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The Orthodox Pastor (Archbishop John Shahovskoy)

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#1 Michael Stickles

Michael Stickles


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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:12 PM

Title: The Orthodox Pastor
Author(s): Archbishop John Shahovskoy
Publisher: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-913836-03-3
Pages: 117
Price: $15.00
Links: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
Description: (from St. Vladimir's) Although specifically written and tailored for those in the sacramental priesthood of the Orthodox Christian faith, this work contains valuable advice for all pastors charged with imparting "the one thing needful" to souls within their care. Lay readers - including church wardens, teachers, parents, authors, musicians, and anyone involved in parish life - likewise will benefit from the author's sage counsel regarding the Christ-like management of a parish community.

". . . a foundational guide toward the concrete realization, within the ordained ministry of the Orthodox Church, in any land or age, of the never-ending pastorship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." - Archpriest Paul Lazor, Foreword


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#2 Michael Stickles

Michael Stickles


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Posted 08 November 2008 - 04:24 PM

I was motivated to get this book by Fr Dcn Matthew's strong recommendations of it in the "On Orthodoxy and theological study / scholarship" and "Ordination present" threads. In the latter, he noted:

While the book was originally written for those becoming priests, it is invaluable to all those in any order (and indeed, to all the faithful) for its sense of developing a pastoral mindset and approach to life in the service of the Church.

I would heartily agree with this sentiment. Much of what is said about the pastor's relationship to the flock in his care I found to be greatly applicable to my roles of husband and father; it also has helped me understand better the priest's role (and the role of other clergy as well as the laity) in the parish.

There is a great deal of practical wisdom and teaching on many subjects, and many little "gems" scattered throughout. For example, in chapter 15, Preaching, I loved the statement:

Can Truth be proved? No. Truth cannot be proved; it can only be proclaimed.

My wife's favorite was from near the end of the previous chapter, Apologetics:

An Orthodox must feel confident that there is no need to defend the Truth of the Church of Christ - all that is necessary is to reveal it. ... A fire needs not defending but kindling; a blind man needs healing and not persuasion.

Both of us would second Fr Dcn Matthew's recommendation of this book wholeheartedly.

In Christ,

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