Monday, July 25, 2005

The Coolest Thing About Toronto


I just spent 4 days in Toronto at the OCA North American Conference. It was wellll... a conference. Thank God there are people who like reports, budgets, elections and social hours if that's what it takes to run an archdiocese. I was there to get a feel for the ethos of the Archdiocese since we recently moved to the OCA to help start a Mission Church. I liked what I encountered there in spite of the machinery of administration.

Toronto is big, and maybe I just didn't see enough of it, but this was the coolest thing in the city as far as I was concerned. I want it on my front yard.

11 comments:

Meg said...

Cool as a moose, huh?? ;-)

Am interested to find out how you went about getting a mission established, since my own encounters with the OCA were less than fruitful -- they seemed not to want to have anything to do with Russian immigrants. Since that was the *point* of establishing a mission, that was tough to understand.

Drop me a line, let me know how all this came about and how it's going!

helaineking said...

Meg, How can that be? I am in an OCA mission (now a parish as of this year)that is almost all Russian. Those of us converts are having to learn a little Russian, just to keep up. I am in the Diocese of the South...perhaps that's the difference? The Cathedral in Dallas was founded by Russian immigrants.

Mimi said...

I'm also in the OCA and our Diocese, anyway, is EXTREMELY mission friendly.

Cool photo, Steven-Paul! I hear it was a record breaking heat.

olympiada said...

Yes that is a cool thing. I especially like the ying-yang symbol. That figured in my art when I was younger and apparently still figures in my thinking because my confessor had to chide me about it...It sure is hard to get rid of old patterns of thinking!
By the way, what is your understanding of ethos?

s-p said...

Hi all,
Meg, I emailed you off-blog, and yep it was record breaking heat/humidity. I had to walk 5 blocks in my reader's cassock and was swimming in it by the time I got to the hotels. The "ethos" of the archdiocese it kind of like the "culture" or "feel" of it. Each parish has a "feel", and an unspoken kind of way of doing things and just "being" that you pick up through watching people and listening to what they talk about and what the issues are and what they emphasize. And yes, symbolism is powerful stuff. We might like something artistically but art flows from experience and imagination and world view and philosophy etc., it would be hard to divorce such a symbol from all of its philosophical meaning.

olympiada said...

SP - I do not understand what you are saying. I was drawing yin-yang symbols when I was a teenager. In fact I posted a piece of my art on my site after seeing your photograph. So as a teenager I had all this experience and imagination and world view and philosophy? Wow. Groovy. Cool. Did not know that.

s-p said...

Hi Olympiada,
I don't think most of us know the implications and influences of things we "play with innocently".
You probably just liked the symbol, and its not that YOU had the philosophy, experience etc., but the people who wrote the symbol did. It stands for something and if we like the symbol we can leave ourselves open to the philosophy that created it.
(Now, I know there are lots of people who wear a cross as jewelry etc.). The thing that I'm particularly sensitive to is the influences of culture, art, media, etc. on our souls. We are constantly bombarded with non-Christian stuff in all forms of media, including art. Art reflects a "spirit of the age".
So, no, you probably couldn't quote the Tao or any Eastern philosophy when you were drawing the yingyang in high school, but you were engaging in an attraction and perhaps at least a willingness to take a look at what it meant.
Its not that I'm a "slippery slope" conspiracy theorist kind of person, but I do know how easily I fall prey to things that would divert me from Christ.
peace,
s-p

olympiada said...

S-P Deep thought. Do you know the wife of a professional musician gave my daughter a copy of The Tao of Pooh? And I found a backpack with Pooh on it in the laundry room. And another person gave my daughter a different kind of purse with Pooh on it? And I am comforted by both the yin-yang symbol and Pooh! :) I think I will post another picture of mine on my blog that has a yin-yang symbol. It is time to exhibit this stuff. A friend chastized me for not exhibiting my art. Well I listened to her, and now I am, a piece at a time. And this is my high school portfolio. I do not even feel safe enough to create any new art right now.

Ian said...

I came here via Philippa's blog.

I remember all those mooses (meese? ;-)) when I visited Toronto back in 2002...doesn't seem that long ago. I didn't see that very funky one, though!

My prayers are with you and your mission.

Danielle Cuthberta said...

"Ethos" would be termed "charism" by the Benedictines - the gift a monastic community exhibits and/or longs after. Good term, as all communities, whether monastic or not, exhibit such. So what did you deduce *is* the charism of the OCA, s-p?

s-p said...

Hi DC,
The "ethos" of the OCA is a work in progress. After 35 years they are still talking about receiving autocephaly from Russia, but they are finally saying, "Its time for us to decide what we want to be when we grow up." They are looking back to their missionary roots for their rudder and saying we need to infuse THIS culture with the Orthodox faith like the saints did to Alaska. That's a nice start.