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Author Topic: Floundering in the middle of the ocean.. Help!  (Read 5016 times) Average Rating: 0
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LookingForHome
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« on: September 16, 2007, 11:44:42 PM »

Hi, im new, and feel very humbled just to be reaching out like this.. like a child without a father or mother,  Silly right?

I am blessed that I have never lost faith, to me the Father/Son/Holy Spirit have always been as real and present as the air we breathe.

But I feel like I know nothing. Growing up, I jumped from various churches (evangelical, pentacost, protestant, etc.) with no real backbone, new preachers every week, and as a child I was always moving with my father and mother to wherever jobs were to be found. Often I'd go entire years without any kind of church, with only enough time to read a few pages of the bible every now and then.

My father took his own life when I was 18 and my mother has plenty of her own problems and opinions, and she is going to remarry soon to a catholic man.

I need a home.. I can't even describe how I feel. I just wish God had physical feet that I could throw myself at and weep. Im completely lost.. I feel like a child lost at a fair or festival..
Eventually it all comes back to the Orthodox Church. No matter where I look, what churches I investigate, I always end up drawn back to Orthodoxy. And yet I know almost nothing about it. I feel like I was robbed of the truth. Spiritually stunted.

I want to learn. Someone tell me truth. Every source I read assumes that I come from a catholic or anglican background. I do not understand anything.

I am a spiritual child. Help. Or if I have just gone insane, please tell me.
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 11:50:57 PM »

A person once said (I for get exactly who, Orthodox or otherwise) "God's job is to knock at the door, our job is to open it."

As just a bystander, sounds like He is knocking.......by your presence here I am assuming you are inquiring.....so if you wanted to post your location here on in a private message to me, maybe we can find a nearby priest/parish that can help you find your place.

In Christ,
Ivan

P.S. You are not going insane!
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 11:57:36 PM »

Dear LookingForHome,

You are not insane. You have just found your true home. I can recommend a very good Orthodox priest for you to communicate with privately if you are interested. He is a wonderful counselor and an excellent catechist.

in Christ, Tamara
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 11:58:37 PM »

I fully agree with Ukiemeister. You are not going insane. Sounds very much like: "Behold, I stand knocking at the door." (Rev. 3:20).

I just wish God had physical feet that I could throw myself at and weep.
He does have physical feet in the Person of Christ, and you can always throw yourself at the Icon of his feet and weep (I often do).
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LookingForHome
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 01:41:28 AM »

Thank you for the responses..

I don't know where to start, but that's why I came to this place. There is no one I can talk to about these things where I live, as it's all atheists, evangelical rock-and-roll churches, and joseph smith's golden tablet club.

Any help I would be always be thankful for.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 01:51:40 AM by LookingForHome » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 03:20:21 AM »

LookingForHome,

Can you at least tell us the metro area in which you live (or nearest sizeable town)?  Then some of us here could direct you to local parish(es) to visit, priests to contact, etc.

Good luck and God Bless.
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LookingForHome
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 03:39:19 AM »

I have private messaged a few people about that, Elisha.

I live in southwest washington state. The nearest big city is portland which is a two hour drive. three hours (about) to tacoma/seattle. I have very unreliable transportation. I can never take my car far out of the city. I'm too poor to buy a new one.

Thank you for your help.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 03:39:49 AM by LookingForHome » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 04:03:08 AM »

We have members here in Portland, I think.

Until they make contact

http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.com  parish locator might help.
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Thomas
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2007, 08:24:56 AM »

Looking for Home,

Welcome Home!  Metropolitan Phillip and many other Orthodox Bishops have called American Orthodoxy, the best kept secret.  Many of us here, like yourself were looking for something all our life and have found it in the Holy Orthodox Church.  For some, like me, the journey took decades. May the Holy Spirit be your guide! Contact a priest in the area to help you on your way. As you obviously have access to the internet, look at the websites of some of the major Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States (Greek Orthodox, Orthodox Church in America -OCA,  Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, etc). They offer the stories of the faith, writings of Orthdox Scholars and priests, the lives of the Saints and much more. Often they will have websites of Parishes in their data base---those websites often have articles and stories that are posted.  I know my own, largely convert,  parish puts out a 20 page newsletter every month that is mostly articles to help one understand and practice Orthodoxy.

The most important thing I can suggest is to repeat what the others before me have said, meet and talk with a priest. Once again welcome!

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 08:25:55 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2007, 09:17:03 AM »

The closest parish(es) are all in Portland, with one Greek parish also in Beaverton.

As you say that transportation will be an issue (I've been in that situation, know what it`s like), I would suggest phoning anyways....maybe there is a need for a mission in your area, where the priest can come out once a month. At the very least, even talking with priests has always been a very edifying experience (at least for me hehe).

Here is the list:

Holy Trinity Church (46.6 mi)
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
3131 NE Glisan Street
Portland, Oregon 97232 - map
Phone: (503) 234-0468
Fax: (503) 236-8379

Rev. Fr. Paul Schroeder, Presiding Priest
Rev. Fr. Gerasimos Markopoulos, Priest
Rev. Dn. David B. Cole, Priest (with Lay Profession)
http://www.goholytrinity.org/

St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church (44.7 mi)
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
14485 SW Walker Road
Beaverton, Oregon 97006 - map
Phone: (503)644-7444
Fax: (503) 292-4415

Rev. Fr. Theodore Dorrance, Presiding Priest
http://www.stjohngoc.org/

Christ the King Mission (45.6 mi)
Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese
2204 NE 36th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97212 - map
Phone: 503.287.1128

Rev. Fr. Chad Schadewitz, Priest

Holy Apostles Church (45.8 mi)
Orthodox Church in America
2053 NW Overton St
Portland, Oregon 97209-100 - map
Phone: 503.248.9278

Rev. Fr. Dimitri Perez, Priest
http://www.holy12.org/

St. George Church (48.6 mi)
Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese
2101 NE 162nd Ave
Portland, Oregon 97230-5501 - map
Phone: 503.255.6055

Rev. Fr. Alban West, Presiding Priest
http://www.stgeorgeportland.org

St. John the Baptist Parish (49.5 mi)
Ukrainian OC of the US
8014 SE 16th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97202 - map
Phone: 503.234.3754
http://uocpdx.tripod.com/


I am up in Canada, in Alberta, so I am not that that close. I know we have at least one member in Seattle.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 09:42:22 AM by Ukiemeister » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2007, 09:36:49 AM »

There is also St. Antonious Coptic Orthodox Church in Portland.

4422 SE 65th Ave, Portland, OR 97206-3647

Fax:(425) 742-1506
E-mail:
Website: www.st-antonious.org


Fr Mekhail Hanna
Phone: (503) 901-3061
E-mail: zoro_el (at) yahoo (dot) com
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2007, 10:18:18 AM »

LookingForHome, may the peace and love of Christ our God be with you as you continue your journey back to His true Fold of Christians.

As a former Protestant myself I can very much relate to what you are saying. If you would like to speak with me at all please feel free to send me a personal message at any time but please remember also that I'm in Australia and account for the time mate Wink

If it is alright to ask, what sort of religious background do you have? Which groups have you been involved with?

You may like to read some of Pope Shenouda's books as available for online reading here:
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/pope/#books

May I please recommend:

Comparative Theology (if you are of a typical Protestant background as it answers many questions which you will have)

The Divinity of Christ (especially if you have had any connections with JWs)

Priesthood (whilst I have not read this myself yet I believe it to be quite a fine book which will answer many questions you're likely to have)

~~~
So you are aware, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III is the 117th Coptic Orthodox Pope and Lord Archbishop of the Great City of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
(The word Coptic just means native Egyptian, as opposed to the Arabs.)

Please be aware that HH the Pope has written many other books not listed in the link above however if you visit a Coptic Church you may well be able to obtain some.

+May the grace and mercy of the Lord fill your heart and mind as you seek Him with all. Amen.
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2007, 12:30:03 PM »

If you are in S-W. Washington, then probably Portland, OR will be your best bet. But, just in case you like to go to Seattle, I know at least three Orthodox churches there - one Greek, one Russian and one Ukrainian. The Greek and the Russian O.C. are in the Capitol Hill area (the Russian is on the 13th Ave. E., if I am not mistaken; it's just a few blocks east of Broadway); and the Ukrainian Holy Trinity parish is in Madrona.

You are not going insane! You are OK! Smiley
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 02:22:43 PM by Heorhij » Logged

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LookingForHome
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2007, 12:51:15 PM »

Thank you all for the information. I will look these parishes up and call, etc.

It's so great to get REAL help.. if I asked anyone around here, they'd just laugh at me or try to get me to accept some non-biblical ideas with no base whatsoever.


Didymus,

Thanks, If you are curious, I've been to multiple churches in my life, and I can't, in my mind, match up their names to their denomination or whatever.

I've been to two non-denominational churches, where the man just stands in front with a microphone and bible.

A protestant church which was similar, although a bit more formal.

A pentecostal church when I was 10.

I don't remember any churches before that, as my memory doesn't go that far.

I haven't been inside a church in two years.
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« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2007, 01:29:21 PM »

You are not going insane! You are OK! Smiley

Well not insane in the sense that they were asking......but I mean look at who is here.....I for starters am selfdiagnosed insane. Tongue

If I was to make a recommendation, based on the list, keeping in mind I have no contact with the area, I would try Holy Trinity (one of the Greeks) in Portland first, because they have two assigned priests, it is more likely to be possible for one of them to meet with you/come to your area. Naturally if you find another parish that suits you better or your needs, go there.

In Christ,
Ivan

P.S. I am a great admirer of HH Pope Shenouda, but I would point out it seems to me that you are more needful of a priest then getting bogged down in theoloy (as important as that is). I think finding a way to regularly attend Orthodox services is paramount, then deciding if you want to become a catechumen is next.
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« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2007, 01:45:37 PM »

I wish Looking for a Home lived near Fr. David Hovik's parish, St. Andrews, in Arlington, WA.
I would send he/she to him in a heartbeat.
Fr. David is one of the most pastoral and loving priests I have ever met. His parishioners have taken in homeless people and even adopted an Orthodox priest from another jurisdiction who had no where else to go when he became ill.

http://standrew-parish.org/new/history.htm

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« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2007, 07:18:39 PM »

Hey Looking For Home!!!

I live in Seattle, and I love to show people around, and if you want, I entertain guests quite often.  My legacy includes hosting Matthew777 and Zebu for weekends at a time (including several retreats) and having tea with Ioannes (the user with the Greek letters) on my porch.

The point is that I want to meet and greet!
 
~Authio~
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LookingForHome
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« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2007, 07:26:30 PM »

Thank you all again.

I am trying to find my place in God's grand design, and I feel that I am being called to the orthodox church.

I appreciate all the advice and help. I wish I had a car that could travel more than 15 miles at a time, so that I could visit some of these parishes. I could start saving money now and get a new car within a couple of years.

I guess I will have to be patient like Job and wait a long time before I can truly do anything other than pray and read. ughhh.. . It would be too cruel if I were to die in some horrible accident before I am able to find the truth I seek. Sad
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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2007, 09:42:15 PM »

Thank you all again.

I am trying to find my place in God's grand design, and I feel that I am being called to the orthodox church.

I appreciate all the advice and help. I wish I had a car that could travel more than 15 miles at a time, so that I could visit some of these parishes. I could start saving money now and get a new car within a couple of years.

I guess I will have to be patient like Job and wait a long time before I can truly do anything other than pray and read. ughhh.. . It would be too cruel if I were to die in some horrible accident before I am able to find the truth I seek. Sad

Hi there! By your coordinates, it sounds like you are in roughly the same area we are here in Washington. There is an Orthodox mission in Olympia if that is close to you...(Its about 30 min from us).

http://www.orthodoxolympia.org/


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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2007, 11:24:00 PM »

I'm a little overwhelmed. I'm getting so much help, and I don't even know where to begin..
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2007, 11:38:27 PM »

I crunched the numbers, etc. and I can get to olympia within 1 hour and 45 minutes. And portland within 1 hour and a half.

Roughly the same.

I'm still looking around... and I won't be able to do anything until I have a car that can go more than 15 miles without imploding.
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« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2007, 11:39:29 PM »

The closest parish(es) are all in Portland, with one Greek parish also in Beaverton.

As you say that transportation will be an issue (I've been in that situation, know what it`s like), I would suggest phoning anyways....maybe there is a need for a mission in your area, where the priest can come out once a month. At the very least, even talking with priests has always been a very edifying experience (at least for me hehe).

Here is the list:

...

I am up in Canada, in Alberta, so I am not that that close. I know we have at least one member in Seattle.
You missed a couple, Ukiemeister:

St. Nicholas Church
Orthodox Church in America
2210 SW Dolph Ct.
Portland, Oregon 97219
Phone: 503.245.2403

V. Rev. George Gray, Rector
http://stnicholaspdx.org/


Church of the Annunciation
Orthodox Church in America
13515 SE Rusk Rd,
Milwaukie, OR 97222
Phone:  503.659.3646

V. Rev. Matthew Tate, Rector
Rev. Kevin Lien, Associate Priest
Rev. David Shank, Attached
V. Rev. Nicholas Letten, Retired, Attached
http://www.annunciationorthodoxchurch.org/


Also a correction:
The Christ the King Antiochian Mission (Western Rite) is no longer together after their priest, Fr. Chad Schadewitz, retired and attached himself to my church, St. Nicholas.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 11:42:24 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2007, 08:30:53 AM »

I know distance can always be an issue.  I serve as a subdeacon in a church that is 51 miles from my home and keeping my 6 year old auto with 200,000+ miles working is really as task so I can go to services. Prayer and faith seem to keep my old buggy going and we don't miss too many services.  We also do Reader's services in our home when we can not get to Church.  My prayers are with you.

Thomas
« Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 08:31:41 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2007, 12:33:57 PM »

You missed a couple, Ukiemeister:

St. Nicholas Church
Orthodox Church in America
2210 SW Dolph Ct.
Portland, Oregon 97219
Phone: 503.245.2403

V. Rev. George Gray, Rector
http://stnicholaspdx.org/


Church of the Annunciation
Orthodox Church in America
13515 SE Rusk Rd,
Milwaukie, OR 97222
Phone:  503.659.3646

V. Rev. Matthew Tate, Rector
Rev. Kevin Lien, Associate Priest
Rev. David Shank, Attached
V. Rev. Nicholas Letten, Retired, Attached
http://www.annunciationorthodoxchurch.org/


Also a correction:
The Christ the King Antiochian Mission (Western Rite) is no longer together after their priest, Fr. Chad Schadewitz, retired and attached himself to my church, St. Nicholas.

The list came off the SCOBA site....in other words......I plead not guilty officer!
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« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2007, 05:23:43 PM »

May I suggest a book by Kallistos Ware entitled, The Orthodox Church (written under his pre-Bishop name, Timothy Ware). Many priests include is a highly suggested piece for the Catechumen. It answers many questions about Orthodoxy from a very easy and straightforward standpoint, and was very easy for me to understand at the age of 15.

He also wrote a book called The Orthodox Way (as Kallistos, not Timothy), which deals with the more spiritual and mystical aspects of the Church.

I realize money is a problem (as it is with my family; I was thankfully able to have access to the church's library during my catechism), so don't feel like these books are NEEDED. However, if there is money to spare, they are certainly a good investment.

I pray that you will find a priest in your area to meet with. That's the most important step at this point.
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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2007, 10:00:57 PM »

Dear LookingForHome,

I dont know excactly what to tell you, but..

Know that I'll happily pray for you, or at least I know this is the least I can do for anyone..

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« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2007, 12:35:33 AM »

Thank you.

I am in contact with a Priest that Tamara showed me.

I hope to figure things out.
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« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2007, 01:29:14 AM »

Lookingforhome,

I too live in Washington, around the Edmonds area which I know is a bit of a drive from where you are located but if there is anything I can help you with then please don’t hesitate to ask.  I can probably assist you the most with contact information for the Coptic churches, however, I am willing to help you in any way I can at any time. 

In His Name
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« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2007, 06:43:58 PM »

Thanks for the help everyone, but i've come to realize that no one can really help me, as im just too far away from everywhere. I'll just have to be patient until I am able to afford a move to a different area.
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« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2007, 04:19:42 PM »

I can really relate to your dilemma.  For what it's worth, I found such times of solitude to be rich in their own way.  It's like when I got married, we were so focused on the wedding day that I had to remind myself the preparation phase was blessed in its own way.

I too had a couple years where I was drawn to Orthodoxy, but no church nearby.  Online resources don't make up for the lack of personal contact, but at least they are there.  If you can at all make it to an Orthodox monastery for a retreat time, that really fills the tank.
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« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2007, 04:49:44 PM »

Thanks for the help everyone, but i've come to realize that no one can really help me, as im just too far away from everywhere. I'll just have to be patient until I am able to afford a move to a different area.

Don't forget that even if you can visit a church once a year, this can be very valuable.

Even if that isn't possible, always remember to continue praying for guidance.  I'm sure most of us have had times where we really wanted to "move forward" with things, but had some roadblock in our way.
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« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2007, 10:20:20 AM »


Thank you for saying. Sorry for not replying but university has been busy. +May the Lord guide your search.
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