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007 Dec. 18/31. 1963, St. Simeon Verkhoturski

Dear Brother in Christ, Gleb,
Most of your ideas seem fine to me. The only thing is, they should be put in the right order. Having a rather practical mind myself (in addition to being a dreamer), I offer the following as a concrete (though only approximate) procedure of action:

  1. Introductory brochure — catalog, on which I am working now; to be printed by photo-off-set, or maybe by Matushka Ariadna. (Have you thought of her printing-press? It might be possible to get our brochures, and even a small bulletin, printed in this way. Perhaps we could make an agreement with her whereby we could do most of the work of printing ourselves.)
  2. Opening of a store. The best thing for now is probably to find a small shop. We could look over the ones I’ve found together some Saturday. As for books, I begin this week getting $40 a week in unemployment insurance, so for several months I’ll have about half of that to spend for books, whether I work or not. This will be a start. As for tables and bookcases, maybe Fr. Deacon Nikolai can help — I think you said he has some money. From Jordanville we will need the whole series of books (including service books — I think several people in the Theological Course will want some). Meanwhile, Jon and I will write to publishers and see about discounts on books in English. I suppose you could begin ordering books right away from Jordanville — maybe just a box at a time, so they won’t all come at once. In fact, if you ordered right now some of the books that pertain to the subject matter of the Bogoslovskii Kyrs, I could probably sell quite a few of them in class. I’ll enclose a list of these books, which you can have them send directly to me, if they will. (I hope they will send a receipt, so both they and we will know just which books we have, and how many; I’ll keep my own record, in any case. Another question: how long will it be before they expect some payment on the books?)
  3. Some kind of bulletin in English, to be begun on a modest scale and distributed to names on the mailing list. But we don’t need to plan anything about this until after the store is opened and flourishing (!).
  4. More ambitious plans for publishing pamphlets and books, whether in Russian or English: likewise can be thought about later. The manuscript you mentioned sounds good; the only trouble is the author. Nothing should be mentioned about the “Protocols,” and I think it might even be wise to publish the manuscript (if we get that far!) anonymously, or under a pseudonym. I don’t know how it is among Russians, but among English-speaking people the name “S. Nilus,” when it is recognized, is always associated with the name of Hitler; and so, quite apart from the Masons, the effect of publishing the manuscript under his name might be disastrous. Anyway, this project will have to wait for a little while at least.

Concerning the precise nature of our organization, I have some questions. Just what is a “brotherhood” in the Orthodox Church? Isn’t it supposed to be some kind of monastic society? For what purposes are Orthodox brotherhoods established, under whose auspices, with what qualifications for membership? Is the patronage of a canonized saint not required? As you see, I can be very practical when I have to be. In the present case there is a good reason for this, since the plan itself (I think) is quite practical, and it is time now (if ever) to make vague dreams into concrete realities.
Today is the feast of St. Simeon Verkhoturski. There was a splendid service last night in the convent, together with akathist. (Vladiko Ioann was present.) But unfortunately very few (five or ten) attended. It is not only Americans who have to be missionized!
I was planning to go mushroom-hunting tomorrow, but unfortunately I have to work tonight (at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, and everyone will be drunk, I imagine), so I will have to postpone it until Saturday. I’ve been reading some mushroom books, and I discover that there are several other very edible and easily identifiable varieties in this area.
Let us know your further ideas. Pray for me.
In Christ,

Eugene
P.s. Jon will be writing in a few days.

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