Current Events & Information
Considering Evangelism: Thoughts by Team Leader Sue Liskowski
The Evangelism Team is an eclectic group of ministries working together to
reach out to the community. We support charity, promote the sanctity of life,
inform and educate our parish and our neighbors when possible.
My goal is to help in any way I can to equip our members to share their
faith with those who seek it, and to be beacons of light in a darkened world.
The idea of evangelism is sometimes a bit uncomfortable for Orthodox
Christians. Often we associate it with knocking on doors and passing out religious tracts.
Even if that is something we might feel called to do, sometimes we don't feel we know
enough; afraid someone might ask a question we don't know how to answer. [or maybe it's
just me who feels this way!]. But I think the world needs us. In particular, America needs
us. And I think that finally, America is ready to see us not just as "that [insert
ethnic group] church that has the festival with those yummy [insert ethnic food]."
Maybe they will be able to look at us and see the church that is so
wonderfully rich in tradition but so essentially simple at the same
time. The church that holds the simple faith of the Apostles and yet embraces the
layers and layers of two thousand years' worth of spiritual experience.
It is a faith in which one could never get bored, never feel that they have
at last learned all there is to know of Christianity.
There can be no such thing as an "expert" in Orthodox Christianity. It
is so all-encompassing, from the ancient hymns and the deep theology of the Church
fathers to the simple beauty of icons and the mystery of the sacraments.
St. Augustine wrote in his "Confessions": "Thou hast made us for
yourself, Oh God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee."
I believe there are a lot of people in this world right now who are hurting,
lonely, confused, and tired, seeking peace but not knowing where to find it.
People are seeking spirituality. Just look at the popularity of false
religions, New Age music, yoga, even pagan practices. And among Christian
denominations, there are movements toward more sacramental services. The
people who were told in the '70s that all you need is Jesus are wondering if
perhaps they aren't missing something.
I think the time has come for America to be introduced to the fullness
of the Orthodox faith... and I think our parish at St. Luke's is uniquely
blessed and able to minister to the needs of those seeking the true Christian church.
Maybe we don't need to knock on doors. If we become models for how Orthodoxy
can work in America, the people will come to ours!