Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio

This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!

The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.

We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!

Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM

We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible! We are open, and we welcome inside the Church all visitors. See our Parish web page:

Friday, July 22, 2022

"Because of Their Unbelief"

St. Matthew records in Mat 13:53-58 that our Lord was rejected by His own people, the people of Nazareth.  And he ends the chapter by saying, "Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief."

St. Theophan says this about this passage of Scripture.

Arriving in Nazareth, the Lord found no faith there.  His visible simplicity hindered the Nazarenes from seeing His invisible glory and Divinity.  Does not the same occur with a Christian?  Christian dogmas are very simple in appearance; but for the mind which enters into them, they represent an all-embracing harmonious system in and of themselves, which was not - nor could ever be - generated by any creature's mind.  Proud-mindedness, casting a fleeting glance at the simplicity of the Gospel, is repelled by it and begins to build his own house of knowledge, which he deems enormous and full of broad horizons.  It is in fact no more than a towering house of cards, and the horizons are no more than mirages, phantom products of a heated imagination.  But there is no point in telling him.  He and his brothers are ready with their critical attacks to immediately cast anyone who tries to dissuade them from the mountain into the abyss, but the truth always passes unharmed through their midst and goes on to other souls capable of receiving it.

We must ever seek the help of the Holy Spirit, for discernment comes through Him.  Human views when instructed by the Spirit are founded in His Truth ("the Spirit of truth, Who is everywhere present, filling all things...").  When human views are founded on human intellect alone, truth fails to be the absolute that is Godly truth and moves to relativism.

Where we find our world today.

Let us, the faithful, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, let us not have Him approach us, His own people, and find us not just lacking in faith, but having NO faith!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Speaking "Out of Turn"

The expression of the title of this piece is often used to describe a person or situation wherein something was said that was inappropriate at the time, or when something is said that is unwise or impudent.

I suppose you could make a logical argument that the expression describes a subset of the conditions of what happens when people gossip.  The definition of gossip is "saying something in a hurtful or spiteful manner" about another person.

As Orthodox Christians, we're taught to guard the lips.  1Pet 3:10 teaches, "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile."  

St. John Climacus says, "He who has become aware of his sins has controlled his tongue, but a talkative person has not yet come to know himself as he should."  In short, "The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil." (Prov 15:28)  We are to control what we say, how we say it, so that our words edify, lift up our brothers and sisters.  Our words should not be offered in a prideful way ("YOU need to listen to MY opinion..."), but ONLY when those words instruct, soothe, bring the love of Christ as a salve to any discouse.

To end, within the life of St. Mary of Egypt, the blessed saint asks St. Zosimas 'How are the people, the rulers, the church?'  It is a righteous question from a saint who has already shown herself to be clairvoyant.  St. Zosimas could have spoken to her about the troubles in the church and in the world.  The emperor and his wife were parties to multiple scandals, both publicly and within the Church.  But St. Zosimas didn't allow the conversation to go there.  What would have been the benefit?  Instead, he replied to her question, "By your prayers, all are at peace."  What a beautiful and instructive answer, teaching all of us the benefit of "speaking IN turn."


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Life is Sacred

In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion, it was fortuitous (God's will) that just prior to that announcement, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops issued a statement entitled, "On the Sacredness of Human Life and Its Untimely Termination."  The document is not terribly long, but is so well crafted that it deserves being read by every Orthodox Christian who wishes to better understand the Church's perspective on these contemporary moral issues.  The document can be read in its entirety here:


It begins by defining life, when it begins, and the means by which mankind has found ways to bring life to an end - murder, suicide, euthanasia, capital punishment, abortion, and miscarriage.

The section on abortion is especially important to us as we engage the world around us in this now post-Roe era to help all understand the loving perspective the Church brings to the process of human conception, reproduction, birth, and the sorrowful conditions which can occur when human life is placed at risk by the process of giving birth.

The section of the document on abortion is the longest section, and for good reason.  It says this:

Our salvation begins with a conception. The Mother of God’s miraculous conception of her son and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ marks the beginning of new life and hope in the world. As we sing in the Troparion that celebrates the Annunciation, “Today is the beginning of our salvation, the revelation of the eternal mystery!”

Our liturgical calendar includes other feasts of conception, including the Righteous Anna’s Conception of the Mother of God and the Conception of John the Baptist by his parents Elizabeth and Zachariah. The Church has integrated these celebrations into its life not only as an affirmation of these figures who played such important roles in salvation history, but also because these feasts teach us that human life is bestowed by God and that the origins of every new human being are clearly inseparable from conception. Therefore, human life in its earliest manifestations in the womb is sacred and inviolable. Any act to terminate life in the womb – whether by abortive medications, medical procedures, or destructive behavior – denies this truth, is considered murder, and risks terrible spiritual consequences for those involved.

As with any instance of sin, mercy and healing – not retribution and punishment – are the way of the Lord. The Church is called to minister to those seeking abortions, those who have had or those who have been forced to have abortions, and those who have performed abortions, knowing that abortions are often sought because of poverty, abuse, coercion, neglect, despair, or the influence of a life-denying ethos that has become a societal norm. Church-sponsored and other programs that provide spiritual, physical, psychological, and financial support to expectant single mothers and couples in situations in which abortion is being considered, and to young families in need of extra care, should be vigorously supported by the Church and the faithful.

Current societal trends condone abortions for what some perceive as non-desirable human qualities, including physical or chromosomal abnormalities, or a less desirable sex. The Church appreciates, respects, and cares for all manner of human life and, therefore, never condones abortion in these cases. Every human life is worthy of our prayer and protection.

The Assembly of Bishops has previously acknowledged that there are “rare but serious medical instances where mother and child may require extraordinary actions” (Statement on Sanctity of Life, 2019); see also Assembly of Bishops Endorses Alternatives to Women in Crisis Pregnancies, 2021). This refers to tragic situations in which an abortive measure will preserve life. For example, if both mother and unborn child will almost certainly perish should the pregnancy continue but the mother will likely live if an abortion is administered, the Church grieves the tragedy of the situation and offers space for the discernment of the mother, the father, and the pastor as to the most life-giving course of action. Yet, these situations are unique and unusual and do not condone abortion as a norm in any way. Furthermore, the Church does not accept contemporary thinking that links free will with the right to abortion.

We continue to uncompromisingly reject any acceptance of abortion, while creating a merciful and compassionate path for all of those who have experienced abortion to journey back to the Church and to re-commit to human life as sacred and inviolable.

As She always does, the Holy Church deals with sin from the perspective of love, healing, and forgiveness through repentance.

THIS is the path for us, as Orthodox Christians, to open discussion with those who believe that the court's decision is some kind of 'revocation of a right,' an oppression of some sort.  We need to pray for these people every bit as hard as we have long been praying for an end to the loss of innocent life permitted by this unjust law.  We need to have our Lord's heart of mercy for all!  This will not end until we live the love of Christ and bring healing to all who are hurting.  This includes the children aborted, but it also includes the millions of mothers who must live with the knowledge that they participated in the process.  It includes fathers, some who acquiesced to the process, others who were denied access to the decision under the false pretense that "it's the woman's body," removing fatherhood from the discussion.  We must also lovingly engage women who from this time forward may seek what they've been taught is a 'right' wherever they can find it.  These, too, need our loving outreach to them in support of life!

Love, not judgment, is the key.