Author Topic: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs  (Read 3595 times)

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Offline StGeorge

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Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« on: June 29, 2007, 11:31:21 PM »
I'm just wondering how others found the Orthodox Church to which they felt they belonged.  My experience of Orthodoxy and Eastern Christianity in general has mostly been through the Ruthenians (Eastern Catholic), the Melkites (Eastern Catholic), the Maronites (Eastern Catholic) and the Ukrainians (Eastern Catholic).  Of actual Orthodox Churches, I've been to the services of an OCA church on numerous occassions. 

In just attending different Eastern Catholic churches, I notice significant differences in the chants and even in the liturgical environment.  I find myself especially at home with the Ruthenian chants and traditions, but it's so hard to find Ruthenian churches that are not Latinized.  I thought the OCA church I planned to attend would be better, but I was surprised to see Latinizations (lengthy kneeling on Sunday) there as well.  I was surprised when I heard Ukrainian chant, because it sounds surprisingly different from Ruthenian chant.  I'm not a big fan of Ukrainian chant.  The Melkites tend to be most Eastern, but the Arabic and the hymns aren't nearly as good as the Ruthenian ones, IMHO. 

In any case, how does one decide which church to go to on a regular basis with the intention of possibly converting?  From the standpoint of theology, I already agree with Eastern Orthodoxy on most points, much more so than Roman Catholicism, but it seems that I'm trying to find an Orthodox Church that preaches the faith which I read about in the Fathers, in St. Seraphim of Sarov, in the books on Father Arseny, etc. 

I guess what I'm really asking is: how do I find an Orthodox Church that is emimently concerned with the teaching and preaching of Orthodoxy?  Might ROCOR be a Church I might want to consider?  Or would I, as an outsider, not be so welcomed there? 

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 12:34:15 AM »
StGeorge,
Do you mind if I ask where in PA you are?

Not all OCA parishes are alike. Some are very similar to a ROCOR parish, others still show their EC background (my wife's Carpatho-Russian parish does. We solved that kneeling problem...we just stand. Priest encourages that even if fellow parishoners look over in wonder).

Demetri
"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides

Offline arimethea

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 08:26:28 AM »
Discussion about kneeling was moved to Liturgy http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12019.0.html

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Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2007, 01:26:37 PM »
I guess what I'm really asking is: how do I find an Orthodox Church that is emimently concerned with the teaching and preaching of Orthodoxy?  Might ROCOR be a Church I might want to consider?  Or would I, as an outsider, not be so welcomed there? 

You really just have to look around.  I visited almost every jurisdiction under the Sun until I really felt home.  Serbs are an interesting people, I'll tell ya what.   :P  They still haven't let me live down that Italy was beaten by them in UEFA Euro U-21 this year though.  Ah well, just have to wait for 2008 when it really matters.   :D

Back on topic though, I looked into Serb, Russian, ROCOR, OCA, Greek, Ukrainian and even Bulgarian Churchs before I found home.  It takes time and gas money, but you just know.  The Priest is also a HUGE factor.  The Priest I am converting under was raised Roman Catholic, so he has an outlook and stories that are really helpful to me.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 01:27:40 PM by Friul »
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Offline stosh

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2007, 01:55:46 PM »
I converted from the Ruthenian Byzantine church to the OCA. I probably would have joined an ACROD church, but the closest one to my home is 30 minutes away. They are a very Pan Orthodox parish with no use of Slavonic, which I enjoy hearing on a regular basis.

The parish I joined is right around the corner from the BCC I was raised in. Slavonic is used on a regular basis, and I couldn't have found a nicer group of people to call my spiritual family. I've only been there 9 months, and already feel like I've been there for years.  ;D

I guess the bottom line is just keep looking until you find a parish you are comfortable with.

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2007, 04:46:09 PM »
Personally, I had no choice. I live in a tiny university town in the middle of Mississippi nowhere. So, when, miraculously, a tiny Orthodox parish opened here (which happened to be one of the Milan Synod), and I learned about it, I joined it. Of course, as a Ukrainian, I would prefer a Ukrainian Orthodox parish, but there aren't any around here. If I retire to Ukraine, I'll join a Ukrainian Orthodox Church (most likely Kyiv Patriarchate). --G.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 04:46:47 PM by Heorhij »
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2007, 09:09:33 AM »
Personally, I had no choice.

Yeah, same here. There are two Orthodox parishes within 200 miles of my town, and both are OCA. So my choice was made for me.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline StGeorge

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2007, 09:00:42 PM »
Ok, thanks for your answers.  8) 

Offline Didymus

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2007, 01:15:05 PM »
Quite honestly, I would rather have joined the Ethiopian Orthodox Church but I couldn't figure out who the legitimate Patriarch is and even the Ethiopians I spoke with were divided even within a congregation.

I also quite like the Russian Orthodox Church but figured they might not like my miaphysite views (although I am comfortable with Chalcedonian ones also).

These are only a little of my story but I ended up joining the Coptic Orthodox Church as they had a mission nearby and I realised that my efforts to seek out other branches of Orthodoxy were being repeatedly stiffled.
I figured God would not open such a wide door with English speaking people and a very loving priest and close every other door I tried to enter through unless He had good reason. As such, I joined the local Coptic Mission which would have been the obvious choice in the first place had I not tried to seek out other options first.
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Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2007, 03:22:39 PM »
Quite honestly, I would rather have joined the Ethiopian Orthodox Church but I couldn't figure out who the legitimate Patriarch is and even the Ethiopians I spoke with were divided even within a congregation.

Didymus
Please except my apology in behalf of those you experienced who claim to be Ethiopian and 'Orthodox'. Some of us today particularly outside Ethiopia has taken the 'Orthodox' out of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Their is only one Patriarch my brother Didymus over the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and he is HH Abuna Paulos Patriarch of Ethiopia, Arch bishop of Axum, etchege of the see of St Teklehaimonot his throne seat and Holy Synod is in Addis Abebe Ethiopia exactly where the Holy Ethiopian Church has always been headquarted.

Any other person in any other place is a fraud and need our prayers.

The people who support any other person in any other place are also frauds and need our prayers.

Sadly some of my people you may run into who are from Ethiopia do not know much about thier Church or Orthodoxy in general. But are pre-occupied with 'tribal' issues and a host of nationalistic concerns that only furher clouds thier already poor judgement diminishing thier less than minimal grasp of true orthodoxy tremendously; thus it is no telling which way these people will go day to day; they are like dust in the wind.

We fail to undersatnd that true orthodoxy is a life that we live. It is not strictly a liturgical custom and tradition.

Orthodox christians must love all people the way they would expect to loved. And when someone commits a horrible sin that hurts the people (especially a clergyman) we are to pray for them not cast stones and gritting our teeth. Christ taugh us how to behave.

WE are suppose to be God fearing and peace loving. How can a man be considered peace loving when he is cursing his brother?

Did not Christ teach us that it is no value, no blessing in loving those who treat you well. The blessing is in loving those who persecute you. This is where the true believer get his strenght.

It's shameful what we have become today. I mean all of us.

We can see examples also from the western church what happened to them do to the foolishness of Martin Luther and his supporters. Even today nothing good has come out of the so called reformation.

With regard to the Ethiopian Church specifically; Ethiopians like myself are guilty as well for not being able to correct the problem and must ask the Lord for forgiveness and guidence.

Thank God the majority of the Ethiopian faithful are not as confused.

Pray for us.

Your Servant

Deacon Amde Tsion
« Last Edit: July 05, 2007, 03:45:07 PM by Amdetsion »
"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

Offline Didymus

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Re: Finding the Orthodox Church where one belongs
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2007, 08:15:33 AM »
Amdetsion, thank you my friend :)
Having researched the matter more thoroughly I am now convinced that you are correct however I understand the arguments the supporters of the former Patriarch use also.
Previously, I came across one Ethiopian man who said he didn't know who the Patriarch was but figured that this situation will sort itslef out in time.
...because I was not with you when the Lord came aforetime.
...because I am blind and yet I see.