Best Bar Sign Ever!

This is funny!

Click to enlarge.


  1. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    I think Hubby would be all up for that!

  2. Tell me if I misunderstood this but in visiting Mark S. site I was reading in the comments section for the NY-NJ assessment proposal and found this in the editor’s note (I’ll add bold for my point);

    Editor’s note: It’s just too easy, isn’t it? In this case the stats don’t tell the story; or rather, used in this way they tell a misleading story. First, none of our bishops receive outrageous salaries nor live like princes, with perhaps one exception who draws multiple salaries. Secondly, yes, 51% of the budget goes to administration. Check out your parish budget and see what it is there. 80%? 90%? Yes, the amount for charities and programs are small – but then we cut the charities given the recent misbehaviours, and the programs dried up when voluntary giving stopped, given the misbehaviours. You can’t have it both ways. Let us rather rejoice the misbehaviours have ended, and we are climbing out of the hole, one small step at a time.)

    But then I read this several times over again;

    Central Church Assessment’s were never meant to cover ministry expenses. The expenses of the Church’s ministries and departments were meant to be covered by FOS (voluntary giving from us) as mandated by the All-American Council. So, in short, the reason why the budget is so heavily tilted towards administration is because that’s really the only thing that assessments are meant to be paying for.

    Does Mr. Stokoe not know this or are the various posts stating this incorrectly? And if the second paragraph is true, why draw attention to all but “the one who draws multiple saleries”? Can’t imagine who he means? Does he mean the one Bishop who has multiple jobs, such as to travel all over the country and keep relations with other higher Bishops throughout the world, as he should? Is Stokoe falting this Bishop because his job is different from the other bishops?

    • Jane Rachel says

      Probably. Boy, is he tricky. Ick.

    • Yes, it’s a swipe at Metropolitan Jonah. Some of Stokoe’s previous articles accuse him of wanting to remain locum tenens of the South in order to draw the salary, which is $3,000 per month.

      Does Stokoe give any evidence or hearsay of Metropolitan Jonah’s supposed preoccupation with money? Nope. Does he have any evidence of a profligate lifestyle? Nope. Can he tell us about any alleged avaricious comments made by the Metropolitan? Nope. It’s just a way of smearing Metropolitan Jonah’s reputation.

      • Thanks to you both for the confirmation. Does anyone feel that there will be another full push to get Met. Jonah out of office by this Aug., so things will line up with the AAC to appoint another Metropolitan?

        • Well, I definitely don’t think they are going to leave Metropolitan Jonah alone. They either want him gone, or at least completely powerless outside his diocese. And they appear to have made progress towards the latter. (I heard a rumor that Bishop Benjamin has forbidden all clergy from the Archdiocese of Washington from serving in the Diocese of the West. Does anyone know if that’s true?)

          The real danger period starts July 31st, as it’s exactly three months before the opening of the AAC. Why? Because under the Statute, a vacancy in the Metropolitan See demands that an AAC be held within three months, in order to elect a new Metropolitan. Obviously, AACs are expensive and take a lot of planning. So, if the vacancy just happens to occur within three months of a regularly scheduled AAC, it takes away that logistical nightmare.

          • Jane Rachel says

            Helga, do you mean the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.?

            I heard a rumor that Bishop Benjamin has forbidden all clergy from the Archdiocese of Washington from serving in the Diocese of the West. Does anyone know if that’s true?</blockquot

            • That’s the one. Again, I don’t know if it’s true or not. I know some people from the DC cathedral come here, and I was wondering if any of them could confirm or deny.

              • Bishop Benjamin “allowed” the Metropolitan to serve at a funeral of a very dear friend in San Anselmo and then she was buried at the Metropolitan’s monastery in Manton. At least Met. Jonah had the opportunity to check in the monastery that he created and is thriving. They were thrilled to see him!

                • It’s true that if a bishop wants to serve in another diocese, he has to request permission from that diocese’s bishop. However, in my experience, it doesn’t seem to be normal for the diocesan bishop to refuse without a really good reason.

                  I was livid when I found out Met. Jonah had been refused permission to visit St. John’s during Lent, considering that the Synod had “suggested” that he spend part of his retreat in a monastery, and was glad when I heard that Met. Jonah was at least allowed to go there for his friend’s burial. But I still think it’s ridiculous that granting the permission was ever anything more than a formality, because Met. Jonah has done nothing to warrant being banned from anyone’s diocese.

        • Colette. I believe, they need to try a character assassination before the AAC. This may be the road, or it may be something else.
          Item 2. +BB gets 2 salaries, I suppose, one from Alaska, and one from the DOW.
          Don’t you think it would be to great a burden for him to do both jobs?
          Isn’t that why they think +Met Jonah shouldn’t . Isn’t that their story?

      • Yet critics of Mark Stokoe are required to provide photographic evidence that his relationship with Steve Brown is what that obit reports it to be.

      • Helga, the Metropolitan is not, nor ever has been, preoccupied with money or “luxury” items. He aims to please and that he is guilty of.

        • Madam, I think that most people could poke holes in Stokoe’s accusations if they thought about it. One would think from this allegation, assuming it was true, that the accuser is relatively familiar with Metropolitan Jonah and has seen or heard him doing and saying things that reveal a greedy mindset. However, Mark Stokoe lives in Ohio, far away from where Metropolitan Jonah lives, and the Metropolitan Council meets only twice per year. So, I have a hard time imagining Stokoe even knows the Metropolitan all that well, much less that he would know that he was greedy.

          I can only really speak for myself, but I’ve known Metropolitan Jonah to be far from greedy when it comes to his time and pastoral care. On the contrary, I have found him to be quite generous with both. Therefore, I think it stands to reason that he wouldn’t be greedy with money, either.

          It is probably not a coincidence that most of the people I’ve seen complain about Metropolitan Jonah’s personality and actions, are also advocates of certain ideologies that put them at variance with the Orthodox Church’s teaching. I think their plan is to isolate and discredit him as much as possible, so that when he confronts the sinfulness directly, fewer among the faithful hear his voice. So, the more these accusations get picked apart and discredited, the better.

          You say Metropolitan Jonah aims to please, and I have seen that to be true. He does try hard to be pleasant and likeable. However, I have also seen that he is willing to offer a forthright corrective when necessary, as he has with the above letter to his diocese. In these evil days in the OCA, that takes real courage and moral fortitude, and is the sign of a wise, faithful, and God-bearing archpastor. May God grant Metropolitan Jonah many blessed years.

    • Jane Rachel says

      If a person thinks about it, this little “addition” to his “editor’s remarks” alone should make a person not want to be around him at all. It’s so low, and so subtle… so unloving, biting, jabbing, unnecessary, un-Christlike. He is deliberately shooting arrows into someone he doesn’t like. How is that necessary, true, honorable, worthy of praise?

      • Heracleides says

        Ah, forget honor and other such antiquated notions… I mean, seriously, what do they have to do with the upper echelons of the OCA? Kidding aside, what is of primary importance is that in spite of (or perhaps because of) his less than exemplary conduct, Mrs. Stokoe-Brown is still considered worthy of a rather significant chairmanship position on the Metropolitan Council…. which tells you all you need to know about *that* OCA church body.

        • StephenD says

          Is it necessary to write Mrs.Stokoe-Brown? Talk about unChrist like..I disagree with him a great deal but we are supposed to be Christians..and why would the moderator let that stand?

          • Jane Rachel says

            “Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?”

            Matt. 23:33

            Is that better?

          • Heracleides says

            Absolutely. I believe in giving Mark the recognition he craves (witness his ongoing need to “dialog” about it). This is after all the role in which Mark chooses to portray himself within his family (i.e. the obituary), the secular community (i.e. charitable donations), and within his parish community (where the relationship he and his “partner” are engaged in is an ‘open secret’ known to all). You don’t like it? Well, neither to I. You find it “unchristian”? Well, so do I. You want it to stop? Then bestir yourself to speak with Mrs. Mark Stokoe-Brown about it (good luck and let us know how it goes).

        • Jane Rachel says

          Almost word for word and bite for bite, action for action and hypocrisy for hypocrisy, what is happening today is the SAME as what happened two thousand years ago in Jerusalem, so they are in “good” company. Apparently, there really is nothing new under the sun. They also didn’t listen. What Heracleides wrote was, “what is of primary importance is that in spite of (or perhaps because of) his less than exemplary conduct, Mrs. Stokoe-Brown is still considered worthy of a rather significant chairmanship position on the Metropolitan Council…. which tells you all you need to know about *that* OCA church body.” This could have been written two thousand years ago to the chief rabbi, with the words, “Metropolitan Council” replaced by “Sanhedrin.” and “Mrs. Stokoe-Brown” replaced with “white-washed tombs.”

          “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” Matt. 23:27.

          But all they could hear was, “Does he *have* to call us ‘snakes and vipers’?”

          Wake up!

          • Jane Rachel says

            There are words, actions, and men. What is happening when regular guys do these things? One of my family members is doing similar things within my family. Manipulation, carefully worded phrases, talking out of both sides of his mouth. Destroying the innocent to further himself. He doesn’t look like a bad guy. He looks normal. But he’s not doing what is right. We know it by what he’s done in the past and is now doing. I am sorry over and over for writing what I wrote about above about Mark Stokoe and those in his camp and those who are hurting other people so badly. But I’m not apologizing. I’m just really, really sorry. 🙁

            Wolves are howling outside, I have to go and listen! No kidding. Wolves really are howling outside.

  3. Geo Michalopulos says

    Besides the fact that I don’t have the time or inclination anymore to censor this site except for the most egregious of character assassinations, I would let all calumnies against MS stand. it’s he that made a spectacle of himself by stating that his husband was was his mothers “son-in-law.” You know, if you see a man running naked down the street you really shouldn’t look at him, but if you do it’s his fault, not yours.

  4. Heracleides says

    Some Syosset apparatchik is having a temper-tantrum over on OCAT. Gotta love it as this is Orthodox Shadow Theater (TM) at its finest (fumbled attempt at anonymous email and all).

    • Good grief. What does it say about the OCA that one of their employees would send such an immature and insulting message, using OCA resources? And since it was sent during business hours, it was probably done on company time, too.

      Even if the post at OCA Truth had been completely out of line, I would expect OCA employees to behave according to a higher standard than what was shown in that email. Or at least be smart enough to anonymize themselves properly.

      • I would expect OCA employees to behave according to a higher standard than what was shown in that email. Or at least be smart enough to anonymize themselves properly.

        Why? After all that’s been uncovered, disclosed and taught as if it were truth, why would you now expect anything else from the OCA?

        If you’re that unhappy, go become a Protestant.

        Now there’s a catchy slogan for the new website.

        • You’re right, DM. I should know better. But I think it’s appalling that there are so many qualified people around who are unemployed, and someone who does this still has a job.

  5. Alexey Karlgut says

    Re: NY/NJ Resolution

    Dear George,
    I have sent this comment to OCANews (Stokoe) over a week ago and as expected he only published the second half. Perhaps you could be kind enough to publish my comment in it’s entirety as it is discussed in one of the threads (as you see fit).
    Thank you,
    PS Resolution was adopted by Diocese of NY/NJ on July 19th and can be read on diocesan website under documents section of the diocesan assembly
    Reasons for Assessments Reduction Resolution

    We have paid $8.1 million in last three years in Central Church Administration Assessments (CCA)  ($2.7 million a year according to Strategic Plan for OCA, p. 19) from our parishes and dioceses. Current rate of Assessments for OCA is $105.00 per capita (person) per year. 

    Over 90 percent “is spent on administrative expenses: salaries of the Metropolitan, officers and staff, upkeep of the property, legal and other administrative expenses; external affairs and travel. LESS THAN 10 PERCENT IS SPENT ON THE OUTREACH MINISTRIES OF THE CHURCH.” (Strategic Plan for OCA, p. 19-20)

    For those moneys we have received Absolutely Nothing of Christian Value (or Any value) to our parishes and dioceses, but continual administrative turmoil, attempts by factions on MC to remove Metropolitan, scandals, blog wars, divisions into camps (between administrative bodies – HS, MC, Central Staff, and even within those bodies – pro +Jonah, anti +Jonah, pro Stokoe, anti Stokoe, ‘appalled Four’, etc.) -resulting in direct loss of revenues, parishioners, and potential converts in our parishes and dioceses.    

    Their inability to work out their differences, respect each other as colleagues, come to common ground, and work for the greater good of the church, is shamelessly put on display for the OCA laity year after year. We pay a national circus tax, a tithe on our hard-earned incomes during a severe economic depression, so these guys can stab each other in the back and whine about it to their audiences. 

    I believe that reducing National (OCA) Assessments as set forth in a Resolution adopted by the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, WILL reorient our priorities and resources to diocesan and parish growth, from National Church waste.
    While I am certainly sympathetic to the OCA treasurer’s position, as expressed in Strategic Plan that suggests that OCA freeze CCA Assessments for next triennium at current level of $105 per capita, (2.7 Million a year), what she fails to understand is that cutting the assessment from the parishes does NOT necessitate cutting the budget commensurately … they just need to find other ways to raise funds.  Other jurisdictions — the GOA (Leadership 100), the AOA (Order of St. Ignatius), the ACROD (DDD Fund), all have other ways to subsidize their Church.
    You have to find ways other than dues to balance the budget, … we do too now in NY/NJ …
    Even in the Old Administration days, FOS was a viable force … and found other ways to raise monies.
    I hope that the finance committee of MC and CCA will work out a more equitable proposal and MC will do some fundraising initiatives, other than dues.


    • Instead of paying the assessment, I’d much rather just send the money to Metropolitan Jonah. Apparently, OCA officers can withhold his salary without telling him, so, frankly, I don’t feel like paying any of their salaries.