05 October 2010, 14:45
Primate of a local Orthodox Church began as a hippie
*** Sermon at Russian rock concerts started with the blessing of Patriarch Alexy's vicar
Moscow, October 5, Interfax - One of the former hippies now heads a local Orthodox church in rank of metropolitan, renowned Orthodox missionary and rector of the two Moscow churches Hegumen Sergy (Rybko) said.
"A former hippie chairs one of the local Orthodox churches, he is a metropolitan... Many of my hippie friends now have become Orthodox believers, some have become priests, some of them are monks," Father Sergy told the Orthodoxy and Modernity website.
The hegumen did not specify what Church was headed by the former hippie and said it was a secret.
He also told that vicar of the Moscow Diocese Archbishop Arseny of Istra blessed him for missionary activity among rockers.
"I came to vicar of the Moscow Diocese Archbishop Arseny of Istra, we discussed our every day questions. Suddenly the Archbishop says: "Father Sergy, and why don't you work with youth?" I answered: "Why? We have a Sunday school, we even teach children to play musical instruments." "It's good, but not enough. You should preach at rock-concerts," he said."
Archbishop Arseny who then was an assistant to Patriarch Alexy II warned the missionary-beginner that he "would be abused" ("everyone who starts something new is usually abused"), but recommended him to tell his opponents that he preached with the blessing and "continue working in peace."
Before this meeting with the Archbishop the former rocker and drummer had not listened to rock music for 22 years, he also had not watched TV and refused to read secular literature.