A New Start

After nearly two years, it is time to truly get this blog going. My original idea was to visit various church communities according to some grand liturgical plan. I was going to go on New Years Day to St Sophia Cathedral, because it is the place where I was baptized as an infant and I wanted my first post to be about that. I planned to then stop by, on the same day, to visit St Basil Catholic church on Wilshire, in honor of the fact that January 1st is St Basil’s Day. However the big plans I made in December 2010 were dashed by mundane things like head colds and well, head colds! I got some bug bad that year and I ended up not going to any church for some time. Since then I’ve been trying to find the perfect time to start this adventure.

Two years later…

Well, I’ve finally accepted that it is best to forget the grand orchestrating and to just begin ¬†writing about my pilgrimages to various places as they happen. I’m eager to get going! And so, with no further ado, and in no particular order, what follows is an ongoing account of my visits to the many beautiful Church communities in and around Los Angeles, as I happen to visit and get to know them. I’ll be starting with a non-Orthodox community simply because that is where I was this morning.

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Come join me on a trip through Greater Los Angeles guaranteed to be unlike any other!

On this very wet winter-y L.A. day I’m starting what I hope will be an interesting and challenging blog chronicling my exploration of Orthodox Christianity in Southern California. One might guess that I’m an inquirer gathering information on this ancient faith, but, I am, in fact, a dyed-in-the-wool Orthodox Christian and have lived in Southern California all my life, with the only exception being the few years that I lived on the east coast in my 20s.

Although I’m a native of this faith and this region, there still is so much for me to learn about my Orthodox brothers and sisters who are spread out in this vast metropolis in an ever-growing tapestry of Church communities. These communities, which are united by a common confession of faith in Christ and by our sacramental membership into the body of Christ – that is, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, which Jesus Christ established fifty days after His Resurrection – vary in many fascinating ways. I intend to visit as many of these unique Orthodox communities as possible this year and to partake of the blessings at each. I hope to share with the readers of this blog the various treasurers found in these “citadels” of faith which are spread throughout the Southland and which, unfortunately, are little known to the majority of the residents of Los Angeles.

But beyond visiting, worshiping with, and then writing about the Orthodox Churches and communities of Southern California, this blog will also offer commentary about life in L.A generally.¬† Life here as experienced by an Orthodox Christian 21st century pilgrim. To me being a “pilgrim” is an orientation and it means approaching this transitory, imperfect, present life from the perspective of faith in the unchanging perfect world of God. A pilgrim is a poor, humble traveler, prone to stumbles and falls but committed to and joyful in the journey undertaken. I don’t know if I really qualify as a pilgrim myself, but I want to strive to be one and this is also what this blog is about.

Finally, I want to dedicate the L.A. Pilgrim blog to my patron: Saint Anastasia, the Deliverer from Potions, whose memory is celebrated on this day. May her gracious intercessions cover this new endeavor so that it may be for good.

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