Bishop John Elya

Gold Bits, Nuggets & Other Sayings

Bishop John A. Elya

Schedule & ItineraryThoughts for the Week

There’s a miracle called friendship, That dwells in the heart.

You don’t know how it happens, Or when it gets its start.

But you know the special lift, It always brings.

And you realize that Friendship, Is God ‘s most precious gift!

It’s National Friendship Week! Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Self-reliance is doubled when coupled with reliance on God. When facing a crisis, we can insist on facing life by ourselves, by our own strength; or we can call on the power of Jesus. Did you ever try to pull yourself up by your shoe strings? Try it! It is impossible. Prayer of faith is our best elevator to reach the top to which God has destined us before the world began.

An atheist asked a priest: “Reverend, if we are in a high sea and our boat is sinking, you pray and I swim; who will be saved?” The answer of course is: My friend, you swim and swim and swim; but I swim and pray and swim and pray, and I hang on to my life saver. I have a much better chance than you. You look down and I look up. You sink down and I float up.

Take your job seriously, but not yourself. Don’t let the job kill you; you are needed. The job will be there long after you have gone. So, with no extra sweat, do the best you can; this is the best you can do!



One of the best thoughts I heard recently from Bishop Lawrence McNamara of Greta Island, NE, at the New England Bishops’ Retreat: “What if, after my life on earth, I found out that the Hindus were right and there is reincarnation; then, if I had a choice about my new life, I would choose to be reborn as a priest.”

This is the best fulfilling life I can think of.” Next to it, of course, is the dedication given by our generous deacons who are the right hands of the priests.

“You know that you are loved when anything you say or do is not not going to be taken against you.” The opposite is also true: When you hate people, anything they say or do is going to be taken against them. Oh! What a relief to know that you are among people who love you; then you can let your hair down and be yourself. And, let us face it, you can’t clean your head if you don’t let your hair down!

We may prove a point beyond doubt to our mind. How could we pass it on to our heart and then to our daily life? It has been said: “The greatest distance in the world is 22 inches, between our head and our heart.

We start the church year in our Byzantine tradition on September 1.

As we start our Liturgical year, I wish you a renewal of life, energy and enthusiasm.

With the coming of the Fall season, nature starts a new cycle of life. With the end of the Summer lull, the beginning of the school year and the shifting to a full gear activity, it is good to remember that God the Creator, Provider, Savior, is the Lord of the Seasons, the Principle of Progress and the Author of Healthy Change. However, He alone is “always existing, always the same”, the Immovable Center of the everchanging universe.