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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Perils of the Superman Cape

[Beliefnet, May 18, 2000]


Way back in 1969, my husband was one of the hundreds of thousands who went to Woodstock --the original one. He says all he remembers is "lying on the ground a lot."   



I didn't go; I was too young. But I listened diligently to the three-record set, and wished I had been there. It all sounded so heroic: Joan Baez's talk about draft resistance, Arlo Guthrie's celebration of drug smuggling, references to "the pigs" that conjured an Establishment bent on oppression.


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My Cab Ride with Gloria Steinem

[Books & Culture, May-June, 2000]

A journey of a dozen blocks begins with a single stepCin my case, stepping into the front seat of a cab on the Harvard campus while Gloria Steinem stepped into the back. My eyes were still red from crying. How I got there is another story.

In October, 1999 Harvard Divinity School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government co-sponsored a conference titled “Core Connections: Women, Religion, and Public Policy.” Admirably, the conference’s organizers tried to include in the mix women that don’t usually get invited to such shindigs, such as evangelical Christians. To recruit these attendees, Ambassador Swanee Hunt, director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the JFK School, enlisted the help of her sister, June Hunt, evangelical author and host of the Hope for the Heart radio broadcast. A third sister, Helen Hunt, (not the actress, but director of the Sisters Fund), provided funding for the conference.

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"The Book of Heaven"

[Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2000]

"The Book of Heaven," by Carol Zaleski and Philip Zaleski, Oxford University Press, 448 pages, $35.

Imagine there's a heaven. At the word, a pop-up tableau instantly unfolds and feathers from moulting wings drift into the air. Before a plywood set spray-painted gold, choir voices sing with determined cheer, like a power drill going through steel.

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Trusting Tradition

[Touchstone, April 2000] 

My young nephew Thomas had been attending an Orthodox church with his dad for several months, and must have been impressed by an exclamation the priest makes at the turning point of the service. When the scripture readings and sermon are concluded, the priest says, "The doors! The doors! In wisdom, let us attend!"

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What Motivates "Anti-Gay" Activists?

[Beliefnet, April 3, 2000]


A while back I was invited to a strategy meeting to combat “the gay agenda.” I went in hopes of getting a better understanding of what my friends see the threat to be. As a committed Orthodox Christian I affirm my Church’s teaching that sex outside heterosexual marriage delays progress in union with Christ. Of course, I don’t expect people outside my faith to agree with that, but I’d welcome a chance to display this beautiful faith in its entirety, not distracted by that one guideline. Even for us Orthodox this is a private matter, between a person and his or her spiritual director. Why did my friends think it necessary to organize a public response? I wondered what they saw that I didn’t.



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Sex and Saints

[Christianity Today, April 3, 2000]

What do you think about homosexuality? Why do you think it?

Whatever your answer, you’re probably in there: “What Christians Think about Homosexuality: Six Representative Viewpoints.” In his book, Larry Holben presents six different ways that Christians look at the homosexual condition, and critiques each from the point of view of the others. It’s the perfect volume for people trying to understand what others believe.

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Forgiveness Vespers

Updated on Saturday, March 23, 2002 by Registered CommenterFrederica

[Beliefnet, March 20, 2000]

On Sunday night I am going to have to apologize to someone. I am going to have to apologize to about a hundred people, in fact--one at a time, face to face. I'm looking forward to it.

For Orthodox Christians, Lent begins differently than it does for Protestants and Catholics. The observance of Ash Wednesday is dramatic and beautiful, but is not in the Eastern tradition. For us, Lent comes in gradually over a period of weeks, like a cello line subtly weaving itself into our lives.

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Be Careful Who Chooses Your Soul

[Beliefnet, March 5, 2000]

Beautiful ring. Did you buy it yourself, or is it an heirloom?

Beautiful faith. Did you choose it yourself, were you raised in it?

 Such contrasts went through my head when I read a recent news story about a 12-year-old Jewish boy

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Ned Flanders, My Hero

[Beliefnet, February 10, 2000]


News is that that dreamboat, Ned Flanders, is going to be a-v-a-i-l-a-b-l-e. Why are hearts fluttering and knees weak? Take another look at our man Ned: he’s got more than his share of gal appeal. He’s decked out in an impeccable suit of virtues.



I’m on the level here. OK, get past the adenoidal voice. Get past the round goggle-glasses. Get past the annoying chirpiness. Wait, go back to the annoying chirpiness.

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Psalm 23 And All That

[Christianity Today, February 7, 2000]

How much do you remember of your third-grade reader? Could you take a test today on the stories in it? Could you quote it authoritatively? Could you use the stories’ moral lessons to guide your life?

 I can’t even remember the title of my third-grade reader, much less the storylines. I could only hazard a guess that the stories were about boys and girls having fun, a step up from previous years’ “Alice and Jerry” books

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