After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY

a Reader Daniel private sharing here made not private

from Joanna's notepad:  This man needs to be x-communicated, if he has not already x-communicated himself.
Any of our people who support this nonsense are severely handicapped by their intellects.  Don't listen to them.  (Hello, Etna.) 


Shared ONLY with Joanna-& Minas for your.... amusement (?): "John Granger: Quick Announcement and a Favor..."...what I received today-


Add star 

Dan Everiss

Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 12:26 PM

Of course, I shall not share this!...from "John Granger, the Dean of Harry Potter Scholars" (!!!)😵

From: Potter Pundits <potterpundits@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, August 7, 2017 9:03 PM
To: oregdan@hotmail.com
Subject: John Granger: Quick Announcement and a Favor...

Dear Harry Potter Reader,

My name is John Granger, "the Dean of Harry Potter scholars," and I write you today because I am just finishing up the scripts and about to begin shooting four video classes about the artistry and meaning of the world's best-selling books. These classes will be available to Hogwarts Saga readers world wide in a free 'Potter Pundit Summer School' online later this month. 

The dream of making first-tier Potter scholarship accessible, interactive and affordable to everyone has been a project I've been working on since my first book was published in 2002. I'm excited about making a break-through in bringing the best in fandom and academic thinking to J.K. Rowling's global audience of readers.

Before the digital cameras roll and we lay out the live webinar subjects, though, I want to be sure we're talking about exactly what you want to know more about.

Can you help me make sure these four classes cover at least some of the material you're most interested in?

I have put together a multiple choice question survey that takes less than five minutes to fill out. I am grateful enough for your participation that I will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card in a random drawing to one of the people who completes it (be sure to get to the end to sign up for that drawing!).

Thank you in advance for helping us out! I'll write next week about how to sign up for the free 'Potter Pundits Summer School.'


John Granger

  • Link for the Harry Potter Reader Survey
  • Post: Please share this survey with your friends who are serious Potter Philes - the more, the merrier - and the better our survey results! Thanks.
  • Post Post: If you've received this email by mistake, I'm sorry. Just hit "reply" and "send" and I won't ever bother you again.

Potter Pundits | 328 NW 26th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73103
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• what we are doing for reader services at Annunciation parish in Liberty Tennessee.

• Photos of baptism in Haiti

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Life and Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, medical anthropologist

NewYork Times Book Review

''The world is full of miserable places,'' Tracy Kidder writes. ''One way of living comfortably is not to think about them or, when you do, to send money.'' ''Mountains Beyond Mountains'' is about one physician's quest to relieve suffering in just the kind of places we do not like to think about . . . . . . after I'd read the book something had changed in me and it was impossible not to become involved."

In his book, Mountains Beyond Mountains Tracy Kidder tells the story of Dr. Paul Farmer and his mission to conquer diseases among the world's poor. Pictured here, Dr. Farmer with a young Haitian boy named Alcante

In the mountains of Haiti, the village of Zanmi Lasante. At the heart of Kidder's book is the Haitian proverb "Beyond mountains there are mountains," which means as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself.

Read full text of book online:

Please help with our Haiti Fundraiser

Please go here and share the post with "social media" sites like facebook and twitter.  We need to catch up on overdue teacher's salaries and raise enough money to transport and prepare the annual food donation we get from "Feed the Starving Children".

Thank you!

related post:

ROCOR-MP nun Vassa Larin embarrasses her own synod

ROCOR-MP nun Vassa Larin caused the ROCOR-MP to publish a statement contradicting the nun's unOrthodox ideas and affirming the Church's teaching.
(statement is copy-pasted below)

Interesting to us on this subject, is something in a book published by Jordanville.
Journey Beyond Death 
by Archimandrite Panteleimon
first printing 1968, second printing 1998
pages12 and 13 describing the tollhouses (St. John S&SF taught the tollhouses.)
Homosexuality is even worse than rape.  Because it is unnatural – a sin against God and man, and against nature also.  

Comments I have received by email:
• RTOC priest: I read on FB that Email from the the "Super" liberal and crypto-papist sister Vassa (Larina), really it is shameful and anti-Orthodox...However, with this, we can see what is the real spiritual condition inside the unionist "ROCOR".
• Layman in the Ukraine: So Sr Vassa pushed the boat out too far . . . I think we said this was going to happen not too long ago.
• Reader Daniel in Oregon: Articles which she posts, are a mixture of genuine traditional-Orthodox views on some issues, combined  with pro-MP distortions and a twisting of the old ROCOR history, ..indeed of Russian Church history before and after the Bolshevik takeover.etc..
NEW YORK: July 19, 2017
Circular Communique from the Chancery of the (ROCOR-MP) Synod of Bishops
The (ROCOR-MP) Holy Synod, having received the recent text of a publicly-posted e-mail exchange, dated 2nd July 2017, between the Nun Vassa (Larin) and a correspondent, entitled “EMAIL OF THE WEEK: (from a mother, on MY SON IS HOMOSEXUAL),” together with follow-up correspondence, also posted publicly on 8th July 2017, is compelled to confirm to its flock and to all Orthodox Christians that the counsel contained therein is in contradiction to the Church’s teaching on sexuality, repentance and family life. It does not represent an Orthodox understanding of anthropology or theology, and in the counsel it purports to offer presents a grave spiritual danger to those who might follow it, in terms of their own understanding of sexuality, as well as in the rearing of children.
While it is not the norm to reply from the Office of the Holy Synod to materials posted on the internet, in this instance the wide readership of the various resources published by this author, who is an Orthodox monastic, has the potential to lead readers astray and we therefore feel compelled to issue a brief word to the faithful. It should be clear to men and women of faith that mere verbal acknowledgement, with regards to homosexuality, that “actively living it out is a sin,” is not sufficient to establish a text’s keeping with Orthodox teaching in the light of the Gospel, when the same text nevertheless equates homosexuality in numerous places to a “God-given gift, and cross,” or “one’s gift-and-cross of (homo)sexuality” — suggesting, in utter departure from all Christian teaching, that this or any means of behaviour which God identifies as sinful may be His deliberate bestowal upon some (thereby falling into the social trap of suggesting that “God made me that way”); further, that such an entrance into sin is “not a ‘choice’”; and moreover, rather than encouraging that a parent of a child identifying as homosexual should help him, with the Church’s loving care, to repent and seek healing unto redemption of soul and body and the fulness of life, instead suggest either that the child be encouraged to remain in his sin as a “humble presence in [his] parish,” falsely equating a consequent withdrawal of approach to the Holy Mysteries to the example St. Mary of Egypt, whose long struggle without Holy Communion was not due to her steadfastness in sin but to the extreme conviction of her utter repentance; or yet worse, that the parents of a child should seek out a parish that deliberately and knowingly “is acceptive of your son’s particular gift-and-cross,” once more ascribing homosexuality as a bestowal of God, encouraging at the same time the departure from ascetic transformation and the seeking out of a community that might wilfully abandon the Gospel teaching towards repentance, knowingly permitting the faithful to languish in their sin rather than be healed.
In these spiritually confused times, when many are being led astray by social norms that employ the pretensions of compassion to abandon the creation order and the teachings of Christ, which are the only true source of authentic compassion and genuine spiritual healing, there can be no room for ambiguity or false witness on such critical matters. Only the Gospel, which Christ proclaims in His Church, provides true spiritual medicine; all deviations from its life-creating message only contribute to the wounds and illness of an already-beleaguered society.
We instruct therefore that the contents of these publicly-posted materials be disregarded by the faithful as contrary to the teachings of the Gospel and pastorally harmful; that they be withdrawn and removed from any web sites or publications that seek authentically to represent Orthodox theological and pastoral teaching; and that in the future such materials be treated with most extreme reticence and caution.

Two Kinds of Offences

taken from:
Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke
 Saint Cyril Patriarch of Alexandria
  translated by R. Payne Smith
  Studion Publishers, Inc.
  Chapter 17
  page 461

Then He said unto His disciples: It is impossible but that offences come, but woe to that man by whom they cometh.

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend on of these little ones.  Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him, and if he repent, forgive him. 

What are the offences which Christ mentions as being in every way certain to happen?  Offences then are of two kinds: for some are against the glory of the Supreme Being, and assail That Substance Which transcends all, as far at least as regards the purpose of the contrivers of them: while other offences happen from time to time against ourselves, and proceed no further than to the injury of some of the brethren, who are our partners in the faith.  For whatever heresies have been invented, and every argument which opposes itself to the truth, resist really the glory of the supreme Godhead, by drawing away those who are caught therein from the uprightness and exactness of the sacred doctrines.  And such were the offences concerning which the Saviour Himself again somewhere said, "Woe to the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come: but woe to that man by whom the offence comes."  For offences of this kind, caused I mean by unholy heretics, are not levelled against some single individual, but are aimed rather against the world, that is, against the inhabitants of the whole earth.  And the blessed Paul rebukes the inventors of such offences, saying, "But in thus sinning against the brethren, and wounding their weak conscience, you sin against Christ."  And that such offences might not prevail over the faithful, God somewhere spoke unto those who are the ambassadors of the upright word of truth, and skilful in teaching it, saying, "Go through My gates, and make a pathway for My people, and cast away the stones out of the way."  And the Saviour has attached a bitter penalty against those who lay such stumbling-blocks in men's road.

Perhaps, however, these are not the offences here referred to, but those rather, which very frequently from human infirmity happen between friends and brethren: and the accompanying discourse which immediately follows these opening remarks, and which speaks of our pardoning the brethren in case they ever sin against us, leads us to the idea that these were the offences meant.  And what then are these offences?  Mean and annoying actions, I suppose; fits of anger, whether on good grounds or without justification; insults; slanders very frequently; and other stumbling-blocks akin and similar to these.  Such, He says, must needs come.  Is this then because God, Who governs all, obliges men to their commission?  Away with the thought: for from Him comes nothing that is evil, yea! rather He is the fountain of all virtue.  Why then must they happen?  Plainly because of our infirmity; for in many things we all of us stumble, as it is written.  Nevertheless there will be woe, He says, to the man who lays the stumblingblocks in the way: for He does not leave indifference in these things without rebuke, but restrains it rather by fear of punishment.  Nevertheless He commands us to bear with patience those who occasion them.

read more of St. Cyril here:

Editorial Comment:
from Joanna's notepad
     An example of how an ambassador skillful in teaching might put a stumbling block in the path of a little one is any clergymen who revere the pseudo-elder Ephraim Moraitis of St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona.
     An example of how an ambassador skillful in teaching might put a stumbling block in the path of a little one is any clergymen who say it is a valid Orthodox opinion to think that Harry Potter books have an esoteric Christian theme.


• Milan Synod promotes pseudo-elder Theodore Irtel

Fr. Ambroise visit to Jacmel

From: Amboise Noel
Subject: retour de jacmel
Date: June 30, 2017 at 12:04:18 PM CDT
To: mama  sjkp
Reply-To: Amboise Noel

God bless you!  I made a very good trip to Jacmel for the feast of St. Augustine, I was back yesterday.  Everything is in good order except crisis of the professors for their salaries.  As you are connecting funds for the mission, how are things?  We are in difficulty for wages May and June, God will show you the way to help us resolve the crisis.  God bless you, Love to all! Amboise Noel +

Dieu vous garde ! j effectuais un tres bon voyage a jacmel pour la fete de saint Augustin,j etais de retour hier.Tout est en bon ordre sauf crise des professeurs pour leur salaires.Comme vous etes entrain de connecter des fonds pour la mission ,comment sont les choses ? Nous sommes en difficultes pour salaires mai et juin,Dieu vous montrera le chemin pour nous aider a resoudre la crise .Dieu vous benisse ,Baisees a tous !P. Amboise Noel +

Tennessee Milkweed

milkweed growing on the roadside in front of Good Shepherd House
Liberty, Tennessee

Oregon does have its own native milkweed, but I never found any.  Monarch butterflies lay their eggs only on milkweed.  Here in Tennessee milkweed blooms in time for St. John's feast day (June19/July 2).  The blooms are very fragrant.

Redneck fix-its

Walmart in Smithville Tennessee June 2017
• headlight installation
• cracked windshield

(the red Toyota truck on the far right is mine - jh)

Ungodliness of Islam

New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke
Matins: last stichos on Praises
June Menaion p. 376

  O newly assembled choir of three choruses, composed of hieromartyrs, martyred monastics and martyrs!
  Who can praise your passion-bearing struggles worthily?
  For at various times and in divers places, ye all armed yourselfves against the selfsame ungodliness of Islam,
and endured mutifarious tortures. 
  Together in the heavens, pray ye that we be saved.

Thank you note from Haiti

from Fr. Amboise for monies sent this month
machine translation

From: Amboise Noel 
Subject: visite Pastorale (fete )
Date: June 19, 2017 at 10:05:24 AM CDT
To: Matushka Anastasia
Reply-To: Amboise Noel 

la Grace du grand Dieu est avec vous !Tres content de vous ecrire juste pour me savoir l etat de votre sante.Avec notre Seigneur j espere tout va bien.un grand remerciement pour le transfert,je constate il ya la volonte de votre part,mais manque de ressources financieres nous donnent des difficultes.je dois envoyer 250 $us a jacmel pour la fete Paroissiale Saint Augustin ,qui sera celebre le 28 juin,plusieurs baptemes seront effectues.Je vous prie de continuer a nous aider dans cette situation difficile que nous sommes ,Dieu vous recompensera.D abord la paroisse Saint Augustin avant ,je vous demande vos prieres.Baisees !Votre frere en Christ P.Amboise Noel +

Grace of the great God is with you!  Very happy to write to you just to know the state of your health.  With our Lord I hope all is well.a great thank you for the transfer,  I note there is the will on your part , But lack of financial resources give us difficulties. I have to send 250 $ us a jacmel for the parish festival Saint Augustin, which will be celebrated on June 28, several baptisms will be made.  Please continue to help us in this difficult situation That we are, God will recompense you. First the parish Saint Augustin before, I ask your prayers  .  Baisees your brother in Christ 
P.Amboise Noel +

Alms for Haiti

The most good a dollar can accomplish is with a donation to the Haiti Mission, the poorest of the poor.


Update June 2017:

Two ways to donate money to the Haiti Mission:

1. send donations for Haiti by snail mail directly to: 
  Matushka Anastasia Williams
  1180 Orthodox Way
  Liberty TN 37095

2. Pay Pal accepts most credit/debit cards
Tax-deductible receipt will be sent to you on request, either by email or by snail mail.  Send your request for a receipt to joannahigginbotham@gmail.com

We are reconstructing Haitian Orthodox Mission emailing list.  Please send me your email address to add to the list.  Thank you.  joannahigginbotham@gmail.com

The house that John built

Anyone who visits Annunciation parish in Tennessee passes John's house on the way.

• This is the house that John built.

• This is the rat that lived in the house that John built.

• This is the snake who ate the rats that lived in the house that John built.

Grocery shopping in Tennessee

Journey to Tennessee

Ash Fork, Arizona, May 4

Look! He's riding a bike!

Joanna saying goodbye to Oregon,  May 1st
his mother and I video my grandson testing out his newly repaired bicycle


Joanna saying goodbye to Oregon

April 17/30 Myrrhbearers Sunday



from Joanna's scrapbook

President Putin speaks about the ROCOR-MP

"It is impossible to imagine Russia without Christianity."



Orthodox Christian Quotes and Catechism

New blog added to sidebar:


Orthodox Christian Quotes and Catechism

Orthodox Quotes, Catechism, History and Homilettes

Fr. Photios serves in the GOC Cathedral in Portland, Oregon.

A message from Romania

Christ has risen!


Add star 


Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 2:42 PM
To: "joannahigginbotham@gmail.com"
Hi Joanna,

   I would like to ask you what is the situation where you are? in europe and everywhere is very bad now after the crete fake council. after one year of heresy who is dispersing the flock and let ocultism an evil into the churches, we can say times are close.
   I'm from romania, and living in the UK now but planning to return as a few fathers had the coutrage to fight ecumenism, and people as well but we are persecuted everywhere. just a few bishops in Ukraine have stopped communion, a few fathers in romania, grece, russia, moldavia, serbia. it looks the official Church for how we know it will enbrace the roman-catholics and antichrist. his spirit is already taking the minds of several peoples.
but our hope is in Christ, our Lord and Savior.
   we are fighting against ecumenism, and keeping the teaching of the elders as Fr Iustin Parvu, Fr Cleopa and all the Others.
   the reason I'm contacting is if you would have copies of the orthodox word magazine, the old back issues?

   regards and I hope there you have fathers who are fighting as well.

With love in Christ,


from Vladika John's report to the All-Diaspora Sobor in 1938

"To the Russians abroad, it has been granted to shine in the whole world with the light of Orthodoxy, so that other peoples, seeing their good deeds, might glorify our Father Who is in heaven, and thus obtain salvation for themselves.  But if it does not perform this purpose and even abases Orthodoxy by its life, the Diaspora will have before itself two paths: either to be converted to the path of repentance, having acquired forgiveness through prayer to God and being reborn spiritually and to being capable of giving rebirth to our suffering homeland; or else being rejected by God and remaining in banishment, persecuted by everyone, until gradually it will degenerate and disappear from the face of the earth."

Pastoral Epistle of the Council of Bishops 2017

the only true stewardship of the earthly flock of Christ of the Russian Church

ROCA: Pastoral Epistle of the Council of Bishops 2017
See then, that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:15-16)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ!
Christ is Risen!

Currently, the times are such, that when in both civil and ecclesiastical society, authority is crumbling, numerous false teachings are invented, and many groups refer to themselves as if Christ is among them. How can a person keep one’s balance in this chaos, where the media easily convinces a host of people that black is white and vice versa? It is not within a person’s strength nor within his ability to be able to understand such a variety of lies- it is possible only if God Himself opens the veil of Mysteries before him.

We believe that we have been vouchsafed God's mercy, and that His mercy has been manifested to us by pointing towards the direction of the historical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, as the only true stewardship of the earthly flock of Christ of the Russian Church, through which the earthly Church is ruled by our Divine Savior.

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth like a branch, and is withered" (John 15:5 -6).

We believe that our Russian Church Abroad is the vine of Christ-  the vine on which a multitude of genuine spiritual fruits have  blossomed- including the parishes of the Catacomb Church, which were deprived of their centralized administration, and therefore have attached themselves to this vine. This vine is the source that gives us eternal life and salvation. If we lose that, we will lose God’s saving grace. That is why Holy Tradition, which is passed down from generation to generation by our spiritual Fathers, is what we must hold on to, in spite of all the trials and temptations. Whoever dares to revise this living Tradition and distorts and rejects it, will deprive himself not only of a spiritual foundation, but will deprive himself of a connection with Christ- a connection that is passed on like a continuous thread from the time of the apostles down to our days.

Sacred Tradition is the only solid ground on which one can protect the Church from schisms. Whichever winds of modernism  are raging about, if you stand on the firm rock of Tradition - they are powerless. However, if one gives in just a little to the “spirit of the times”  and allows oneself to think for but a moment that tradition is outdated and does not correspond to modern challenges – then one can easily slip from a solid foundation and thus be carried along the waves to eternal perdition.

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Mt. 7.24-27).

So will it be with those who reject the rock of living Holy Tradition, the canons and rules which the Fathers established, declaring them obsolete and not binding, and who justify their unlawful actions for lack of any arguments at all, with some imaginary "spiritual approach" and with the "demands of the times." This baseless justification for lawlessness can be compared to how the supporters of the traitor of the Church Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), justified and justify his betrayal owing to his "special wisdom" corresponding to that time, but not within the boundaries of patristic Orthodoxy. Similarly, the enemies of Christ, the Masons, even blasphemously distort the meaning of the betrayal of Judas, which, supposedly, only those of their initiated can truly understand.

Of course, there are things within in the Church that change with time, subordinating itself to the current period. But this applies only to the external attributes, the forms of the exposition (presentations) of its invisible sacred content. One and the same truth can be conveyed, for instance, in different languages. In this case, the language can change, but the truth does not. The mistake that many make, is that they do not distinguish well enough  the difference between where the truth is, and where the form of its presentation is. Having the desire to make the truth more understandable, often and without knowing it - they distort it and smother it.

Nowadays, ecumenism is a particular, subtle evil - a heresy that often enters into the Church and into the soul of a person like some diabolical flattery, gradually and imperceptibly. Thus, unexpected for many, not only were the representatives of the well familiar-to-us official Orthodoxy susceptible to this heresy, but so were some separate old-calendar groups as well, professing that one could be saved in isolation from other Christians, that the Church has ceased to be the One, Holy and Universal, but rather has divided itself  into a multitude of supposedly self-sufficient "Church-Synods". It is precisely this thought, through which the heretical, false doctrine hides behind. Insofar as the Church of Christ has always been singular, so will it remain as such - being the only One (Church), according to the Savior's word, until the end of time.

The First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Metropolitan Vitaly, had said that he believes that those whom the Lord has prepared for salvation, He Himself leads, simply guiding them along His pathways, and eventually  leading them to our Russian Church Abroad, and, accordingly, cutting off those who are headed towards perdition. Therefore, we must love and appreciate our Church and remember that it is singular, and that a schism in the Church means perdition, and that the (heretical) confession that all the various Churches in which one supposedly can also be saved, of which there are many – amounts to an ecumenical heresy, and to even greater perdition.

The Synod of Bishops warns all of its faithful children of the Church of Christ of the harmful nature of such a false confession of faith that contradicts the words of Christ Himself: "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Mtt.16:18), and likewise the ninth article of the Creed: "I believe ... in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." The Lord created one Church. Therefore, the Head cannot have many Bodies. Thus did the Lord create it, so the apostles taught, so believed the holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church. So do we also believe. "This is the apostolic faith, this the faith of the fathers, this is the Orthodox Faith, this faith confirmeth the universe!" (From the Service of the Triumph of Orthodoxy).

During these festive days of Pascha, The Synod of Bishops addresses our entire flock with a call especially relevant in our times of apostasy: "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Rev. 3:11).

Truly, Christ is risen!

Chairman of the Synod of Bishops
+ Metropolitan Agafangel
Right Reverend Bishops:
+ Archbishop George (Secretary of the Synod)
+ Bishop Athanasius
+ Bishop Kirill
+ Bishop Anfim
For Bishop Gregory and Bishop Nikon + Archbishop George (Secretary of the Synod)
April 20 / May 3, 2017,  St. Theodore Trichinas.