several corresponding links supporting this very idea. In both traditions we begin prayers by offering sweet fragrance to our Father in Heaven, or in the Native American tradition, to “Sky Father.” The Native Americans honor The Great Mystery in all the directions, and pray facing east, just as we Orthodox face east in prayer. The Bishops of the Orthodox church face east, south, west and north – to honor the Sun, Jesus Christ, rising in all the directions.

The traditional Native American idea of the Creator is expressed as The Great Mystery, and The Great Spirit. The Orthodox Church also shares the notion of God as Mystery, expressed beautifully by Bishop Kallistos Ware in his book,The Orthodox Way. He writes how the Greek Fathers “liken man’s encounter with God to the experience of someone walking over the mountains in the mist: he takes a step forward and suddenly finds that he is on the edge of a precipice, with no solid ground beneath his foot but only a bottomless abyss…our normal assumptions are shattered… And so it proves to be for each one who follows the spiritual Way. We go out from the known to the unknown, we advance from light into darkness. We do not simply proceed from the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge, but we go forward into greater knowledge which is so much more profound.”

And if the Holy Spirit, as the dynamic, as opposed to the still, aspect of God, in Orthodoxy, can be equated to the Native American concept of The Great Spirit, then perhaps we have reached the point where Christianity can be presented as the fulfillment of Indian tradition – in a new aspect of God. God as Person. A God who came to us to show his humble love for us. A God who experienced manhood out of his deep sympathy. “In his ecstatic love, God unites himself to his creation in the closest of all possible unions, by himself becoming that which he has created.” (Bishop Kallistos Ware)“Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) This does not mean we replace or destroy the old. Many aspects of the Orthodox tradition correspond directly to the ancient beliefs of Native Americans, and perhaps this ancient window can also provide us with a greater scope of the deep Christ Heart.

One of our old, old holy men said,“Every step you take on earth should be a prayer. The power of a pure and good soul is in every person’s heart and will grow as a seed as you walk in a sacred manner. And if every step you take is a prayer, then you will always be walking in a sacred manner” (CharmaineWhiteFaceOglala Lakota).

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Σας ευχαριστούμε που μας βρήκατε

http://faithbookorthodoxy.wordpress.com

FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY

Σας ευχαριστούμε που μας βρήκατε

Γράφει ὁ Bernie May: «Στίς ἀρχές Μαΐου τοῦ 1972, ὁ καλός μου φίλος ὁ Μπένγκετ Γιάνβικ ἔγινε τό ἀντικείμενο μιᾶς μαζικῆς ἐπιχειρήσεως διασώσεως, ἐνῶ μετέφερε ἕνα καινούργιο ἀεροπλάνο στήν Galena τῆς Αλάσκας. Τό ὕπουλο “βροχερό πέρασμα”, μιά πυξίδα πού ταλαντευόταν καί κάποια ἀπότομα καθοδικά ρεύματα εἶχαν σάν ἀποτέλεσμα νά συντριβῆ σ᾽ ἕνα ἀπρόσιτο βουνίσιο φαράγγι. Ὁ Μπένγκετ, ἄν καί ἐπέζησε ἀπ᾽ τήν πτῶσι χωρίς τραύματα, ἦταν ἀγνοούμενος. Μιά χιονοθύελλα πού ξέσπασε, κάλυψε ὅλη τήν περιοχή γιά τίς ἑπόμενες τέσσερεις μέρες.

Στό μεταξύ οἱ ἀρχές καί οἱ φίλοι του ἔκαναν ὅ,τι μποροῦσαν. Πενῆντα ὁμάδες ἔρευνας καί διασώσεως καί ἄλλα τόσα στρατιωτικά καί πολιτικά ἀεροπλάνα ἄρχισαν νά ψάχνουν τό βουνό. Ἕνας φίλος ἐπιχειρηματίας ἀπ᾽ τήν California πῆγε στήν Αλάσκα καί μίσθωσε ἐπιπλέον ἀεροπλάνα καί ἑλικόπτερα, γιά νά βοηθήσουν στίς ἔρευνες. Χριστιανοί φίλοι ἀπ᾽ ὅλο τόν κόσμο προσεύχονταν.

Τήν πέμπτη μέρα ἀναγνωριστικά ἀεροπλάνα πέταξαν πάνω ἀπ᾽ τόν Μπένγκετ, ὅμως δέν τόν εἶδαν. Τή δέκατη τρίτη μέρα τά ἀεροπλάνα σταμάτησαν τίς ἔρευνες. Καθώς τελείωναν τά ἐφόδιά του, ὁ Μπένγκετ πίστευε πώς κάθε ἐλπίδα σωτηρίας εἶχε χαθῆ. Ἐκείνη τή δέκατη τρίτη μέρα, ὅμως, ἕνα ἑλικόπτερο, πού πέταξε στό φαράγγι, τόν ἐντόπισε.

Ὁ χαμένος βρέθηκε! Μπορεῖτε νά φαντασθῆτε τήν ἀγαλλίασι καί τόν ἐνθουσιασμό! Ἡ γυναῖκα καί τά παιδιά του, οἱ φίλοι του, οἱ ὁμάδες ἔρευνας, ὅλοι ξεφώνιζαν ἀπ᾽ τή χαρά τους.

Τότε ὀργανώθηκε μιά δεξίωσι. Ὁ μεγαλύτερος διαθέσιμος χῶρος, μέ καθίσματα γιά 250 ἄτομα, ἦταν ἀσφυκτικά γεμάτος. Συντονιστής τῆς βραδυᾶς ἦταν ὁ ἐπιχειρηματίας, πού εἶχε ναυλώσει τό ἑλικόπτερο, ὅταν ὅλα τά ἄλλα ἀεροπλάνα εἶχαν ἐγκαταλείψει τίς προσπάθειες. Ὁ Μπένγκετ, ὁ ἴδιος, εἶχε τήν εὐκαιρία νά πῆ “εὐχαριστῶ” στούς ἀνθρώπους, πού εἶχαν περάσει ὧρες καί μέρες, ψάχνοντας γι᾽ αὐτόν, ἕνα χαμένο, τόν ὁποῖο δέν τόν γνώριζαν προσωπικά.

Καθώς ὁ Μπένγκετ μᾶς ἐδιηγεῖτο αὐτή τήν ἱστορία, δέν μπόρεσα νά μή σκεφθῶ μιά ἄλλη σύναξι. Τελετάρχης θά εἶναι ὁ ἴδιος ὁ Ἰησοῦς. Ἡ μεγαλόπρεπη οὐράνια αἴθουσα θά εἶναι κατάμεστη. Μπορῶ νά ἀκούσω ἀνθρώπους ἀπό διάφορες φυλές —Κάμπας, Κέουας, Ἄουκας— νά λένε:

“Σᾶς εὐχαριστοῦμε, γιατί ὀργανώσατε τήν ὁμάδα σωτηρίας· σᾶς εὐχαριστοῦμε, γιατί παραμείνατε σ᾽ αὐτήν. Σᾶς εὐχαριστοῦμε πού μᾶς βρήκατε. Βρισκόμαστε ἐδῶ, ἐπειδή ἐσεῖς ἐνδιαφερθήκατε”».

Ἀπό το βιβλίο: Ἀρχιμ. Ἰωάννου Κωστώφ, Ψυχική Τόνωσι, Διαχρονικό Ἡμερολόγιο, Ἐκδόσεις Ἅγιος Ἰωάννης Δαμασκηνός (2108229542), Σταμάτα 2017

Elder Ephraim’s Orthodox Monasteries in North America

Elder Ephraim’s Orthodox Monasteries in North America

A different light: Youthfull travellers in contemporary America – Nun Nectaria McLees

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

A different light: Youthfull travellers in contemporary America

by

Nun Nectaria McLees

Source:

http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/

https://www.roadtoemmaus.net/back_issue_articles/RTE_47/A_DIFFERENT_LIGHT.pdf

ROAD TO EMMAUS

Twentieth-century readers knew Kerouac’s On the Road and Jack London’s earlier hobo classic, The Road, but how many of us know what the 21st-century counter-culture is up to, their life-styles and aspirations? We see the tattoos, nose-rings, attitudes, but do we hear the cries of the heart from young people searching for truth? In the following interview Rainbow (Xenia) Lundeen and Seth (John) Haskins, both baptized Orthodox after this conversation, share the by-ways they’ve taken in trying to live out the Gospel in their lives.

RTE: Rainbow and Seth, what are your backgrounds and how did you become travelers?

RAINBOW: When I was very young, my parents were dedicated Seventh Day Adventists, but after bad experiences with the church they left Christianity, and my brother and I were raised pretty much as agnostics. When I was twelve, I had some Christian classmates who tried to convince me that Christ was God, but it seemed so superficial that when they said things like, “Jesus loves you,” I put my fingers in my ears. Not long after, though, while listening to Christmas music alone in my room, I suddenly experienced not just a heavenly feeling, but the presence of Someone who I knew was Jesus Christ Himself. I accepted Christianity then, but it wasn’t until ninth grade when I began hanging out with Christian friends that it became part of my life. Galatians says, “If we live in the Spirit then we should walk in the Spirit,” and it struck me that Christianity wasn’t just a list of rules of things I shouldn’t do. If I believed in Continue reading “A different light: Youthfull travellers in contemporary America – Nun Nectaria McLees”

Find an Orthodox Parish in Canada, USA & Mexico

http://oca.org/parishes

Find an Orthodox Parish in Canada, USA & Mexico

Video: ᐊᓛᓯᑲ Alaska – Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ Inuktitut Native American (Canada & Alaska)

http://alaskaofmyheart.wordpress.com

https://nativeamericansmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

http://canadaofmyheart.wordpress.com

ALASKA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

CANADA OF MY HEART

ᐊᓛᓯᑲ Alaska – Orthodoxy

ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ Inuktitut Native American (Canada & Alaska)

Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

chile hh

“NATIVE AMERICANS MAY BECOME

THE LARGEST ETHNIC GROUP IN THE AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.”

An interview with His Beatitude Jonah, Archbishop of Washington,

Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/33241.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

In early December of 2009, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of All America and Canada (Orthodox Church of America) visited Russia to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the OCA’s representation in Moscow. Correspondent Miguel Palacio took the opportunity to talk with Metropolitan Jonah about the OCA’s presence in Latin America.

– Your Beatitude, in which Latin America countries is the Orthodox Church in America represented?

– Our jurisdiction extends to Mexico. We used to have parishes in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela as well, but one of them joined the Russian Church Abroad, while others simply closed.

Several communities in Latin America want to join the American Orthodox Church. We would be happy to receive these faithful people, but there would be no one to take care of them because we have very few clergymen who speak Spanish or Portuguese.

One priest, who I hope will soon become a bishop, began a mission in Ecuador, in the city of Guayaquil, where there is a large Palestinian colony. Unfortunately, his good initiative has fizzled out. I have heard that many Palestinians also live in Central American countries, one of which is El Salvador. It is curious, but they do not go to the Antiochian parishes, and are requesting to be received under our omophorion.

The Constantinople and Antiochian Patriarchates prefer to pastor the Greek and Arab diasporas. We do not understand this. The Church should give pastoral care first of all to Continue reading “Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church”