Rod Dreher over at Crunch Con believes the OCA has turned a corner:
Amazing. Just amazing. And prophetic. This is a national religious leader who is right for the time. Listen to it here by clicking on the “Vision for the Future” audio link. Excerpts (forgive any transcribing errors, please):
He talks about the need for Orthodox Christians to engage the world in service:
Where are the Orthodox hospitals? Where are the Orthodox schools? Where are the Orthodox charitable institutions? It’s a beautiful thing to build a medical clinic in a remote village in Ethiopia. But it’s also a beautiful thing to build a medical clinic in a remote village in Kansas.
The fundamental institutions of our culture are falling apart. … [Traditional Episcopalians, for example] are crying out in pain. They see their church as having abandoned Christianity, and surely it has. If it endorses gay marriage. If it endorses homosexuality. If it endorses abortion. If it endorses euthanasia — this is an abandonment of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. No wonder those people are so hurting. … We need to open not only our doors but also our hearts.
He goes on to say that Orthodox college groups are especially important to him. They are not places where nice ethnic boys meet nice ethnic girls to get married. They should be about forming Christian souls.
There are so many kids living on university campuses in Animal House. Sex, drugs alcohol — and despair. It’s all from despair, and it’s bitter. We, by reaching out to them, can give them hope. And that only hope is Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
He says he wants to see an Orthodox housing facility on every major university campus in this country, with a campus minister who is an Orthodox priest. Says winning young people to Jesus in the Orthodox church will fill our seminaries and monasteries.
This is not some kind of thing where we need to put another bureaucracy in Syosset, and establish some kind of development program.” Says get busy where you are, working locally, to “build something beautiful for God.” (Hat tip: Mother Teresa!)
Now that’s a man with a plan. And he’s young — 49 years old. God willing, he’ll be with us for a very long time. The Orthodox Church in America’s best days are surely ahead of it with this kind of Christian servant in leadership.