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John of the North
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« on: December 15, 2006, 02:28:58 AM »

With regards to location - Edmonton, Alberta.

For the Orthodox Churches I have tried to contact

By e-mail:
Antiochian Orthodox (1 reply, follow-ups no response)
Russian Orthodox (2 replies, follow-ups no response)
Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (two e-mails, no response)
 - UOCC parish (one e-mail, no response)

By phone:
Russian Orthodox (no answer, three times tried)
Antiochian Orthodox (no answer, tried once)
UOCC Cathedral (no answer, tried 5 times!)
Greek Orthodox (no answer, tried once)
UOCC Parish (one conversation after I tried the alternate number given, follow-up phone call left a message regards to the unanswered e-mail sent after the first conversation)

After all of that I have talked with a local priest all of 3:30 (i.e. three minutes and thirty seconds) in total! Sense some frustration?? I come out of heresy for this??

Postolowka
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 02:34:34 AM by Postolowka » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2006, 02:58:26 AM »

I am sorry to hear you are having such troubles.


By email I contacted 2 Churches (in Toronto):

Greek Orthodox Church (1 reply, email forwarded to another Priest, no response)
Serbian Orthodox Church (2 replies, EXTREMELY helpful and friendly man, raised Roman Catholic [understands a Roman Catholic entering the Church and concerns], addressed many questions, invited me to monthly English service, and discussed times I could come and meet him in person according to my exam/school schedule)


By Phone:

Serbian Orthodox Church (1 call, same Priest, talked for well over 30 minutes, translated some pages from the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Canada site [site is in Serbian], willing to assemble some articles and loan me several books to read when we meet face to face)

Though I cannot promise similar results, there is a Serbian Orthodox Church in Edmonton:

St. Sava Church
12904-112th Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5E 6J1
tel/fax: (780) 455-2147

V. Rev. Drago Knezevic
tel: (780) 454-6513
e-mail: dragok@shaw.ca


Link (in Serbian, though addresses and all are easy enough to figure out)


I wish you the best of luck and I hope you find a Priest that will truly take you under his wing.

Oh, and I am not Serbian, but he has been as welcoming and friendly as if I were a fellow Serb.  He even offered me a book about learning Serbian and Church Slavonic ontop of the Church-based readings.

God Bless.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 04:50:28 AM by Friul » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2006, 08:18:17 AM »

I had a lot of trouble contacting people when I was trying to become Orthodox as well. The one I remember most is when I called in the Fall or Winter, and they still had their Pascha/Easter weekend service times on their answering machine. Sheesh! I will say that some Orthodox priests fly around like there's no tomorrow doing work, and probably have a hard time getting to everything. I guess that's when you need to either hire a secretary, or at least have someone in the parish take that type of stuff on as a ministry.
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2006, 09:11:12 AM »

Most churches don't have a parish secretary to return calls. Try calling on a Sunday. Better yet, just go visit. If they don't answer phone or email (for who knows what reason) what's wrong with just showing up?
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2006, 09:17:01 AM »

I showed up to a Greek Church a few weeks in a row, and it was closed. The Church up the street only had a priest stop by once a month (he cared for 3 different parishes). This is frustrating if you live 20 minutes away, I can only imagine how off-putting it would be if you lived an hour away. I see nothing wrong with wanting to touch base before attending a parish, especially if you are new to Orthodoxy. I would agree that calling on Sunday is probably your best bet for reaching a parish by phone.
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2006, 09:35:24 AM »

Friul,

Who was the Serbian Orthodox Priest you spoke with?  Sounds like Father Mihajlo Doder, is that correct?  If so, IMHO he is the most amazing Priest I've ever known.  I've liked all of my priests from various parishes (as I've moved a lot) but Father Mihajlo takes the cake!

If so, I'm sure he's told you about his English Liturgy on the first of every month.

Postolowka,

Unfortunately, sometimes the email addresses are just for show.  Other times, "ethnic" Priests don't speak English very well and may hesitate calling you back based on the language barrier (not trying to offer that as an excuse, just an explanation).

Did you try the priest that Friul gave?

I don't know any SOC Priests in Edmonton, but I do know quite a few in Toronto and in the New York/New Jersey area.  If you want I could ask one of the Toronto Priests if there is an English speaking SOC Priest in Edmonton and get his contact info.
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2006, 02:58:38 PM »

As a sort of continuation to my story.

I have an interesting chaotic life right now. I'm in my first year of university, live in the city to go to school during the week (live with my grandmother, who is cradle Orthodox), parents take me to work half-hour west of the city on weekends. I don't have a driver's license.

The churches I have contacted are based mainly on how accessible they are on the city transit system.  As it is, I am very unfamilar with the city, being a country boy, I am not very experienced on the buses yet.

Anyhow, of course I have related my parents opinion on religion. They loved to mock Rastafari, and they went out of their to deny me the lifestyle my beliefs dictated (i.e. no dreads). They are practically celebrating this change away from a "BS cult" and yet they really have not changed. They do not see the need for religion/church.

So I am not being supported at home.  Work will not give me Sundays off.

My best option is transfer to a store in the city (for our Canadian members, I work at Crappy Tire), work weeknights and take the weekends off.  My parents flat out refused, and to be honest I cannot afford to pay rent on what I make.

Yes, I am 18, but I am pretty limited in my options.

Postolowka
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2006, 05:28:30 PM »

Friul,

Who was the Serbian Orthodox Priest you spoke with?  Sounds like Father Mihajlo Doder, is that correct?  If so, IMHO he is the most amazing Priest I've ever known.  I've liked all of my priests from various parishes (as I've moved a lot) but Father Mihajlo takes the cake!

If so, I'm sure he's told you about his English Liturgy on the first of every month.

It seems he has quite the reputation  Grin.  Yes, it is Father Mihajlo Doder.  He has been absolutely amazing so far; so helpful.  He is also the Priest at my fiancee's Parish so he is hoping for a wedding in the Church sometime soon  Tongue.

Yup, he invited me to come on the 31st for the English Liturgy.  As long as I am in the GTA for New Year's Eve I will definitely try to make it.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 05:32:15 PM by Friul » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 05:57:02 PM »

I will drop that priest in Edmonton an e-mail to arrange a phone call.  This is the optimal time to do it as I have a month off school.

I am also trying the Romanian Orthodox.  I think I have tried every jurisdiction now except the Copts and the Ethiopians!

I can only do so much though. In the end, I may have to seek elsewhere. I was under the impression after I rejected Rastafari I would be less alone.  I am more alone than ever!

Postolowka
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 06:52:48 PM »

My best option is transfer to a store in the city (for our Canadian members, I work at Crappy Tire), work weeknights and take the weekends off.  My parents flat out refused, and to be honest I cannot afford to pay rent on what I make.

Yes, I am 18, but I am pretty limited in my options.

I don't know what the details of your story are, but on the face of this, it would seem that your parents are being very unreasonable and controlling.  I wonder if there is any way to calmly and politely shame them into seeing this.  You're telling me that they won't allow you to work at the Crappy Tire in Edmonton instead?  I guess it's because they are giving you money for school that you feel beholden to them?  Because if they aren't, then eventually, you will have to assert your independence from them.  No time like the present, if possible.  What does your grandmother think?  Would she let you live with her full time?  If it's not financially possible, I guess you'll just have to grin and bear it for a time.  Anyway, best to get some advice from a real flesh-and-blood person you trust, I'm just some guy online, so it's best to take what I say with a grain of salt. 

But before you even consider any of this, try this parish.  I didn't see it on your list.

 http://sthermans.ca/

From what I know, it's a friendly and very active church. 
In December they don't have much going on mid-week.  But before December, they had an inquirer's class one night of the week and an akathist service another night.  So chances are you won't have to remain alone for that much longer.

Anyway, you are in my prayers, and I'm sure the prayers of many here.  It's easy for me to say, I know, but rest assured that you are not alone.   Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 08:44:06 PM »

It seems he has quite the reputation  Grin.  Yes, it is Father Mihajlo Doder.  He has been absolutely amazing so far; so helpful.  He is also the Priest at my fiancee's Parish so he is hoping for a wedding in the Church sometime soon  Tongue.

Yup, he invited me to come on the 31st for the English Liturgy.  As long as I am in the GTA for New Year's Eve I will definitely try to make it.

Love him!!! Can't say enough about him.  He officiated my wedding ceremony and later baptised my son and I think he is such an amazing man.  I've known him for about 27 years.  My sisters go to his English Liturgy all the time.  I knew by your story, it had to be him.
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2006, 09:36:37 PM »

I will drop that priest in Edmonton an e-mail to arrange a phone call.  This is the optimal time to do it as I have a month off school.

I am also trying the Romanian Orthodox.  I think I have tried every jurisdiction now except the Copts and the Ethiopians!

I can only do so much though. In the end, I may have to seek elsewhere. I was under the impression after I rejected Rastafari I would be less alone.  I am more alone than ever!

Postolowka

I do hope the Priest gets back to you and is able to assist you through all this.

I do understand the alone feeling.  It is what kept me from looking more into Orthodoxy and possible conversion in the past.  I was raised in a Roman Catholic household; Father was taught by Monks at school, was an altar boy, etc, while my Mother was raised in a strict Italian Roman Catholic home.  My Nonna in particular is deeply religious and extremely proud of her roots and the Roman Catholic Church.  Though my parents are somewhat passive when it comes to their own faith, they do have a strong sense of tradition, that being Roman Catholicism.  They are not against Orthodoxy, but they are not overly supportive.  On top of that, the city I live in is very 'Canadian'.  The ethnicities consist of a mixture of the British Isles, and therefore about 50% of Christians are Anglican/Protestant, while the other 50% is Roman Catholic (with one Eastern Rite Church).  My friends are all Roman Catholic or Anglican as well.  I didn't exactly have anyone to turn to.

Yet, it only takes one or two people to change this.  In my case, it was my fiancee.  This Priest I am in contact with has only made me feel even more welcome.  I pray that you find that person who will assist you through this, whether it be your grandmother, someone from school or a Priest.


Love him!!! Can't say enough about him.  He officiated my wedding ceremony and later baptised my son and I think he is such an amazing man.  I've known him for about 27 years.  My sisters go to his English Liturgy all the time.  I knew by your story, it had to be him.

I am so glad to hear that.   Cheesy  I cannot wait to meet with him in person.  It is people like him who truly make you feel welcome and help you through your journeys.
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2006, 02:54:44 AM »

My parents are very unreasonable and erratic in their behaviour.

For example, after this all started with the Orthodoxy (after my third and final rejection of Rastafari), we actually reached a point where they offered to drive me to a few services. Progress right??

Well a few days after that, I mentioned that because I booked the weekend of Orthodox Christmas off, I wanted to attend services that weekend (at a church of my preferred jurisdiction). The response given was "So where did this church thing come from all of the sudden?"

Another night my dad came up with the brilliant idea that because he was an altar boy at the RC Basilica in Edmonton 35 years ago (and has been a lapsed Roman Catholic pretty much ever since) that logically why don't I just go to St. Joe's?? Um, no thanks.

Another common suggestion is because I live out in the country, why don't I attend the Ukrainian church a 10 minutes walk dow the road.  That is an Eastern-Rite Roman Catholic Church, not my cup of tea. What's the difference, they all use the same book?? Ummm, big difference.

I understand the whole not wanting me to transfer to a Canadian Tire in Edmonton.  As it is I only see them Friday, Saturday, Sunday, all three days are really taken up by work.  So really, if I transferred, I would never see them.

Postolowka
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2006, 04:57:57 AM »

I used the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as a stepping stone towards Orthodoxy.  I felt more comfortable taking baby-steps I suppose you could say.  An Orthodox Liturgy but still 'Roman Catholic'.  The Priest I am speaking with was re-introduced to his Orthodox roots through the UGCC (raised Roman Catholic by his mother, through the Eastern Rite service he was exposed to the Liturgy).  Obviously talk to a Priest, hopefully he will give you some guidance through this.  But if you are unable for one reason or another to convert to Orthodoxy at this time, maybe try attending the UGCC parish.  It might just prove to be a minor step towards true Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2006, 04:40:59 PM »

SouthSerb, can you try your contacts in Toronto see what you can do for me??  My e-mail has gone unresponded to...

I am actually not opposed to the UGCC.  This church in particular does not have a regular service, the priest serves several rural churches, therefore he is only there once every few weeks. Like I said, very rural area.

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« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2007, 02:30:58 PM »

OK, so here is my response to comments in another thread.

It is true that I have concentrated on the Slavic Orthodox churches. I am really only allowed to go to church at all because my grandmother wants to go as well.  She wanted to go to the Cathedral, and she was willing to try another Ukrainian parish when I suggested it.

I have had contact with a priest at St. Herman's.  In fact, he was the only other priest to respond to me other than the priest from the parish I am currently at. Forgive me if I am closing doors too early in this journey, I would rather remain with a jurisdiction that follows the Julian calendar.

Maybe I could have been more proactive at the cathedral in terms of talking to someone. That said, I went with a parish where the priest was able to meet with me in person, give me some literature, and he made himself available. When the parish priest is away I will probably return to the Cathedral for services.

I am trying to work with my limitations here. Until the spring, when I have my license/transportation and I quit Canadian Tire, the best option is a Ukrainian Orthodox parish.

Edit: Response to http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10611.0.html
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2007, 07:00:13 PM »

The Greek Catholic parish is not Orthodox. Which church do you think teaches the Truth, the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church? They are not equivalent, even if both are Ukrainian.
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2007, 07:42:19 PM »

The Greek Catholic parish is not Orthodox. Which church do you think teaches the Truth, the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church? They are not equivalent, even if both are Ukrainian.

True, true. If you would pass that on to my parents so they will stop asking me to attend the UGCC down the road, much appreciated. If you are referring to the comments I made about being drawn to the UGCC, it was just that, an attraction. Doesn't mean I will be attending, just that I happened to see a very beautiful building dedicated to the worship of God.

By the way, just returned from my second meeting with the Father. He let me borrow more books Smiley. If I am ready, the Father says baptism and chrismation before Pascha. Cheesy

http://www.uocc-edmonton.ca/stmichael.htm

Postolowka
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2007, 01:16:26 AM »

I would rather remain with a jurisdiction that follows the Julian calendar.

I would say that if there were a parish in town where you could learn as much about the Faith and be old calendar as well, then fine, if that's your desire, do it.  But there isn't.   IMHO, It's really illogical for you to follow this course for the sake of the calendar.  Whatever.  I rejoice that you are on the road to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2007, 12:06:39 PM »

I noticed your jurisdiction was OCA....it seems many I talk to wish to bring me to their jurisdiction. The Serbians point me to the SOC, the Copts suggest the Coptic Church, etc. Is the Church not above jurisdictions??

You think I am playing into the "ethnic problem" of Orthodoxy?? Maybe I am. I did make a conscious decision not to attend the OCA parish. Certainly, my ethnic background influenced my choice. But I attempted to contact the Greeks, Serbians, Romanians, Russians, Ethiopians, AND the Ukrainians. It seems the Latins, Anglicans, and the Lutherans do not have an "ethnic problem". I sought Truth not just ethnicity.

I am trying to find my path and respect my parents at the same time. I am not taking the easy route. I had to take an extra shift during the week to cover for not working Sundays. I am PAYING my parents gas money to drive me to church and work.

Forgive me if I did not choose the "unethnic" juridiction that you judged most worthy. Maybe I am unworthy of that institution.
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2007, 02:48:40 PM »

You don't get it.  I don't care which jurisdiction you join.  I was pointing out that you will find it much more difficult meeting friends at these other parishes than at St. Herman's (which by your own admission has come to pass) and that you will find it harder to learn about Orthodoxy in these ethnic churches.  If there were a UOCC parish or Greek parish or Antiochian or whatever in Edmonton that was more "mission" minded and wanted to reach out to potential converts, I would say great,go for it.  You don't seem to have found a parish like that.  Rather, you have found ethnic parishes that make it their mission to care for their own people.  These people have a right to worship in their own language and focus on their customs, etc.  I am not dissing them.  You also have a perfect right to go to whichever parish you choose.  Just don't come on here and lament about how unfriendly these parishes are to you when alternatives are available.  However, since you have decided to follow the UOCC route, I sincerely  hope you find a home there.
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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2007, 06:11:31 PM »

Postolowka

How are you?

God Bless you?

I have not heard from you in a while.

I read the last few posts on the thread.

May I suggest to you to try your best to avoid being judge mental about the various concerns among the various orthodox communions (jurisdictions).

As a catachumen you seem to be very verse in "orthodox church" if you get my meaning.

We all have allot to learn as orthodox today. The church is not our property to use for ethnic preservation. This is a fall from grace which the whole membership of the worldwide Holy Universal and Orthodox Church is suffering.

Christ the High Priest, Pope of Popes, Patriarch of Patriarchs, the seeyer of all sees...the lamb of God and Savior of the world commanded that His Church "shall be preached and teached to all the world". The Holy Spirit in-kind blessed the Church of Christ with the ability to speak in all languages.

No one language possess a greater gift.

The Greatest gift is to have 'one' faith for all languages and peoples.

May God continue with you in everything.

Pray for the Holy Church...it needs your fervent prayer.

I pray that you will see baptism in safety and peace.

Christ is God

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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2007, 12:33:04 AM »

Postolowka,

Your original post and reply from Orthodox Churches in Canada is, sadly, typical. Why don't Canadian Orthodox churches repond better, well because most of them are ethnic and have priests from the "old country" and they: don't speak enough english to get back to you; don't get why a non-Orthodox would call, are "not too bright" (let's be honest here); are too busy with their own flock; not interested. Now, if you call an all-English parish (Like St. Herman's in Edmonton) or a convert parish (like All Saints in Hamilton) trust me, you'll get a response!
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2007, 01:16:18 AM »

The Ukrainian parish I am with has been excellent so far, I do feel a bit alone in terms of people my age, but I have always been able to get along better with the adults anyhow.

I will be attending the Passion service at the Greek parish Sunday night, so I am little nervous about that, haha.

This parish has me up holding a candle for the Epistle and Gospel readings for two of the weeks I have been (this upcoming Sunday is my fourth week).

The Father is easily available by e-mail, phoning the Church, or phoning his cell. We usually meet Wednesdays, and he will give me new literature.

My current batch of reading:

http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=OZSP100
http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=FEAS120
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Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a Sinner
Postolowka
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« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2007, 11:22:04 PM »

Postolowka

Greetings in the name of Christ .. Amen.

I take that you are now no longer a catachumen but laity now?

If this is so HALLEUYAH!!!. (Ha el-eow Yah = God all mighty)

When were you baptised?

I am very happy that you have a home now.

May the Lord of Lords Jesus Christ the Savior of the world keep with you and your family and that you keep and complete the fast in safety and in peace.

Christ is God

Deacon Amde Tsion
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2007, 01:29:35 AM »

Baptism has been arranged, but hasn't taken place yet.

I am not certain if I am ready....I have many background issues to sort through.

I will post pics if and when my baptism takes place.
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« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2007, 10:52:25 AM »

Can sympathise here. I have tried several times to contact a priest without success.

The closest I have come so far is that he was praying at the time (I could hear him chanting through the phone) and the person who answered suggested I call back after so many minutes. I tried about that long after and the priest was still praying so I waited a few more minutes to find that the phone line was then in use. (It sounded like it was connected to the internet actually. I don't know if people in other countries are able to tell when that is the case but here in Australia we sometimes can depending on local phone settings.)

Anyway, may we both have more success and may the Lord have mercy upon us please.
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« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2007, 01:44:22 AM »

Baptism and Chrismation July 2nd!
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« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2007, 12:18:15 PM »

Congratulations and let us pray that the Lord may preserve you until then.

Please remember us weak sinners in your prayers also, especially on the day of your baptism.
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« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2007, 01:32:58 PM »

Congratulations!  May the Lord bless and watch over you as you journey towards your entrance into His Church and after.   Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2007, 11:38:24 AM »

Postolowka,

Greetings! Congratulations! Vitaju Vas z tym, shcho Vy znajshly ukrayins'ku pravoslavnu parafiju tam de Vy meshkajete.

Usyoho Vam najlipshoho, spasy Xrystos!

George/Heorhij
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« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2007, 06:05:48 PM »

Haileluyah!

Glory to God in heaven and on earth; peace, His goodwill toward man.

Rejoice and praises to our God in great anticipation of recieving another penetent soul into His loving grace.

May the grace of God be with you and keep and protect you as you now begin to grow in the faith; the faith in Him our Redeemer Jesus Christ.

"Keep the path straight" (as we say in Greek 'Ortho').....as is established by Christ for us.
 
"Keep the traditions or 'doctrine" (as we say in Greek 'Doxa') without corruption.....as is taught by St. Peter and St. Paul that has come down to us over the ages by the fathers of the Holy Church through the power of the Holy Spirit.

If you (we) can keep both of these you (we) will surely grow in the true faith according to 'Ortho' and  'Doxa' or as we have grown to say "Orthodoxy".

May He who is able to save us Jesus Christ our hope continue to bless you and your family and give you continued health and strenght of body and spirit until His coming again and that you see the blessed day in peace and health.

In anticipation I extend:

Enquan Dehenah meta: Beyte Keristeyon seben:: (Ethiopic Langauge)
Which means in English:
'Welcome to the family of Christ'

Irsew addis sew:: Hulu addis neow:: (Ethiopic language)
Which means in English:
'You are a new person. All things are new'.

Egzi-Abeher Yi-barqew: Betum:: (Ethiopic langauge)
Which menas in English:
'God give you much blessing'

Selam! (Peace!)

Leke Diayeqone Amde Tsion
(Arch Deacon Amde Tsion)

PS
I extended my greeting now since you have become a believer and as such you are now a person who is penetent and know that you must now enter the grace of water and spirit. The bosom of salvation. This alone is heralding. Its is wonderful.

The Ethiopian eunuch said to St Philip prior to recieving the water and Spirit "here is water what hendereth me to be baptised"? Then St. Philip said to him "if you beleive with all your heart you may". The the Ethiopian said "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God". Then St. Philip baptised him.

So we  celebrate the recieving of the faith which leads to baptism into grace which is salvation.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 06:26:55 PM by Amdetsion » Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2007, 12:49:50 AM »

Congratulations, my friend! I am so excited to hear such news. May God bless your journey! Hospody Pomyluy!
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