Thursday, February 28, 2008

ARTICLE: The Importance of Story

Now available in the current issue of The Orthodox Observer, p. 20

By Heather Zydek

I wish I could say that it was the Bible or the lives of the saints alone that brought me to the Christian faith and, later, to the Orthodox Church.

Instead, like many of us born after the advent of television, my faith as a Christian was inspired by an amalgam of impressions from weekly Sunday School lessons, stories about death from my mother’s childhood, annual viewings of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments and Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, and frequent readings of Myths and Mythology by Anthony Horowitz, a vividly illustrated book I received as an eight-year-old.

The Sunday School lessons made me familiar with the stories of the Bible and the mysterious person of Jesus Christ. The stories of my mother’s biological father’s and step-father’s untimely deaths put subjects like dying and the afterlife on my radar at a very young age.

The classic Bible films brought to life the Sunday School lessons that were appealing but abstract to me as a child. If you’re wondering how the book of mythology fit into the picture of my early faith, you may have to think outside of the Judeo-Christian box for a moment. It’s true that not once is Jesus, the Holy Trinity, or the Church mentioned in this secular book.

It contains tales of pagan gods and pre-Christian myths. But the book, and others like it, nudged me a little closer to the idea that this life is just one part of a larger story humans have been trying to understand since the dawn of time; it helped me look beyond my small suburban worldview and made me thirsty for a deeper meaning, for universal Truth.

No one can deny the sway of all forms of story, whether printed, recited, or projected on the screen. God knows His children learn best through story; that’s probably why Jesus used entertaining stories (parables) to convey timeless truths.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: New Book by Fr. Bill Mills

Press Release

New Bible Study Resource for Great Lent!!!!

Available January 2008

MOORESVILLE, NC (January 2008)—Fr. William C. Mills is pleased to announce the publication of his fifth book, Let Us Attend: Reflections on the Gospel of Mark for the Lenten Season. This book is a collection of pastoral reflections on the gospel lessons from Mark that are read during Great Lent. Let Us Attend is a wonderful resource for personal and group Bible study, adult education classes, and sermon preparation.

Other books in this series include From Pascha to Pentecost: Reflections on the Gospel of John (Rollinsford, NH: Orthodox Research Institute, 2005), Prepare O Bethlehem: Reflections on the Scripture Readings for Christmas-Epiphany (Rollinsford, NH:Orthodox Research Institute, 2006), Baptize All Nations: Reflections on the Gospel of Matthew (Rollinsford, NH: Orthodox Research Institute, 2007), A Light to the Gentiles: Reflections on the Gospel of Luke (NY: iUniverse, 2007).

About the Author

Fr. William Mills, Ph.D. is the rector of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC, and an adjunct professor of religious studies at Queens University in Charlotte, NC. His essays and book reviews have appeared in AGAIN magazine, The Orthodox Church of America Magazine, Cistercian Studies Quarterly, Pro Ecclesia, and Theological Studies.

Fr. Mills is available for clergy and parish retreats. For more information about his books or his speaking engagements please visit his webpage at

Let Us Attend: Reflections on the Gospel of Mark for the Lenten Season by William C. Mills

Publication Date: January 2008
Trade Paperback: $11.95
ISBN 0-595-48043-8
Discounts available for bulk orders and for parish bookstores

Blog Update

Greetings! We've been busy here at OCB with other projects, but hope to start posting more book news soon, including:

-- Press releases announcing publisher news and information about new books (send us your news)

-- Book reviews, provided by our new volunteer book reviewers (become a reviewer)

More info to come...