Lord, I am here. Lord, I am yours. ‘A human being today feels the need to belong to a community that holds the same values regarding family, culture, nation, language, profession, vocation.’ How predictable, someone might say upon realizing that these are the meditations of the Kyivan Church on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers, this third of our Mission Days. Is this not exactly the sentiment that drove the protests on the Maidan, for which Ukrainians have been roundly framed as… Read more

Come, O faithful, let us climb the Mount of Olives with the apostles, let us lift our minds and hearts on high. Let us behold the Lord as He is taken up. Let us cry out with joy and thanksgiving. Glory to Your ascension, O most holy one. (Aposticha for Ascension Thursday). The meditation of the Kyivan Church on this second of the Mission Days begins curiously: ‘Human beings today are deeply concerned how they are viewed by others. However,… Read more

I am not in the Latin Church because I would be pretentious af. I cannot further explicate what ‘af’ means, not without violating the PG rating here on Patheos. If you do not know what ‘af’ is but wish you did, you may consult Urban Dictionary. I am already pretentious enough as it is. How could I not be? I grew up Protestant evangelical in a suburb of San Francisco, which means that I am not even from San Francisco… Read more

When You had fulfilled Your plan for us and united things on earth with those in heaven, You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, in no way distant but remaining inseparable, You cried to those who love You: I am with You and there is none against You. (Kondak for Ascension Thursday). When I visited my friend Julian Hayda’s apartment for the first time, I noticed in his icon corner that there was a cross literally suspended from the… Read more

Around the time I entered junior high, my mom decided that it was time that I put my piano skills to use. In our family, playing the piano was not a class thing, at least not in the sense that my other friends were pushed to go to festivals, win competitions, and put it on their college applications. My mother said that the whole point of learning music was to be able to serve God. What that meant practically was… Read more

Patriarch Sviatoslav has issued an invitation. The Greek-Catholic Church of Kyiv, also known as the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church, is a missionary church with an evangelical spirit. We are not an ethnic club, and our church is not only for ethnic Ukrainians. We are, as it is often said among us, a church from Ukraine for the world. I am proof that this is possible, as is our temple in Richmond and our mission in Chicago. We are part of what… Read more

I was out with a friend who worships and works in the Latin Church last night. If you want to know what we were doing, we were seeing Hamilton. We liked it. Over dinner, I mentioned to him that this was a great way of celebrating the leave-taking of Pascha. It was the end of the Pascha season for me last night on the Old Calendar. For me, Ascension Thursday is today. He is, of course, a week ahead of me… Read more

The music critic Tim Page describes the Canadian pianist extraordinaire Glenn Gould in a 2003 essay as knowing what he was doing despite the deck being stacked against him. When Gould set out to make an American musical début, he faced down the odds of classical music not selling well and put out a recording of what was at the time an obscure set of variations that Bach had written for a count with insomnia. They were known as the Goldberg… Read more

When I was taking trumpet lessons as a teen, my teacher made suggestions every so often for what to listen to. We had a regular diet of all the usual trumpet suspects: Maurice André, Håkan Hardenberger, Sergei Nakariakov, Wynton Marsalis, Rafael Mendez, Doc Severinsen, even Herb Alpert. But one day, she suggested something different. You should listen to some jazz, she said. And not just jazz trumpet, but jazz itself. Shirley Horn and Diana Krall in particular, she instructed. What my… Read more

My first encounter with the violin was the day that I also learned about Kumon. Both were activities that my friends did. I knew them as ‘South Fremont’ things. It was a strange time in my life. I spent the first eighteen years of my life growing up in a neighborhood called Ardenwood. It was on the north side of Fremont, a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area that had previously been five small towns but had now incorporated… Read more

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