An Orthodox Priest, a Baptist Pastor, and an Anglican missionary...

Salam!

Well, Abouna Ireneus (not his real name) came to visit me today at my place of work and I had asked him about a house blessing, we were walking down to where I live and passed by the home of some dear friends and Abouna was looking for some kind of plant for the blessing, and we asked the old lady there and she invited us in for coffee. She had grown up Orthodox actually, and obviously loved that church a lot, but had become Baptist many years ago, partially due to the generally dismal pastoral care of the Orthodox Church here.

So we went in for a cup of coffee (I thought). And then she brought us out some apples, so we ate them, and then her son in law, the pastor of a rather charismatic Baptist church in the neighborhood, came down, along with his son and one other young evangelical minister in the city. So I thought, let's have some religious dialogue and started with what seemed to me a fairly general question: what is the difference between grace and mercy.

So we stayed there for well over an hour talking about religion, I was mostly silent though my theological training is far beyond any of theirs. Anyway, it was, I suppose, a nice experience. The Baptist pastor is a gentle man who understood that there are some topics that are more important than others, and the Orthodox priest (who has never studied theology, anybody's church want to sponsor him?) who is a genuine man of God is utterly unfamiliar with how non-Orthodox use certain religious terms and words.

So after lengthy conversation we made my way to my apartment with the sprig of whatever it was and he blessed the place where I live, dispersing holy water here and there and praying (in Arabic) for safety for the people who live there, including safety from "al barbar" which means both "the Berbers" and "the barbarians".

Such are my days. But really, there is a chance for this young priest to study theology but with his wife and two kids paying the tuition at the seminary would be a challenge. So if anyone is interested in helping let me know.

Salam.

Abu Daoud

Comments

Rob said…
-So I thought, let's have some religious dialogue and started with what seemed to me a fairly general question: what is the difference between grace and mercy.-

LOL Cripes! Remind me not to have coffee with you! :-)

That's not the usual level of my coffee conversations. Hmmm. Maybe I need to try harder?
Woodrow said…
I'll get in touch with some Orthodox friends I have and see if their churches can help out with the tuition.
Lucian said…
including safety from "al barbar" which means both "the Berbers" and "the barbarians".

Wow! Still praying for defence in case of barbarian invasions! How retarded! Nowadays we even have a rite chanted in time of attack by Aliens! :-) See? We've evolved! Who said we're not in-sync with the times? ;-)

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