Author Topic: Renewed call for conversion stories  (Read 4087 times)

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Offline Anastasios

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Renewed call for conversion stories
« on: May 11, 2003, 03:53:07 PM »

As I have stated before, if anyone wishes to compose a complete conversion story and have it hosted online at our site, I will be glad to do so.

Only rules are that any criticism of one's former Church must be 1) backed up* and 2) politely stated.

Also, I will edit the document for grammar, style, etc., and email it back to you for final approval before posting it.

If we could get ten really good conversion stories posted at OC.NET I think it would be beneficial to the Internet Orthodox Community.

In Christ,


* Good example: "I could not believe that my Lutheran Church was teaching that Holy Communion is '...the True body and blood of Our Lord under the bread and wine." Luther's Small Catechism St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, p. 28.

Bad example: "I couldn't believe that Catholics taught that the Pope can't sin!"

I can help with footnotes and sources if you have trouble. Nothing has to be too technical, just provide back up please.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2003, 03:59:48 PM by anastasios »
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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline sinjinsmythe

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Re:Renewed call for conversion stories
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2003, 04:35:21 PM »
Yes, please post your stories of conversion. I am always interested in hearing what brings people to Orthodoxy.
Life is just one disappointment after another.

Offline Brendan03

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Re:Renewed call for conversion stories
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2003, 10:10:56 AM »
My conversion to Orthodoxy took place over the period of several years.  My first encounters with Orthodoxy, however, were at a very young age, as the neighbors on either side of our house when I was a child were both Orthodox (Greek and Russian, respectively), and during house visits and dinners (I remember vividly the Greek ones, complete with a lamb roasting on a spit), I received my first exposure to icons and Orthodox culture, and I dimly emember that we even attended/visited the GO parish of our neighbors once or twice when I was a child.  At the time this didn’t have a huge impact on me, but I think that the real impact was that it made Orthodoxy less “exotic” for me than for others who perhaps were not exposed to Orthodoxy until later in life.

I was raised in the Roman Catholic church, attending RC elementary and high school and living, for the first 17 years of my life, across the street from our parish rectory.  This wasn’t always a situation that encouraged faith in the church!  In my experience the lackadaisical faith expressed by most of the Catholic kids and parents I came across in Catholic schools for 12 years led to cynicism more than anything else about Catholicism.  College and grad school years were pretty areligious in general - I attended RCC a few times a year, considered myself “culturally Catholic”, and that was about it.

I returned to the RCC after meeting my wife - also a cradle RC and the product of Catholic school.  During the first few years of our relationship, I became more religious and Catholicism was the context for that expression.  After we were married, we became active in the life of our local RC parish.  For two years we taught CCD (RC religious ed) to 7th and 8th graders, and I guess that it was this experience that really opened both of our eyes to the problems in the current Roman Catholic Church.  We had numerous “run-ins” with the administrators of the CCD program about what we were teaching in the classes - we found that the materials provided were pretty worthless in terms of doctrinal content and spiritual/moral encouragement - critical, really, for children of this age who are facing many moral challenges during the coming high school years - and the administrators technically actually encouraged the teachers to use their own materials.  But that was lip-service, because the Notre-Dame educated administrators clearly had their own agenda, and it was not “orthodox Catholicism” at all.  My wife in particular had numerous run-ins with the administrators, and I think it was pretty much the last straw when, at a pre-confirmation retreat, the senior administrator referred, in a presentation/talk to the kids, to confirmation as a “Roman Catholic rite of passage, like rites of passage in other cultures”, making an explicit comparison to bar mitvahs and Native American rites of passage.  I think my wife and I both wanted to cover the ears of our students when we heard that!

In any case, we finished that year in CCD but we were really starting to become uncomfortable with the RCC based on our experiences, and, in a way, our experiences in CCD opened our eyes to other things that we may have otherwise let pass.  Our experience in the liturgy, for example, began to be different, we began to recognize the questionable doctrinal content of many popular hymns, we began to dislike the way the Eucharist was manhandled by the EEMs.  We began to really question what we were hearing preached during the homily.  We decided that we would look elsewhere for a parish once that year was finished.

To return the thread briefly to Orthodoxy, my next encounter with Orthodoxy was actually right before we were married.  It occurred in our local Borders bookstore when I picked up “The Orthodox Church” by Bishop Kallistos.  Honestly, I recall it was the bright orange spine that probably attracted my attention that afternoon, but I found the book interesting enough to buy, and I also found it a fascinating read.  For a few weeks I was curious about Orthodoxy, but then things resumed with the RCC as they had been, and nothing further came of it at the time.

When the time came to look for a new parish, I thought we should consider an Eastern Catholic parish as well as a Roman Catholic parish.  My wife was less than enthusiastic at the time, and simply wanted to go to a different RC parish.  In the event, we attended an Eastern Catholic parish part of the time and a Roman Catholic parish part of the time.  The Eastern Catholic parish we attended was fairly latinized but was trying to become more Eastern, but it was there that we had our first experiences with the Divine Liturgy and with the very different style of preaching than is present in many contemporary RC parishes.  A few months later, we decided to visit a different Eastern Catholic parish - a Melkite parish - and we ended up worshipping there regularly for two years prior to becoming Orthodox.  We both really liked the parish for a variety of reasons - the liturgy was not latinized at all, the priest was a very talented pastoral priest and preacher, and the community was fairly close-knit for a church of its size.  Our son was baptized there, and I eventually became a Melkite Catholic canonically.

It was during this period that I became gradually more “Eastern” interiorly.  I did quite a bit of reading, and quite a bit of worshipping and prayer during this period.  I became gradually convinced that the Orthodox view on the matters that separate Rome and Orthodoxy was, well, more convincing to me personally.  It wasn’t like I went about this process in a goal-oriented way - I simply read and noted what I agreed with, and prayed a lot about it.  It was an organic process that gradually led to me being pulled towards the Orthodox Church.  

The next milestone was an intense faith experience I had when I attended an Orthodox Vespers service at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington that was presided over by Bishop Kallistos, who was visiting Washington for an ecumenical conference.  It was a stunning experience for me - there was something that happened to me there that evening.  I know it sounds corny, but I felt that there was something calling me, drawing me to the Orthodox Church that evening.  It was an ecumenical service, and I remember looking at the RC bishops who were there and remarking to myself about how cold, formal and distant they seemed compared with the Orthodox bishops, who were milling around, chatting with people before the service, offering blessings and so forth, and I remember thinking to myself that I personally identified more with the Orthodox than with the Catholics, even though I was Catholic myself at the time.  It was this event, more than any other, that I look back upon as a turning point for me, as a watershed.  I returned home that evening and told my wife that I thought I had to become Orthodox - she was not pleased.  In the event, I did not become Orthodox for another 15 months, largely because I didn’t want to go there without my wife and son.

Over the next 15 months I prayed a lot about things, but my mind didn’t change much.  I certainly appreciated the Melkite parish in terms of liturgy, but I didn’t feel particularly Catholic.  I taught a religious ed class, and this didn’t present a conflict at all, because the materials we used were all produced by Orthodox.  The prayer books everyone used were also Orthodox.  The books people read were also Orthodox.  In all, it is a parish that tries to be very “Orthodox”.  Over time, however, I became more interiorly conflicted in this situation, because I simply no longer believed that everything that Catholicism teaches to be dogma is actually dogmatically true.  I had particular struggles with the decrees of Vatican I, even as interpreted by Vatican II - and to this day I think they present perhaps the biggest obstacle to some form of reconcilliation between Rome and Orthodoxy.  During this period I would occasionally attend Orthodox parishes for Vespers, for feast day services and the like, keeping my toe in the pond, if you will.  It was also during this period that I visited a few Orthodox countries on business trips - Romania and Georgia - and had tremendous experiences at the Orthodox Churches there, particularly in Romania.  It was wonderful seeing Orthodoxy operate in its own context, and I will never forget the Vespers I attended in Bucharest.

The next series of events happened in the summer of 2000.  We were on vacation and decided to visit an Orthodox parish because we couldn’t find an Eastern Catholic parish nearby.  This was a very eye-opening experience for my wife - she was very moved that there was this whole Orthodox world out there with which we had much in common spiritually but from whom we were cut off.  It began to trouble her that she was considering herself Orthodox but the folks who were members of the Orthodox Church didn’t consider her to be such.  In the event, when we returned from holidays, we decided to start attending an Orthodox parish and see where things went.  We were chrismated a few months later - a short process because we had been Eastern Catholic for a few years - and have been Orthodox ever since.  I have never looked back on that decision with regret.  I have had occasion, due to family events, to visit the RCC from time to time over the past few years, and I always leave the service thanking God that I am Orthodox.  I think that my position on Roman Catholicism has probably softened somewhat since becoming Orthodox - perhaps because unlike the Eastern Catholics, we are not subject to Rome.

So those are the facts.  At the end of the day, I converted to Orthodoxy for several reasons.  First, I no longer believed several things that Catholicism teaches as dogma - specifically the decrees of Vatican I.  Second, I felt that being an Eastern Catholic was an inherently schizophrenic situation, and one which either placed one at odds with the Orthodox tradition, or at odds with the teachings of one’s bishops.  I remember that the Melkite bishop specifically affirmed indulgences in a few articles during the time that I was a Melkite and my priest simply said to ignore him - again, a conflicted situation.  I felt that this was a pretty spiritually dificult thing to do, and I wanted to be in communion with, and under the authority of, a bishop that teaches Orthodoxy unreservedly.  Third, I felt disconnected from the larger Orthodox Church, and that really troubled me.  It was the Orthodox Church that I identified with, not the Catholic Church, yet I wasn’t Orthodox.  That was not a tenable situation, long-term.  Finally, I simply felt drawn to Orthodoxy - from that Vespers at St. Nicholas to the churches in Bucharest, I felt drawn to the Orthodox Church, it was pulling me in, and after a while I couldn’t resist any longer.

In the end, I realize that the Orthodox Church is not perfect externally, but we are beset by many problems.  Nevertheless, I personally believe that these problems are not intrinsically dogmatic or faith-based, and that in faith the Orthodox Church is pristine in a unique way.  It is a very simple faith, really, and a timeless one, and it is, I have found, a very stable foundation even in troubling times.  I will always love the Orthodox Church, and I can only thank God for leading me to her in the end.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2003, 10:16:28 AM by Brendan03 »

Offline Anastasios

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Re:Renewed call for conversion stories
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2003, 11:48:51 AM »
thanks for the posts!

If you want me to format these stories as an html page, with your name and also if you'd like contact information, I will do that and add it to our convert stories page we are working on.  Just let me know.

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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline ephremgall

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Re: Renewed call for conversion stories
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 10:51:50 PM »
Put my conversion (to Orthodox Christianity) into a blog with 12 posts and some background pages. Broken down into key issues. Title: Impelled by the Scriptures into the Orthodox church Here it is:
Got the idea from an Ancient Faith podcast by Father Patrick Henry Reardon on employing the Scriptures to share the Faith.
I would add that I was obedient to my spiritual Father by being chrismated into the Orthodox Church.

Offline Red A.

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Re: Renewed call for conversion stories
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 12:37:29 AM »
My journey to Orthodoxy began many years ago. At age 8 I "got saved". Plied regularly with stories of the impending rapture and hellfire and damnation I took all this very seriously. I would soon learn that I had been lied to and emotionally blackmailed into "getting saved". I learned this because I began to read the bible regularly, I was very serious about avoiding hell. From the very start the bible spoke to me.

Much to my chagrin I kept finding that what I found in the bible and what I was hearing in my church were different. Not very different, but subtly different. I couldn't justify "once saved always saved" with what I was reading. I kept reading about how God wanted me to be a good person but what I would hear was endless sermons on how "those other people" are doing it wrong. My heart yearned for someone to give me the guidance to do it right as I felt God wanted me to be. I never found it there.

My family fell away from the church a few years later, I tried to continue but eventually fell away myself.

Life would soon spiral out of control. I Took up with others that guided me into a world of drugs and alcohol. By the time I was 22 I was drinking a fifth of whiskey a night. Alcoholism owned me. On my way down the ladder I tried Alcoholics Anonymous. The problem there was they instantly brought up God. I couldn't imagine God would want anything to do with someone that had fallen so far from him so I just avoided that aspect of it. That worked great right up until it didn't.

My decline continued until I found myself completely bankrupt in every area of my life. No friends. no family that wanted to see me. No job. No home. No hope. My life was a smoking crater from stem to stern. I woke up from a blackout in a skid row detox, miles from where I had started that drunk and I was done. My second day there some guy came in and asked if I would like to go to an AA meeting. I did.

I had nothing dignified to offer God, but none the less I asked for his help. AA worked much better for me when I included God. I picked my bible reading back up and began to try to reestablish my roots in the church.

This did not go well. Not only did I still find my original differences with what was taught, I often found open hostility over my association with AA. One day in bible study, the pastor, praying aloud,  prayed to God that I would turn away from the AA god and follow Jesus. It would be five years before I darkened the door of another church.

I continued my prayer and bible reading, but had all but given up finding a church, until I found an old supervisor I had while I was in the Army. It had taken me many years to find him. The 9th step of AA reads "made direct amends to people we had harmed" and I was very drunk and problematic when I was in his command and contacted him to offer my apologies. I asked him what I could do to set things right. His one request of me was that if I didn't belong to one I find myself a church.

I began my search in earnest. A few false starts and suddenly something out of the blue landed in my lap.

Shortly after my 20th anniversary of sobriety I listened to an AA speaker that talked about the desert fathers and the philokalia. Just a few days later I picked up the recovery book "the spirituality of imperfection" and found many references to the desert fathers there. I liked what was shared from the desert fathers so I ordered the philokalia. By the time I had read just a few chapters I knew I had found the guidance I had wanted for so many years.  

I googled the internet in half looking for the church that used the wisdom of the desert fathers and would share that with me. First I found Fr. James Early on ancient faith radio. Listening to him I found someone that read in the bible what I had been reading all those years. Soon I would find Fr. Meletios Webber and his book "Steps of Transformation" where he discusses his experience with working the steps of AA.

Google once again helped me find the nearest Orthodox Church. It is 30 miles away. There I have found not only the guidance and wisdom of the desert fathers made available to me but so many others like Fr. Seraphim Rose and Archimandrite Vassilios Bakoyannis as well.

Six months after the first time I stepped in the door I am just as excited to go to church today as I was the first day I started.

I am home.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 01:05:35 AM by Red A. »

Offline obadiah

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Re: Renewed call for conversion stories
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 04:57:15 PM »
     I was born in Ravenna, Ohio, on September 6, 1955. My parents were faithful members of the Ravenna Assembly of God church, my mother was a Sunday school teacher, and my father was a Sunday school superintendent. They fell in love, were married in the church, and about a year later I was born.
     Our little family moved to Warren, Ohio, where my first sister was born 18 months later. We stayed there for about a year and moved to Chicago, Illinois, where my second sister was born. She died when she was less than a year old; my parents were heartbroken.
     We moved back to Ohio, to the outskirts of a small village called New Melford, to a small farm surrounded by cow pastures, corn fields,
and rolling hills.  My father was a machinist working in the tool-and-dye trade, supporting our family in this manner. My mother was a homemaker and my sister and I played among the cornfields and cows.
    My grandparents on my father's side were nonreligious, though my great-grandmother was a member of the Ravenna Assembly of God. My grandparents on my mother's side were members of the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana, and my grandfather was
a Church of God preacher. Every Sunday, my great-grandmother would take my sister and me to church in Ravenna, where I learned the rudiments of bible stories in Sunday school.         

    During that time, my father began drinking and stopped going to church, while my mother converted to the Roman Catholic Church, praying the rosary at home and going to Mass in Ravenna on Sundays and holy days.
     In the summer my grandfather would take my sister and me to Church of God camp meetings in the ancient mountains of North Carolina, where I learned to love grits, fried okra, and hominy.

     It was there, when I was twelve, that I accepted Jesus as my personal savior and preached my first sermon to a bunch of children at the camp meeting children's school. It was about Shadrack, Meshek, and Abednego and the furnace of fire. My grandfather was very proud of me because of this.
     I began to read the bible, which was given to me by my Sunday school teacher and decided to read a chapter a day; thus began my forty-plus year bible reading and study. When I turned thirteen, I was baptized in my home church, the Ravenna Assembly of God, by single immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
     My family moved again, to another farm my father bought for six thousand dollars; it was six and three tenths hectors. Life on the farm was slow. We had a horse, a pony, a goat, a milk cow, three dogs, two cats, a pig, two geese and about a hundred chickens for eggs and meat. One-half of the property was a grove of trees, and the other half was a hayfield.
     A few months after I turned fourteen, on January 17, 1970, my father died from complications on the operating table. My mother and sister were devastated; I was in shock. After I turned fifteen, I ran away from home, winding up in Coconut Grove, Florida, near Miami. I drifted away from Christianity, joined a Hindu cult, and stayed with them a couple of years. After a while, I drifted away from them and struck out for religious parts unknown, always reading the bible but making up my own beliefs. 
     I went to Berkeley, California, and then to San Diego, where I stayed off and on for the next twenty years. I kept traveling around the country, going from Florida to California and up to Portland Oregon.

     I went to various Pentecostal churches, both Trinity and Oneness. I was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and was basically a spiritual ball of confusion.
              THE MORMON CHURCH
      About 1975, I hitch-hiked to Salt Lake City, Utah, and stayed there a few months in the summer. While there, I took the obligatory tour of Temple Square. I had never heard of the Mormons before that. I was raised in the Ravenna, Ohio, area when I was a child and later found out the Prophet Joseph Smith visited various villages in Portage county, where Ravenna is the county seat.
     After I took the Temple Square tour a few times, I would go down to the desks on the lower floor they had for reading various church books. I started to read the Book of Mormon and was inextricably drawn into the narrative. When I got to Lehi's dream and Nephi's interpretation, I was absolutely awestruck! Part of it gave the history of America, from Christopher Columbus to the last days. I thought to myself. "How could such an ancient book be so astoundingly accurate?"
     I think I read the Book of Mormon the first time in one or two sittings. In it was doctrine, history, prophecy, war, love, envy, and every other human emotion and circumstance. It struck me soundly that the Book of Mormon was so much like the Bible, yet infinitely plainer and easier to understand.
     It answered all my questions about the mysteries so darkly contained in the sacred writings of the bible, clearly portraying the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of the Living God. As I continued to read it, I became convinced in my heart that "these things are true".
     The crowning point in my conviction came one night. I was asleep and had a dream. In my dream, I was walking along the banks of a deep, flowing river. As I stopped to look at the water, I saw a book floating on top of the rushing water; it had a black-leather cover. Then I saw another book rising out of the water; it had a brown-leather cover. The two books rose up in the air, were joined, and became one book.
     Then I woke up and knew in my heart of hearts that I had had a dream from the Lord about the Book of Mormon and the Bible. After that dream, I needed no more proof: I knew the Book of Mormon was true and nothing could convince me otherwise. I continued to read it; I must have read it five or six times from cover to cover that first summer.

     I left Salt Lake City and continued my travels around the country, constantly reading the Book of Mormon. Every place I went, I would try to find a church that believed in the same book I did, I must have attended at least twenty or thirty different LDS chapels and ward houses around the west and southwest.

     I finally made it back to Denver, Colorado. While there, I started to attend the Denver first ward. It finally dawned on me that I needed to join the Mormon Church, so I took the six Missionary discussions once a week. In June of 1976, I was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

     I couldn't find a job, so I left Denver and hitch-hiked up to Portland, Oregon, where I met and married in a civil ceremony
a beautiful eighteen-year-old Swedish-Norwegian girl from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her name was Janet Fay Olson. We moved to her home town, there to start a new life with each other.
     Thank the Lord she did not become pregnant, because the marriage was destined for failure, mainly because I was too overbearing and drove her to the arms of someone who showed her kindness. 
     Brokenhearted, I left Minnesota and traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, where I spent the next two months full of sorrow, crying for my lost, one-and-only love. 
     During that time, I studied Mormon church history and discovered there were more churches that believed in the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I traveled to Independence, Missouri, where I discovered there were about one hundred different churches, all claiming to be the One True Church established by Joseph Smith and claiming the Book of Mormon to be true.
     First I investigated the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and was baptized and confirmed a member, mainly because of their claims of lineal succession from Joseph Smith, Jr. through his son Joseph Smith III. Then I found out about the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message and the Church of Christ Temple Lot.
     Eventually, I became so confused with so many Restoration churches that I left them all in disgust. I traveled back to San Diego about 1978 and settled in downtown, for a while spending my time in dissipation and riotous living.
     In 1979 I became fascinated with the Roman Catholic Church, being drawn to it from my love of tradition and ritual. The Catholic Church filled a need I had for devotion to Mary the Mother of God.
     I became entwined in all sorts of Catholic devotions, daily Mass, praying the rosary, litanies, visiting beautiful churches, Eucharistic devotions, etc. In the fall of 1984, I became a catechumen in the Catholic Church. However, that year the Catholic Bishop of San Diego decided to delegate his confirmation authority to the local parish priests.
     That bothered me a great deal because I was stuck in tradition, knowing that normally the Bishop was the one who confirmed the catechumens. So I said to myself, "If the Bishop won't confirm me, I'm not going to become Roman Catholic!" I stopped going to the Catholic Church and drifted around spiritually for the next few months.
             THE ORTHODOX CHURCH.  
     In 1985, one Sunday about 10:30 a.m. I was walking by St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church and decided to go in to see what their service was like.
     I climbed up the steps and went through the large front doors and into the Narthex, where I was confronted with another set of double doors with little windows set in them at eye level. I looked in and was awestruck by what I saw; it was like stepping back in time a thousand years! I stood there stuck at the doors, mesmerized by what I could see, hear, and smell.
     The weird Greek chants, the half-tones, and the flowing repetition were enchanting, the odor of the incense was intoxicating, and the color and movements of the priest were hypnotic. I was finally under a spell I could not break.
     Suddenly a man at the candle stand woke me up from my trance and asked me if I needed any help. I stuttered and asked if it was all right to go in and he kindly said, " Yes, go in and do what the other people are doing, but don't go up to receive communion."

     I went in trembling and a little afraid because I could feel the very presence of the almighty ever living powerful God of the universe. I stood amazed at the experience, and the two hours passed all too quickly. I was in a daze, thunderstruck by the entire liturgy. I had been transported back in time and space, from earth to heaven, from the present to the Holy Cross at Mount Calvary.
     I soon became addicted to the liturgy, going to St. Spyridon's Church for about six months, until one Sunday the priest spoke to me in his thick Greek accent and told me that there was a Russian Orthodox church that served liturgy in English once a month.
     He thought I could learn about the Orthodox faith better if I could understand what was being chanted in my native tongue. 
     I began to attend St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in America and went there for about a year, delving ever more deeply into the Orthodox Church, imbibing the fresh waters of eternal life of the Holy Divine Liturgy.
     Every Sunday, after communion, the priest's wife would give me a small round loaf of Prosphora (blessed bread, not the Eucharist) with a little triangle cut out of it. I later learned that she had been offering my name to the priest to be commemorated during the Divine Liturgy, praying for my conversion to the Holy Orthodox Church. 
     During that time, I was reading everything I could find about the Orthodox Church, consuming every book I could lay my hands on. One Sunday, the old priest asked me why I didn't become Orthodox. I had never thought of it before because I was perfectly happy just attending the wonderful Divine Liturgy. That began my thoughts about becoming Orthodox so I could receive Holy Communion.
     After a year of pure bliss, I moved from San Diego to Tucson, Arizona, and began to attend Holy Resurrection Antiochian Orthodox Church. What a change; I was in heaven, everything was in English, and I could finally understand what was being chanted.
     After six months, I talked to the priest, Fr. Michael Evans, and asked him what I needed to do to become Orthodox. He knew from our talks I really understood the Orthodox Faith and firmly believed it, so he said to me, "You must ask me three times." I asked him, "Can I become Orthodox? Can I become Orthodox? Can I become Orthodox?" He asked me, "When?" I said, "As soon as possible!" He said, "How about this Wednesday?" And I said, "The sooner, the better!"
     That following Wednesday, on June 11, 1986, the Leave Taking of Pascha (Easter), I was Chrismated (confirmed) into the Holy Orthodox Church. My favorite part of the Holy Chrismation was when Fr. Michael asked me three times, "Do you reject Satan...?" to which I replied, "I do!", and he said to me, "Then breathe and spit on him!" I turned my head to the left and SPIT ON SATAN!
     For twenty six years I have been Orthodox, finally having found my home. For me there is no longer any wandering from church to church. If you ever find the Holy Orthodox Church as I have found the Orthodox Church, there will be two words for you as there were for me: " WELCOME HOME!"

Obadiah Robinson. 10/11/2012.