Getting back into the swing of things . . .

Christ is Born, Glorify Him!!

Heading back to the office tomorrow after a long weekend of celebrating the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It has been a hectic month prior, a trip to the US, busy periods with some “interesting” surprises at work and my first Christmas services as a Deacon.

My US trip was intense and one of comparisons. A solid week of work with some quite serious and strategic intent; lots of discussion between sessions and manoeuvring by some to understand the outcomes. Stressful at the time but with definite positive outlook for 2012 and the way ahead and beyond. Not so much time for study for the next purpose of the trip.

Next stop, upstate New York on the train and our monastery and seminary in Jordanville.

Purpose of my trip was two-fold, take an exam for my correspondence course in theology and experience the monastery and services. I am not sure what I was expecting, I think I was too caught up in work until I caught the train but while a little cold the monastery was beautiful and I was made very welcome by the Abbot, Archimandrite Luke and all those I met.

I served at a couple of liturgies while I was there, including on the feast of St Nicholas when the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God was present; I felt very blessed at this as only a month before I was ordained in it’s presence.

It was an incredible learning experience to serve at the monastery with many experienced clergy. I also met some new people who I hope to meet again and again and become friends. It was interesting to find a number of stray Aussies there (you can never escape from us!!!!!) one a student and novice from my own parish some time ago and one of the Hieromonks who supplied me with a great greek coffee!

I am now more understanding and prepared for my course and will be more prepared to make better use of my next visit.