3 Perspectives on the Ancient Faith Writing Conference

Without a doubt, my experience at the Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference was blessed and unique. There are so many things to share from the event that I’m having a hard time choosing one! Instead of choosing, I’ll write a few posts. Today I’ll share what the conference and the long trip away from home meant to me from the perspectives of a mom and wife, Eastern Catholic, and as a woman.

As a Mom and Wife

Before the conference, I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that since getting married I’ve not gone anywhere for more than a day trip without Manny or at least one of my kids. My daughter Scarlett did go with me but she is an adult, and we were with our friend, Brother Isaac, so I wasn’t alone. However, I didn’t have little people to take care of for five days! No meals to cook, laundry to be concerned with, or school to teach.

Going to the conference made me reflect on how isolated my life is from other people besides my family and small community. I’m also rarely alone for more than a few hours. If I go somewhere alone, it is almost always to buy groceries, or do other errands for my family and the household.

When I was a teenager, I was extremely independent. I learned to fly planes when I was fifteen. At sixteen I would drive out of state from California to Arizona by myself in the middle of the night. No, it wasn’t smart, but that’s how independent and fearless I was. This trip made me think about how much I’ve changed over the years. Being a mom and wife is so ingrained in me that I can no longer imagine myself independent of my children and husband. The time away made me ever more grateful for my family.

One of the workshops we attended focused on time management. The information was invaluable to me not only for writing but also for managing my home. I am regularly trying to figure out how to handle life better, and I gained insight into how I tick which will help me manage myself and the gang much more efficiently.

As an Eastern Catholic

Ancient Faith is an Eastern Orthodox ministry. I was a little concerned about going because I worried about how we would be received as Eastern Catholics.

One of the first talks was by Doctor Albert Rossi, and he set the tone for the entire conference which was perfect. One thing he did was mention other Christians, specifically Catholics and even used Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta as an example in his presentation. All of this put me at ease. When meeting people, if the topic came up I explained I was Eastern Catholic. Because of this, I ended up having some good and insightful conversations about people’s experiences with Catholics. Some people just rolled with it like it was nothing. A few people knew my name from this blog and knew I was Eastern Catholic already, they were friendly and things went great.

Because the monastery is surrounded by a large Roman Catholic population (true even when back in California) a lot of the visitors are from the Roman church. We end up being the face of Eastern Christianity for a lot of folks, and it’s always been this way. We do get other Eastern Christians visiting, both Orthodox and Catholic, but there is more regular contact with RCs. I’m not complaining at all about that fact. I must say though it was nice to be among fellow Eastern Christians. We all had the same language to describe our faith, and we shared the same worldview. The conference was even at the Antiochian Village, where there was an Orthodox chapel, and an icon hanging in my room. I soaked up the Eastern experience!

As a Woman

Most of the people I have regular contact with, aside from my husband and children, are men–the monks. I just see them more often than other people I know since moving to Wisconsin. This isn’t a bad thing, but it was an unexpected blessing for me to be at this conference with a large number of women. I didn’t get to meet everyone but listening to their presentations, and their comments and questions after the talks was great. I did meet several ladies and had meals with a few. It was nice since most of my conversations about writing and church are with men. I left feeling strengthened by the interaction with the many ladies who were all so caring, smart, witty, and full of love for God and their church. I even gained a new female patron in heaven while there. The men were great too, but this was unique for me who is around the “Y chromosome” more often than not!

 


I took the following pictures at Antiochian Village Museum. Saint Raphael of Brooklyn is buried there, and the museum has a small section about him.  

3 Comments

  1. Jessica, you continue to inspire and amaze me. May our God continue to bless you, your family and your readers.

  2. Pingback: Final Thoughts on the Ancient Faith Conference - Every Home a Monastery

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