I'll Come Speak

    I write and speak on all sorts of topics: ancient Christian spirituality and the Eastern Orthodox faith, the Jesus Prayer, marriage and family, the pro-life cause, cultural issues, and more. You can contact Cynthia Damaskos of the Orthodox Speakers Bureau if you’d like to bring me to an event. This Calendar will let you know when I’m in your neighborhood.


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Entries in Orthodoxy (127)


A Visit with a Coptic Monk

[Ancient Faith Radio; August 29, 2007]

Frederica:  I’m in Spokane, Washington, with a conference titled ‘To the Ends of the Earth,’ sponsored by St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church here in Spokane, and they’ve brought people from all backgrounds and traditions here.  I’m delighted to be talking to Fr. Anastasi St. Anthony, who is the abbot of the St. Anthony monastery in, what is it, Newberry Springs, California? Where is that located in California?

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[Ancient Faith Radio; August 23, 2007]

Voiceover: We have a recording today of Frederica Mathewes-Green addressing the audience at the Parish Life conference that was recently held at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Maryland, where Fr. Gregory Mathewes-Green and Frederica serve.  And she’s reminiscing about their early days of Orthodoxy and how thankful she is for the welcome they received. 


Frederica: It’s amazing to me that Holy Cross is hosting the Parish Life conference this year.  We started just 14 years ago, a handful of people, 19 people, meeting in rental space in Catonsville.  And that we have gotten to this point where we can actually host a Parish Life Conference—I’m extraordinarily grateful to God that we have the capability to do this.  And as my husband is now 60 years old, I’m extraordinarily grateful that we’ll probably never have to do it again.  [Laughter] Once is enough in a lifetime! If you haven’t done it, you don’t know how much work it is.  I don’t know how much work it is; I have to give a lot of the credit to someone who would be an unsung hero otherwise: our brilliantly creative, our brilliant Shamassy, Ina, who just has an imagination and an ability to accomplish the things that she imagines that are going to set this Parish Life Conference apart.  I’m eager to take part in it. 

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The Western Rite

[Ancient Faith Radio; August 16, 2007]

Hello, I’m at the Parish Life Conference of my diocese, the Diocese of Charleston-Oakland and the Midatlantic, and my parish, Holy Cross, is the host.  We’re at a hotel just north of Baltimore in Towson, and getting close to wrapping up, on a Saturday morning after breakfast.  I’m sitting here with Nancy Waggener, that is, Khouria Helen Waggener, and Rebecca Alfred, Khouria Becky Alfred, and we’re going to talk a little bit about the Western Rite, which is something many Orthodox are not familiar with—they don’t even know that there is a Western Rite.  Khouria Becky is the wife of Fr. Gregory Alford, and—sorry?

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The Comfort of Death

[Ancient Faith Radio, August 9, 2007]

Hi, this is Frederica Mathewes-Green.  I’m in the car; there’s cars going by me.  I’m on I-95 south, driving from Baltimore to Washington.  And I was just thinking that sometimes I’m comforted with the thought that I’m going to die someday. 


I’m going to give a speech this morning and it’s hard to write.  It’s hard to write and speak in contexts other than Orthodox for me, because when I talk to secular people or to other sorts of Christians, the whole worldview, the whole framework, the whole vocabulary is so different from what I’ve gotten used to and come to love so much in Orthodoxy.  And I’ve got a speech I’ve been writing for the last several weeks; it’s three times as long as the time they’ve given me to speak.  I’m so anxious to be able to express what I’m saying without being misunderstood.  And, you know, that’s tiring.


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From Arguing to Rejoicing

[Beliefnet, “Crunchy Cons”; July 27, 2007] 

On July 26, 2007, Rod Dreher posted on his blog on, “Crunchy Cons,” the piece in the current Again Magazine about our from Anglican to Orthodox. He asked people to write in telling what triggered them to leave a church or a belief, or what caused them to decide to stay despite difficulties.


Thanks, Rod, for posting this and launching a strong conversation.

Daniel, thanks for this: <<Why, after 16 years, does Matthews-Green still talk about her difference with the Episcopal church and use it as a way to covert people to her little corner of Orthodoxy? >>


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Keeping Body and Soul Together

[Again; Summer 2007}

Frederica: After 15 years in Orthodoxy, we can reflect on how our journey in Christ has been shaped by the transition from the Episcopal Church. Our joint story began when we met in college as non-believers, contemptuous of Christianity; we were married and then came to the Lord in fairly miraculous ways. God has always kept us united in faith. We attended Episcopal seminary, and Fr. Gregory was ordained, while Frederica, raised the kids and taught childbirth classes. During these years, from the mid-seventies through the late eighties, we were happy in the Episcopal Church.


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The Emerging Church and Orthodoxy

[Precipice Magazine, July 2007]

1.) Can you offer some insight about how the Orthodox Church understands evangelism? Do you feel that, overall, that it is considered a priority when compared with Protestant Evangelicalism?

The Orthodox Church has a beautiful history of evangelism — but, unfortunately, it is largely history. A factor we tend to forget, which has made the path of Eastern Christianity so different from that of the West, is that for the most part they have not been free. Many Orthodox lands have been under Muslim rule for over a millennium, virtually since Islam began.

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[Ancient Faith Radio; July 5, 2007]

Frederica: Here I am in the Shakespeare Garden, of the—what’s it called? The Portland


Kh. Krista: The Portland International Rose Garden.


Frederica: The Portland International Rose Garden, in Portland, Oregon.  Which is gorgeous.  It’s on the side of a mountain, part of the Cascade Range, Krista was telling me, and you can stand at the top and look down the terraces, and it’s just roses and roses and roses.  We’re in a little tucked-away corner that’s the Shakespearean garden; not too many roses here, but all the flowers are named after characters in Shakespeare.  So this is a nice quiet place to be.  I’m here with Krista West, Khouria Krista West, the wife of Father Alban West, who is the pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Portland, and her daughter Nora, and her daughter Zuzu, both of whom are sketching at this moment.  Krista’s probably known to many listeners as a liturgical seamstress and as an expert in liturgical vestment history.  You gave a speech about this recently at Holy Cross Seminary in Boston, didn’t you?

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[Ancient Faith Radio; June 28, 2007]

Frederica: I’m sitting here with my friend, Father Gregory Czumack, who’s the pastor of Four Evangelists Ukrainian Orthodox Mission, in Bel Air, MD, near the Pennsylvania border.  And feeling light and joyous and teary-eyed because we just had my confession here in the icon corner of my living room.  And I asked Father Gregory if we could talk for just a few minutes, if he could tell me what it’s like to be a confessor.  It was something you were saying then, as we finished the prayers, about what a privilege it feels like, and of course for laypeople, when we look at priests and we think about hearing confessions, we think you must be very depressed about the state of the human race, or you must hear things that just make you furious at people, and we sort of project those ideas onto the clergy.  What is it like to actually be hearing confessions?

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The Wounded Torturer

[Review of Faith and International Affairs; Summer 2007]

“It was during this part that the majority of us tried to kill ourselves.”

They buried my spiritual father last November. I have never seen a body in a casket look so not-there; the indistinct pale husk he left behind looked like something a breeze could lift up and carry away. It was the contrast, I suppose. Few people in life are as radiant and vigorous as Fr. George Calciu, or as full of joy. He was a few days short of his 81st birthday, still full-time pastor of a church in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, still traveling world-wide to those who sought him as a teacher and spiritual father, still diligently reaching out to the poor and unchurched around him.


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