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Author Topic: difficult to leave old church  (Read 1479 times) Average Rating: 0
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rosemarie
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« on: May 19, 2005, 11:50:19 AM »

Anyone have advice on how to break away from one's old church?  I'm finding it very difficult because the kids and I have been very involoved there for the past 2+ years.  Although I believe Orthodoxy to be correct, the other church is close to home and has lots and lots of activities for our kids.  I LOVE  my choir, and my son has so many friends.  We tried to make a clean break of it last Sunday, but it was sooooooo gut wrenching.  I just said that my hubby, as a lapsed Catholic, would prefer that we go to a liturgical church, but everyone started in with "No way.  We're your family.  We love you. Blah. Blah."  We've been going to the Orthodox church that is 45 minutes away on Saturdays, but we can't become catechumens until we break with the other church.  I suppose we did break last weekend, but it was so very painful.  I feel like an orphan.   Embarrassed Embarrassed Embarrassed
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TonyS
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2005, 12:01:07 PM »

rosemarie,

I don't know if this will be helpful but I will relate some of my story and offer some reflections.  When I left my former church I left a part of my life.  I was also in seminary (for my former church at that time).  It was precipitated, it did not happen like I wanted it to.  I was moving too slowly and God (at least I believe this is what happened) took matters into his own hands and I had to make a decision swiftly.  Such things are not easy.  They are not supposed to be, if they were perhaps they would not have so much value.  A test, is not a real test if it easy. 

I am sure you know your options.  You can go cold turkey on your old church.  You can begin to pull away slowly.  In any event keep going to the Orthodox parish even if you are not a catechumen.  I have made breaks before with communities that I was very involved with (I am not referring here to my former church) and it is very, very hard.  Perhaps some friendships from your old church can be rescuded from this and you can remain friends outside of church? 

Just some thoughts, I hope they help.

Tony
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Tómame como al tequila, de un golpe y sin pensarlo. - Ricardo Arjona

I'd be a fool to surrender when I know I can be a contender
and if everbody's a sinner then everybody can be a winner
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dantxny
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2005, 01:20:38 PM »

Rosemarie,
I'll chime in with my perpesctive and trouble leaving, although I'm unsure of how much help it will be.  I know for a long while, the hardest part for me leaving my old church (It was a traditional catholic) was my love for it and the mass.  Just the nostalgia for it really kept me form making the final jump for a while.  I basically went cold turkey and just went to an Orthodox Church and said prayers and although that helped, it was still hard with the memories.  The thing that finally helped me was while reading the Church Fathers, I ran accross one that warns us Christians to be warned of attacks from the righthand from the evil one.  Basically, if Satan cannot tempt us with the flat out sins, he'll then try to get us with the good memories of it.  This seemed very close to my situation.  You couldn't pay me a million buck to buy the filioque or papal primacy, thus there were no attacks from there.  Yet, I had good memories as a Catholic and that's where he got me.  It wasn't until that (and I actually attened a Catholic Church for my family's easter and realized that I wan't missing out) when I was able to get over it.  Thus, the best thing I can suggest is just live the Orthodox life.  Pray Orthodox Prayers, make the services, and try to talk to your priest about it.  Also too, I can understand with friends being family.  Interestingly enough I have no problem telling my family.  Rather, I am worried of telling my close friends that I grew up with there, that I'm converting.  But we must stand fast in our faith.
I hope this helps some,

Daniel

P.S. Please keep me in your prayers tonight as I'm finally entering the Catechuminate.
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"If you give the average Frenchman a choice between a reforming president who would plug the country's huge deficit and a good cheese, he would probably opt for the cheese." - Stephen Clarke
I think the French may be on to something here.
cizinec
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2005, 06:21:17 PM »

After my wife and I started dating my wife decided to leave her nondenominational church where she played in the orchestra.  She's a professional musician and she got a lot of recording contracts for "Christian" albums as long as she played at the church.  It was a big dang church.

When she told her friends, all of whom went to this church, that she was going to St. Basil's in Dallas they all did the same thing.  Oh, you're not going, why go backwards, we're your family, etc.

Well, they're still friends, but she stopped taking the recording jobs and stopped playing at the church.  If you flinch, they'll keep up the pressure.  You've got to move on.
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Michael
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2005, 11:03:48 AM »

I must admit that this will be difficult for me.

I had a very difficult time last year with regard to church.  There was an absence of trust and a breakdown of relationships, and I had to leave. very suddenly, a parish where I felt very much at home.  I did quite a lot of wandering, going to the cathedral some Sundays, and to various parish churches, for about three months.  I settled at my local, where I was able to just sit in the pew for a few Sundays and worship - in stark contrast to my involvement at my previous church.  This has now built up in my current church, where I am sacristan, server, and on the church council.  The last mentioned began about a month ago and is supposed to be for a period of three years, (although I was not actually informed of the three-year term until after I was elected to the post!)  These are good people who have welcomed me, affirmed me and built up my feelings of self-worth again.  I am ever indebted to them.  I get to plan liturgies, and did so for Easter Day and this coming Corpus Christi, but I know that the time will come when I will have to leave this all behind.

It shaill not be easy, and will have an effect on the church as well as me.  I shall be away next Sunday and going to the Divine Liturgy the Sunday after that.  That means that, for two consecutive Sundays, I shan't be there, and so I have made arrangements so that everything I usually do will be taken care of.  It is only this morning that I realised how much my contribution keeps things running smoothly.  I do not mean to sound immodest, but it is true.  I have been trying to build up a serving team so that there are fewer things that are dependent on my presence.

I would be glad to know that I leave this church, having built up something there that will last.  It will make the transition easier.

I know that this doesn't really help you, rosemarie, but I suppose I am more identifying with your situation than offering guidance.  I pray that your way will be made clear.
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