Just wondering if any other Australians would like to post how they see Orthodoxy developing in Australia, particularly amongst those of non-ethnic backgrounds (ie people not born Orthodox).
People who live in other lands please feel free to post however I would mostly be interested in what people think is the most effective way to unite the various branches of Orthodoxy so that we can have an Australian Orthodox Church.
I live in Melbourne, Australia and to be honest with you amongst the Greek Orthodox Church here the situation is pretty grim. There are many Churches here in Melbourne but with every Church I have been to there is about 1% youth that attend. Some parishes have no youth attending except the ones forced by the parents.
We have a few good theologins that have studied in Athens that take bible studies but apart from that the future looks bleak.
The greek youth here are not interested in our Holy Faith and it is very upsetting to see our Churches here with no youth.
I have a close friend who studying at the Theological College in Sydney and we have spoken about this a number of times.
There must be an outreach program for non greeks because at this rate the Churches will be empty in 10 years!
Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner.
I'm from Melbourne, and I feel the same I was one of those youth now I'm in my mid 20s and looking back there is no outreach to the Youth, how can I know what the truth is if no one explains it to me?. If the services where in English it would help so much for us Greek-Australians not only that but Australians won't see us and our church as Alien "Strange" and they would join us in worship and understand what we believe so they may have the gift of the holy spirit.
In regards to the Greek orthodox church's in america is the services all done in English and even the Gospel readings ?.
Is that parish in the CBD canonical ?
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America employs what Fr. George Nicozisan(sp) characterized in the late 1970's as "flexible bilingualism," meaning that the Divine Services are conducted based on the needs of the congregation. Archbishop Demetrios uses substantial English, if that is to what the parish is accustomed. In my region within the Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh, both our current bishop, Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, and his predecessor Metropolitan Maximos, support this principle and serve using substantial English. Our choirs perhaps hold back on chanting as much English as they should, but among 6 GOAA parishes in this region, 4 use substantial English, much more than half; in my parish which was a forerunner in the adoption of English, our priests serve the Sunday Liturgy nearly exclusively in English, but the choir has been slow in migrating, so, the Sunday Liturgy is probably 70% in English; in the Summer months when the choir is off, the Liturgy is probably 85% in English with chanters chanting. The Epistle and Gospel, and the Symbol of Faith are exclusively read in English, always; the Lord's Prayer, in both languages. Weddings, Christenings, and Funerals are nearly exclusively in English. But on a weekday, with older people dominating the congregation, more Greek is used, so, perhaps a weekday Liturgy would be conducted with half Greek. I have heard of parishes where the priests do not serve enough English elsewhere, outside our metropolis, but I think they are the exception at this point. We have an inner-city parish, locally, the Mother Church, that retains a good deal of the Greek, as this parish attracts many immigrants no mater where they reside. There is another small parish that is dominated by immigrants, so, they're services utilize Greek, mostly.
Ancillary to this topic, but relevant, Archbishop Stylianos of Australia was a part of a 3 member Exarchy appointed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to review the situation of the Holy Archdiocese a few months after Archbishop Iakovos' retirement was announced in 1995. They met with many people, including the priests within each GOAA diocese. One of the priests asked Archbishop Stylianos why he didn't have an Australian accent. He replied that he didn't have much need to use English! The priests went berserk, privately of course.