A head priest of the temple Maxim Pastukhov takes care not only about the spiritual health of his parishioners but also about the physical. Moreover, he is an excellent example of how religion and sports can be combined together.
Not far ago, Father Maxim took part in the regional championship in bodybuilding, where he took an honorable third place.
Priest Maxim Pastukhov is the rector of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in the village of Ivanovka, Belgorod region. In addition to serving in the church, he also trains local children, as well as young people from nearby villages. To do this, he, with the blessing of Metropolitan John of Belgorod and Stary Oskol, organized a sports Orthodox club named after St. Joasif of Belgorod.
“My task is to educate the children in Orthodox traditions, to make them strong physically and spiritually,” – Father Maxim says. “They have a lot of free time, and if the energy is not channeled in the right direction, it will be wasted.”
“I consider this to be some kind of missionary work,” – Father Maxim explains. “We have an Orthodox club, in addition to training, we talk a lot, the guys come to worship, take part in social projects, we go camping with tents. Sometimes the guys just want to talk about something, which you can not always ask your parents about.”
“Perhaps, someone will not agree with me, but I do not think that we need to separate sport and worship,” – says Father Maxim. “This is a training of body and spirit.”
About a month ago the sports club organized a running competition for 40 kilometers over rough terrain – the guys coped with this task in five hours. In Stary Oskol tournament “CROSFIT,” where Maxim Pastukhov took third place, his students also took part – this was the first experience of a significant serious competition for them.