Dear In Communion reader

Dear In Communion reader,

The lead article in this issue of In Communion began in an unlikely location – in front of a television screen. A few months ago Nancy and I spent an evening watching Sophie Scholl – The Final Days, an Oscar-nominated movie about a small group of young German anti-Nazi resisters who called themselves the White Rose. All were executed in 1943. The day after seeing the film, I began researching the White Rose. I soon discovered that one of the groups's co-founders, Alexander Schmorell, was a devout Orthodox Christian who will be canonized as a passion bearer. It has been a blessing learning more about this extraordinary young man.

Doing what we can to make the lives of such modern witnesses better known – St Maria Skobtsova of Paris is another example – has been a major element in the work of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.

Brandon Frazier shares memories of what it was like to be a foot soldier in Iraq and now having to live with hellish memories of what happens when, with the slightest movement of pressure, a trigger is pulled and someone's life is cut short.

Two of our authors, Al Raboteau and Eric Simpson, write about the poor, with Al concentrating on writings from the Church Fathers plus several 20th-century Christians, and Eric explaining what Christ meant in saying the always surprising words, "Blessed are you poor."

Finally Sergei Romanov, an OPF member in Russia who is on the staff of the museum where Leo Tolstoy lived, gives us a glimpse of how the famous author who (using words as weapons) declared war on the Orthodox Church, in fact lived a more Orthodox spiritual life than I, for one, ever imagined.

These are a subjects of significance for all Orthodox Christians, though it is rare to hear about them in other Orthodox journals or to find similar material on other Orthodox web sites.

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In Christ's peace,

Jim Forest


❖ IN COMMUNION / Feast of St. Ephrem the Syrian / Winter 2011/ Issue 59