Mr. Impersonator

This past weekend as my wife and I approached the checkout line at our nearby Costco, out of the corner of our eyes we caught a glimpse of Elvis! I walked over to where Elvis was standing and asked him if my wife couldElvis ay Costco get a picture with him. After all, some people believe that Elvis is dead! He warmly agreed and I thanked him, I thanked him very much!

The gentleman we saw at Costco was only imitating Elvis, or just a small part or a few characteristics of Elvis. He was dressed as Elvis would dress and was sporting a black wig that resembled Elvis’s hair but there were some differences as well. I noticed that his voice was not the same and I doubted that he could muster the energy and vocals needed to convince me of his authenticity. It must take a lot of preparation and practice to imitate Elvis, the king Presley! Some impersonators take years of vocal lessons and a few even have cosmetic surgery to alter their appearance in a more Elvis way.

Well, as far as being an impersonator I don’t know about you, but it is a full time job just being me! I spend all of my time being a husband, parent, boss, businessman, dog walker, mister fix-it, and church servant. But with all the different roles I play, I am supposed to be a reflection of Christ and His teachings all the time!

We here in the Epistle reading this morning that: “Therefore, I beseech you; keep on becoming imitators of me.” [1 Cor. 4:16] At times we all are great imitators of Christ! It is visible in our outpouring of love. Our Epistle instructs us to keep becoming or keep practicing the examples Jesus gave us.

Then, I would have to say that I am a poor impersonator. Like the Elvis we saw, at times I have some characteristics, I wear a cross around my neck and have some Christ-like similarities but find myself missing the mark in my day to day imitation of the One who loves. I constantly fight feelings of anger, resentment and pride, just name a few! It seems though if I truly love myself, I would surrender once and for all these imperfections I take refuge in.

And in looking at my journey thus far, I will certainly continue to fail as I cling to my passions that I have spent years practicing. But I will attempt to be a better imitator of Christ and try to remember to seek first the Kingdom of God. The more I struggle with my thorns, the closer I draw near the Original, for “we are weak, but ye are strong!” [1 Cor. 4:10]

Fr. Gabriel Weller 8/17/14

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Father Gabriel Weller

Father Gabriel Weller was ordained by Bishop George Schaefer with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral. Father Gabriel was born here in the Shenandoah Valley Virginia. He spent many of his early years in Va. Beach but returned to the Valley in 1979. After many failures in life, He gave his life to the Lord and became very active in the protestant church. He had been a church leader in the United Church of Christ and the Methodist Church since his late twenties, serving in many capacities including Deacon, Elder, Church President, Youth Pastor and also served as Certified Lay Speaker, Choir Member and Youth Leader. He attended Seminary at Eastern Mennonite University with the encouragement of his pastor, but before completing his studies became frustrated with a growing perception of liberalism and other issues in the Protestant Churches he had known. He encountered Orthodox Christianity through his wife and her brother, Archpriest John Moses. He came to realize he could not go back to Protestantism because of the lack of True worship. He has served in the Altar continuously since his baptism, and was the Warden of All Saints of North America for two years. He was ordained to the Diaconate by Bishop Gabriel in 2007, and he was ordained to the Priesthood in 2009. He was the first regular pastor of the Holy Myrrhbearers 'Mission' in 2012 and on October 12, 2013, he was appointed Rector of the parish. His wife is Matushka Tatiana.