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Author Topic: Antiochian Orthodox converts  (Read 5762 times) Average Rating: 0
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Veniamin
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« Reply #45 on: December 05, 2007, 04:43:47 PM »

V-man, I can't agree with you more but this is an American phenomenea. I know Orthodox that attend a church based on whether its Greek or Russian or Convert. My catholic neighbors travel well out of our neighborhood to attend other Catholic churches when we all live less than 1/4 mile from the local one and the protestants . . don't get me started.

Given that Lewis observed it, the phenomenon is apparently English, as well.  I wonder if perhaps it's just some sort of Western thing and we don't have enough Orthodox in Western Europe to really notice it as much.  What's at work is still the same, though, namely a view in which the church is based on preference rather than community.
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aserb
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« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2007, 04:58:34 PM »

Frankly, I think its a Protestant thing. When I was kid we Orthodox and our Catholic friends and parents often remarked about how often the Protestants change churches and with such ease.

I attend an old school mainly cradle parish. Many parishoners or their families have attended the parish for almost 70 years.  70 years is an eternity in modern America.
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« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2007, 05:06:45 PM »

However, in some cases, people do have two or three options and do go church shopping, as it were.  It calls to mind the problem that C.S. Lewis addressed in The Screwtape Letters, where he argued that you should attend the nearest parish rather than whichever one you like most.  The underlying problem there is that when you being picking and choosing from among parishes, you being turning the parish from a gathering of the faithful in a particular place to a gathering of the faithful of particular preferences.  The mindset of looking for the "Russian church" or the "Greek church" or the "convert church" rather than the "neighborhood church" is a problem.  I recognize that there do exist circumstances where attending one parish rather than another is a matter of pastoral concern rather than preference.  That is not universally the case, however, and in those cases, we need to end the practice. 

I don't know if the decision to pick and chose is the problem, or if it is another part of the mindset.  Fr. John Behr has made the observation that there were ethnic parishes in Rome before the 4th century (this has been pointed out elsewhere on OC.net... I'll try to find the reference).  This entailed people choosing a parish based on the nation of origin, not geographic proximity.  Yet this was not a problem for the early Church (or, at least, not that we know of).

So the question would be better put "why is it such a problem for us?"
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« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2007, 05:16:47 PM »

You think I have nothing better to do but blog with you all today.

Good point Cleve!  Wink
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« Reply #49 on: December 05, 2007, 05:53:25 PM »

For me, the Antiochian parish was a good place to transition to Orthodoxy.  They were friendly and welcoming, and I doubt that I would have become Orthodox without them.  However, my final home was the ROCOR, and I have only looked back once.  After I had the door slammed in my face in a time of need due to someone's hurt feelings about me leaving, I've never looked back again.
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« Reply #50 on: December 05, 2007, 06:18:05 PM »

An Antiochian parish was also a good transition for me returning to Orthodoxy but now I have moved to a more traditional Slavic parish
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« Reply #51 on: December 05, 2007, 06:51:55 PM »

One thing also that is unsettling is this scenario.  There is a large mission in city A.  They sing the Liturgy in English and do the Our Father in a few language, sing the Thrice Holy Hymn in a Byzantine Chant, etc.. mix it up, a Russian melody for something else..  It is a culturally diverse parish, but they always sing the propers in the tonal system of the diocese.  Now another jurisdiction is opening up shop not even 1/2 mile away.  Why?  This isn't a "Based on a true story," this is a real situation. 
For kicks, it doesn't have to do with any internal parish fighting.  It has to do with a ethnic group in the mission that want it to be a slice of "back home," so they're going to build a new church down the road.

Another example is in a western state I observed this.  A small mission split in two, because people didn't want to drive 15 minutes to church.  These are not poor people.  Come to where I live, I don't even get pizza delivered to my house  Grin  But here they split a small mission of about 60 people into two factions.
Now there are two full time priests serving 30 people each in different locations, only about 15 minutes apart.  Priests aren't exactly easy to come by, and having two priests tied up in two missions because people wouldn't drive 15 minutes, that's not fair to the parishes that actually need a priest.
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« Reply #52 on: December 05, 2007, 07:26:15 PM »

No, I've posted this before. In my neighborhood a mission has opened and there are four EO and one OO parish within 5 miles. It's not about driving in this case. It's about not wanting to worship in an "ethnic" parish.
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