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Author Topic: Resistance To Being Organized Within Orthodoxy  (Read 1471 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2015, 11:29:14 AM »

It wouldn't look something like this, would it?

1. Potential members for the house are interviewed and slots are given to those deemed most fitting.
2. Segregated by sex.
3. A loose framework of purity rules are put into place (e.g. no alcohol, smoking; in a men's house, women cannot be alone with a man without supervision, etc.)
4. These rules are enforced directly by the laity or lay leaders through shaming and "group meetings" following infractions, or indirectly through the reporting of infractions to church authorities.
5. "Clean" frat-analogous activities, like pizza, movie and game nights, are frequent.
6. Devotional activities and house meetings are frequent, often with a lay-leader taking on the role of guidance counselor, psychologist, doctor or policeman for troubled members.
7. Members will be encouraged to believe that they are living in some sort of Christian ideal community.

Well when you put it like that...
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« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2015, 11:44:49 AM »

@katherineofdixie, if you read my posts, you would have seen that I said it's being organized and having a vision that is being resisted, not ideas. I in fact said most of the time the ideas are accepted. The tread is about the resistance to being organized and having a vision and a plan, not resistance to ideas.

You live or lived in a house with no rules? Really? Do you have children?

Do you have children? Grin
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« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2015, 12:18:49 PM »

I would say it has not worked out (along with many other endeavors that have been attempted within Orthodoxy) precisely because there is not vision, no plans!!



This seems to me to be, since you don't know the specific circumstances, more than a tad arrogant. How is it that you know for certain that visions and plans (especially yours) are rejected simply because they are visions and plans? Since you appear to be having this experience quite often, it might be worth considering the theoretical possibility that 1) the plan is flawed, 2) the vision is skewed, 3) or both are unnecessary, IOW. it's you and not them, or the Orthodox Church.

(And just so we're clear, the rules as promulgated here (not rules in general, thanks for the straw man, btw!) seem to have some opportunities for petty peer group tyrannies.)
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« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2015, 12:40:35 PM »

katherineofdixie, you're not coming off arrogant here at all! (sarcasm alert)
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« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2015, 12:57:13 PM »

People should be able to come on this site and ask a legitimate question without being attacked personally. I did not name any names, nor did I attack anyone personally until katherineofdixie came on and instead of being open to the possibility that members of the Church, including the clergy are human, and make mistakes, she focuses her attention on me and questions my integrity and abilities. She does this while saying we cannot say anything about anyone if we don't know them, but she who doesn't know me makes definitive comments about me.

Belive it or not, the members of the clergy and all of us are not above reproach.

Back to the topic on hand!
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« Reply #50 on: January 07, 2015, 01:26:51 PM »

People should be able to come on this site and ask a legitimate question without being attacked personally. I did not name any names, nor did I attack anyone personally until katherineofdixie came on and instead of being open to the possibility that members of the Church, including the clergy are human, and make mistakes, she focuses her attention on me and questions my integrity and abilities. She does this while saying we cannot say anything about anyone if we don't know them, but she who doesn't know me makes definitive comments about me.

Belive it or not, the members of the clergy and all of us are not above reproach.

Back to the topic on hand!

No, dear. I very carefully made suggestions - not accusations. I am certainly open to the possibility that members of the Church, including you and I, and the clergy are human. In fact, I have experienced quite a bit of human-ness  Wink, if you catch my drift. But as I have said several times, if an idea or a plan that I pitched to someone in authority in the Church was unreceptive and shot me down by saying it was not Orthodox, I would want to know the specifics of why, and what was wrong with the plan or idea. It would be, if you will, the beginning of the conversation, and not the end. I certainly would not assume that it was the priest or the Church that was wrong, since experience has taught me that there would probably be a better than average chance that it was me who was in error. YMMV, of course.

If a person is having the repeated experience of resistance to their ideas, vision, conduct or whatever - that is, if you are persistently being told that your ideas, vision etc. are not Orthodox, the plain sense of the situation, and one that has to be considered is that it is your ideas, plans, vision, way of doing things that are simply... not Orthodox, and not the fault of another person(s) or the Church.

Thus, if your goal is to make your vision a reality, it would seem that a clear, honest and objective reassessment of the plans, vision, way of doing things is critical to achieving your goals. Such a reassessment must include the consideration that you have been either going about it all wrong, or that your plans and vision are not being communicated clearly, have already been tried and not worked, or are not shared by others, or are unnecessary.

If, OTOH, someone is just so enamored of their plan and their vision only, and wants to continue butting their head against a brick wall, or perhaps continue to shift the blame for that failure, then that is of course their choice to do so. Though it probably won't do much to make their vision a reality by convincing others.

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« Reply #51 on: January 07, 2015, 03:23:32 PM »

No, dear. I very carefully made suggestions - not accusations. I am certainly open to the possibility that members of the Church, including you and I, and the clergy are human. In fact, I have experienced quite a bit of human-ness  Wink, if you catch my drift. But as I have said several times, if an idea or a plan that I pitched to someone in authority in the Church was unreceptive and shot me down by saying it was not Orthodox, I would want to know the specifics of why, and what was wrong with the plan or idea. It would be, if you will, the beginning of the conversation, and not the end. I certainly would not assume that it was the priest or the Church that was wrong, since experience has taught me that there would probably be a better than average chance that it was me who was in error. YMMV, of course.

If a person is having the repeated experience of resistance to their ideas, vision, conduct or whatever - that is, if you are persistently being told that your ideas, vision etc. are not Orthodox, the plain sense of the situation, and one that has to be considered is that it is your ideas, plans, vision, way of doing things that are simply... not Orthodox, and not the fault of another person(s) or the Church.

Thus, if your goal is to make your vision a reality, it would seem that a clear, honest and objective reassessment of the plans, vision, way of doing things is critical to achieving your goals. Such a reassessment must include the consideration that you have been either going about it all wrong, or that your plans and vision are not being communicated clearly, have already been tried and not worked, or are not shared by others, or are unnecessary.

If, OTOH, someone is just so enamored of their plan and their vision only, and wants to continue butting their head against a brick wall, or perhaps continue to shift the blame for that failure, then that is of course their choice to do so. Though it probably won't do much to make their vision a reality by convincing others.

This seems to me to be, since you don't know the specific circumstances, more than a tad arrogant. How is it that you know for certain that visions and plans (especially yours) are rejected simply because they are visions and plans? Since you appear to be having this experience quite often, it might be worth considering the theoretical possibility that 1) the plan is flawed, 2) the vision is skewed, 3) or both are unnecessary, IOW. it's you and not them, or the Orthodox Church.

(And just so we're clear, the rules as promulgated here (not rules in general, thanks for the straw man, btw!) seem to have some opportunities for petty peer group tyrannies.)

But seriously, folks, ISTM, that one of our tasks as Orthodox Christians is to develop or cultivate (for more gardening metaphors) an Orthodox understanding or POV. Therefore if I had pitched a pet project to a priest, and they rejected it as "not Orthodox," I would really want to know why.
I would assume the problem was more than likely with me or my project and not necessarily some general aversion to organization.

And if it were a case of someone not performing their duties in a way that I thought they should, I would also not assume that it was up to me to correct them. If I shared my misgivings with a priest, who said basically that it was none of my beeswax, I would assume that there were other factors involved which I did not know about, and quit casting the first stone.

To be even more specific, the OCF House idea has been promoted in several places, but has not worked out. And frankly the description of "house rules" makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It sounds like a recipe for disaster.

+1

You're consistently one of my favorite posters on these boards.

People should be able to come on this site and ask a legitimate question without being attacked personally. I did not name any names, nor did I attack anyone personally until katherineofdixie came on and instead of being open to the possibility that members of the Church, including the clergy are human, and make mistakes, she focuses her attention on me and questions my integrity and abilities. She does this while saying we cannot say anything about anyone if we don't know them, but she who doesn't know me makes definitive comments about me.

Belive it or not, the members of the clergy and all of us are not above reproach.

Back to the topic on hand!

On the contrary, I'd say that all of Katherine's posts in this thread are more accurately characterized as considerate, thoughtful, and well-reasoned contributions to the discussion than as "personal attacks".  She's asking you to consider another point of view, that is all.  For a fellow who began this thread by asking us all not to be sensitive to your criticisms of the Orthodox Church you're being awfully sensitive yourself.  The problem really might not be with the Church at all.  Do you think you might have time to answer my question to you in the near future?

Great.  I guess it got lost in the sauce with all of the discussion of the house, but could you take a stab at answering this?

So what did your priest have in mind when he declared that your attempt to hold that fellow's feet to the fire was "not the Orthodox way"?  I'm sure his reply was informed by something.

Did you ever ask either of these priests to elaborate on what their conception of "the Orthodox way" was and why it didn't jibe with your ideas as you presented them to them?  I'm sure (or I should say I hope) the conversations didn't consist of you presenting your ideas and then receiving a curt dismissal, especially if any of the conversations were face-to-face and not Facebook-to-Facebook.

Also, launching into all of the dismissive "back to the topic on hand", "moving on", "we can put that to the side" stuff every time someone advances a position that contradicts your own makes it seem as if you simply want to be validated in this thread, not to hold an actual discussion on the merits of the topic and whether or not what you're suggesting is actually objectively true.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 03:31:53 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: January 07, 2015, 03:28:00 PM »

He was probably hoping for some sympathetic stories. If it helps, it took our OCA-ordained deacon here maybe a year to get Greek diocesan permission to serve. Wink
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« Reply #53 on: January 07, 2015, 03:47:25 PM »

People should be able to come on this site and ask a legitimate question without being attacked personally. I did not name any names, nor did I attack anyone personally until katherineofdixie came on and instead of being open to the possibility that members of the Church, including the clergy are human, and make mistakes, she focuses her attention on me and questions my integrity and abilities. She does this while saying we cannot say anything about anyone if we don't know them, but she who doesn't know me makes definitive comments about me.

Belive it or not, the members of the clergy and all of us are not above reproach.

Back to the topic on hand!

No, dear. I very carefully made suggestions - not accusations. I am certainly open to the possibility that members of the Church, including you and I, and the clergy are human. In fact, I have experienced quite a bit of human-ness  Wink, if you catch my drift. But as I have said several times, if an idea or a plan that I pitched to someone in authority in the Church was unreceptive and shot me down by saying it was not Orthodox, I would want to know the specifics of why, and what was wrong with the plan or idea. It would be, if you will, the beginning of the conversation, and not the end. I certainly would not assume that it was the priest or the Church that was wrong, since experience has taught me that there would probably be a better than average chance that it was me who was in error. YMMV, of course.

If a person is having the repeated experience of resistance to their ideas, vision, conduct or whatever - that is, if you are persistently being told that your ideas, vision etc. are not Orthodox, the plain sense of the situation, and one that has to be considered is that it is your ideas, plans, vision, way of doing things that are simply... not Orthodox, and not the fault of another person(s) or the Church.

Thus, if your goal is to make your vision a reality, it would seem that a clear, honest and objective reassessment of the plans, vision, way of doing things is critical to achieving your goals. Such a reassessment must include the consideration that you have been either going about it all wrong, or that your plans and vision are not being communicated clearly, have already been tried and not worked, or are not shared by others, or are unnecessary.

If, OTOH, someone is just so enamored of their plan and their vision only, and wants to continue butting their head against a brick wall, or perhaps continue to shift the blame for that failure, then that is of course their choice to do so. Though it probably won't do much to make their vision a reality by convincing others.



Wise words.
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« Reply #54 on: January 07, 2015, 04:00:09 PM »

no my dear, you (and some others here) are not reading what I wrote. Please go back and look at the title of post, It says "Resistance to Being Organized Within Orthodoxy" not "Resistance to Ideas Within Orthodoxy"

Then I clarified more than once what I was talking about and still, it continued to be obvious that what I was writing was not being read.

To Antonius, so you are saying that if the topic of a tread is hambugers, and someone starts talking about placemats, and the original poster wants the topic to go back to hamburgers, they are being dismissive of posts that are contrary to something he or she said? My! How in the world is that possible?!

I've decided being on here is a waste of time, I thought perhaps some here might be people who actually read and think about what the person is saying, but that's not apparently the case.

So Adios!
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« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2015, 04:36:21 PM »

no my dear, you (and some others here) are not reading what I wrote. Please go back and look at the title of post, It says "Resistance to Being Organized Within Orthodoxy" not "Resistance to Ideas Within Orthodoxy"

Then I clarified more than once what I was talking about and still, it continued to be obvious that what I was writing was not being read.

To Antonius, so you are saying that if the topic of a tread is hambugers, and someone starts talking about placemats, and the original poster wants the topic to go back to hamburgers, they are being dismissive of posts that are contrary to something he or she said? My! How in the world is that possible?!

I've decided being on here is a waste of time, I thought perhaps some here might be people who actually read and think about what the person is saying, but that's not apparently the case.

So Adios!

Actually I have read what you have written, as have we all. But I respectfully disagree with pretty much everything you have written here. Specifically, I disagree with your contention that the whole Church is organizationally-averse. That has not been my observation/experience. Nor do I find your examples persuasive to the contrary.

And just fyi, if your discourse here is a sample of the way that you converse with or present your plans, vision and ideas to priests and others, I think I may have a sneaking suspicion of why you are met with such negative responses. Just my opinion, of course.

Quote
Also, launching into all of the dismissive "back to the topic on hand", "moving on", "we can put that to the side" stuff every time someone advances a position that contradicts your own makes it seem as if you simply want to be validated in this thread, not to hold an actual discussion on the merits of the topic and whether or not what you're suggesting is actually objectively true.
I think you've hit the proverbial nail on the head, Antonious!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 04:37:16 PM by katherineofdixie » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: January 07, 2015, 05:03:45 PM »

Actually I have read what you have written, as have we all. But I respectfully disagree with pretty much everything you have written here. Specifically, I disagree with your contention that the whole Church is organizationally-averse. That has not been my observation/experience. Nor do I find your examples persuasive to the contrary.

And just fyi, if your discourse here is a sample of the way that you converse with or present your plans, vision and ideas to priests and others, I think I may have a sneaking suspicion of why you are met with such negative responses. Just my opinion, of course.

+1

no my dear, you (and some others here) are not reading what I wrote. Please go back and look at the title of post, It says "Resistance to Being Organized Within Orthodoxy" not "Resistance to Ideas Within Orthodoxy"

The two are interrelated.  Your idea of what "being organized" means might be different from what someone else's idea of being organized means.  I disagree entirely with the idea that the Orthodox Church is disorganized or averse to organization.  I acknowledge that it may not be structured in a way that corresponds with what "organization" means to you based on your experiences in Evangelical circles.

Then I clarified more than once what I was talking about and still, it continued to be obvious that what I was writing was not being read.

Everyone read what you were "talking about" and addressed it on its own merits.  The way you're addressing the fact that your opinions were challenged rather than validated in some cases speaks volumes.

To Antonius, so you are saying that if the topic of a tread is hambugers, and someone starts talking about placemats, and the original poster wants the topic to go back to hamburgers, they are being dismissive of posts that are contrary to something he or she said? My! How in the world is that possible?!

This is not at all an accurate characterization of what has transpired here.  You introduced a topic hoping for a particular response.  You did not receive that response.  Instead, some posters suggested that your original contention might be off base and that the problem might not lie where you think it lies.  You flew off the handle as you're doing now.

I've decided being on here is a waste of time, I thought perhaps some here might be people who actually read and think about what the person is saying, but that's not apparently the case.

Indeed, your being here is a waste of time.  I thought you might honestly want to discuss whether or not your characterization of the Church was valid rather than to simply have it affirmed, but apparently that is not the case.

So Adios!

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« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 05:28:20 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: January 07, 2015, 06:17:54 PM »

Well when you put it like that...
I've seen, and heard about stuff like that from evangelical and ex-evangelical friends.
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« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2015, 06:24:40 PM »

no my dear, you (and some others here) are not reading what I wrote. Please go back and look at the title of post, It says "Resistance to Being Organized Within Orthodoxy" not "Resistance to Ideas Within Orthodoxy"

Then I clarified more than once what I was talking about and still, it continued to be obvious that what I was writing was not being read.

To Antonius, so you are saying that if the topic of a tread is hambugers, and someone starts talking about placemats, and the original poster wants the topic to go back to hamburgers, they are being dismissive of posts that are contrary to something he or she said? My! How in the world is that possible?!

I've decided being on here is a waste of time, I thought perhaps some here might be people who actually read and think about what the person is saying, but that's not apparently the case.

So Adios!



Oh man, you sure told us.  laugh
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« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2015, 06:25:11 PM »

To be fair, it's somewhat rare that an internet forum greets a topic with thoughtfulness and moderation. There tends to be either ( a ) a critical response that becomes pretty general or ( b ) a response of piling on in agreement. Possibly by habit DCBmOF thought, as he wasn't seeing the latter, he was getting hit by the former.
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« Reply #60 on: January 07, 2015, 06:29:45 PM »

NCNewbie--Check out St John Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska. This wonderful community operates St. James House, "...a one-year residential program where young, single people live in an extended-family setting and become better prepared to live in the world as faithful Orthodox Christian men and women. This is accomplished primarily through evening studies, household work projects, and participation in the liturgical and community life of St. John Cathedral, as well as their daily interaction with one another. The household itself is run by a resident family whose goal is to mentor the program's participants in facing everyday challenges responsibly and with faith in God. The pastor and clergy of St. John Orthodox Cathedral also oversee the program by providing instruction and spiritual direction."
http://stjohnalaska.org/stjameshouse.html

Carl,

I really want to think about this with you. So give me the benefit of the doubt for a moment.

You just quoted the stated purpose of the house for us. In your experience (perhaps personally, or with people who were members there) what did the house serve as? How did it function for them?

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« Reply #61 on: January 07, 2015, 07:04:15 PM »

To be fair, it's somewhat rare that an internet forum greets a topic with thoughtfulness and moderation.

What a rare thread this is then, for that is precisely what happened here, especially as it pertains to Katherine's posts.

There tends to be either ( a ) a critical response that becomes pretty general or ( b ) a response of piling on in agreement. Possibly by habit DCBmOF thought, as he wasn't seeing the latter, he was getting hit by the former.

A critical response is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it's not mean-spirited.  An uncritical acceptance of a flawed thesis (which is what DCB presented here) is a bad thing.  All of the replies here - prior to DCB's attempt at scolding Katherine - were quite civil and offered in good faith in hopes of advancing the discussion.
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« Reply #62 on: January 07, 2015, 07:49:18 PM »

NCNewbie--Check out St John Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska. This wonderful community operates St. James House, "...a one-year residential program where young, single people live in an extended-family setting and become better prepared to live in the world as faithful Orthodox Christian men and women. This is accomplished primarily through evening studies, household work projects, and participation in the liturgical and community life of St. John Cathedral, as well as their daily interaction with one another. The household itself is run by a resident family whose goal is to mentor the program's participants in facing everyday challenges responsibly and with faith in God. The pastor and clergy of St. John Orthodox Cathedral also oversee the program by providing instruction and spiritual direction."
http://stjohnalaska.org/stjameshouse.html

Carl,

I really want to think about this with you. So give me the benefit of the doubt for a moment.

You just quoted the stated purpose of the house for us. In your experience (perhaps personally, or with people who were members there) what did the house serve as? How did it function for them?



I have not been there; may be too far North for these old bones. Smiley

In any case, the community used to be part of the Evangelical Orthodox Church that was received into canonical Orthodoxy by Metropolitan Phillip of the Antiochian Archdiocese. As far as I know, no such house exists anywhere else in the United States, except may be the Married Monastic Community of New Skete. If I am correct, that means that most Orthodox would not be at all familiar with the concept. Here is what I recommend to anybody who is thinking about doing something like this in America. First, talk to the folks at St John Cathedral; pick their brains and see if it can be replicated elsewhere. Develop a plan and get the Rector of St. John's to give a letter of support. IOW, treat this as a grant proposal; meaning that you will have to use the terminology, principles and guidelines of the grantor--in this case, I think that the "grantor" would have to be the Antiochian Archdiocese, as she already has the St James House. With that letter of support and the plan, I would go shopping, being careful to ask questions and requesting input to make it a project that fits the agenda of the Archdiocese. It may take me a while, but I would always be careful to be humble and receptive to guidance and criticism.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 07:53:10 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) » Logged

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« Reply #63 on: January 07, 2015, 07:54:10 PM »

Thanks for the reply.

I know a few people who've been there, and know of a few people who've been there.

It seems to me that the primary function of the house is romantic matchmaking of a certain sort, for a certain sort.

What do you think?
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« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2015, 02:01:23 AM »

Thanks for the reply.

I know a few people who've been there, and know of a few people who've been there.

It seems to me that the primary function of the house is romantic matchmaking of a certain sort, for a certain sort.

What do you think?

Is that really a bad thing when you have a resident family guiding or, at the very least, be available for advisement?  How many times have people come on OCnet bemoaning the fact that they can't find a potential significant other who is Orthodox?
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« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2015, 08:16:02 AM »

Congratulation for trying to do something more.
Here are some Orthodox organizations you may consider joining like International Orthodox Christian Charities. http://oca.org/directories/organizations
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« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2015, 10:09:14 AM »

Thanks for the reply.

I know a few people who've been there, and know of a few people who've been there.

It seems to me that the primary function of the house is romantic matchmaking of a certain sort, for a certain sort.

What do you think?

Certainly. Think of a training environment for those who are not called to be monastics. I think it is a great idea and would like to know what the outcomes have been. I think that similar houses can be useful in large university campuses--sort of religious fraternities and sororities, where Orthodox students exposure to carnality and debauchery is limited.
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« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2015, 12:18:07 PM »

NCNewbie--Check out St John Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska. This wonderful community operates St. James House, "...a one-year residential program where young, single people live in an extended-family setting and become better prepared to live in the world as faithful Orthodox Christian men and women. This is accomplished primarily through evening studies, household work projects, and participation in the liturgical and community life of St. John Cathedral, as well as their daily interaction with one another. The household itself is run by a resident family whose goal is to mentor the program's participants in facing everyday challenges responsibly and with faith in God. The pastor and clergy of St. John Orthodox Cathedral also oversee the program by providing instruction and spiritual direction."
http://stjohnalaska.org/stjameshouse.html

Carl,

I really want to think about this with you. So give me the benefit of the doubt for a moment.

You just quoted the stated purpose of the house for us. In your experience (perhaps personally, or with people who were members there) what did the house serve as? How did it function for them?



I have not been there; may be too far North for these old bones. Smiley

In any case, the community used to be part of the Evangelical Orthodox Church that was received into canonical Orthodoxy by Metropolitan Phillip of the Antiochian Archdiocese. As far as I know, no such house exists anywhere else in the United States, except may be the Married Monastic Community of New Skete. If I am correct, that means that most Orthodox would not be at all familiar with the concept. Here is what I recommend to anybody who is thinking about doing something like this in America. First, talk to the folks at St John Cathedral; pick their brains and see if it can be replicated elsewhere. Develop a plan and get the Rector of St. John's to give a letter of support. IOW, treat this as a grant proposal; meaning that you will have to use the terminology, principles and guidelines of the grantor--in this case, I think that the "grantor" would have to be the Antiochian Archdiocese, as she already has the St James House. With that letter of support and the plan, I would go shopping, being careful to ask questions and requesting input to make it a project that fits the agenda of the Archdiocese. It may take me a while, but I would always be careful to be humble and receptive to guidance and criticism.



I think the Ben Lomond/Felton, CA former EOC parish had a similar house too, but maybe not quite so organized.  As my sister pointed out (at the time) for the Eagle River house, it COULD be seen as a place to send "troubled youth" (youth loosely defined as young adults) that just weren't following their parents' wishes (whether or not they were doing anything illegal or not).  I think there's some validity to this statement, but for many who attended, it was the right place for them and they have no regrets.  People keep forgetting that the EOC had a lot of cult-like aspects that really haven't mostly faded away until the past few years.  Places like Eagle River and Felton are the extreme end.  With this said though, this house seems to "work" for St. John's and could work elsewhere but certainly not everywhere.
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« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2015, 03:04:22 PM »

Blessed Theophany.

I dread asking this question because some here might take offense, but please bear with me because it is a troubling question that sometimes makes me wonder about the state of affairs within Orthodoxy in the US and what my relationship to the Church should be.

I've noticed a resistance amongst some Orthodox (please note I said some, not all, so don't get all offended) people and clergy to have any kind of organized approach to any ministry in the Church. What I mean by this is having clear roles and expectations for those in any position of ministry or service to the Church, having clear vision and mission statement that guides the effort and work of the ministry, a consistent framework that is established and remains regardless of who is involved, and remains if anyone leaves or stops being involved, clear boundaries for all involved, especially in regards to the relationships between those involved and those who are on the receiving end of the ministry.

This comes from my own personal experience, as well as the experience of some others that I know, both in real life and online.

Some of us that I know are interested in forming an Orthodox home where single Orthodox people live together in an Orthodox community. However, I hesitate to help start such a thing for I fear I will hit insurmountable obstacles from clergy and lay people because they will be resistant to any organized structures that will need to be established so that an Orthodox home will work and be a healthy, successful environment.

Has anyone here experienced anything similar? Does anyone have any insights into this phenomena?

Is that some kind of monastery? Go find a bishop and ask him for the blessing. Then everything will be organized.
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« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2015, 03:09:07 PM »

Is that really a bad thing when you have a resident family guiding or, at the very least, be available for advisement? 
I don't know. But I think we ought to ask why it isn't presented as the main purpose of the house.
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« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2015, 03:17:08 PM »

Think of a training environment for those who are not called to be monastics.
Training for what?
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« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2015, 03:38:53 PM »

Think of a training environment for those who are not called to be monastics.
Training for what?

A pious life? I hope those words aren't too shocking on this forum.
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« Reply #72 on: January 08, 2015, 03:50:03 PM »

Blessed Theophany.

I dread asking this question because some here might take offense, but please bear with me because it is a troubling question that sometimes makes me wonder about the state of affairs within Orthodoxy in the US and what my relationship to the Church should be.

I've noticed a resistance amongst some Orthodox (please note I said some, not all, so don't get all offended) people and clergy to have any kind of organized approach to any ministry in the Church. What I mean by this is having clear roles and expectations for those in any position of ministry or service to the Church, having clear vision and mission statement that guides the effort and work of the ministry, a consistent framework that is established and remains regardless of who is involved, and remains if anyone leaves or stops being involved, clear boundaries for all involved, especially in regards to the relationships between those involved and those who are on the receiving end of the ministry.

This comes from my own personal experience, as well as the experience of some others that I know, both in real life and online.

Some of us that I know are interested in forming an Orthodox home where single Orthodox people live together in an Orthodox community. However, I hesitate to help start such a thing for I fear I will hit insurmountable obstacles from clergy and lay people because they will be resistant to any organized structures that will need to be established so that an Orthodox home will work and be a healthy, successful environment.

Has anyone here experienced anything similar? Does anyone have any insights into this phenomena?

Is that some kind of monastery? Go find a bishop and ask him for the blessing. Then everything will be organized.

LOL.
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« Reply #73 on: January 08, 2015, 03:52:18 PM »

People keep forgetting that the EOC had a lot of cult-like aspects that really haven't mostly faded away until the past few years.  Places like Eagle River and Felton are the extreme end.

This is part of what I was politely driving at in post #8 and elsewhere.  I can see why the Church might want to move judiciously when it comes to projects like this.
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« Reply #74 on: January 08, 2015, 11:05:58 PM »

People keep forgetting that the EOC had a lot of cult-like aspects that really haven't mostly faded away until the past few years.  Places like Eagle River and Felton are the extreme end.

This is part of what I was politely driving at in post #8 and elsewhere.  I can see why the Church might want to move judiciously when it comes to projects like this.

I hope that folks start giving the EOC and other such convert groups some slack. Think of them as if they were the early Christian churches, holding on to the Gospel as they heard it and understood it, eager to follow the Lord, and not having yet developed a theology. The important thing is that they came into the fold and they are doing just fine. I submit to you that their struggles or oddities are no more numerous or bigger than established Orthodox Churches'.
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« Reply #75 on: January 08, 2015, 11:52:51 PM »

People keep forgetting that the EOC had a lot of cult-like aspects that really haven't mostly faded away until the past few years.  Places like Eagle River and Felton are the extreme end.

This is part of what I was politely driving at in post #8 and elsewhere.  I can see why the Church might want to move judiciously when it comes to projects like this.

I hope that folks start giving the EOC and other such convert groups some slack. Think of them as if they were the early Christian churches, holding on to the Gospel as they heard it and understood it, eager to follow the Lord, and not having yet developed a theology. The important thing is that they came into the fold and they are doing just fine. I submit to you that their struggles or oddities are no more numerous or bigger than established Orthodox Churches'.

For some of us who knew some of the parties involved before their Orthodox days, this will be hard to do.
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« Reply #76 on: January 08, 2015, 11:58:16 PM »

I submit to you that their struggles or oddities are no more numerous or bigger than established Orthodox Churches'.
I agree; and, (not but) they need to pass through the same refining fire as any other ethnic jurisdiction.
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« Reply #77 on: January 09, 2015, 08:58:48 AM »

People keep forgetting that the EOC had a lot of cult-like aspects that really haven't mostly faded away until the past few years.  Places like Eagle River and Felton are the extreme end.

This is part of what I was politely driving at in post #8 and elsewhere.  I can see why the Church might want to move judiciously when it comes to projects like this.

I hope that folks start giving the EOC and other such convert groups some slack. Think of them as if they were the early Christian churches, holding on to the Gospel as they heard it and understood it, eager to follow the Lord, and not having yet developed a theology. The important thing is that they came into the fold and they are doing just fine. I submit to you that their struggles or oddities are no more numerous or bigger than established Orthodox Churches'.

The point wasn't to disparage the EOC and other such convert groups, but rather that the sort of institution described in the OP could easily lend itself to a "cult-like atmosphere" with what one poster in this thread described as "group shaming", et cetera. I concur with Katherine's statement that:

frankly the description of "house rules" makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It sounds like a recipe for disaster.

I'm not saying that such an institution would necessarily go down that road, but again, for the 20th time, I can see why the hierarchy or a parish priest would want to proceed with caution and not simply charge in with a ringing endorsement and give the OP carte blanche eyes wide shut.  Such does not speak to an aversion to order or a lack of enthusiasm for beneficial projects within Orthodoxy, but rather a healthy spirit of discernment.

I submit to you that their struggles or oddities are no more numerous or bigger than established Orthodox Churches'.
I agree; and, (not but) they need to pass through the same refining fire as any other ethnic jurisdiction.

+1

I would also add that refining fire is especially necessary in the case of oddities which developed before a convert jurisdiction was steeped in Orthodoxy, oddities that are rooted in another ethos.
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