Trudy Ellmore, PA, USA: I Knew Right Then, In That Second…


Holy Trinity Church
1023 5th St
Catasauqua, PA 18032

Philadelphia, USA

I Knew Right Then, In That Second…


Trudy Ellmore, USA



My family of origin is Roman Catholic, the faith I practiced until I was 18. My love of God was deep and personal. There was never a time in my life when God was not present, even in my earliest memories. Yet, when someone witnessed to me and asked,

“Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If you haven’t, you’re going to hell”

my reaction was one of panic. I turned away from my childhood church to a non-denominational fundamentalist church to allay my fear of damnation. There I met my first husband. After our marriage, we became involved in a Southern Baptist church where we both were baptized by immersion.

Following my husband’s death after 26 months of marriage, my infant son and I returned to my hometown. Thinking all Baptist churches were alike, I joined an American Baptist church, where I met my current husband, who was Continue reading “Trudy Ellmore, PA, USA: I Knew Right Then, In That Second…”


Η μεταστροφή του Αμερικανού φωτογράφου Douglas Lyttle από τον Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία


Η μεταστροφή του Αμερικανού φωτογράφου

Douglas Lyttle από τον Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία

Γράφει η Γιώτα Μυρτσιώτη στην Εφημερίδα “Η Καθημερινή”, 15/11/2017:

Το Αγιον Ορος για τον διακεκριμένο Αμερικανό φωτογράφο Ντάγκλας Λιτλ (Douglas Alfred Δημήτριος Lyttle) δεν ήταν μόνον ο τόπος έμπνευσης της καλλιτεχνικής δημιουργίας του. Ηταν η κιβωτός της Oρθοδοξίας όπου εμβάθυνε στις πνευματικές του αναζητήσεις επί 45 χρόνια. Η μεταστροφή του στην Ορθοδοξία, η βάφτισή του με το όνομα Δημήτριος, οι 50.000 φωτογραφίες τις οποίες κληροδότησε στην Αγιορείτικη Φωτοθήκη της Μονής Σιμωνόπετρας και ο μνημειώδης τόμος του «Miracle on the Monastery Mountain» (2002) μαρτυρούν τη βαθιά και πολυετή σχέση του με την Αθωνική Πολιτεία.

Ο «μάστερ της φωτογραφίας» –τίτλος που έλαβε από το Σωματείο Επαγγελματιών Φωτογράφων της Αμερικής το 1966– απεβίωσε πριν από λίγες ημέρες στο Rotchester. Ηταν 98 χρονών.

Γεννημένος στην πόλη Three Rivers του Michigan το 1919, αποφοίτησε από το Πανεπιστήμιο του Michigan ως χημικός με διακρίσεις αλλά εγκατέλειψε τη σταδιοδρομία του στη φαρμακευτική έρευνα το 1961 για να ασχοληθεί με τη φωτογραφία. Ανοιξε δικό του στούντιο ειδικευόμενος στη φωτογραφία πορτρέτου και αρχιτεκτονικών έργων. Το 1969 αποδέχθηκε μια θέση στο Ινστιτούτο Τεχνολογίας του Rotchester (στο Κολέγιο Γραφικών Τεχνών και Φωτογραφίας), από το οποίο στη συνέχεια έλαβε τον τίτλο του ομότιμου καθηγητή.

Ταξίδεψε για πρώτη φορά στην Ελλάδα το 1972. Τότε ξεκίνησε η σχέση του με την ελληνική μοναστική κοινότητα. Κατά τη διάρκεια πολλών ταξιδιών του στη χερσόνησο του Αθω, από το 1972 ώς το 1998, αποτύπωσε σε 50.000 εικόνες την πρόσφατη ιστορία του ιερού τόπου, απαθανατίζοντας, μεταξύ άλλων, ως κορυφαίος στην τέχνη του πορτρέτου, τους Αγιορείτες γέροντες που σημάδεψαν με τη ζωή και το έργο τους την ανανέωση του μοναχισμού στο δεύτερο μισό του 20ού αιώνα. «Ο Λιτλ δεν φωτογράφιζε για να κάνει τέχνη για την τέχνη», επισημαίνουν οι Αγιορείτες. «Τα έργα του αποπνέουν το πνευματικό υπόβαθρο της μοναστικής ζωής και από τα πορτρέτα του αναβλύζει το αληθινό πρόσωπο του Ορους».

Από τη μεταστροφή του στην Ορθοδοξία το 1997 (ανήκε στη Μεταρρυθμιστική Λουθηρανική Εκκλησία), υπήρξε πιστό μέλος της ορθόδοξης ενορίας του Αγίου Πνεύματος στο Rotchester, όπου έψαλλε στις ακολουθίες έως και δύο εβδομάδες πριν από την κοίμησή του.

Η δωρεά του αρχείου του στην Αγιορείτικη Φωτοθήκη ένα χρόνο πριν από τον θάνατό του αποτελεί το επιστέγασμα της πίστης και της αγάπης του για την Αγιώνυμη Πολιτεία.



The Gift of Orthodoxy – Elizabeth Huestis, CA, USA & Australia


NGS Picture ID:1457720

The Gift of Orthodoxy

by Elizabeth Huestis, USA & Australia



St. Paul speaks of being “an Apostle out of due time” in the sense that he did not know Jesus first-hand, and did not travel around with Jesus the way that the other Apostles did. Yet God chose him particularly to have a special and useful place in the Church. In the same way, converts are not natural inheritors of Orthodoxy in the same way as are those people born in traditionally Orthodox countries and cultures. But God takes us from all sorts of places, adopting us in a special way, making us a part of His Church in a way that we would have no natural inherited right to. (Someone born Greek or Serbian or Russian would normally inherit Orthodoxy.)

Because God has chosen to give us Orthodoxy outside of normal means, perhaps we tend to cherish it more and also to feel the obligation to share it with those who do not have the gift and also to help those who have inherited it to understand and appreciate it better. This becomes more true when in retrospect it is possible to see that our becoming Orthodox was not just a Continue reading “The Gift of Orthodoxy – Elizabeth Huestis, CA, USA & Australia”

Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? – Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA




Which Came First: New Testament or the Church?

by Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA



A convert to Christianity from Judaism, Fr. James was a teenage chess champion whose dramatic conversion experience at the age of 16 led him to Christianity, and is also one of the founders of Jews For Jesus. His journey led him directly to the Orthodox Christian faith, and his journey is recounted in his book “Surprised By Christ,” the story of a man searching for the truth and unable to rest until he finds it. He is the priest at St. Paul Church in Brier, WA.


As a Jewish convert to Christ via evangelical Protestantism, I naturally wanted to know God better through the reading of the Scriptures. In fact, it had been through reading the Gospels in the “forbidden book” called the New Testament, at age sixteen, that I had come to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our promised Messiah. In my early years as a Christian, much of my religious education came from private Bible reading.

By the time I entered college, I had a pocket-sized version of the whole Bible that was my constant companion. I would commit favorite passages from the Scriptures to memory, and often quote them to myself in times of temptation-or to others as I sought to convince them of Christ. The Bible became for me-as it is to this day-the most important book in print. I can say from my heart with Saint Paul the Apostle,

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

That’s the good news!

The bad news is that often I would decide for myself what the Scriptures meant. For example, I became so enthusiastic about knowing Jesus as my close and personal friend that I thought my own awareness of Him was all I needed. So I would mark verses about Continue reading “Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? – Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA”

Hammi: The Norwegian Forest Cat – Our pets are gifts from God – Abbot Tryphon, WA, USA





Hammi: The Norwegian Forest Cat

Our pets are gifts from God




Every evening I try to spend an hour or so in the library, sitting in front of the fire place. Our beloved Norwegian Forest Cat, Hammi, sleeps in the library/community room every night. Hammi is most happy when the entire monastic brotherhood is gathered together with him. He’s an important member of our community, loved by all of us, and is the only cat I know who has his own facebook fan page, started by a woman who’d met him on a pilgrimage to the monastery (if my memory be correct).

I first met Hammi, a large male cat, as I was walking between our old trailer house (now gone) and my cell, some seventeen years ago. We startled one another, but as I reached down with extended hand, he came to me. When I picked him up he began purring immediately, so I opened a can of salmon, and he never left. A month after his arrival we Continue reading “Hammi: The Norwegian Forest Cat – Our pets are gifts from God – Abbot Tryphon, WA, USA”

Personal testimony of Fr. Seraphim Holland – Fr. Seraphim Holland, WA, USA


Personal testimony of Fr. Seraphim Holland

by Fr. Seraphim Holland, USA



I am a convert to Orthodoxy, and the next Holy Saturday (in 1996) will be the 16th anniversary of my baptism. I am an Orthodox priest, having been ordained just before Great Lent, this year (1995) after having been a deacon for 5 years. I am married, and have four children, Genevieve:14, Christina:11, Tim:8 and Natalie:5. My Matushka is Marina. I serve in the Mission parish of St. Nicholas, a community under the omophorion of Bishop Hilarion of Washington, in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Our community is almost entirely convert in makeup, and all of our services are in English.

I was raised Roman Catholic, with an unbelieving father (who subscribed to the “Man Upstairs” kind of “God” so many Americans believe in, and just thinks you need to be “good” to go to heaven). I saw many inconsistencies and lukewarmness among the Roman Catholics, and when I was a certain age (13?), my mother did not require me to go to church.

I was not a believer, but I was searching. I went to college, studying pre-med, and later switched to chemistry. I had a great desire to “make a difference”, but had reached a crisis, because I saw how temporal life was. I was fortunate to get a summer scholarship to do chemistry research, and lived at Purdue that summer, rooming with a “Navigator”.

The Navigators are a Protestant “Para Church” organization, with “Protestant Evangelical” Theology. He was a wonderful guy, and may God have mercy on Continue reading “Personal testimony of Fr. Seraphim Holland – Fr. Seraphim Holland, WA, USA”

Parishes in Alabama, USA – Eastern Orthodox Church




Parishes in Alabama, USA

Eastern Orthodox Church