First, some background information. I've recently converted from Protestantism to Orthodoxy about a year ago. My Priest thought me to be rather level headed and decided that though I wasn't even an official Orthodox yet (have yet to be Chrismated) that I could help with Sunday School. So I did.
A few months later I was having difficulties in life that prevented me from going to Liturgy every week. I was also under the impression that I only had to see my Priest whenever I had questions about the faith...not as a routine deal. Well, rumors begin to surface about me teaching there and also not being there all of the time so I begin contemplating leaving the Sunday School so that I don't tarnish the reputation of the parish. Before I go, however, I wanted to register with my Priest some issues I was having with the Sunday School classes in general. You see, the teaching is rather simplistic for the age group I help to teach (High School students), so many times a majority of the students leave. I call my Priest up one night trying to explain this, basically saying how I feel there is a problem with Sunday School because kids are leaving. He blows up on me saying how I'm not even Orthodox and I have no right to be giving my opinion on such a matter (though I am apparently a Sunday School teacher).
Anyways, getting past this...we resolve the issue (at least I think we did) and he said all was forgiven and I ended up resigning my position as I had planned before.
He then tells me I still need to recieve instruction so get ahold of him or something during each and every week so as to resume my lessons.
Well, about a week or so later I call the other Priest, Father Joe because I feel more comfortable speaking with him about certain issues; likewise with the other Priest. I didn't realize I had to only see one Priest for teaching; this was never told to me.
So about a few days later I recieve a letter in the mail saying how I am no longer considered a catechumen for the Orthodox Church and I will no longer be recieved (after almost a year now) and that in order to be recieved I have to start the whole process over. The reasons are because I have 1.) Not been seeing the head priest for instructions every week, though I was notified earlier only to see him when I have questions 2.) I have not been able to come to all the Feast days or Vigils (because I work alot).
Now, within this letter he also brings up the Sunday School incident again, and I have no idea why. He mentions it briefly, but I really don't understand why he did. Further, every time I speak with him now he seems accusatory of my actions or lack of actions regarding the Church. He has, on certain occasions, said things like, "I don't know why you don't come for isntructions; I guess it's because you think you know everything or something." and it is often that he doesn't seem to wish to understand my situation at all (which is another reason I prefer to speak with Father Joe). He also accused me of calling him on Christmas to speak with him about matters in my life and interupting his family affairs...when all I did on Christmas was call him to wish him a "Merry Christmas".
I don't know the tone I am feeling from him. It seems as though he has little respect for me or at least little respect for my standing as a Christian. I don't know what to gather from the way he speaks to me, but I often feel put down or degraded in some manner when he does.
I really don't mean to accuse him of anything in this topic, but my heart is full of sadness and rage. I am sad because I feel like no one understands me at this parish and I will have to start my lessons over again and I am in a rage because my desire to be Orthodox has been overshadowed by what I feel to be a misunderstanding or miscommunication between I and my head priest. I further feel at rage because my desire...my devotion, though it even seems minimal is overshadowed by those who are born into the faith and could care less for it. Why is it that I must suffer to wait to take the Holy Communion, but a person who is born into the Faith is automatically Orthodox whether they care or not?
I have decided to go through the lessons again...with my Head Priest so as to prove to him that I do want to become Orthodox. I have also decided not to confront him about my feelings because I feel it wil create a further rift. I don't know what else to do.
I just needed to vent. I am sorry if I have said anything blasphemous, but I cannot understand what I have done wrong in my heart. I feel as though if I try to explain myself to him he will only see it as an excuse or a lack of interest in the faith. I feel bad speaking about this behind him even...for if he were to find out I feel as though there would be great reprocussions.