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Author Topic: Eastern Orthodox Christianity  (Read 13159 times)

Demophon

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2015, 09:20:00 am »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;179686
I didn't know that the Anglican Church in Canada (or is it 'of Canada', I never remember) has got two colleges with different churchmanships, but I am not that much surprised. Isn't there a third for the Broadchurch students who love Don Cupitt and John Shelby Spong as well?


Like Sunflower said, there are even more than that. I think they are all more broad than they will admit. The divide between the High and Low Churches isn't as wide as it used to be, though the colleges have their traditions.

Quote from: FraterBenedict;179686
The turncoat archbishop, Thomas Cranmer, besides decisions of a more Zwinglian nature, decided to translate a prayer from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and put it close to the end of the Anglican Litany in 1544 (five years before the first edition of Book of Common Prayer. It then remained in all subsequent editions of the prayerbook in England (and in 1637 in Scotland). In 1662 the same prayer was moved to the end of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. I have no idea what happened to it when ACC adopted the Alternative Book, and if it is still there.


I'm familiar with the Prayer of St John of Chrysostom at the end of the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer. One of my favourite aspects of Anglicanism is that it has preserved the monastic canonical hours condensed into Morning Prayer (Mattins) and Evening Prayer (Evensong). Anyway, I don't think the Prayer of St John of Chrysostom made it into the Book of Alternative Services, which is unfortunate, but the BAS is generally pretty uninspired.

Quote from: SunflowerP;179708
It looks to me like the primary factor is that Eastern Orthodox Christianity is quite a tiny demographic in Canada, and is too small to support a seminary on its own, so the (high) Anglicans are helping them out.


That could be the case.

Quote from: SunflowerP;179708
There could be high-church/low-church rivalry/competitiveness in the Anglican colleges' motivations for making such alliances, but my own guess (from outside, as I have never been Anglican, so possibly I underestimate the internal frictions) is that it has as much or more to do with ecumenical cordiality - or, possibly, with each faction's desire to maintain a presence and not be subsumed by the other. (That last might be what you meant by 'have to keep up', rather than how I originally read it, which was more image-based 'mustn't let rival look better than we do'.)


Yes, I did mean it in the sense of maintaining a presence, as the number of applicants for theological programs aren't very healthy these days. There definitely used to be a major High Church and Low Church rivalry, which carried over to the seminaries, but I don't think it's very prominent now. The colleges are now trying to foster cooperation and fellowship, though they still have different approaches to religion that may not be compatible with students from the other school.

Apollodorus

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2015, 10:55:13 am »
Quote from: Demophon;179518
I don't really have specific questions or a direction in which I want this thread to go, I was just curious whether people have a background or other experiences in the Orthodox Church (whether it be Greek, Russian, etc.), and if they would be open to sharing those experiences. It seems like a beautiful tradition, highly ceremonial, with lots of incense, the kissing of icons, bowing down on the floor, and so on. The deep reverence of the Eastern Orthodox traditions are very moving.

Most of my experience with Christianity is with Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, but I think there is some overlap. High Church Anglicans consider the Church of England to be one of the three branches of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church along with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, though whether they other two accept this is another matter. I have actually found that Orthodox Christians and Anglicans get along rather well, as both Churches consider themselves non-papal Catholics. I think there have been efforts to cultivate closer relationships between the Roman, Anglican, and Eastern Churches, though since the Anglicans have started ordaining women into the priesthood, the RC and Orthodox don't know what to make of them. I have seen "high" Anglican churches who use Orthodox icons, which are quite beautiful, not to mention less controversial for "low" Anglicans who are more Protestant-leaning than statues often found in Anglican churches of Anglo-Catholic churchmanship.

The Eastern Orthodox Church seems to have high reverence the Virgin Mary, referred to as the Theotokos, the God-bearer, although I'm not sure if there is the same Cult of Mary as there is in the Roman Catholic Church. Their Mariology is slightly different, as in the Roman Catholic Church, there is the Feast of the Assumption, which celebrates Mary's bodily assumption into heaven at the end of her earthly life. The same Feast is called the Dormition, or the Falling Asleep, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which she is not bodily assumed into heaven. Roman Catholics unofficially almost put Holy Mary on the same level as Jesus as Co-Redemptrix, but I don't think the Orthodox view of Mary is that extreme.

 
I was raised in deeply religious family as an Orthodox and i was every Sunday at church. I was one of the little kids who aid the priest, learned how to chant and lived a few weeks for 2 summers in a monastery. Moreover, i studied almost every book, especially some really old tomes in the monastery and after 15 years i realized it was all a lie and nothing more.

It's a religion based on our culture, even stole it in some cases and left only ruins in Hellas. They even desecrated Acropolis and most of our monuments.
What they did to bring Greeks closer to them was to burn most of the books and reappear them as christian. They changed the names of our festivals because people were practicing the old religion and they wanted them to stop believing in the Old Gods and many many more.

They even chased everyone who claimed to be Greek and in the early years of Eastern Roman Empire they used the term to humiliate someone.

And don't tell it was people who did all these. I never came across Greeks burning the temples of other cultures. They even respected Nuraghi.

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2015, 05:07:26 pm »
Quote from: Apollodorus;179717
It's a religion based on our culture


Other cultures seem to have no problem adopting the religion, though. Depending on your statistical source, there are anywhere between 225-300 million Orthodox Christians in the world, and only about 10 million of them are Greek.

Quote
even stole it in some cases


Not that one again...:56:

Quote
What they did to bring Greeks closer to them was to burn most of the books and reappear them as christian.


Do you have any sources on this?

Quote
They changed the names of our festivals because people were practicing the old religion and they wanted them to stop believing in the Old Gods and many many more.


No, they set up their own festivals around the same time as (some) pagan festivals. Anyone can celebrate anything they want on any day. It's not like either side would be confused about where to attend.

Quote
They even chased everyone who claimed to be Greek and in the early years of Eastern Roman Empire they used the term to humiliate someone.


Because Greek was a derogatory term at the time. Graeculi was what the Roman conquerors called the native Hellenes after conquering their land.

Quote
And don't tell it was people who did all these. I never came across Greeks burning the temples of other cultures. They even respected Nuraghi.


There's no lack of cases of one faction suppressing the religion of another, all over history. Greece is not the centre of the world.
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2015, 05:51:43 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;179716
I'm familiar with the Prayer of St John of Chrysostom at the end of the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer. One of my favourite aspects of Anglicanism is that it has preserved the monastic canonical hours condensed into Morning Prayer (Mattins) and Evening Prayer (Evensong).

I very much agree. That is an aspect of (Anglicanism-derived) Christianity I miss from my Christian days. I have tried to gather a handful Orphic hymns, the hymns of Proclus, and without hesitation nicking Benedicite from the Anglicans (it is conveniently inter-faith), but it is not the same as a collection of prayers and hymnic matter that has refined during two millennia (three millennia if we count the Psalms). And then I mean not only the Anglican prayerbook on its own, but as it is used in reality among Anglo-Catholics: supplemented with hymns from late antiquity and early middle ages, and with the four smaller Sarum hours at larger festivals.

Quote from: Demophon;179716
Anyway, I don't think the Prayer of St John of Chrysostom made it into the Book of Alternative Services, which is unfortunate, but the BAS is generally pretty uninspired.

Sad to hear that. I was under the impression that BAS was a step in the right direction, with epiclesis, pronounced sacrificial interpretation of the eucharistic act and so. If people now happens to believe in the resurrection of Christ, which I am unable to, it is better do things properly.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 05:58:36 pm by RecycledBenedict »

Demophon

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2015, 03:01:39 pm »
Quote from: Apollodorus;179717
I was raised in deeply religious family as an Orthodox and i was every Sunday at church. I was one of the little kids who aid the priest, learned how to chant and lived a few weeks for 2 summers in a monastery. Moreover, i studied almost every book, especially some really old tomes in the monastery and after 15 years i realized it was all a lie and nothing more.

It's a religion based on our culture, even stole it in some cases and left only ruins in Hellas.


That actually sounds like it would be a great experience, being so involved in the tradition and the liturgy of the church from a young age. Learning to chant and living in a monastery would be really interesting, although maybe not if your heart isn't in it. My parents aren't really religious, so I am kind of jealous of people who grew up involved in a religious tradition.

I think your experience with coming to the conclusion that it was all a lie, and that Christianity is a religion based on culture, is common among pagans from a Christian background, no matter what kind of Church they come from. However, all religions are a projection of human culture to some extent, even the gods of polytheistic ancient Greece, many of which rule over specifically human institutions, like marriage, agriculture, metalworking, war, and so on.
 
Quote from: FraterBenedict;179727
Sad to hear that. I was under the impression that BAS was a step in the right direction, with epiclesis, pronounced sacrificial interpretation of the eucharistic act and so. If people now happens to believe in the resurrection of Christ, which I am unable to, it is better do things properly.


That's true, the eucharistic theology of the BAS is more advanced than the Prayer Book, although I think the epiclesis was already added to the 1962 revision of the Canadian BCP. The BAS is fine, just the contemporary language isn't as beautiful, and the prayers aren't as inspiring. It is widely used by most parishes, so most people must find it valuable. In my Diocese of about 90 churches, only about 12 of the most traditional parishes still use the Prayer Book.

Apollodorus

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2015, 03:23:33 pm »
Quote from: Chatelaine;179725
Other cultures seem to have no problem adopting the religion, though. Depending on your statistical source, there are anywhere between 225-300 million Orthodox Christians in the world, and only about 10 million of them are Greek.



Not that one again...:56:



Do you have any sources on this?



No, they set up their own festivals around the same time as (some) pagan festivals. Anyone can celebrate anything they want on any day. It's not like either side would be confused about where to attend.



Because Greek was a derogatory term at the time. Graeculi was what the Roman conquerors called the native Hellenes after conquering their land.



There's no lack of cases of one faction suppressing the religion of another, all over history. Greece is not the centre of the world.

 
No Greece is not the center of the world but ti was one of the first places where they started expanding. That's why i use it as an example.
About the festivals. Jesus was born in summer as one of his students claimed. At first the festival was in summer and then it was changed to 25th of December. The fact that you eat his flesh and drink his blood, the red eggs and many many more comes from Pagans.
Even Holy Mary's name in Greek is stolen from the high priestess of Artemis. The area, Athos, that was used to be her sacred place was turned to Holy Mary's sacred place. There are really o ton of facts and after 18th of this month i can provide sources since i'm not in my hometown.

One more reason i use Hellas in what i'm saying is because i've read a lot about my country, obviously, and less about the rest of Europe.

The only thing i respect about Christianism is Jesus. The rest is a bunch of guys trying to get rich and walking over dead bodies to achieve it, like Iustinianus.

@Demophon, yes it was an experience that made me a better man and i don't want to seem arrogant or someone with opinion for himself but it really taught a lot and how to judge people by what they are not how they seem to me, just like Euripides in Helen.
But, reading as many books of the "Great Teachers of Church" as i could i came to the conclusion that they just copied Socrates and Aristotle especially for their own works when simultaneously they claimed anyone having any connection to ancient philosophers pagan, sinner and even convicted some people.
The day that really changed my poin of view was when i went to Athos and saw this
I found the whole thing ironic and after some research to the "evil" philosophers i came to the conclusion that the way of life they proposed suited me better.

I could go on and on, but i fear that my bad English will make seem as someone who wishes to burn churches and crucify Christians in the name of his Gods :P

Chatelaine

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2015, 05:51:59 pm »
Quote from: Apollodorus;179747
Jesus was born in summer as one of his students claimed. At first the festival was in summer and then it was changed to 25th of December.


We don't know when Jesus was born. There's a lot of speculation and no proof. His birth is celebrated when it is because the date of celebrating the Annunciation was set first, and December 25 is simply nine months after March 25.

Quote
The fact that you eat his flesh and drink his blood, the red eggs and many many more comes from Pagans.


We call the Eucharist eating his flesh and drinking his blood because, according to the Gospels, He described it in those terms. As for the rest, so what? Religions don't develop in a vacuum. Beyond the belief system, praxis and custom develop according to local culture lines.

Quote
Even Holy Mary's name in Greek is stolen from the high priestess of Artemis. The area, Athos, that was used to be her sacred place was turned to Holy Mary's sacred place. There are really o ton of facts and after 18th of this month i can provide sources since i'm not in my hometown.


The only link I've found between Artemis and Mount Athos is a single paper (Part I - Part II), so I'm looking forward to having it expanded.
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RandallS

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2015, 09:27:48 pm »
Quote from: Chatelaine;179754
We don't know when Jesus was born. There's a lot of speculation and no proof. His birth is celebrated when it is because the date of celebrating the Annunciation was set first, and December 25 is simply nine months after March 25.

In the most traditional forms of Christianity, December 25th is the date of the Feast of the Nativity (because as you noted, that's nine months after the Feast of the Annunciation), not the "birthday of Jesus." Popular culture seems to treat December 25th as the "birthday of Jesus" but I don't know of any major religions that do. (Yes, I know there are some super-fundamentalist churches that do seem to treat it as the birthday of Jesus, but they are a tiny minority.)
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Apollodorus

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2015, 12:47:01 am »
Quote from: RandallS;179758
In the most traditional forms of Christianity, December 25th is the date of the Feast of the Nativity (because as you noted, that's nine months after the Feast of the Annunciation), not the "birthday of Jesus." Popular culture seems to treat December 25th as the "birthday of Jesus" but I don't know of any major religions that do. (Yes, I know there are some super-fundamentalist churches that do seem to treat it as the birthday of Jesus, but they are a tiny minority.)

 
They use the fact that sheep kept him warm as proof of his birth in the middle of winter, but Evangelist Luke says otherwise. There are sources in the early years of Eastern Roman Empire where people were forced to go to the church by law and afterwards they celebrated their own festivals with the risk of getting caught.
I think the same happened in the north as well.

Anyway, the common things between any old religion and Christianity are more than one would expect and the fact that they destroyed the culture and civilization were they went proves them wrong.
In my mind early christians and isis are the same

Tom

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2015, 06:44:58 am »
Quote from: Apollodorus;179762
Anyway, the common things between any old religion and Christianity are more than one would expect and the fact that they destroyed the culture and civilization were they went proves them wrong.
In my mind early christians and isis are the same

If early Christians and Daesh were the same, then we would not have the Karnak and Luxor temples still in existence nor many of the buildings still left on the Athenian Acropolis. In fact, early Christians were rather divided at first. It was only once it was joined with the Roman Empire that it only truly had influence over public policy. If one was to blame anyone, I would blame the Romans.

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2015, 06:47:59 am »
Quote from: Tom;179769
If early Christians and Daesh were the same, then we would not have the Karnak and Luxor temples still in existence nor many of the buildings still left on the Athenian Acropolis. In fact, early Christians were rather divided at first. It was only once it was joined with the Roman Empire that it only truly had influence over public policy. If one was to blame anyone, I would blame the Romans.
Also early Christians were terribly fond of arguing over the nature of Christ at that time and were often far more interested in proving which version of Christianity was best.

People like Daesh are promoting one particularly radical version of Islam rather than being a large spread out group debating what their religion should look like.

RandallS

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2015, 08:04:09 am »
Quote from: Apollodorus;179762
They use the fact that sheep kept him warm as proof of his birth in the middle of winter, but Evangelist Luke says otherwise.

Err, that would only prove it was cool at night anyway -- which it can be in the area even during the summer.

Quote
In my mind early christians and isis are the same
[mod=Host Hat On]Then this may not be the forum for you as we have rules against religion bashing. And saying "early Christians and ISIS are the same" is just as much religion bashing as saying "all Muslims are like ISIS". If you truly believe that, that's your business, but it's not welcome on this board.[/mod]
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Apollodorus

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2015, 08:19:42 am »
Quote from: RandallS;179777
Err, that would only prove it was cool at night anyway -- which it can be in the area even during the summer.

[mod=Host Hat On]Then this may not be the forum for you as we have rules against religion bashing. And saying "early Christians and ISIS are the same" is just as much religion bashing as saying "all Muslims are like ISIS". If you truly believe that, that's your business, but it's not welcome on this board.[/mod]

 
I strongly disagree with your conclusion. No bashing, no cursing and of course i respect Muslims as i respect every man's faith. But i don't respect people who like to destroy everything just to prove their opinion right.

@Tom, they preserved some of our temples because they used them for theirs. In Acropolis for example they destroyed some columns so that they could reform the temple and and on top of the temple they put a cross by removing some of the sculptures.

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2015, 09:35:42 am »
Quote from: Apollodorus;179762
In my mind early christians and isis are the same


I LOL'ed. Seriously.

For most of history, the religion of the people was decided by the civil authorities. (For some of history, the civil authorities WERE the religion of the people.) If the head honcho changed their faith, the people had to follow suit. Look at the Akhenaten cult in Egypt: imposed from the top down, suppressed from the top down. Refusing to comply was considered treason against the divinely appointed ruler, and was treated accordingly. We all know what happened to the early Christians who refused to worship the Roman gods and emperors. Some of us even know that several Hellenic governments repeatedly tried to suppress the Eleusinian and Orphic mysteries, because their secrecy was seen as an act of sedition. Religious liberty, as we know it today, is a product of the Enlightenment, and the ability of the oppressed to become oppressors as soon as the pressure is off them is nothing more and nothing less than human nature.
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2015, 10:02:58 am »
Quote from: Apollodorus;179780
I strongly disagree with your conclusion. No bashing, no cursing and of course i respect Muslims as i respect every man's faith. But i don't respect people who like to destroy everything just to prove their opinion right.

@Tom, they preserved some of our temples because they used them for theirs. In Acropolis for example they destroyed some columns so that they could reform the temple and and on top of the temple they put a cross by removing some of the sculptures.

It is very hard to generalise about what happened to the temples of the Roman Empire. Each temple had its own individual destiny during the change of major religion: And the change didn't happen quickly either. Luxor was left unused already around 200 CE, long before the time of Constantine (but as you can see, the Christians didn't erase it). The buildings in Delphi were struck by a disastrous fire sometime in the early to mid 3d century, and not much ws done to rebuild them - again before the time of Constantine. Many mithraea were abolished in the 280's, and the traces of newly built mithraea after that are few and far between.

The Christian chapel built by St. Helen at the Esquiline in 320 didn't initially affect the prerogatives of the nearby temple to El Gabal, but, decades later, the temple was eventually part erased and part integrated into the enlarged church building Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. The part played by Emperor Constantine is in reality ambiguous: He ordered a temple to the Dioscuri, a temple to Rhea and a temple to Tyche to be built in Constantinople, and he ordered a temple to the genii of the Gens Flavia (please correct my bad Latin grammar, please) to be erected. It doesn't seem like the acts of a fanatic convert to Christianity.

The Serapeion (Serapaeum for you who insist on Latin) in Alexandria was indeed vandalised by the Arians in 362.

The temple in Il-Hosn, Syria, was renovated in 367, and the Isis temple at the outskirts of Rome was renovated in 376, both under the reign of Christian emperors.

In 386 emperors in both halves of the Empire order official authorities to appoint local leaders for the remaining Pagan population, to take care of temple maintenance and costs for sacrifices. Probably upset by these orders, Bishop Marcellus of Apamea started a riot that demolished the Zeus temple in Apamea.

In 391 all temples were closed, but not erased, with the exception of the remaining parts of Serapeion, Alexandria.

In 399 Emperors Arcadius and Honorius orders maintenance of temples without altars, demolition of rural temples they had found useless, and protection of public classical mythological art from vandalism. Demolition is part of the order, but it is hardly the order two rabid iconoclasts would have issued. The later legend about what should have happened in Gaza in the early 5th century, has after evaluation been found to lack value as evidence, it is pure fiction. In 407 an edict ordered the removal of remaining Pagan altars, but statues depicting deities were to be retained, unless sacrifices were still performed at them, and all temple buildings should be maintained.

The commonly circulating idea of all Pagan temples being turned into Christian churches, is probably based on what happened in the province of Africa (now Tunisia): In 415 the provincial authorities ordered exactly this to happen, but it was not a policy followed in the other provinces of the Empire. There are isolated examples of it otherwhere, but it was not a rule outside Africa (province, not continent).

The similarity to Daesh goes just that far: The policy is hardly identical, but it was indeed not religious freedom of the sort we know today: Pagans were only able to sacrifice in their homes according to a silent don't-ask-don't-tell agreement, which the examples of Rutilius, Volusianus and Proclus demonstrates, and those who did had to silently abstain from working at the Imperial Court.

Remaining Pagans, who limited their religious practices to prayer, were permitted to serve at the Court. Outside the circle of courtiers (who theoretically ran the risk of capital punishment if they sacrificed) Pagans found guilty of household sacrifice had to pay a fine.

Before we all become indignant over this, it would be wise to consider the mentality of the times, and remember that Christians hundred years earlier had been executed for not sacrificing. Neither side held the ideal of religious freedom we expect today, although the Empire after 312 and before 391 (or, better, before 383, since Manicaeans, Arians, Apollinarists and a handful of others, lost their freedom of assembly in that year)  probably came closer to it, than the policies before and after these two dates.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 10:04:48 am by RecycledBenedict »

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Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall