It started when Fr. Andrei posted, “I don’t understand why Trump is so paranoid when people criticize his legitimacy. If he and Pence would just go out to dinner, then he’d have a real government mandate.”
After posting one joke on his social media account and turning off the computer to go to bed, Fr. Andrei Fremantle’s page suddenly became a war zone.
Charles Chainsaw, a parishioner at the Church of All Saints of Southern North Dakota, disapproved heavily of the joke, commenting that he expected priests to be apolitical unless they agree with him. He then followed up the post with several memes denouncing the fake news media.
Parish progressive Wendy Winsome immediately responded with numerous links to sites intended to “educate” Chainsaw, who replied with more, harsher memes. Several other parishioners attempted to defuse the conflict by posting pictures of kittens playing with balls of string. Another suggested a compromise that all could agree that the original pun was terrible and they should all go to bed.
But the war zone continued getting worse until Winsome accused Chainsaw of promoting racism, sexism and botulism and Chainsaw responding by saying that if she called him alt-right again, he’d ctrl-alt-delete her. By the next morning when Fr. Andrei woke up, the original post had collected 94 comments, and assigned both combatants a penance of going to bed by 10 p.m. each night for the next week.
Choir practice at the Orthodox Church of All Saints of
Southern North Carolina was interrupted on Saturday by a choir member demanding
that hymns be sung exactly as they are printed on the sheet music, but choir
director John Wasilko wasn’t having it.
“It’s chant music,” he explained. “Just because each syllable
has a quarter note above it doesn’t mean you sing it like train cars going over
a joint in the tracks. We stretch some of them out a bit!”
“But that’s not what’s on the page!” complained
Antonina Thompson, who has been a member of the Orthodox Church for one year
after leaving the Strict Literal Infallible Inerrant Word of Bible Scripture
Church. “If you want it sung that way, you have to change the notes on the
sheet music.” Previously, Thompson had also objected to the choir director’s
habit of stretching out whole notes when the altar servers were taking longer
than expected to bring the candles out at the Little Entrance.
“I love the Orthodox Church and its teachings of
mystery and things about God being unknowable and unmeasurable. I couldn’t deal
with all that strictness and literalism back at my old church,” she said during
a brief break in choir practice, after which she shouted at the choir director,
“But that’s not what’s on the page!”
Dear Parish Members,
As I’m sure you know, the Fourth of July always falls during the Apostles’ Fast for those of us who observe the Old Style Calendar. Bishop Vladikos made it clear at this year’s clergy retreat that he has gotten tired of getting requests for dispensations for eating meat and whooping it up on the Fourth of July. In the past, he had allowed it to be a wine and oil day, but, he said, “Your parishioners have turned it into a whine and oil day with all their complaining!” and His Grace put the kibosh on even that dispensation.
This year the Church of All Saints of Southern North Carolina
will observe the Fourth of July on the Old Calendar. We believe this will
provide everyone with the opportunity to both observe the fast and appreciate
this great American holiday. While it is true that the Declaration of
Independence was signed on July 4 in Philadelphia, it was not until the eve of
July 17 that news reached our beloved county here in Southern North Carolina.
We have invited our friends from St. Barsanuphius Church to the
feast. We should be careful not to try convincing them to switch back to the
Old Calendar since, after all, we buy their used Christmas decorations for a
very low price every year.
This year, we are delighted to announce that veggie dogs marinated
in olive oil and white wine will not be on the menu.
Also, we are delighted that we can roast marshmallows with
actual milk chocolate this year. Please, however, do not publish any
photographs of the marshmallows on the Web site as Bishop Vladikos has been
doubtful of their appropriateness at previous picnics – he says they’re
certainly Lenten, but he doesn’t think they’re food.
We will enforce a couple of rules strictly:
Contrary to what you may have heard, there will be no tofu toss.
Any and all fireworks involving Batushka’s censer are still
Vladimir Smith, Parish Council President