NEVER ANSWER SPAM?
It is the practice of your priest to never respond to unsolicited, anonymous, unfamiliar emails. Our modern world is replete with cases of financial scams, identity thefts, and other personal risks, that one cannot help but approach all electronic communication with caution. Our Lord even counsels that since we find ourselves amoung wolves in the world, we are to wise as serpents: a call for caution.
Our Lord also calls us to be innocent as doves, and while we must never be naive, we must always be on guard against harness of heart. This reality was recently shown to us in the case of an email, allegedly from an Orthodox brother in Greece, who wrote to request the parish bank account number, in order that he might send some money. A few days after the first message was deleted, a second message arrived, making the same request, and offering some Orthodox prayers appended to the request, presumably to prove the authenticity of the source. After ignoring the second request, a third request arrived, including the names of the manís parents, and petitions to pray for his family. At this point, Christian politeness demanded a response, and an address for the parish was sent - with the assumption that nothing would come of it, of course.
How jaded we have become. Within two weeks, a letter from Greece, containing a generous donation to the parish arrived. Tzannis, a resident of Athens, asked for our prayers for his parents John and Theodora. His generosity will be put to good use in the parish, and what is more, it can also be put to good use in the heart of each of us as we remind ourselves to see Christ in all people, and to trust Our Lord, Who offers His mercies in the most unlikely ways.