Author Topic: Questions from a seeker  (Read 13520 times)

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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2008, 06:23:31 PM »
By the way, I called the local Orthodox mission here in my area.  (The only one close by, the next one is the Greek Orthodox Church in Norfolk, VA that I mentioned earlier.)  The man who answered the phone was friendly and seemed genuinely excited that I had called.  There is an inquirer's class that meets tomorrow night, and I'm going tomorrow evening.  I'm looking forward to it. 

Wonderful news!  I hope the class goes well.
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Offline Seeker73

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2008, 06:27:46 PM »
Thanks.  I'll post on here tomorrow evening after class.  I was impressed with the man I spoke with via phone today.

Offline Seeker73

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2008, 06:43:33 PM »
By the way, I ran across this just now as I was searching the internet, looking for information about Orthodoxy.  I thought it was interesting, because it addresses some things I've been discussing here:

 
Just what is the Orthodox Church?
Although we are one of the major religious groups in the world, we often find that we are not well understood by members of other faiths. The points below represent our response to some of the questions about us:

We are Orthodox Christians

Many people confuse us with Orthodox Jews, but the similarity of names is pure coincidental. Actually, Orthodox is a Greek word meaning "proper worship" and "right faith."

You dont have to be "Ethnic" to be Orthodox

Converts are welcome in our parishes, and a large proportion of the services are conducted in English.

Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox are the same religion

The Orthodox Church is actually a "family" of churches, consisting of many ethnic groups. Each ethnic group, however, makes use of the title "Greek" in their official title. The reasons being: 1.) It is the language of the New Testament; and 2.) The language of the Christian Faith for one thousand years, when it was one Church, was Greek. We have parishes that are Greek, Antiochian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Albanian, etc., plus the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) which is historically Russian.

We are the Church experiencing growth

Our total membership is estimated at 250 million - and rapidly increasing, due to the religious revival in Eastern Europe. In California, and many other states, we are officially considered the fourth major faith.

We have been active in the Ecumenical Movement

As Orthodox, we feel we should do everything possible to promote Christian unity. At the same time, our adherence to Christian Tradition has sometimes made our participation difficult.

We are Catholic, but not Roman Catholic
 
I found this at:  http://assumptionvirginmary.tripod.com/id11.html, which is the website of a parish in Massachusetts.

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2008, 10:51:03 PM »
Thank you for your response.  That has been my main reservation about Orthodox Christianity, and not being able to find a clear answer regarding the ethnic divisions in the Church hasn't helped, of course.  My main concerns regarding the ethnic divisions have been any possible language barrier in the liturgy, and wondering how welcome I would be at a Greek, Russian, etc. parish. 


Seriously...It's not likely to be a big problem. If you really are nervous then simply go to an OCA Church until you get your legs under you
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Offline Seeker73

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2008, 02:20:21 AM »
Seriously...It's not likely to be a big problem. If you really are nervous then simply go to an OCA Church until you get your legs under you

Thank you.  The mission that I'm going to visit here is OCA.  I spoke with the lay warden today, and we had a nice conversation.  He made me feel a bit more comfortable.  Apparently, most of the members are converts. 

By the way, what's a lay warden? 

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2008, 05:39:45 PM »
Thank you.  The mission that I'm going to visit here is OCA.  I spoke with the lay warden today, and we had a nice conversation.  He made me feel a bit more comfortable.  Apparently, most of the members are converts. 

By the way, what's a lay warden? 

Someone who runs a prison ????
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #51 on: March 06, 2008, 09:28:45 AM »
A "Lay Warden" is an English term for the traditional role of a a sexton.  It comes from Middle English wardein, from Anglo-French wardein, gardein, from warder to guard . In modern terms it is usually someone is officially charged with special supervisory duties. In the Anglican Church it is one of two ranking lay officers of an Angican Parish, as many Anglican terms were adapted to Orthodox churches in America this may be one such term that was adopted.

Usually such a person in an Orthodox Church would be called a sexton---i.e. One who maintains the care of the temple.  In this case the Orthodox church may be a mission and he might be the lay leader of the mission , a kind of trustee who has the reponsibility to assure that the building and property is maintained, opened for lay services in the absence of the misssion priest. He may also be the contact person to answer questions when one calls the church and the priest is not available.  Such seems to be the case here.

Thomas
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Offline FrChris

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #52 on: March 06, 2008, 11:35:03 AM »
Yeah; my 'adopted' mother is introduced as the Naokhouros of her parish if we're speaking Greek, and the Sexton if we're speaking English. Regardless of the language, her 'duties' pretty much match the job description in your post!
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #53 on: March 06, 2008, 12:24:41 PM »
A "Lay Warden" is an English term for the traditional role of a a sexton.  It comes from Middle English wardein, from Anglo-French wardein, gardein, from warder to guard . In modern terms it is usually someone is officially charged with special supervisory duties. In the Anglican Church it is one of two ranking lay officers of an Angican Parish, as many Anglican terms were adapted to Orthodox churches in America this may be one such term that was adopted.

Usually such a person in an Orthodox Church would be called a sexton---i.e. One who maintains the care of the temple.  In this case the Orthodox church may be a mission and he might be the lay leader of the mission , a kind of trustee who has the reponsibility to assure that the building and property is maintained, opened for lay services in the absence of the misssion priest. He may also be the contact person to answer questions when one calls the church and the priest is not available.  Such seems to be the case here.

Thomas

What about 'caretaker'?  I've never heard the word 'sexton' before.

Offline Seeker73

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #54 on: March 06, 2008, 06:52:15 PM »
A "Lay Warden" is an English term for the traditional role of a a sexton.  It comes from Middle English wardein, from Anglo-French wardein, gardein, from warder to guard . In modern terms it is usually someone is officially charged with special supervisory duties. In the Anglican Church it is one of two ranking lay officers of an Angican Parish, as many Anglican terms were adapted to Orthodox churches in America this may be one such term that was adopted.

Usually such a person in an Orthodox Church would be called a sexton---i.e. One who maintains the care of the temple.  In this case the Orthodox church may be a mission and he might be the lay leader of the mission , a kind of trustee who has the reponsibility to assure that the building and property is maintained, opened for lay services in the absence of the misssion priest. He may also be the contact person to answer questions when one calls the church and the priest is not available.  Such seems to be the case here.

Thomas

I think those are his duties.  He's responsible for the newsletter and he's the contact person for the mission.  I wonder why terms were borrowed from the Anglican Church, though?  Interesting.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 06:52:35 PM by Seeker73 »

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #55 on: March 06, 2008, 07:06:06 PM »
I think those are his duties.  He's responsible for the newsletter and he's the contact person for the mission.  I wonder why terms were borrowed from the Anglican Church, though?  Interesting.

Probably because they were English words to describe a role being carried out in an English-speaking society.
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Offline Seeker73

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #56 on: March 06, 2008, 07:36:23 PM »
Probably because they were English words to describe a role being carried out in an English-speaking society.

That makes sense, but I would have expected such terminology used in the Orthodox Church to have more in common with the Roman Catholic Church.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 07:36:40 PM by Seeker73 »

Offline Thomas

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #57 on: March 07, 2008, 09:40:13 AM »
Many  English terms utilized in the Orthodox Church were chosen from the surrounding dominant churches around it so as to make sense to those who the Orthodox met with and where the converts were coming from.  Sexton is both a Roman Catholic term and Anglican or Episcopal term, Warden (or in this case) Lay warden would tend to lend to an Anglican/Episcopalian influence in the area of the mission. Translation unlike transliteration is the art of determining the meaning of a word in the language of the people that they may understand  a good example is the Greek term  "Theotokos"  (God-Bearer) is often translated as "the Mother of God" a term commonly used in the Roman catholic Church and likewise the Anglican Church in an effort to make the meaning clearer to the listener.

Thomas
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Offline Seeker73

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #58 on: March 09, 2008, 05:55:20 PM »
Wonderful news!  I hope the class goes well.

It did.  I'm going back this Wedneday.

Offline Seeker73

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #59 on: March 09, 2008, 05:55:51 PM »
Many  English terms utilized in the Orthodox Church were chosen from the surrounding dominant churches around it so as to make sense to those who the Orthodox met with and where the converts were coming from.  Sexton is both a Roman Catholic term and Anglican or Episcopal term, Warden (or in this case) Lay warden would tend to lend to an Anglican/Episcopalian influence in the area of the mission. Translation unlike transliteration is the art of determining the meaning of a word in the language of the people that they may understand  a good example is the Greek term  "Theotokos"  (God-Bearer) is often translated as "the Mother of God" a term commonly used in the Roman catholic Church and likewise the Anglican Church in an effort to make the meaning clearer to the listener.

Thomas

Sounds like a good practice.  Thank you.

Offline Seeker73

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Re: Questions from a seeker
« Reply #60 on: March 09, 2008, 06:00:31 PM »
Thank you to everyone for all the helpful replies I've received.  I'm still slowly (because I don't want to rush and thereby miss any important information) making my way through the links that have been provided, and I'm surprised by what I'm discovering.  I find myself more seriously questioning Papal infallibiliy and the supremacy of Rome now, as well as some other Roman Catholic doctrines.