4. Orthodox California: the Greek Convent “Life-Bearing Wellspring” (under the spiritual guidance of Elder Efrem of Arizona), a 4 ?-hour drive from San Francisco, in the southern Sierra Nevada. One senses that one is not in America, but in Georgia, Greece or Serbia. There are some 25 nuns at the convent, practically all of whom grew up in America. Their strict monastic life (no “furloughs,” all-night vigils, all perform for themselves) negate the myth that “Americans” cannot live an ascetic life.
6. Orthodox California: The Serbian Cemetery (95% of those buried there are Russian, all of our parishioners are buried there) in the outskirts of San Francisco. The cemetery contains monuments to the Royal Family, the Cossacks, the Russian Cadets and the St George Cavaliers.
13. California has many expensive cars (not as many as in Moscow, of course), and old models in excellent condition. One advantage of buying old cars here is that they almost never rust in our climate.
14. During today’s service we heard that Righteous Lazarus was already ill, but four days later would be risen from the dead: “Our FRIEND Lazarus is sleeping.” Can you imagine? For Christ our God, we are not only His children, but we are His friends! Earth-shattering! Come to think of it, how many friends do we have? Not the ones we like to have a good time with, remember our youth, those who love us and are ready to help out at any time but those who love us with a Christian love, who love our SOULS and who pray for us BY NAME before holy icons on a daily basis? I fear that SUCH friends, who care for our souls and eternal life and salvation, are rare for anyone to have, at all, including celebrities who have thousands of fans! This is sad and lonely. The photo shows an Orthodox Eritrean woman, a parishioner of a Russian church in SF.
15. Blessed California! There are the famous cities of California: Los Angeles (Hollywood) and San Francisco, but there is another California: little towns and villages, with their own traditions and ways, even if they aren’t ancient, their own identities and wonders. Photo: the town of Arcata.