Saturday, December 8, 2012

Orthodox in Dixie

This is a video produced by the Eastern American Diocese of ROCOR about our parish and Sts Cyril and Methodius in Summerville, SC. Below is the trailer of what will be a 30-minute production. In less than 24 hours it got 1,400 views. Originally I told the producer my biggest concern was that they might realize we are as dull as we see ourselves: plodding along, vespers, vigils, liturgies, and on and on. He assured me I was wrong. This video is someone else's exciting impression of our church life. 

The Russian Church is a missionary church. The first Russian missionaries to America came to Alaska over 200 years ago. The Russian Church sees the South as Alaska once was. Those in Russia as well as cradle-Orthodox in America are both impressed and joyful at our zeal, but at the same time baffled by us converts in the Bible Belt. I imagine the final product will express some of this, as well as highlight the various struggles of mission parishes--amidst distinctively delicious Southern victuals. The "world premiere" will be at our coffee hour on Sunday, December 16, but will be available January 1 online.

The producer has told us it has gone "viral" relative to the other videos they have made which include such notable speakers as Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Archimandrite Irineii (Steenburg), and Fr Artemy Vladimirov. Perhaps it's because of the clever use of -doxy and -dixie--or maybe because it's only a few minutes long with a jaunty tune in the background.

Regardless, I think this video has the potential to undo a few stereotypes of both southerners and stodgy ROCOR priests. Well, maybe not the southerners...