I love being sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I love being the priest at St. Mary Protection of the Holy Theotokos (Покрова) Cathedral! I have only been here since October 2006, but I was immediately struck by the beauty of the church and the warmth of its people. That first reaction has not changed over time; St. Mary's is a loving family that is united not by ancestry, but by our love of God and neighbor.
Old timers will sometimes note that attendence and membership aren't what they used to be, and it is true that much has changed over the last few generations. St. Mary's is no longer an ethnic parish, devoted to serving the needs of Ukrainian immigrants living in and around the Sixth Ward of Allentown. Now it is a multi-ethnic American parish that honors its Ukrainian heritage, but finds ways to proclaim the Gospel of Christ (crucified and ressurected for the salvation of the world!) to the people of the Lehigh Valley.
The parish is in better shape than many; it has >150 members, most of whom are active in the life of the church (and not just on Sundays - people come in regularly during the week to work, worship, and learn). But all of us know that we cannot just live off the work of previous generations. We know that if we are not explicitely evangelical (i.e. committed to spreading the Gospel beyond our membership) then our days are numbered (as it should be; God desires to spit the lukewarm church out of his mouth! - Revelation 3:15-17). This is why we do not keep our love focused on just ourselves (although that love is strong!) but look for opportunities to share it with others - including you!
If you are interested in learning more about Christ, Orthodoxy, or the parish of St. Mary's, please contact me! I love sharing the Gospel with others and would love help you strenghten your relationship with God through Christ and Holy Orthodoxy. We have regular adult education classes, Bible Studies, and worship opportunities, so don't be a stranger! Learn why every one of our members (to include your's truly!) has chosen St. Mary's as their parish home! We have a glorious temple, beautiful services, excellent classes, loving members, and plenty of room in our pews and hearts for you and your family!
Interesting Facts about Fr. Anthony
- Fr. Anthony grew up in a God-loving Methodist family near Atlanta, Georgia (although both parents are from Potter County, PA). He and his family joined the Orthodox Church while he was in graduate school (Political Science, The Ohio State University).
- Fr. Anthony smiles. A lot. He's either really happy ... or he's up to something.
- Fr. Anthony's wife, Pani Matka Tina Marie (married 1990) and four children (ages 23, 15, 13, 7) are also active members of St. Mary's. They live in Emmaus.
- Fr. Anthony keeps up a full schedule of services, classes, and pastoral stuff; but also finds time to serve as a professor and Vocations Director for St. Sophia Seminary. He also blogs and podcasts at OrthoAnalytika and Good Guys Wear Black, is frequently asked to give retreats, and maintains an active academic research and writing agenda.
- Fr. Anthony is a retired Army Warrant Officer (CW-3, Military Intelligence, Reserves) and worked full-time for several years after 9/11 in support of the "Global War on Terror". This included a lot of travel (including two tours in Afghanistan).
- Fr. Anthony loves science fiction, fantasty, and mythology (movies, series, books, comics, RPG's - all of it). His favorite author is Roger Zelazny.