As most of you already know, my family and I recently joined the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church! I come from a devout Protestant family: my father has been a pastor for over thirty years, my sister is a missionary in Southeast Asia, and I, too, pastored for several years. As you can imagine, our decision to join the Church was not easy. Our journey was filled with years of angst, hours upon hours of discussion and introspection, mountains of books, and, intensive prayer. While all of these activities played a role in our conversion it was our first hand experience of the Church that had the most lasting impact on us. The great Russian philosopher Pavel Florensky once said, “Only by relying on immediate experience can one survey the spiritual treasures of the Church and come to see their value.” This was certainly true in our case.
I still remember the first night my wife Rosie and I secretly attended vespers at an Eastern church near my parents house. Up to that point, we had only rationalized about “the Church.” We had loads of objective information, from piles of books, rattling around our heads–but no subjective experience. We were like blind beggars crying out on the side of the road–our first encounter with eastern liturgy was like the miracle of experiencing sight for the first time.
One day I will share the whole story with you; until then, please enjoy these beautiful photos. Perhaps they will give you a taste of the beauty and richness of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; perhaps they will stir your soul and fill you with an intense desire to experience ecclesiality for yourself . . .