Archive for December, 2012

Twelve Steps of Transformation, by Fr. Meletios Webber

Fr. Meletios Webber explains how the twelve steps, which are used in Alcoholics Anonymous, and are in harmony with the Orthodox Christian Way, can be applicable to our growth in Christ and in the overcoming of sin. 

The book is especially recommended for those struggling with anger, compulsive gambling, substance abuse, and any other behavioral or psychological disabilities.   

“Lives Worth Living” a PBS documentary

Fred Fay

A Disability Website, Not Dead Yet, lauds a PBS production,

Lives xxx Worth xxxLiving

For the blog post:  

Here is the PBS webpage for the one hour documentary, with a short description and some pictures. The real person who is the focus of this program is a man named Fred Fay: 

From the source: 


photo from  

Some video excerpts:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=d3d076fac12f4163&biw=986&bih=683

In winter when all the world is gloomy, forth came the Fair One Who cheered all in the world!

from Hymns of the Nativity No. 3 by St. Ephrem the Syrian

“  . . . In December when the nights are long, rose unto us the Day, of Whom there is no bound! In winter when all the world is gloomy, forth came the Fair One Who cheered all in the world! In winter that makes the earth barren, virginity learned to bring forth. In December, that causes the travails of the earth to cease, in it were the travails of virginity. . . .

Glory to that Voice Which became Body, and to the Word of the High One Which became Flesh! Hear Him also, O ears, and see Him, O eyes, and feel Him, O hands, and eat Him, O mouth! . . .

It was by Power from Him that Mary was able to bear in Her bosom Him that bears up all things! It was from the great storehouse of all creatures, Mary gave Him all which she did give Him! She gave Him milk from Himself that prepared it, she gave Him food from Himself that made it! He gave milk unto Mary as God: again He sucked it from her, as the Son of Man. Her hands bare Him in that He had emptied His strength; and her arm embraced Him, in that He had made Himself small. The measure of His Majesty who has measured? He caused His measures to shrink into a Raiment. She wove for Him and clothed Him because He had put off His glory. She measured Him and wove for Him, since He had made Himself little . . . .

The sea when it bore Him was still and calmed, and how came the lap of Joseph to bear Him? The womb of hell conceived Him and was burst open, and how did the womb of Mary contain Him? The stone that was over the grave He broke open by His might, and how could Mary’s arm contain Him? Thou camest to a low estate, that Thou mightest raise all to life! Glory be unto Thee from all that are quickened by Thee! . . .  “(Hymn 3)

St. Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymns of Nativity, Hymn 3, from

Nativity Icon from Rockland 

Nativity Icon Explained 

the Congregational Accessibility Network’s Orthodox Christian Page

The developer of this site, Paul Liechty, knew one of the directors of Friendship Community, Milt Stoltzfus, the Christian group home provider my wife and I work with, and asked me to help him with their Orthodox Christian page. And I suggested some others who might be more qualified to advise him. So if you see anything questionable, let me know, and I will pass it along.

They are Mennonites. My wife grew up Mennonite, and I was a member for nine years with her, until we discovered Orthodox Christianity. We did not leave because we were disgruntled. Speaking for myself, my experience with them is that they sincerely seek to express “faith working through love” according to their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures (minus the Apocrypha), though not according to Holy Tradition.

To what degree can we work with other groups on disability issues? We can hear their stories, and learn from the good ones. Beyond that, of course, is up to our God-loving bishops.

Their Orthodox Christian Page: 

Their Home Page: 

a safety net for the safety net

St. Mary of Egypt

Reconciliation Services

  St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church in Kansas City, Missouri and their parish priest, Father Paisius (David) Altschul, MSW, helped to found a ministry in their city,  Reconciliation Services, which, among their many efforts, seeks to help people with mental health (and substance abuse) issues who have dropped through the cracks in the public system.



Here is the  web page of Reconciliation Services:

And the page for their program for addressing those needing support for mental health & substance abuse:

And the web page of St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church: 

Truth be told, there is a crying need for efforts like this in every city in our land.

Source of Icon:  

Efforts to alleviate the abuse of mentally ill patients in Kosovo

An Expose from the Serban Orthodox Diocese  of Raska-Prizren,
Kosovo and Metohija
, 2002:

Disability Rights International steps in to act, 2000-2011:

The 2002 Disabilty Rights International document Not on the Agenda: Human Rights of People with Mental Disabilities in Kosovo

OSCE helps improve living conditions for patients of mental institute in Shtime/Stimlje Kosovo (2010) 

Holy Martyr St. Agrippina of Rome †256 or 262

St. Agrippina

The Holy Martyr St. Agrippina of Rome is counted in the West as an intercessor for persons with leprosy. A holy virgin, rejecting marriage to a pagan, she confessed the Faith before Emperor Valerian, and was tortured in various ways, and she died from the tortures. Her remains- relics- were taken to Sicily, and were later transferred to Constantinople. Many miracles have taken place at her grave. 


Source of icon: 


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