Dear Friends of Cloud-Bearing Mountain Christian Retreat & Training Center,

I hope this finds you all well and encouraged by the hints of spring in the light and air.

Guest Cabins Open

We have just celebrated Septuagesima Sunday, which marks our pre-Lenten season, and have only two Sundays before our Orthodox Lent begins on March 21. After a quiet winter establishing ourselves on our new property, a Christmas in quarantine, and in general resting from the duties of priesthood and retreat hospitality, we are pleased to announce that our guest cabins are ready. With a watchful eye on the shifting sands of the pandemic, we look forward to receiving guests once more. If you wish to schedule a retreat, please contact us. We still will be offering distance programs for those of you who feel uncomfortable attending a program in person. Please see the bottom of our Programs Page for upcoming retreats and classes.

Ordination to the Priesthood and Establishment of Parish

This weekend, God willing, I will be ordained in the Orthodox Church. On Friday, ordinations through the minor orders up to Deacon will take place, and then ordination to the priesthood on Saturday. As those of you who are local to us may know, we have been celebrating a Saturday evening Vespers service here, but now will be able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. It looks as if our small parish will be under the patronage of Saint Herman of Alaska (https://orthodoxwiki.org/Herman_of_Alaska), one of a growing number of North American Orthodox Saints. We also may have a deacon and his young family assigned to us, which would be a great blessing. Those of you who are interested in regularly attending liturgy here should contact us. A planning meeting with interested persons will take place soon, which may be attended in person or online.

Ordination to the Priesthood and Establishment of Parish

This weekend, God willing, I will be ordained in the Orthodox Church. On Friday, ordinations through the minor orders up to Deacon will take place, and then ordination to the priesthood on Saturday. As those of you who are local to us may know, we have been celebrating a Saturday evening Vespers service here, but now will be able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. It looks as if our small parish will be under the patronage of Saint Herman of Alaska (https://orthodoxwiki.org/Herman_of_Alaska), one of a growing number of North American Orthodox Saints. We also may have a deacon and his young family assigned to us, which would be a great blessing. Those of you who are interested in regularly attending liturgy here should contact us. A planning meeting with interested persons will take place soon, which may be attended in person or online.

Decent Video About Orthodoxy

A number of you had asked for some good resources about Orthodox Christianity. I have come across this brief twenty or so minute video that I believe is a decent introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxT4rozomNs&ab_channel=GlobalChristianity. It is taught by a non-Orthodox person who has done a good job at providing a detached overview of some of the most important characteristics of Orthodox Christianity. However, I believe that his treatment of icons is weak, as had wished he might have cited the scriptural roots of Orthodox worship, belief, and practice. If there is interest, I had thought about doing a weekly introductory class on Orthodoxy during Lent, which one could attend either in person or online. Interested persons should contact us.

 

Yours in Christ,

James