All Saints of North America Orthodox Church (Hamilton, ON, Canada)

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November - December 2018

TWO DEMANDING ARTICLES: CHALLENGING TO FOLLOW, IMPOSSIBLE TO IGNORE

We find the best possible examples of Christian life among the saints: they are indeed the Bible in practice. Yet too often, God's saints remain just an abstract idea of people who lived long ago and far away.

In the same way many of the saints of North America provide us with examples of Christian missionary success, St. George, St. Juvenaly, and St. Peter the Aleut remind us that if we want to share the Gospel and Christ's Holy Church with other people, we must often face the difficult realities this life will demand of us. And it has to be said that if we're truly Christians, it will be demanded of ALL of us - not just a few people who go on mission trips, or those who are ordained.

In this issue, we feature two articles on ways we can and must confront these challenges, if we are simply to remain Christians and pass on the Orthodox Faith to our children. The first article addresses the question of the reasons people - usually those 18-25 years old - abandon the Orthodox Faith. The second addresses the realities parents, godparents, and indeed all faithful must prepare young people to face if their faith is to be rooted, to grow, and to reach others.

Everyday Orthodox Christians are the primary modern evangelists of the Church. We are each the means by which young people are safeguarded and strengthened in their faith. This requires a great deal from every mature Orthodox Christian: much more prayer, repentance, and learning than most of us are prepared to give. Yet we have no other choice. The alternative is the stagnation that many (perhaps most) established churches are experiencing today, and the high likelihood that our children and godchildren will walk away from Orthodox Christianity.

- FrG+

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