John of Damascus

revealing Orthodox Christianity through its sacred music

Directors' Notes



Orthodox Music in America’s 40 Under 40: Markayla Stroubakis

There is a generation of Orthodox church musician in America that is not only growing up, but also taking their place in a legacy. They are maturing into the musical leaders at the very parishes that they grew up at, and filling the spots their teachers once held, continuing their teachers’ work for the next generation.

Markayla Stroubakis, of Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in the San Diego area, is one such church musician. She is the cantor at the very church she sang at as a child, directing from the analogion at which she used to stand next to her teacher. She also is part of a generation of musician whose development was influenced by the recordings of Orthodox music by professional ensembles like Cappella Romana, and has since had the opportunity to sing with those groups as an adult. Not only that, but her passion for including and educating the youth in the music of the Orthodox Church suggests that the legacy will not end with her.

We spoke to Markayla by phone on May 10 2020.

markayla stroubakisYour name for the record?

Markayla Stroubakis.

And your date of birth?

June 4, 1996. 

What you do and where you do it? 

I am the protopsaltria at Saint Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego, California. I lead the chanting, I do some introductory teaching, and I also direct a children’s choir, which was handed down to me from my predecessor and teacher Alex Khalil — it’s actually a choir I used to be a part of! I’ve led the chanting for the last two years, and for four years before that I led with Alex. I’ve been singing ever since I was in elementary school — I sang in choirs, and Western music was and is something that I really, love. I took voice lessons for years throughout high school and college, and in high school I sang in five or six choirs. 

In the seventh grade, I started singing in the choir at my parish because frankly, I couldn’t focus without having something to do. It was kind of a good way for me to keep myself occupied during, you know, an hour and a half of liturgy. When I was fifteen, Alex had been at our church for a couple of years, and he approached me, asking, do you want to learn how to chant? I had never knowingly heard Byzantine chant before, but I said sure. Alex started picking me up from my house on Sunday and taking me to church with him for Orthros — and I later figured out that was 30 minutes out of his way. I began by standing there at the analogion, mostly just watching Alex and listening to him. Sometimes I’d be able to sing simple “Lord have mercy” responses, and then after a while things like “God is the Lord,” mostly on the spot. I was singing with Alex like that until I was a senior in high school.

After I graduated, I went to UC Berkeley for college, and I sang in Marika Kuzma’s Chamber Chorus there. In general, living in the Bay Area was a cool way for me to get acclimated to chanting with other people. I was hopping around to different churches and chanting everywhere I could and I kept that going while I was in school; it was a great opportunity to get to know people like John Michael Boyer, who was living in the Bay Area at the time. 

After I graduated, I came back down to San Diego; I sang with Alex again for a while, which was awesome. A year and a half ago, Alex left to take an ethnomusicology position at University College Cork in Ireland, and when he left, I took his position.

Beyond that, I’ve had the opportunity to sing with Cappella Romana; in December 2017, they programmed “Sun of Justice,” a Christmas concert of Byzantine chant, and it was the first time they had used women and men all singing from scores in Byzantine notation. That was fun, being in Portland for a week for rehearsals and then doing shows there, Seattle, and in Northern California. It was a amazing thing to be a part of that.

Something else I’ve taken on at Ss. Constantine and Helen is a youth choir that sings at the Folk Dance Festival, the big youth event of the Metropolis of San Francisco and the Archdiocese. There’s a big choral competition that’s a component of FDF, and one of the categories is liturgical music and folk songs; you have to prepare 12 minutes of music with at least two pieces from those categories. I sang in the competition choir as kid, and Alex, who knows a lot about teaching kids, did a lot to raise the bar with us in terms of Byzantine music, plus he was also able to have us sing folk songs with a whole band that included bouzouki and clarinets and drums and tambourines.

Now I’m directing that group, with ongoing input from both Alex and my friend Emily Laliotis, who also sang in the group as kid, has taught children’s choirs before, and who’s good with vocal pedagogy. We’re not teaching the kids Byzantine notation at this point, we’re having them learn by rote. They’re incredible with learning music and words; last year they were able to learn Psalm 102 in Greek from the Typika and perform it from memory, and that’s a fast, wordy piece, and they’ve also been able to learn the eight-mode Doxastikon from the feast of the Dormition, as well as folk songs. This year was special because we sang for Archbishop Elpidophoros, who’s very excited about the youth. The kids did an amazing job, and the Archbishop made a point of telling our group how appreciative he was of what they did.

Alex was instrumental in laying the groundwork, but our kids just learn music so fast — they are so amazing in that way. It can be hard to get kids to sing at the analogion because the boys might be serving in the altar or they’ve got Sunday School or something along those lines, but before COVID-19 we were getting to a point where some of the girls would sing. It’s a challenge to get all the kids together in one place, but they love the music and they love singing with each other. 

What was it like to learn Byzantine music at a young age and in that setting from a teacher like Alex?

I feel so incredibly lucky and grateful to have learned from Alex because Alex was always and continues to be extremely patient with me. He explains things in a way that it’s never condescending, and he’s able to hone in on my problems.

When I started learning Byzantine music at fifteen, I had already developed a skill set with Western music. I considered myself to be a very good sight reader, I was very proficient in solfege, I was taking AP music theory, and I had an incredible choir director I had learned a lot from in regards to Western music. So with Byzantine music, I started to make associations where I felt associations could be made — I’m good at pattern recognition, and I was able to absorb theseis [the paradigmatic component phrases, or formulae, of Byzantine music] fairly quickly and associate them with how they looked in the notation. I was able to develop a good understanding of the modes. It helped that Alex was constantly putting me on the spot; I’m a perfectionist, and I don’t like for people to hear me when I haven’t practiced or when I don’t know something, so Alex challenged me always to be on my game. Eventually, if Alex was out of town for a conference, I would lead Orthros all by myself, and I would challenge myself to use the music rather than wing it and make something up from the text. I had to listen and practice a lot, but now it’s almost second nature.

I’m fortunate that Alex taught me to be confident and self-assured at the analogion — he taught me never to be afraid and never back down, even when I’ve been trampled on in various circumstances. He respected me, and in turn, I want kids to feel confident and to feel like they’re respected up there. If the kids, especially the girls, see somebody chanting they can identify with, I think it probably makes it easier for them to feel comfortable and confident coming up — especially if what has been most typical is an older man being up there by himself.

What motivates you to do what you do? 

I grew up Orthodox and going to church, but it wasn’t until I started singing Byzantine music that I started to feel a connection to the Church and to Christ — a connection that I had not experienced before. For me, a large part of singing Byzantine music for me is experiencing Christ’s love in worship. That’s a big motivator for me, because like I said, as a kid it was hard for me to focus in church, to sit there and be prayerful in church without singing. Music has always facilitated my focus and thought — first Western music, and now with Byzantine music. That said — as a church musician, I approach what I’m doing as a sacrifice that allows other people to be more meditative and lose themselves in the worship, but I have to keep my focus on what’s happening in the service and make sure I’m doing my part of it.

Also, simply put, God is leading me in Byzantine music, and that motivates me to continue to work at this and get better at it for the glory of God. I sang a Cherubic Hymn in a master class once for John Boyer, and afterward, he said, “I can tell that you have such a deep love for this music in your heart.” And that almost made me cry because that’s absolutely true. Obviously, I’m still learning, but this is absolutely a calling for me, and I’m thankful for that. Byzantine music has made huge strides over the last five years, in my home Metropolis at least, and I feel like it’s my calling, my duty, to do this and to and to help propel church music along in this way.

Are there any projects you’re working on that you haven’t talked about yet?

Right now, with COVID-19 keeping us all inside, I’m mostly working on refining and improving some of my chant skills — rhythm, for example. I’m also working with Alex on my modal theory. Self development is key. Once things get back to normal, though, I have a concrete goal — I would like to have one Sunday a month as Youth Sunday, with the entire liturgy to be chanted by youth. When Alex left, he left scores in Byzantine and Western notation for that purpose, and it’s well within the kids’ reach to do that. I want to do more than just training kids for a competition, because while that’s great and it gets them exposed to the music and singing challenging repertoire, they need to do it in church first and foremost. I want more involvement from the kids during Divine Liturgy, and I want to get over the logistical barriers that stand in the way.

Beyond that, I want to go to Greece and spend some time learning from a teacher there. 

What projects do you want to work on that nobody’s asked you to do yet?

I want to be involved with another Byzantine choir project, for touring and performing. Obviously, that’s not on the menu any time soon, but I want to do something where I can sing with other people. We so rarely get time! When you’re a chanter with a church position, you don’t get to go anywhere else to sing, because you have the responsibility to be at your parish on Sunday. I hope to have opportunities where I can sing with other chanters for concerts and events.

Every time you sing with someone who is better than you, you learn something, and that can be difficult for the working parish chanter — we always have to be there. And especially with my teacher in Ireland — like I said, I was in Ireland this past summer working with Alex, but that wasn’t enough. I miss having those opportunities, and I would like to make more of them.

What is your sense of the big picture for Orthodox music in America?

Looking at it just from the standpoint of my home Metropolis — the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco is going through a large shift. Byzantine music is being more widely incorporated across the board in a way that wasn’t the case before. The Choir Federation seems to be embracing it more, and different chanters up and down the West Coast are making a good case that Byzantine music is  more accessible. I mean, I come from a Western music background, as I’ve said, I grew up with settings like Frank Desby’s, and Desby’s liturgy is, I think, incredibly beautiful. But for where we’re at right now, choral music like Frank Desby’s is hard. Being able to sing four-part music beautifully is hard. The ranges and the forces required are challenging — on the West Coast, in general, we just don’t have the numbers or the engagement and participation to be able to sing this music with the beauty it deserves. At my parish, we definitely don’t have the numbers, and we don’t even have even one tenor. There are absolutely parishes that are still able to do it; there’s an incredible four-part Western choir at Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland, CA. But, if we don’t have the ability to sing that music well, we have to find other ways of making music ministry work for people. Otherwise, we’re stumbling through everything, it just doesn’t sound good, and you lose the musical beauty. With mosaics and icons and the other physical aspects of the church, that beauty is there, it’s physical. It’s there, it’s permanent. But we have to pay regular attention to the music, because it’s something the people do on an ongoing basis, and day to day things are going to change — even half hour to half hour as people get vocally tired during a service. That means we need to meet people where they’re at, and I am trying to get people to see the beauty of what’s available to us in Byzantine music. You don’t need four part choral music to sing a beautiful Divine Liturgy; you can sing a beautiful, unison Divine Liturgy with Byzantine music.

But then, the other part of that is that a lot of the chanters who have been around for a long time are getting older and starting to retire. They’re not able to stand as long, their voice is not as strong as it once was. So it seems like those of us who are young and are full of pep and vigor have a responsibility to pitch in and do our part — otherwise, we’re going to find ourselves in a scenario where the music of our church is going to be a choir of three people who kind of know the Desby soprano part and that’s all they can do.

Even talking about congregational singing — Byzantine music is a lot more accessible for congregational singing than some people think. Congregations in my experience can’t sing Desby; the notes are too high, for one thing. But in my experience, Byzantine music is easier for everybody to participate in, everybody can sing along, and I always hear people singing from the pews during a Divine Liturgy with Byzantine chant. To me there’s no question that it’s accessible and that it’s music that can bring us together to worship. If we make our worship more accessible, then we’ll make Orthodox Christianity more accessible in general.

Orthodox Music in America’s 40 Under 40: Constantine Stade

Joyous feast of the Ascension!

When we’re talking about Orthodox music, we’re usually discussing the disciplines of singing, conducting, composing, and teaching — and perhaps we might also include the text-based areas of liturgical translation and hymnography. However, there are absolutely other activities that fall under the rubric of “Orthodox music”. They may not come springing to mind immediately as fitting under the umbrella of a cappella vocal music, but a moment’s thought makes it clear that they qualify.

The Orthodox tradition of bellringing is one such activity. While separate from the sung tradition, it nonetheless leaves a musical footprint, notably in the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt and those works composed in his “tintinnabuli” style. Beyond that, bellringing is a complex musical system in its own right, with its own technical considerations, liturgical function, architectural environment, and traditions of performance practice.

Constantine Stade of St. Louis, MO grew up as the son of a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and studied music in college with the intent of serving the Church as a musician. In recent years, however, he has shifted his focus from the choir loft to the bell tower, and he is making a unique contribution as a specialist in that area. Constantine hopes to, as he puts it, tell the story of Orthodox bellringing (which, for the record, he prefers be one word rather than two) to the Church in America in a way that inspires others to take up the craft.

We spoke to Constantine via videoconference on 3 May 2020.

CTS headshotYour name for the record?

My name is Constantine Christopher Stade.

When is your birthday?

November 6, 1990.

What do you do and where do you do it?

I operate The Church Bell Company, which is a rebrand of an older name (New Creation Bellringing). I offer every service that you would need for establishing a practice of live bellringing in your church, starting from the step of saying “We like the idea of church bells,” all the way to training your church bellringer. We help with the architectural design of a new belfry, purchasing bells, installing them, implementing the ringing system, and finally, the hands-on training. That’s the main focus of my Orthodox musical life. I studied vocal music at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and then for about a year and a half was the music director at the Church of Christ the Savior in Chicago. Working as a professional musician in an Orthodox  church was the culmination of all of my studies. In every music theory course, every voice lesson, every choral ensemble rehearsal and performance, I was always thinking, how will this apply in the real world to Orthodox singing? But after being in Chicago for a year and a half, I hit the same wall that I think a majority of young Orthodox college student musicians hit, which is that Orthodoxy in America does not have a good system in place for how we support our churches. Because of that, we don’t have the means to support our ministries either. That’s a recurring theme that I’m hearing over and over again. At the time, though, I realized I wasn’t fooling myself and I knew what I was doing was kind of an investment in the future—not something that I would honestly be able to find a job in. So, at the same time as I was doing my undergraduate studies, I got my paramedic license as a backup plan. After I graduated, an amazing job opportunity opened up in Chicago, and it took it. During my time there, I was trying to do everything in my life simultaneously. Besides serving as the music director at Christ the Savior, I was also the office manager of the Annunciation Greek Cathedral. I studied conducting Maestro Peter Jermihov, sang with his choir, the Saint Romanos Society Cappella for the liturgical premiere of Father Ivan Moody’s Greek Liturgy in 2016, traveled to Alaska for a bell installation project in St. Herman’s Church in King Cove, and was applying for jobs as a paramedic. But at the end of the day, everything just wasn’t adding up. I got engaged to my beautiful wife Laura, and realized I just couldn’t make it work in Chicago with a living pierced together from so many sources. I had some important lessons to learn about achieving mastery in a field by focusing on it, and putting other interests on the back burner. So, I moved back to St. Louis in July of 2017, and made a commitment to myself not to pursue anything musical while I got my career established as a paramedic-firefighter. And I’ve been successful in that.

However, it soon became clear that being a musician in the Orthodox Church is an important part of who I am, and not something I’m able to cut out of my life.

So in the past 3 years I’ve doubled down on the bell installation and education projects that I was doing, started an LLC for my company, started singing at a parish here where they needed support. It’s become a question of finding a way to provide for my family financially and plug into the most meaningful thing in my life—worship.

What motivates you to do what you do?

The reason I chose to focus my professional efforts specifically on church bellringing is that there is almost no activity focusing on propagating Orthodox Church bellringing in America. There’s a gentleman named Mark Galperin, who runs a company out in the Bay Area, Blagovest Bells, and he has imported bells for a large number of parishes, but he’s not a bellringer and doesn’t provide installation services. When our parish bought bells, at the same time that I was studying vocal music, I started to do some installations for Mark.

After a number of years he challenged me to take on a larger role in church bellringing. He told me, “You know, there are a lot of choir directors out there, but there’s only one bell installer.” I have met so many people exactly like myself who paid their own way through college to get a degree in vocal music or conducting, in order to be professional Orthodox Church musicians. But, there just aren’t any paid positions right now. Obviously, we are going to need a lot of trained, competent church musicians, but over the years it’s become clear to me that there were a lot of people doing what I wanted to do as a choir conductor, and there was nobody in the realm of church bellringing—so I shifted my focus there.

I grew up in an English-Speaking ROCOR parish where my dad was the priest, and we had a three hour vigil service every Saturday night. It really shaped me and instilled in me the sense of the centrality of worship. I was always captivated by the sounds of church bells—even though they weren’t real bells. We had a P.A. system on the roof and a cassette player. It was obvious to me even as a kid how integrated bells are with Orthodox worship. That was never anything anybody had to teach me, because that was what I was just experiencing. Finally in 2007, I finally bugged my dad to start a fundraising campaign to purchase church bells from Russia. We bought a set of bells, I was finally able to get my hands on the real thing and started figuring out how to interact with them. I started by looking online, but there weren’t a lot of videos available. I was able to piece together the Russian bellringing system—not just the music theory, but the actual mechanism whereby one person can ring over a dozen bells by themselves in a musical and coordinated way. As the years started to go by, more and more people would come to our church and hear our bells, and I started to get asked to help with the bells at other churches. Then I got on to Mark Galperin’s radar; working for him, I would install bells and also teach people to ring them. That went on for about ten years, and finally I decided to stop treating it as a hobby, even a paid hobby, and to turn it into a real company.

Along the way, I’ve been challenged by a number of people to think about it more and more seriously — Andrew Gould in particular has really challenged and inspired me to approach church bells within the context of the whole liturgical life of our American parishes. That’s prompted me to ask the question — what’s the bigger why of church bells? That’s a story I want to help tell. Churches that play recordings of bells, or only ring the bell on the night of Pascha, or that spend millions of dollars on a new building with a bell tower that has no realistic provision for where bells are put and how to ring them, or ring concert chimes with a hammer from the choir loft—these are churches that do not have a solid answer to the question: What are church bells for?

The primary purpose of church bells is not to entertain those already inside the church. Their primary purpose is to call people to prayer who are not already in the church. This includes two very important, distinct categories of people. It includes people that want to hear the church bells, who maybe live nearby and are going to come to church to pray when they hear the bells. But it also includes people that don’t want to hear the church bells — passive hearers, let’s say. 

So if the bells are rung primarily to call people to church who are not already inside, if this is your why, then it solves any number of problems encountered along the way. Where do you hang the bells? In a stone tower, at least one story above the ground. You ring in a serious way, and you ring real bells. We don’t do fake in Orthodoxy. We don’t play recordings of singing in our services. We have oil lamps and beeswax candles. We like real things.

Of course, bellringing also is an expression of our Christian joy, but in an era of Orthodoxy in our country where we struggle to offer anything more to our proximal neighbors than ethnic food, we need to be aware that our bellringing isn’t just a way to entertain ourselves, but contribute to the Christian soundscape of the actual homes and workplaces around our churches.

That seems like a sensitive topic in an age where it’s assumed that “being a good neighbor” means that your neighbors don’t know you’re there.

We need to be serious here about what the work of the Churches is. Are we here to make friends? Are we here to placate disgruntled non-believers? Is compliance with the secular authorities the highest good for us? Or are we here to preach the gospel, to baptize the nations, and to be the voice of Christ calling out to people? There are stories about people that have come back from the brink of committing suicide by hearing the church bells ringing. Let’s preach the Gospel and let people know that we’re here.

What projects are you working on that you haven’t told us about already?

One of the problems that I’ve run into is that I’m not yet able to spend one hundred percent of my time on church bellringing. I have a full time job with the fire department with a rotating shift schedule and four days off every week; that is just enough time to travel somewhere, get bells installed, and teach for a day or maybe two. Imagine trying to learn the piano in two six-hour blocks! To solve that problem, I’m launching a series of online video training courses this summer. The first course will be titled “Fundamentals of Orthodox Bellringing.” People will learn to ring Orthodox Church bells at their own pace, in their own belfry, on their own bells. I’ll continue to teach in person, but the online training course idea arose out of this need. I’m going to start out with a course on fundamentals of Orthodox Church bellringing that will establish a baseline and get everybody on the same page, using the same musical vocabulary and getting students familiar with the repertory of underlying melodic formulae that bellringers draw from when ringing for a service. From there we’ll move into some more advanced theory and also performance practice. The bellringer has to develop an understanding of the bell as an instrument—that’s where a lot of the beauty comes from.

I’m also working on a streamlined way for churches to be able to go from wanting bells to having them installed with newly trained bellringers — in other words, to take all of the guesswork, all the complexity, all of the hassle out of getting churches’ bellringing ministries up and running. Right now that process is very difficult and very disjointed. The goal is a simple pathway for people to be able to purchase bells, but in the meantime, I’m also continuing the reinstallation projects for churches that already have bells but don’t have a reasonable way to ring them—the ringing system.

constantine stade 2What projects would you like to work on that nobody’s asked you to do yet?

Like I said earlier, it’s all about communicating the whyOne of the biggest direct challenges that I am facing is that, thank God, we’ve gotten, you know, maybe one hundred and fifty to two hundred churches in America that have Orthodox church bells custom-cast specifically for them. But other than the physical bells themselves, the musical culture of bellringing has not been brought to our country. People try to imitate what they hear on recordings, but don’t realize all of the technical craft, the craftsmanship and the technical work that goes into getting the bells set up, and establishing a ringing system with trained ringers. So, given that I’m trying to help tell better stories about what it is that we’re doing with bells overall, rather than propagating individual little local traditions at the expense of others, I would love to be able to work with all of the major monasteries and institutions in America to help improve the state of bellringing everywhere. I want to help establish some outstanding examples of bellringing at our monasteries, since they’re always a haven for our liturgical life. They don’t have to apologize about doing things well and properly and long and in full. 

I don’t mean to make everybody do exactly the same thing; I’m not trying to bring Russian church bells ringing to Holy Cross Seminary, for example (unless they want them). Rather, just to start with, I want to help get everybody on the same page with terminology, because we don’t even all mean the same things with words like peal and toll. I would love to be able to get bellringing instruction as an optional course into all of our seminaries for priests and people that are interested — or even open a bellringing equivalent of Jordanville’s Summer Music School or Holy Cross’ Byzantine chant certificate program. In-person instruction at a dedicated location where the student comes out with, ideally, a certificate that means you can be trusted to teach, and with some kind of quality control mechanism in place. 

I think what’s going to be most productive in our current environment is to focus on individuals who are motivated to bite the bullet and train themselves, rather than catering to specific jurisdictional organizations. Something that is successful on its own merits will create the market just by virtue of having a superior product and a far better vision than what an individual ethnic jurisdiction might be able to do.

But speaking of things nobody’s asked me to do yet, there’s an interesting situation at Harvard University, in the Lowell House, one of the residence halls. In a tower on top of the building there is a set of 17 Russian church bells from St. Daniel’s Monastery in Moscow, rescued from certain destruction by Communists during the Bolshevik revolution by an American businessman, Charles Crane. They were given to the University and rung for years by the students. In 2007, the original bells were repatriated, and the Russian church donated a set of similar bells to Harvard in exchange. There’s an extremely active cultural exchange now between St. Daniel;s Monastery and the Lowell House Bellringers.

So, we now have a situation where the largest set of Orthodox bells in America, including the largest bell is rung at a secular institution by a group of students. The next time that we build a church for the ages in America — maybe when the Assembly of Bishops finally becomes a real Synod of American bishops and we build a new cathedral for the primatial seat of the Metropolitan of America — I’d love to spearhead the project of putting a larger set of bells at that church. Someday, God willing.

What’s your sense of the big picture for Orthodox music in America?

Right now, we need to recognize that we are an American church, and within that, strive for authenticity of practice. Americans can sing Byzantine music, for example; it’s not unlearnable, and there are people who are good examples of musicians who can perform in different styles. 

I’m starting to wonder if what we’re experiencing isn’t just kind of a generational shift, that the way things were done in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s is having to change, by attrition if nothing else. When I see the larger context of work being done to benefit our liturgical life, whether that’s Andrew Gould in architecture, Fr. Seraphim Dedes in liturgical texts, and all of the current generation of musicians like Benedict Sheehan, it gives me a lot of comfort that in the long run, sanity will prevail as long as we all keep doing our best in our individual fields to be creative within our traditions of liturgical beauty while not reinventing the wheel. In that sense, I think we’re in a birth period of sorts; we’re trying to make it mean something to the rest of the people that live in our country and not just ourselves. 

At the same time, I’m also very scared by our ethnic jurisdictions seemingly becoming more entrenched in our separate identities. I worry that we’re going to end up stuck in our individual ethnic traditions and miss the forest for the trees. I really I really hope that we can come together and see the commonality between the best music making of all of our traditions. Let’s have people of like mind from all jurisdictions connect with each other. Let’s learn. Let’s let’s pray and be Christians together, and let’s create the future that we want to see. Let’s have the most glorious Orthodox church bells be in a church in America.