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Author Topic: Had my third visit to an Orthodox church  (Read 4622 times) Average Rating: 0
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Doubting Thomas
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« on: December 17, 2003, 12:47:40 PM »

I went to my third Orthodox service this past weekend and really liked it.  I stood in the back so I could observe what was going on.  One lady apparently could tell I was a visitor (perhaps because I didn't bow or cross myself) and handed me a bulletin  Grin.  It seems like the standing was somewhat easier this time.

Two Sundays ago, I stepped down as deacon at the Southern Baptist Church my wife and I attend.  I told the pastor (and the associate pastor) that I had theological differences that would make it awkward for me to serve as a deacon in a baptist church at this time.  Now, I feel ready to visit some Orthodox parishes closer by (but still about an hour away).  My wife still has questions (and I do as well to an extent), and many of those are of a practical nature:  for example, would there be a nursery for our young child(ren)? would there be Sunday School or a program for the youth?.  I emailed the priest of the parish which I attended this past weekend and he has offered to meet with my wife and I to discuss Orthodoxy and to answer any questions.  I'm hoping we'll get an opportunity to do so if my wife is interested.

Please continue to pray for us on this journey.

DT
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2003, 02:00:11 PM »

We had two guys at our parish (both have moved since) that were in Baptist seminary together and they and their whole families converted to Orthodoxy! Now one is an Orthodox priest, I'm not sure about the other guy though.

Keep us up to date on your journey and feel free to ask questions...I certainly had plenty when I was converting!  Also, if anything perplexes you, it is best to ask instead of trying to keep it bottled up.  I bottled a lot during my conversion and "tortured" myself needlessly over a lot things that really had simple explanations.  Don't be afraid to ask questions!
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Justinianus
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2003, 02:06:29 PM »


Keep us up to date on your journey and feel free to ask questions...I certainly had plenty when I was converting!  Also, if anything perplexes you, it is best to ask instead of trying to keep it bottled up.  I bottled a lot during my conversion and "tortured" myself needlessly over a lot things that really had simple explanations.  Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Great advice!

Also, DT you have my prayers for your spiritual journey.
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2003, 04:58:15 PM »

Blessed journey! Will continue to pray.

a
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2003, 05:42:40 PM »

DT,

As always, you and your family are in our prayers on your journey.

A note on nurseries.  I've never encountered an Orthodox Church with a nursery, but there are probably a few out there.  I think that in the Orthodox experience, children should not be barred from the liturgy merely because they are children and may cry.  In most parishes, children are with their parents throughout the liturgy, and if a child starts to cry for more than a few seconds, a parent takes the child outside for a few minutes unti the child is calm again.  Just as we do not deny the Eucharist to infants, we would not seek to deny them the Liturgy.
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2003, 07:25:07 PM »

A note: GOA often has crying rooms with a large window and piped in Liturgy. This practice was established to keep Greek Yiayias from murdering "ignorant xenoi (foreigners)" who don't know enough to take their screaming children out of Church. Meanwhile, the grandchildren of the Yiayia in question, secure in the "correct " ethnicity, climb over the backs of pews, set fire to the iconostasis, and swing from the chandelier...while Yiayia beams with approval :bounce:

Vicki,
True, true, true!!! Smiley
I used to be amazed at the double duty of this room in my old parish and how MANY women could squeeze in to tend the bride before her wedding! Good old memories.
Thanks,
Demetri
« Last Edit: December 17, 2003, 07:26:13 PM by +æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2003, 09:56:42 PM »

Unfortunately, many churches (such as my own) conduct Sunday school for the first half of the Liturgy.  Perhaps, D.T., you may find such a church to attend, which would address your child-care concerns, at least for the first half of the Liturgy.  I know that when you are first experiencing the Liturgy and the church surroundings, and listening to the choir, you will want to take it all in and not miss anything.  The old Babi (or Yiayias) are pros at ignoring their bratty grandkids (or the Liturgy).  You will undoubtedly desire fewer interruptions and distractions at first.

God's blessings for you and your family, as you continue your spiritual journey.
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Linus7
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2003, 09:34:37 AM »

A note: GOA often has crying rooms with a large window and piped in Liturgy. This practice was established to keep Greek Yiayias from murdering "ignorant xenoi (foreigners)" who don't know enough to take their screaming children out of Church. Meanwhile, the grandchildren of the Yiayia in question, secure in the "correct " ethnicity, climb over the backs of pews, set fire to the iconostasis, and swing from the chandelier...while Yiayia beams with approval :bounce:

This is not a problem in churches attended by both Greeks and Russians.

Russians eat Greek children who stray too near them.  Grin

[Joke alert! Joke alert! Joke alert!]

« Last Edit: December 18, 2003, 09:35:55 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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TomS
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2003, 11:06:24 AM »

A note: GOA often has crying rooms with a large window and piped in Liturgy. This practice was established to keep Greek Yiayias from murdering "ignorant xenoi (foreigners)" who don't know enough to take their screaming children out of Church.

This is an absurd statement.  Roll Eyes It had NOTHING to do with "ignorant xenoi (foreigners)". All you have to do is attend a GOA church and you will understand how un-disciplined most Greek children are!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2003, 11:06:36 AM by Tom+ú » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2003, 11:13:35 AM »

A note: GOA often has crying rooms with a large window and piped in Liturgy. This practice was established to keep Greek Yiayias from murdering "ignorant xenoi (foreigners)" who don't know enough to take their screaming children out of Church.

This is an absurd statement.  Roll Eyes It had NOTHING to do with "ignorant xenoi (foreigners)". All you have to do is attend a GOA church and you will understand how un-disciplined most Greek children are!

TomΣ,
You're quoting out of context! Vicki was obviously being facetious Smiley

Demetri
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2003, 12:29:44 PM »

Duh! What's "FACETIOUS"?  Grin

See ya'll didn't get it either!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2003, 12:29:53 PM by Tom+ú » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2003, 12:52:52 PM »

Well, Doubting Thomas, Id like to say welcome to the journey. I'm on the same road. Except i'm a Byzantine Catholic.  My last day at my byzantine catholic  parish was this last sunday. I resigned as a Byzantine Catholic Acolyte.  Grin Not as big as a position as a Deacon, but still...lol, Pray for me.

In Christ
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2003, 03:22:47 PM »

I was one of the active 3.
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2003, 03:24:12 PM »

Ive been at that parish for I think 2 1/2 yrs. Was a server for 1.

In Christ
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2003, 04:20:53 PM »

I will certainly pray for you and know what you are going thru as I am on the same journey.  

I am thinking that coming from a Baptist background is a big jump for you-- you know all that grace vs. works controversy.

I do know that God will supply wisdom and answers to all who earnestly seek His will.  May He bless you in your search.

John
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Doubting Thomas
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« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2003, 04:36:24 PM »

I am thinking that coming from a Baptist background is a big jump for you-- you know all that grace vs. works controversy.

Actually, one of the areas I have a peace about is the teaching of synergy.  I've never considered myself a complete monergist, and over the past year I've pretty much given up on the Baptist doctrine "OSAS".  I'm still trying to come to grips with Mariology and the veneration of the saints/icons. (Though I believe I've come a long way in those areas.)

Quote
I do know that God will supply wisdom and answers to all who earnestly seek His will.  May He bless you in your search.

John

Thanks to you and to everybody here for their prayers.
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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2003, 10:54:47 PM »

DT -

I think one of the biggest adjustments you will face is the seemingly nonchalant Orthodox attitude toward what Baptists call "soul-winning."

I still chomp at the bit to get out and win people to Christ, but there doesn't seem to be as much emphasis on that in Orthodoxy as in the Baptist churches.

This is one case in which I think we could take a lesson from the Baptists.

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Doubting Thomas
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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2003, 09:09:59 AM »

DT -

I think one of the biggest adjustments you will face is the seemingly nonchalant Orthodox attitude toward what Baptists call "soul-winning."

I still chomp at the bit to get out and win people to Christ, but there doesn't seem to be as much emphasis on that in Orthodoxy as in the Baptist churches.

This is one case in which I think we could take a lesson from the Baptists.



Interestingly enough, Linus, that's one of the questions my wife asked me a while back--how was the Orthodox church at evangelism?  It seems that if a church has the Truth then that church would desire others to know it (or rather, "Him") as well.  Of course individually, I fall short of what I should be doing in that regard (especially now that I'm at an "in between state" right now theologically).

I was encouraged when I read in Becoming Orthodox how several that had been in Campus Crusade had converted to Orthodoxy.  I wonder if they still have a zeal for evangelism and how do they now go about doing it.  I imagine it would be somewhat different than some of the methods used by Baptists to get a "decision for Christ".
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2003, 09:18:09 AM »

DT -

I think one of the biggest adjustments you will face is the seemingly nonchalant Orthodox attitude toward what Baptists call "soul-winning."

I still chomp at the bit to get out and win people to Christ, but there doesn't seem to be as much emphasis on that in Orthodoxy as in the Baptist churches.

This is one case in which I think we could take a lesson from the Baptists.



I agree and this is an area where the Orthodox lack.  We should talk about this.  Maybe start another topic on the board and run with it.
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2003, 02:19:18 PM »

I'm still trying to come to grips with Mariology and the veneration of the saints/icons. (Though I believe I've come a long way in those areas.)

One thing our priest always disuades parishioners from doing is trying to recommend books to inquirers.  However, I will recommend two books to ask the Orthdodox clergy in your area about.  Let them decide if they think you should read them.  

I grew up Methodist, and then became a non-denominatinalist, then quasi-invented my own crazy version of Christianity for a while before becoming Orthodox.  Icons and Mary were two huge issues for me too, particularly icons.  

Anyway, check out On the Divine Images by St. John of Damascus

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0913836621/qid=1071857590/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/002-0282870-5321625?v=glance&s=books

and

The Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God by St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai & San Francisco

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0938635689/qid=1071857747/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-0282870-5321625?v=glance&s=books

These two volumes helped me greatly.
[]
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2003, 02:21:23 PM »

I apologize for the formatting of the above post.  When you try to modify the post, it won't let you change the quote stuff!
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Maria
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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2003, 05:01:46 AM »

Welcome home.

I am also a convert from Roman Catholicism and the Melkite Eastern Catholic Church.
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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2003, 08:12:52 AM »

Thomas,

You're making great progress! I'm happy to hear about how things are going on your journey. You have my prayers.

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Maria
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« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2003, 02:47:28 PM »

DT -

I think one of the biggest adjustments you will face is the seemingly nonchalant Orthodox attitude toward what Baptists call "soul-winning."

I still chomp at the bit to get out and win people to Christ, but there doesn't seem to be as much emphasis on that in Orthodoxy as in the Baptist churches.

This is one case in which I think we could take a lesson from the Baptists.



Interestingly enough, Linus, that's one of the questions my wife asked me a while back--how was the Orthodox church at evangelism?  It seems that if a church has the Truth then that church would desire others to know it (or rather, "Him") as well.  Of course individually, I fall short of what I should be doing in that regard (especially now that I'm at an "in between state" right now theologically).

I was encouraged when I read in Becoming Orthodox how several that had been in Campus Crusade had converted to Orthodoxy.  I wonder if they still have a zeal for evangelism and how do they now go about doing it.  I imagine it would be somewhat different than some of the methods used by Baptists to get a "decision for Christ".

If you ever decide to go to a Missions and Evangelism Conference held every year during the Labor Day weekend, you will be thrilled with the evangelistic fervor displayed by the Orthodox. This is put on by the same group who converted to Orthodox in 1987. There are quite a few catechumens and inquirers at each Conference. It's exciting. The next one will be held in Santa Barbara. You can reach them at www.antiochian.org

Hope this helps. BTW: This Missions and Evangelism Department is starting up new missions all over America and Canada.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2003, 02:48:37 PM by Maria » Logged

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