The Home: A Micro Church
The reality of the Church in the New World is that parishes, and dioceses are not the compact units of Old World. Distance is a great problem. Our faithful work far from their homes and live far from their local church. Time is taken up with travel and preparations for it. Once the faithful are at home it is not easy to call them out again for other programs, no matter how spiritually beneficial. The home is however still the "micro/mini church" and we should focus in on that.
Thus, in making available the printed word, radio broadcasts, [web sites, podcasts,] television, and especially home videos, we are extending the Word of God into the Christian household. The media should also help to sanctify the home, drawing families together to see and hear the Good News. Micro and macro Churches thus strengthen each other.
The use of mass media is like an extension of the Liturgy of the Catechumens; it allows us to reach both the baptized and the nonbeliever; it can help us fortify the sheep and call out to others. Of course, no one would think that radio programs, television and home videos substitute for worship. They may be a means to inspire the faithful and the clergy; such programs provide a necessary alternative to secular programs.
Once, preaching was heard only in a formal setting. Now through the media it reaches into the home, hospitals, rest homes and institutions. It is available to that vast world outside the doors of our particular parish churches. Without knocking on doors or standing in the market place, Orthodox Christianity's Good News, the good seed, can be broadcast, be received, planted and grow through our own wise stewardship of time and talents. In this area, specifically, the royal priesthood and the ordained can work together to produce outstanding witnessing to the Good News.
It is in following the example of the holy martyrs whose "preaching was the consubstantial Trinity" and for which they "contended valiantly and were crowned" that Orthodox Christians in the New World will also find salvation. In proclaiming the Word of God, we are part of the fulfilling of the Lord's command to "Go forth and preach to all nations the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."
May the fulfillment of this exhortation to preach hasten our Lord's glorious, triumphant and much awaited return.
HOLY SYNOD of the ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA