I am an Orthodox priest in the Antiochian Archdiocese serving in western Pennsylvania. I gratefully serve a parish of about 150 families in New Castle, PA. The city provides several challenges: the employment opportunities are sparse and somewhat underwhelming; the drug culture is rather pervasive. So these challenges create a scenario that is played out in many towns in the areas around the great lakes and on into the upper Ohio River valley.

I believe in this area.

I believe that God is with us.

I believe that there is hope. Even rust can be of benefit.

So here I am, in the middle of it all, reflecting on the challenges of Orthodoxy in rusty America. Amidst the special challenges of the new millennium. It is a good time to be a priest and to serve. May God direct our steps.