Hi all. I've been Roman Catholic since birth, but have been interested in Orthodoxy for about 6 years on and off. A couple years ago I attended Divine Liturgy and loved it. After doing reading into the differing beliefs between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, as well as much prayer, I've made the decision to convert to the Orthodox Church.
How should I go about converting? Should I just go to one of the churches and talk to a priest, or should I call the office number? I know that one church has an "inquiry" class, so I might look into that.
There are three Orthodox churches in the area that I'm considering. I've already attended Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral (OCA) in DC. They were very welcoming and the cathedral's beautiful. I've also briefly seen (don't really remember) St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, also in DC. I do remember people coming up to me and being very approachable. Finally, I recently found out that there's a St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral (in DC as well). I have no experience with it, but am considering visiting this weekend. Does anyone have any experience with these churches? I think I like the Russian style of architecture more (I could be wrong, but it seems that Russian churches in the US are more open (as in they don't have pews), and are more ornate). Could anyone comment on that? Also, as an African American, would I have any trouble being welcomed into any of these specific churches (if you have experience with them)? St. Nick's has already been a great experience, so I'm not concerned about that church, and St. Sophia's, from what I remember, also seemed great, but what about a Russian Orthodox church? Are they mostly made up of ethnic Russians? If you've been to St. John's, is it any more diverse, being in DC?
If I convert through the OCA, would I be able to become a member in another jurisdiction? For example, if I convert through St. Nick's OCA Cathedral, but move and decide to join a Greek Orthodox church, is that possible?
I am a baptized Roman Catholic, but can't find my baptism certificate. Does this mean that I'll need to be rebaptized? What if I feel that I'd like the experience of being baptized as an Orthodox? Is this allowable/do people do this?
Thanks so much for your help!