My name is Edward Henderson. I was born February 11, 1978 and grew up in Fort Myers, Florida. I was raised in the Episcopal Church but while attending Bishop Verot Catholic High School, began to understand the nature of "the Church" in a different way. I was nearly about to join the Roman Catholic Church when an Episcopal Priest recommend I "check out" the Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches. This led me to find Holy Theotokos Monastery in North Fort Myers, which was a small men's monastic community in the Greek Orthodox Old Calendar Church, under Metropolitan Paisios. Upon graduating from High School in 1996, I was baptized. That Fall, I began my studies at Florida State University, where I eventually decided to Major in Russian (finding Ancient Greek too difficult) and minor in French. In 1998, our Old Calendar sect reconciled with "Canonical" Orthodoxy and went under the Ecumenical Patriarchate. That year I also made my first trip to Russia. In 2000, I graduated from FSU with a Bachelors' Degree. I then began graduate school at the same university, but began my studies at Moscow State University in Russia. I ended up spending 2 years in Moscow and rather than return to FSU to complete my MA, I moved to London, England to study in a Russian Studies MA Program at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies. There I wrote my MA thesis: "Disharmony and Reconciliation in the Films of Andrei Tarkovsky". After completing my MA Degree, I eventually ended up back in Moscow where I am currently living and have been so since August 2004. I now work for English First, where I teach Business English to various companies in Moscow. I attend Church services at the Valaam Monastery Representation Church (Podvorija), where I also sing in the choir. In November, I will probably return to America, but nothing is ever certain.
Interests: Being a convert to Orthodoxy, the Church is my primary interest, but I am particularly attracted to the various traditions of Church Music which makes singing at the Valaam Podvorija such a blessing as they sing a mix of Byzantine, Valaam, and Znammeny Chant, with some Obihod and Georgian Melodies. I am also interested in the Pre-Nikonian Rites and have often thought about writing a paper connecting the Russian Old Believers with the Greek Old Calendarists. As far as modern Orthodox writers are concerned, I am most keen on the writings of Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos of Nafpaktos, Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk, Father John Romanides, and Hieromonk Seraphim Rose.
My second interest in language and linguistics, particularly Slavic languages. In University, I studied (but not always successfully) Russian, French, Ancient Greek, Old and Church Slavonic, Serbian, and Croatian. I also independently "dabbled in" Old English and Old Norse.
My other major area of academic study has been in Russian Literature. Despite agreeing with Dostoevsky, I prefer reading Tolstoy. My favorite 19th century Russian writer is Nikolai Gogol. Among the contemporary Russian writers, I prefer Victor Pelevin.
I am also a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Stephen Fry, and of Norse Literature, particularly the Icelandic Sagas.
Living in Russia and England has given me great opportunities to travel. I have been to (and on usually a tight budget) France, Italy, Egypt, Sweden, Greece, Scotland, Wales, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Turkey, and Ukraine. As an Orthodox pilgrim, I have visited Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra, Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Optina Monastery, Mount Athos, and the Kiev Caves Lavra in addition many other lesser known communities in Russia and Greece. In America, I have been to 3 of Father Ephraim's communities in Florida and Texas, Saint Herman of Alaska Monastery, Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston, Christ of the Hills Monastery, and Glorious Ascension Monastery.