I had only four days in the Samara Region, but each of them was special and beyond everybody’s wildest expectations. In two state technical colleges where I was invited to teach a class on the Historic Foundations of Christian Faith, the audience halls were packed as the organizers had made it available to the entire student body. In the evening, the Neftyannik “culture palace” was again filled to the brim when I presented the Intro to Christian Pedagogy for teachers and parents of the oil producing town of about five thousand people.[Read more…]
I started week one of my time in Nizhniy Novgorod by teaching a class for the entire student body of the local Orthodox Seminary. As it is often the case, most of the seminarians took it first as just one more of their Apologetics courses. They occupied the back of the large auditorium, and it took some time for them to realize what they were about to see and to hear: a completely new way of presenting the Gospel from strictly rational and historic perspective. A group of lay church leaders and catechism teachers were also invited to the event. They took the front rows and immediately engaged in the ad hoc Q&A sessions which were conveniently provided by the computer freezing after a dozen slides. (The hosts had insisted on using their system for the presentation.)[Read more…]
I am back in Moscow after leaving it four times already: for Bryansk, for Rostov Velikiy, for Kolomna and for Nizhniy Novgorod.
It is hard to imagine that a country stretching for eleven time zones east to west, and from the subtropics in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north, only has one hub city, but such is the case. I have already traveled in all directions from six of its eight railroad city terminals.[Read more…]
This trip is not going to be much longer than usual – by two days only. However, I am expecting great things to happen during my time in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Bryansk, Rostov Velikiy, Kolomna, and Nizhniy Novgorod. First of all, I will have the rare opportunity to pay a second visit to some of the same places I just taught in a couple of month ago.
This will give me a chance to see the progress my audiences will have made on their academic and/or spiritual journey. It is usually from local ministry partners that I learn the effect my teaching makes on the class or a study group. This time, I deliberately chose pretty much the same route I traveled last December in order to do the follow-up myself.[Read more…]
I cannot believe it has been almost three weeks since I started on this trip!
My first destination was Moscow where I delivered a whole suitcase of books for the Moscow Diocese – Orthodox Octoechos and Menaion in English. The funny part was when the Customs Officer asked me, “Which god are these books worshiping?” and was only satisfied and let me through with them after I said, “Of course, Pravoslavniy” (literally, “the True One”).[Read more…]