Individual Employment and Our Identity as Orthodox Christians

What is asked of parishes is also asked of us as individuals. As Orthodox Christians, we are employed in many occupations, businesses, professions, and jobs through which we earn our livelihood. This Congress [Clergy-Laity Congress, 1972] challenges every Orthodox Christian to examine himself and to ask if there is a fudamental harmony between his faith and his work. Integrity is needed here also. The choice of our work; how it influences the world about us; how it expresses our commitment to Christ and His Church; the opportunities it provides us with to work for a more Christlike society, are questions which each individual Greek Orthodox Christian must ask of himself. Sincere faith will lead some of us to recognize that our daily work can be harmonized with our Orthodox Christian commitment. Others of us will see new ways to change our work patterns so that the spiritual and ethical dimensions and opportunities of our employment can be enhanced. Many of us will see how our Christian witness can be embodied and made more clear and strong through our work. The message of Astronaut James Irwin to this Congress is a perfect example which this Congress commends to all of our Orthodox faithful. Those in the professions are especially charged with this responsibility. The physician, attorney, journalist, educator, communications specialist, consultant, and elected official must never forget that they are first of all sons and daughters of God, servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and responsible members of His Holy Orthodox Church. Above all, the clergyman must never forget the requirement that he is to be, in both work and deed, the exemplar for the faithful.

Harakas, Stanley S. Let Mercy Abound (Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1983), 133-134.