Sunday, July 2nd, 8:30am: Matins; 9:30am: Divine Liturgy followed by Coffee-Fellowship in the downstairs parish hall.
Global warming is an undeniable fact. How much of this warming is caused by greenhouse gases and/or the earth’s natural warming (and cooling) cycles is not fully known. There is no scientific consensus on this point. And yet, we are told that we must reduce our “carbon footprint” as much as possible to practice good environmental stewardship. Many take it a step further by elevating their environmental cause to a shrill moralism that demands stringent compliance. As Orthodox, we have our own unique approach to a more proper and effective environmentalism. Yet we stay away from the strident climate moralizing that has become so fashionable these days.
One reason for this is because “moralisms” of every stripe and type just don’t work. About this I will soon speak. Another reason we refuse to moralize about this issue is because anyone who knows even just a lick of history knows that it was “science” that put us in our present climate predicament in the first place. It was science that, 300 years previously, went on to lay the foundation for the “human conquest of nature”.
Thus began the great industrial revolution in 18th century England, and which spread across the globe in only a few generations. The assumption, back then, was that science and industry would free human beings from their slavery to religion, ignorance, and soil-scratching poverty. So here we are now at the beginning of the 21st century, thanks to scientific progress, with our world teetering on the verge of apocalyptic disaster. The genie has burst out of the bottle, and not only is it impossible to put the genie back in the bottle, but the genie itself has turned out to be less than docile. To say the least.
So my point, for the reason listed above, is that the moral voice of climate-science is moot, kind of like members of congress speaking on the immorality of insider trading. They can’t, for obvious reasons. They would be laughed out of office. (Maybe they should?) Or like Roman Catholic bishops speaking out against the horror of pederasty. Who in their right mind would take them seriously? And yet, we continue to be harangued on all sides about the morality of environmentalism from the same institution which is responsible for the fact that the forests are burning and that the oceans are warming.
This brings us to the problem of moralism, as I just mentioned. And here I must be clear about the difference between what is a positive and necessary “morality” (such as the divine virtues embodied in the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount), and a negative, critical “moralism” which is any “standard of behavior” that is an end in itself. Christians, for example, who fall into pharisaic moralism are those who see their faith as a path of moral improvement whereby they are able to stratify themselves as being ethical (holy) and others as being their opposite, unethical (sinful). Their only way of achieving righteousness is by comparing themselves to the unrighteousness of sinners. That is, their own (perceived) goodness feeds off of the blood of those whom they deem as evil. Instead of looking to God as the only righteous one, they start with themselves and work downward. This dead-end, legalistic moralism can be best seen in the distinct type of American Puritanism that was so revolting to 2nd generation Puritans such as Nathanel Hawthorne (“The Scarlet Letter”) and Henry David Thoreau (Walden). These 18th century offspring of the New England Puritans saw just how hypocritical their forebears’ religion was, and they opted out.
To be continued….
Fr. Paul Jannakos
SUMMER CAMP FOR KIDS! The thirty-sixth annual CHICAGO DEANERY YOUTH CAMP WEDNESDAY, JULY 5, Check in at 1PM – Check Out at 3 PM on SATURDAY, JULY 8, 2023 At Edwards YMCA Camp, N8901 Army Lake Road East Troy, WI 53120 Orthodox Church in America, Chicago Deanery For deanery youth, ages 11 – 18 (For questions of eligibility, call the Coordinator). ALL-INCLUSIVE FEE (lodging, meals, activities) $170. (Registration form attached…) CAMPING SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE FOR OUR CHILDREN AT ST. LUKE – Contact Fr. Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org FOR THE REGISTRATION FORM CLICKHERE.
ST. LUKE SUMMER WORKSHOPS! Please join us!
July 16: Students meet with Protinica Michelle to learn hymns for the Dormition. During coffee hour.
July 30: Adult mini-class on Rubrics. Presented by Protinica Michelle during coffee hour.
ELIJAH’S CHARIOT: This is a wonderful ministry here at St. Luke to help our elderly (and others) find transportation to Church for the services. Given the rise in gas prices, we will be expanding it to include gas cards for those in financial difficulties (distributed anonymously by Fr. Paul). If you would like, buy a gas card for $20 or $30 and help us out!
2023 PARISH DEVELOPMENT FORUM: In Parma ,Ohio at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 1:00 PM EDT Thursday July 13 2023 thru Noon July 15. Theme: Our Parish and the Future. At this forum attendees will face forward — actively considering what it will take to build a brighter parish future. Attendees will collaborate on The 2030 Project — a set of structured, facilitated discussions designed to share experiences and identify the key behaviors, skills and “new muscles” parishes will need to thrive amidst future societal, cultural, demographic and technological trends. In depth discussions will include:
Healthy Clergy-Laity Dynamics,
Attracting and Integrating Converts intoYour Parish/Sharing the Faith
Connecting Your Parish to the Neighborhood Community.
YOCAMA SUMMER MISSION TRIP!: July 21 to July 28 Mission trip to Navajo Nation New Mexico. Work on construction and the food pantry and food distribution. Ages 16 and up with parents. Check out YOCAMA.com
ST. LUKE STRATEGIC PLAN: Our St. Luke Strategic Plan report is ready to be viewed and the tally sheets for our Action Items are now available. If you have NOT filled out a tally sheet please take the time to do so.
LUBA’S KITCHEN ANNOUNCEMENTS: Update: Summer Coffee Hour is in effect. Reminders: Clean up own table. Kitchen clean up will begin around 11:45. Kitchen closed by noon. Please help Crys and Matt out by washing some dishes, put items away, learn to start the dishwasher and just overall be more proactive each Sunday. Thank you all!
JULY MONTHLY CHARITY: Our Monthly Charity is for YOCAMA! Please be generous!