St. Silouan and Elder Sophrony

Beginning this Sunday (September 9), I will teach a once monthly adult Church school class at our parish of the Holy Resurrection. Our text for the class will be “The Monk of Mount Athos” by Archimandrite Sophrony. We will spend our time together exploring the life and teaching of our father among the saints, Silouan the Athonite. Below, I will post the letter that I gave all of the adults at the parish who intend to attend the class. It gives a general topic and reading list for our time with St. Silouan.

I will post here from the class each month.

Troparion for St. Silouan the Athonite: By prayer didst thou receive Christ for thy teacher in the way of humility; and the Spirit bare witness to salvation in thy heart; wherefore all peoples called unto hope rejoice this day of thy memorial. O sacred Father Silouan, pray unto Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.

Kontakion for St. Silouan the Athonite: In thine earthly life thou didst serve Christ, following in His steps; and now in heaven thou seest Him Whon thou didst love, and abidest with Him according to the promise. Wherefore, O Father Silouan, teach us the path wherein thou didst walk.

Dearest in the Lord-

Christ is in our midst!

From now until our Lenten classes will begin (March and April 2013) we will be looking at the book “The Monk of Mount Athos” by Archimandrite Sophrony. The general layout of the classes is detailed below (which also gives a good idea of ‘reading assignments’ month by month):

September: Intro & The Life of the Saint (chapters 1-4 [CD talk])
October: The Life of the Saint (chapters 1-4, 10)
November: Doctrinal Teaching (chapter 5)
December: Doctrinal Teaching (chapter 5)
January: Prayer/Imagination (chapters 6-7)
February: “Keep thy mind…” & conclusion (chapter 9 (also 8))

Even though the book is small, it is very dense and lovely and filled with wonderful things for us to learn, discuss, and apply. I plan to have some “teaching” time in each class, but I also hope that much of our time is open discussion and questions. As you read, please note any questions or points that you’d like to discuss, and hopefully we’ll get around to all of those things during the course of this study.

Do not stress about reading for the first class next week – we will be doing something that will not be impacted by whether or not you’ve read in the book. We will spend two weeks on the first 4 chapters (and the last), so the majority of discussion will actually take place in the October session.

I look forward to our time together in Church School this year. Continuing to feed our Faith and to grow in Christ is the most important thing we can do with our time – and I pray the class will help you all do that each and every day.

God bless!
Priest Matthew