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Author Topic: morphing Orthodox churches, or inventing a new one?  (Read 1412 times) Average Rating: 0
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calligraphqueen
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« on: June 12, 2007, 04:14:27 PM »

based on conversations I have seen on here, I thought there was a move to simply have an "American" church established here. The reasoning is that we are large enough and competent enough to have our own autonomy.  I am sure there is more "churchlike" verbage for reasons, but that was the gist.
 When I went to a picnic the other day (cross jurisdictional) my husband was told that the move is to morph all churches already here into one American Orthodox church.  In this case, erasing ethnic enclaves and blending cultural lines.  Some might find that okay, others might find it highly offensive.
At the picnic, which was with a local Antiochian parish, they had their bishop there.  Quite a feat for a little start up parish.  Our priest came in full dress, despite VA heat and humidity, out of respect for his position.  It was a very lovely time actually, but my dh hadn't heard a thing I said about rumblings of change here in the states, until some "MAN" told him.  Is there any truth to this?  Or is it all talk and wishful thinking on the part of those that would have it done?
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Asteriktos
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2007, 04:23:19 PM »

Mostly wishful thinking. Every once in a while Met. Phillip will threaten to remove his Church from under Antioch and create an autocephalous church here in the states, the hierarchs from the other jurisdictions will look at him like he has lobsters crawling out of his ears, and it'll be back to business as usual within a few months. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it's closer to reality than the idea that there will soon be an American Orthodox Church. It's not that some of the hierarchs don't want a unified American Church (it's been discussed for decades), it's just not going to happen any time soon.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 04:23:54 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2007, 04:31:21 PM »

Correct me if I am wrong, but there already exist some Orthodox jurisdictions in the US that do not have any "ethnic" unifying theme, like the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), or the jurisdiction to which I belong, the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia in Western Europe and the Americas (or the so-called Milan Synod). So, actually, there hardly is any need to "morph" anything into anything, right? Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2007, 04:36:49 PM »

Probably some residual stuff from Detroit's "Orthodox" Christian Laity (OCL) folks. Nothing new. One canonical jurisdiction would be nice, but parishes will for decades retain their ethnic heritages - that never seems directly addressed by the 'American Orthodox' people.
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aserb
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 04:41:06 PM »

Caligraphqueen:

No suprise that you were at an AOC picnic. This group has had a major influx from the Evangelicals and Episcopalians (not that that is bad) but the converts range from midly amused at the ethnic focused churches to virulently opposed to all shows of ethnicity.

I attended an AOC church in the latter camp and got so disgusted that I left for what some may call an ethnic ghetto. BUt in my so called ethnic ghetto there is no opposition to converts of any stripe neither do I find any sniping about other Orthodox jurisdictions.
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Elisha
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2007, 04:43:19 PM »

Caligraphqueen:

No suprise that you were at an AOC picnic. This group has had a major influx from the Evangelicals and Episcopalians (not that that is bad) but the converts range from midly amused at the ethnic focused churches to virulently opposed to all shows of ethnicity.

I attended an AOC church in the latter camp and got so disgusted that I left for what some may call an ethnic ghetto. BUt in my so called ethnic ghetto there is no opposition to converts of any stripe neither do I find any sniping about other Orthodox jurisdictions.

It is the latter group that pisses me off as well - and I'm one of the whitebread converts too!
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2007, 04:45:07 PM »

*sigh*  Not again!

Sorry, calligraphqueen, but the subject has been brought up so many times here on OC.net that when someone has a good question or comment (like yours), there is a tendency to either a) re-hash what has already been said ad nauseam or b) to dismiss the conversation totally.

To answer your questions as best I can:

Yes, there is movement towards the unification of the Jurisdictions and the Americanization of the Church.  It will not be finished overnight, nor in the next year, but it is happening and having progress.  Some who are driving the movement have good intentions (more cooperation and camaraderie amongst Orthodox who barely acknowledge that others exist), while others have questionable intentions (some sort of American "independence" from "foreign dependency/domination").

I will insert here a conversation I had with a professor, who is Romanian and has been involved with the Study and Planning Commission of SCOBA for over 25 years.  He stated that the most recent meeting in Chicago was an indication that SCOBA is indeed working towards its stated goal (Orthodox unity in America).  Yes, it is taking on a different direction, speed, and face from what some would have it (the types of people who think we should all split from our Mother Churches right now and unite in the next 2 years), but it is working, and thanks largely to lay involvement and clergy cooperation - especially on the local level.  He pointed out that every major city now has inter-Orthodox clergy brotherhoods who meet, collaborate, co-celebrate and cooperate.  This is all good news that points to a steady current of change - one that will have a firm foundation (unlike compulsive and radical over-reacting, which is what some people want) and will resist the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2007, 04:47:15 PM »

Probably some residual stuff from Detroit's "Orthodox" Christian Laity (OCL) folks. Nothing new. One canonical jurisdiction would be nice, but parishes will for decades retain their ethnic heritages - that never seems directly addressed by the 'American Orthodox' people.

Caligraphqueen:

No suprise that you were at an AOC picnic. This group has had a major influx from the Evangelicals and Episcopalians (not that that is bad) but the converts range from midly amused at the ethnic focused churches to virulently opposed to all shows of ethnicity.

I attended an AOC church in the latter camp and got so disgusted that I left for what some may call an ethnic ghetto. BUt in my so called ethnic ghetto there is no opposition to converts of any stripe neither do I find any sniping about other Orthodox jurisdictions.

Amen!

My *sigh* was not to your comments, BTW.  I started writing my comment at 4:33, but it took me too long to finish.
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aserb
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2007, 04:49:21 PM »

Elisha:

If you came to my church I'd welcome you and kiss you and you could meet my family and friends. All I'm trying to say is that we're not all weirded out by either group convert or ethnic. I'm sure there are ethnic churches that are closed cold enclaves. Hey, just a plug for the much maligned GOA. I recently attended a festival at a GOA church. I met an English speaking priest (no accent) and lots of English speaking members. I even got a big hug from the priest at the end of our conversation.  So I'm givin' props where they belong.
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FrChris
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2007, 05:16:50 PM »

Hey, just a plug for the much maligned GOA. I recently attended a festival at a GOA church. I met an English speaking priest (no accent) and lots of English speaking members. I even got a big hug from the priest at the end of our conversation.  So I'm givin' props where they belong.

(j/k)
Hmmm...whatever you are, your imitation of aserb was almost convincing, but what tipped me off was this very un-OC.net-like indication that the GOA was in any way accepting of non-Greeks. Whatever you have done with aserb, please put him back!  Wink (j/k)

But seriously....there's lots of us Americans in the GOA. As past posts from me on this topic have observed, the SCOBA parishes are practically de facto united in most parts of this country, even to the point of long-term clergy 'borrowing'.

I really think that one day the administrative unity of the Orthodox Church will match the Eucharistic unity, and we really won't notice any change from the day prior to the announced administrative unity and the day it becomes effective.
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2007, 05:20:23 PM »

Quote
In this case, erasing ethnic enclaves and blending cultural lines.  Some might find that okay, others might find it highly offensive.

Erase was the way I heard it too.

aserb, how were the gyros at the festival?  Wink
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aserb
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2007, 06:20:03 PM »

welkodox:

The gyros were fantastic and knowning that my contributions are going toward the building of another Orthodox church in my neighborhood made the taste all the more satisfying.

Fr. Chris:

Maybe the Greek priest hugged me because I am Serbian-American and then proceeded to shun every one else.  NOT.  Wink
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2007, 12:53:08 AM »


He pointed out that every major city now has inter-Orthodox clergy brotherhoods who meet, collaborate, co-celebrate and cooperate. 

Cleveland,

The San Francisco Bay area does not have an inter-Orthodox clergy brotherhood yet. There is no cooperation yet at the clergy level. This year was the first year we had an Orthodox Sunday service in which people of different jurisdictions attended the service. In past years it has been a dismal failure.

I read recently that Fr. Kevin Scherer proposed moving the OYO (Orthodox Youth Outreach) Antiochian ministry and placing it under SCOBA at the last SCOBA meeting. Any news if the SCOBA bishops were willing to take it on?

thank you, Tamara
« Last Edit: June 13, 2007, 08:25:03 AM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2007, 11:41:22 AM »

I didn't know they didn't have one yet.... I'm glad things are moving forward!
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