Priest, parishioner at odds over overly specific confessions

Parish priest Theodosius Rydell was recently accused of getting inspired to write a sermon from the confession of one of his parishioners, a charge which he denies.

“On Saturday, I confessed to eating a cream-cheese bagel on a Friday after doing so well for months and how I was so proud of what a good faster I was,” whispered parishioner Alexander Gatton during coffee hour. “And then your sermon the next day was about how fasting is supposed to make people humble, not proud.”

Father Theodosius replied back, also in a whisper: “I write my sermons on Thursday, really, I do. And sometimes someone makes a confession on the same topic. But for your matter, it would help if you’d stop being so darned specific in your confessions.” He continued, his voice getting a little louder. “If someone confessed to me that they’d gone to a really good vegan Thai buffet on a Friday and overate, I’d be like, ‘wait, where is this place?’”

Three other parishioners nearby only heard the words “vegan Thai buffet,” from this conversation and immediately asked, “Wait, where is this place?”

Soon smartphones came out and it was discovered that the city had one very well-reviewed vegan Thai buffet, and trips were planned. Over the next few weeks, Fr. Theodosius smacked his forehead several times upon hearing “Vegan Thai buffet” during parishioners’ confessions.

Parish to observe Fourth of July on Old Calendar

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 forbidden.

Sincerely,

Vladimir Smith, Parish Council President