Friday, January 27, 2006

To my dear Lady the Reverend and God-Loved, Deacon, Olympias

Did you know that this was how St. John Chrysostom addressed his close friend and confidant, St Olympia? Here is a well researched book by Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald entitled
Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church Called to Holiness and Ministry It is edited by Father Thomas Hopko.
St Nina's Quaterly has a great review
written by Deborah Belonick Associate Editor for St Vladimir's Seminary Press
Any mention of Women Deacons is charged with varied, but immediate reaction:
"Yes!!! This ministry needs to return"...."Oh no...once they get to be deacons what is keeping them from being priests??"..."Shush"..."That is feminist retoric"..."Why can't women's ministry be ordained?"...
I think it is important to ask why we have these strong emotional reactions and are they based on any facts or research or knowledge of the historical role of Diaconess or are they based on our assumptions and what was debated with our friends?
On a related theme, there are many incredible orthodox women of past and of present. Some are saints, but most are just women trying to live out their life in Christ. Over the next while I think I will post about some of the wonderful women and resources for women and books written by Orthodox women.


kimberley said...

cool. i'll be sure to check back.

i remember reading a little while ago of mother olga and how her quiet christlike way brought healing to so many, through her everyday life.

it would encourage many in our families, both men and women alike.

Simply Victoria said...

such a list is long overdue, that would be so wonderful kim.
now if we could only get julianna into this blog thing...
we're having a bc women's retreat in feb '07, and are brainstorming ideas about topics.
do you have any suggestions? something specifac; we came up with 'women's role in the church', but it's too vague (and I don't really want to hear anymore about orthodox mothering or 'wifing', we get enough of that, I want something really big and shattering, you know what I mean?)

MommaKim said...

I know exactly what you mean. Let me think and pray and chat a couple of wise friends at St Vlad's. Immediately or Deborah Belonick for speaking. I will think up some topics. Funny how the role of women always seems to get wittled down to those two topics. I am sure it is because they are gifts from
God and we all want to be a better wife and mother, but not every woman IS a wife and mother. I will ponder and talk to some "sources"
We should go to Julianna's for tea and set her up!

RW said...

I look forward to seeing what you recommend.

I think something on the lines of focusing on living authentic Christian lives... something that talks about our individual call to follow Christ on a very basic, intimate level...

The Pleasant Peasant said...

My mom used to read Robert Frost to me when I was little too, especially "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". Another poem she read was "Silver" by Walter de la Mare:

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breast peep
Of doves in silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws and a silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

MommaKim said...

I am going to have to do some poetry research....Poems to read at bed time to little children....I am sure e e cummings would fit well in there too.
Thanks Josina, I am going to read "Silver" to the kids tonight!

MommaKim said...

Dr-Sister Nona Harrison may be another wonderful speaker....I wonder if we could get her???

Simply Victoria said...

Dr.Sister Nona Harrison?
Sounds interesting. Where does she live?

Simply Victoria said...

btw, I found a good site :
(if this doesn't work, I've got a link on my blog)
they have a whole section called "Restoring the Diaconate" and promises of more articles to come.
They have this book mentioned there too.
It is interesting how quickly any such discussions about this issue becomes politically charged, eh? And frustrating. Why the automatic assumption that women must be aspiring to the priesthood?