Monday, February 18, 2008

Beth: Pleasures Abound

From Beth Anderson, Earth Ministry Intern:

As I write this, I’ve just finished an afternoon snack of chips & salsa, along with a tall glass of iced tea. Sounds pretty normal, doesn’t it? If you witnessed a snapshot of my new eating habits, you might never even notice that anything was missing.

After a slightly rough start on Ash Wednesday, I’m settling in to my vegan ways. I still stare longingly at the cheese section in my local grocery store, and I continue to be surprised by the lack of vegan options in some of my favorite restaurants, but I’m no longer panicked by the prospect of cooking dinner.

And though veganism mainly involves fasting from certain foods, I am also being invited to feast on new combinations of flavors and textures. I am experiencing the kind of spiritual growth that comes only through change—I’m being called beyond the comfortable sameness of my normal eating patterns and into unfamiliar & exciting new territory.

Luckily, I’ve had some support along the way—last week my husband and I were invited to dinner at the home of some friends who practice Orthodox Christianity, and they were thrilled to be able to serve us a delicious vegan meal. Since a big part of their religious calendar is a series of fasts and feasts, they were quite possibly the perfect hosts! We delighted in sharing both a meal and our stories about the trials and tribulations of vegan eating.

In this season of simpler living, pleasures abound…


Anonymous said...

What is Orthodox Christianity?

Earth Ministry said...

In response to the above question, Orthodox Christians are a varied group. For an overview of Orthodox churches, see this link:
The friends I referred to in my blog entry belong to the Russian Orthodox tradition. I'm not qualified to give a complete picture of what it means to be an Orthodox Christian, but some of the practices that I've experienced (which are not practices in my Protestant denomination) are: veneration of saints, celebrating feasts and fasts, and using a liturgy that was created during the early days of Christianity.
Please feel free to comment if you have any other questions!