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The Church - A Ship in the Sea of Life

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  • Basil Yakimov
    The Church - A Ship in the Sea of Life Greek Orthodox Priest Aris Metrakos, formerly a ship’s captain, maintains that 85% of all churches can be compared to
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2006
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      The Church - A Ship in the Sea of Life

      Greek Orthodox Priest Aris Metrakos, formerly a ship’s captain, maintains
      that 85% of all churches can be compared to luxury cruise liners, when they
      should be more like battleships:

      Cruise ships and battleships. What could be more simple and clear? Think
      about what happens on a cruise ship. We don't do any work. Someone takes
      care of every need. Every event (except for lifeboat training) is optional.
      We have no responsibilities and no accountability.

      Isn't this the way most people approach Church? Developing and executing
      services and programs is someone else's job. We go to services once or
      twice a year and still call ourselves "members." All work falls under the
      job description of the paid staff or core volunteers, so we have no
      responsibilities.

      Then there's the battleship. The warship has a life or death mission. Every
      member of the crew has a job that must be done to the best of his ability.
      Everyone must work together because they depend on one another for the
      success of the mission and mutual survival.

      A healthy parish must see itself as a battleship. The mission of the Church
      is life and death. We are called to bring the Gospel to the world and to
      provide for those in need. No other vocation is as critical or crucial.
      Each member of the "crew" has a divine calling to define and fill his
      particular niche in the life of the parish. And when members do not work
      together, they jeopardize both the work of the Church and their salvation.

      Anyone who has spent time aboard a cruise ship and a warship knows that the
      ways of life onboard the two respective vessels are polar opposites. Cruise
      ship passengers are relaxed, tanned, and well-fed. Battleship sailors are
      sleep-deprived, present a neglected appearance, and are edgy. No one in his
      right mind would vacation on a battleship.

      (from the Parish Bulletin of the Russian Orthodox Church of Transfiguration
      of our Lord, Baltimore, MD)
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