brothers and sisters in Christ, who come from different cities and towns, ethnic groups, career paths and all levels of ability. We are all members of the Russian Orthodox Church and strive to live by the Gospel and the Orthodox Christian Tradition.
The Transfiguration Brotherhood (Fellowship of Minor Orthodox Brotherhoods) incorporates several dozen minor brotherhoods in Moscow, across Russia and abroad. Each minor brotherhood consists of communities and groups. They bring together people from different age groups as well as professional, social and educational backgrounds, who wish to serve God and the church on a shared Christian journey.
The brotherhood way is embedded within church tradition; it has always provided both married and celibate people with an opportunity to serve. The brotherhood way is monastic in spirit: rather than sharing accommodation, the followers share their lives with each other in the spirit of love and trust. This is not a withdrawal from the world, but an effort to align every aspect of our lives with the Gospel, the effort to be Christian at all times and everywhere – at church, in our families, at work and within our lives in society – and the effort to affirm the possibility of living a life of faith under any and all circumstances.
Brotherhood communities come together for Bible studies and prayer meetings held at home, where they may also discuss pressing church and personal matters. Members of the Brotherhood share Eucharistic worship and agape meals (prayerful meals of love and thanksgiving). Members of the Brotherhood are involved in the life of many parishes and seek to build relationships with Christians in other cities and countries.
Each community has its own identity, unique environment and experience, but all of them are united in their love for the church, heartfelt concern for its future and desire to contribute to the revival of the Orthodox Church that suffered unprecedented persecution at the hands of the Soviet regime. The Brotherhood aims to assist anyone who trusts God and his neighbour, to discover the Christian tradition in its fullness and depth, and to see how it can be lived out today through bearing witness to Christ, consistent and holistic instruction in the foundations of the Christian faith, theological education, communal and personal prayer and Christian charity.
The church is called to live not for itself, therefore members of the Brotherhood strive to be involved in the life of their cities and cooperate for the purpose of establishing an open and united society.
Founder and spiritual father of the Transfiguration Brotherhood. Founder and Rector of St. Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute. M.A. in Theology (St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, Paris). Translator of Orthodox liturgical texts into Russian. Author of monographs on Catechetics, based on his personal long-term pastoral, missionary and catechetic experience. He has also written extensively on Missiology, and pastoral and dogmatic Theology – in particular on Ecclesiology, and issues in theological and humanities education and formation.
Chairman of the Transfiguration Brotherhood. President of Sretenje (a Regional Non-Government Organisation for the Promotion of Personal Spiritual Development), Representative of Sretenje to the Council of Orthodox Public Associations within the Synodal Department for Church-Society Relations. Provost of St. Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute.
Life Principles of the Transfiguration Brotherhood
As a man enters into the church, he needs good teachers and mentors, examples of holy living by the Gospel and of bearing the cross. The Transfiguration Brotherhood honours the memory of many people who have lived Christianity as a path that they affirm is possible under any circumstances. These include both the new martyrs and confessors and figures of the Russian religious-philosophical renaissance, as well as prophetic spirit-bearers such as Alexey Khomyakov, Bishop Mikhail (Gribanovsky) and Nikolay Neplyuyev, who foreshadowed the age of renewal in church life that later took place in the 20th century.
Although their life journeys and spiritual gifts were very different, they were all united by faith in the Church, by the ability to place top priority on the main issues of church life relating to the concern for man, Christian fellowship, meetings and common life, and by the determination to act without regard to circumstance or the spirit of the age.
The founder of the Brotherhood, Fr Georgy, knew some of these people personally. He has also benefited from the experience of various other spiritual teachers through their works and through personal acquaintance with those who live according to their traditions and legacy. For instance, Fr Georgy has been clessed by acquaintance with: Sergey Fudel, Nikolay and Zoya Pestovs (from Fr Sergius Mechyov’s circle), members of Archimandrite Sergius Saveliev’s community, and Archbishop Mikhail (Mudyugin). Fr Georgy also considers Protopresbyter Vitaly Borovoy, Archpriest Vsevolod Schpiller, Archimandrites Tavrion (Batozsky) and John (Krestyankin), and Sergey Averintsev as his spiritual teachers. Fr Georgy sees God’s providence and blessing in the opportunity he had to meet and communicate with these people during Soviet times.
The Brotherhood strives to weave itself into the legacy of the saints, learning through their experience to differentiate genuine commitment to church life from its counterfeit substitutes, and to adjust its own path according to this wisdom.