Met Jonah: Vision for America

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.


  1. Eis polla eti, Despota!

  2. Michael Bauman :

    Finally, a bishop who actually cares about American and her people.

  3. Wow, an American bishop who wants to engage the culture and bring Christ and the Truth to all the people. I am amazed and reassured to see such a bold and Christ-centered vision for the Orthodox Church and for the United States. May God grant Metropolitan Jonah many years!

  4. Metropolitan Jonah has shown more love, leadership and conviction in the first 3 weeks of his episcopacy than the entire GOA eparchial synod has it the last 15 years.

    Many years Your Beatitude!

  5. George Michalopulos :

    The whole idea of an “eparchial synod” is pretty much a joke anyway. They have no real authority because anything they rule on can be countermanded immediately by the Archbishop or the EP. It reminds me of the typical high school student council. Essentially a safety-valve which allows the ambitious to blow off some steam and fool the people in the pews that autonomy exists for the GOAA.

  6. Met Jonah has a very good plan. So good that it makes me wonder: how come nobody did that before? Met Jonah says that winning young people to Jesus in the Orthodox Church will fill our seminaries and monasteries. This is the strongest part of his program. That mainly depends on what is being taught in those seminaries. In some eastern European countries the value of the programs in the seminaries has dropped dramatically. Often young people filled with enthusiasm and love for the Orthodox Church come out atheists.

    All I heard about Met Jonah is that his sermons about love impressed many people. May God keep him on the good path for “Love without Christ is meaningless, Faith without Christ is Godlessness, and Works without Christ, according to Saint Paul, are sinful.” Here you can find more about how people are searching for love and truth without Christ, falling in the trap of “the super-heresy of ecumenism, one of the greatest plagues of our Church”. This is a good webpage, you can find here audio books, one of them is Father Arseny.

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