Coffee & Culture

Cultural Vignettes

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!


The Holy Eucharist, the Holy Sacraments, and corporate Divine Worship are central to an Orthodox Christian's salvation. Our lives are sanctified by these central elements of the Orthodox Church. We are also inundated by various forces and cultural elements in our society that are often void of Christian teachings. Still, our own Orthodox culture, so richly filled with beauty in its various manifestations, can serve as an antidote and provide a context for meaningful discourse and fellowship. The premise here is that we can do more to share our experiences and understandings of Orthodox culture among ourselves and, thereby, celebrate and enrich our parish community; our parish is rich with talent and robust knowledge in the various arenas of cultural endeavor. From music in Orthodox worship to African safaris to persecution of Christians in Asia Minor, this newly-formed forum, called Coffee & Culture, although temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, will resume "in-person" meetings every two weeks for 30 minutes after Coffee Hour on Sundays once our parish life returns to normal.

Our first session began with Dr. Peter Jermihov's presentation on February 16 entitled: Choral Settings of the Divine Liturgy. The second presentation was made on March 8 by Fr. Simeon Johnson and was entitled The Three Missionary Principles. We continue the Coffee and Culture vignettes with Dr. Michael Davros' The Troubles of Asia Minor, which appears below in the form of a video presentation. Dr. Peter Jermihov

The Troubles of Asia, Minor by Michael Davros, Ph. D.

The Troubles of Asia Minor by Michael Davros, Ph. D.

The Troubles of Asia Minor: Abstract

Many histories are concerned with a record of the events that led up to the final destruction of ethnic minorities in Asia Minor through 1922. Despite histories having an air of authority, each must be carefully analyzed and evaluated with the final value of the history resting with the reader.

Michael Davros' Biographical Information

Michael G. Davros, Ph.D. has taught in the English Department of Northeastern Illinois University since 1998. In 2002 Davros earned his doctorate in African American literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His dissertation is titled Speak for Yourself: Style and Spirit in Leon Forrest’s Divine Days. His Master’s degree from Louisiana State University also in African American literature was conferred in 1987. Most recently, he has been teaching in the Northeastern Illinois University honors program with special emphasis on “The Literature of Conflict.” Several times, he has conducted study tours to Greece through the university. He has been granted multiple leaves to study Greek and Greek American literature and history. Areas of interest include literature of combat, race, and ethnicity. Davros has also been on the faculty of the English and Humanities Departments at Oakton Community College since 1987 and has lectured throughout the United States and in Greece and India. Davros continues his research in race and ethnicity, most recently revising for publication a chapter of the dissertation. For fun, he is a regular contributor to Referee Magazine and has contributed to The National Herald. Davros has been active in Lincolnwood, IL, serving on the school board from 2003-2015. He is a director on the 13th District Scholarship Foundation of AHEPA. He is married to Vivian, and they have three children, Athena, George, and Constantine. With Alice Kopan and Steve Frangos, he researched and composed a photohistory, Greeks in Chicago (2009).



Arvo Pärt: The coronavirus has shown us in a painful way that humanity is a single organism

What is the most important lesson that we should learn from these restrictions? Do we know as a society how to live in an isolation?

This tiny coronavirus has showed us in a painful way that humanity is a single organism and human existence is possible only in relation to other living beings. The notion of “relationship” should be understood as a maxim, as the ability to love. Although this is truly a high standard, maybe even too high for a human being.

Our current situation is paradoxical: on the one hand, it means isolation, on the other, it brings us closer. While isolating ourselves, we should be able to – we are even forced to – appreciate our relationships in a small circle and to tend to them. All of this we have to learn before we expect, or even demand, love and justice from the whole world. In a way, the coronavirus has sent us all back to first grade. Only once we’ve passed this test can we begin to think about the next steps. This is a very long process.