This is a repost of a blog written by Donna Farley. To read her original post please click here.
Once upon a time, a merry band of Orthofolk found each other in a little parish in the DC suburbs. In each of their hearts burned the longing for joy, and they made it their quest to gather other adventurers of good will together in order to create a treasure that would work a powerful magic on all present.
They toiled for many moons, and just when the place for the working of the magic was almost secured, they found they must face that notorious dragon known as Budget which has such curious properties of shrinking or growing when least expected. They sounded their horn, and an army of their fellow parishioners came to their aid. With willing hands and the magic of Generosity they put the dragon to flight, thus providing for the feast to honor the visiting adventurers who were to come from far and near, across mountains and seas, to share in the magic-making.
The appointed day arrived, and so did I, for I was one of those far brought adventurers tasked with providing a jewel to be set in the magical garland that would cast the spell of joy. The Goodwife led me and my apprentice through a daunting underground maze, staunchly persisting in the face of a contrary ensorcellement laid thickly upon us by the sweltering air, until at last Goodwife broke the spell of confusion and we reached the waiting coach.
Past the imposing fortresses and monuments of the imperial District we fled, till we reached the refuge of the inn at Hill-town.
"In the wondrous blending of sounds it is Thy call we hear; in the harmony of many voices, in the sublime beauty of music, in the glory of the works of great composers: Thou leadest us to the threshold of paradise to come, and to the choirs of angels. All true beauty has the power to draw the soul towards Thee, and to make it sing in ecstasy: Alleluia!
The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!"
Then began the further weaving of treasures from afar into the spell of wonder and joy. These gems came from not just lands far distant in our own world, as Ancient Greece and fabled Cathay, but even from other worlds-- the desert world called Dune, the mysterious realm of The Black, the far reaches of Middle Earth and the seas beyond the Lone Islands of Narnia, among others.
If you wish to read a more literal and wonderfully thorough account of the first ever DOXACON, go to this blog.
Below is a re-post from a post from Fr. Ernesto Obregon who wrote for the Orthodox Christian Network. This is from the blog of a Cuban who became an Orthodox priest.
Where can you see a Greek Metropolitan speaking with a former atheist science-fiction writer who converted to Roman Catholicism while an American matushka wearing a Rose (Rosie) Cotton flowered crown and a Canadian matushka fantasy writer stand by and a young man in a flowing cape watches with rapt attention from the audience? Where can you go and drink Dragon’s Milk Ale at the Fellowship of the Geeks Dinner? Where can you buy black t-shirts emblazoned with the words "Geek Orthodox"? Where do 11-year-old girls who do a perfect Gollum impression mingle with a Hugo Award finalist? Where do women going overseas as missionaries talk to a former missionary priest and receive advice couched in language drawn from the Ender’s Game series? Why at Doxacon, of course!
Doxacon is the wonderful child of the fertile imagination of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church (OCA — Romanian Diocese) in Falls Church, Virginia, USA. Fr. David Subu, Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, their matushkas, and a rather wonderfully creative congregation realized that what they all had in common was a high number of people who are self-professed geeks. And as geeks, they saw that there really was no place in Orthodoxy where Orthodox geeks could gather, enjoy each other’s company, cosplay, and talk about their favorite geek subjects in the setting of the Church. So, they decided to create such a place.
Doxacon was the place they created. This past weekend was the first Doxacon, but hopefully not the last. Workshops focused on geek subjects and geek science fiction / fantasy books, all in the context of the faith. Also present was the only geek hierarch I have ever met, Metropolitan Savas (Zembillas) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Pittsburgh. His Eminence delivered one of the keynote addresses, as well as the sermon at the Hierarchical Liturgy at the end of Doxacon.
The Liturgy sent its own message. A Greek Orthodox hierarch together with a Romanian priest, a Cuban Antiochian priest, and a Slavic Protodeacon, all geeks, celebrated the ancient Liturgy, a Liturgy that by symbol, by icon, by non-current representative dress, and by ancient words repeated over and over through the years, entered into heavenly places and worshiped God.
Finally, it should be noted that, yes, the Klingon language was mentioned, as well as the Quenya and Sindarin Elvish languages.
But, the most important part of Doxacon was the networking that happened between authors and attendees. Many questions were asked. What does it mean to be a Christian author? How does one build one’s faith into the books one is trying to write? How does one sell a book to a publisher? What resources are available to Christian authors? Can one be an Orthodox Christian and cosplay? Is there a place in the Christian life for creative fiction that may not explicitly reference Our Lord Jesus Christ? It was key that one of our hierarchs was present, as this provided a stability and anchor for the questions that were asked.
I am already looking forward to the next geek Orthodox convention. But, first, I think what needs to happen next is for there to be a convention of this type west of the Mississippi River. I hope that some of the OCF chapters will become involved. We need more "Geek" Orthodox among us.
For original post please click here.