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Author Topic: Is it OK for Orthodox to Attend Non-Orthodox Churches?  (Read 4732 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« on: May 21, 2009, 04:14:34 PM »

Being new to Orthodoxy, I have a question:

We live in the deep south (Mississippi) which is a heavily Protestant region. Our family converted to Orthodoxy about one year ago. My Father-in-law is a devout Protestant Christian, and my brother-in-law has just become a pastor of a very fundamentalist Protestant church. My Father-in-law is very open minded in a genuine godly way. He has accepted our family's decision to enter into the Orthodox Church, and is always interested in learning more about our Orthodox tradition. But my brother-in-law is very close-minded, and rejects any Christian tradition that is not "Fundamentalist Baptist."

So my question is this: From time to time my wife attends my Father-in-law's church; and sometimes our children go with her. I have not forbidden this, because I have felt that as long as they are learning about the Bible and Christian morality then this is a positive thing. But I do fear that they may be misled by unorthodox doctrines and influences.

I must remind you that we live 7 hours away from our Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Atlanta, so this poses a problem. So, I wanted to know if it is OK for my family to attend Protestant churches from time to time. I know it is forbidden to receive the sacraments in any Church other than a non-Chalcedonian Church. But is it OK for them to attend a Protestant church as long as they don't take the sacraments?

I am hesitant to allow them to attend my brother-in-law's church, since he is kind of a "my way or the highway" type of guy. He's a good fellow, and he and I are on the same page as far as morality and family discipline. But I'm afraid that he will try to push unOrthodox ideas on my children.

Sorry to be so long-winded in asking such a simple question!

Oh yeah, I also have been invited to some Catholic Bible studies by some close friends of mine. I have not attended any, because I was not sure if this was OK. What say ye?
 
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2009, 04:25:49 PM »

I say no on all counts.  Keep them as pure as you can, if your wife is agreeable.  I was raised Catholic and Southern Baptist as a kid, and it really messed with my head.  Honestly, if your life permits it, I would recommend that you try to move closer to a church, as that is to be the center of you family's life.  You won't grow if you can't go.
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2009, 04:30:18 PM »

Gebre Menfes Kidus,

I really think this is the sort of thing that you should be asking your spiritual father, the priest who baptized you and your family.  I know you are very far from your church, but are you able to call him?

If your brother-in-law is closed minded about Orthodoxy, he may be trying to convert your wife back to Protestantism.  That could be a problem.  You need to really talk to her about this and, if possible, talk also to your spiritual father.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2009, 04:36:50 PM »

Gebre Menfes Kidus, aren't there any Oriental Orthodox, not necesarilly Ethiopian, parishes nearby? Seven hours sound tough. And BTW, what's the name of your parish in Atlanta?

As far as attending Protestant or Catholic services/studies is concerned, I would be careful.
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2009, 04:45:34 PM »

Thanks guys. You confirm what I already have been inclined to believe. Salpy, you are correct in saying that I should ask my spiritual father. This is indeed the surest way to confirm my question.

Selam
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2009, 05:18:50 PM »

Since you inquire in the OO section I thought it appropriate to appeal to an OO authority on this matter. St Severus of Antioch said in response to an inquiry from a royal figure regarding the matter of Orthodox interaction with non-Orthodox:

"Because you have asked (out of the devoutness which loves doctrine) if some of the Orthodox are acting properly when they do not communicate with the heretics but only hear the reading of the holy Gospel, or even remain at the time of the eucharistic prayers but do not communicate in those things which are being confected: the reply is absolutely clear to those who are not ignorant of the divine laws. For Paul the Evangelist, speaker of divine things, wrote: "You are our letter, written in our heart, and known and read by all people.""

St Severus then goes on to quote certain canons pertaining to "praying with the heretics."

He does however go on to allow dispensation where necessity may demand such participation. His example, however, is rather unique, and am unsure as to how far the logic can be taken. He appeals to the example of Na'aman and Elisha the Prophet. Na'aman after being made worthy of being cleansed by the power of the God of Israel, pledged allegiance to the Lord and swore to never again exercise devotion to the pagan gods. Nevertheless, he conceded that he would have to at least follow through with the appearance of doing so once he returns to his homeland out of respect for his authorities and his position of power. Na'aman thus requests pardon from the Prophet and emphasises that in spite of his external actions his inner conviction remains with the God of Israel so that as he bows to the pagan gods his mental focus remains on God of Israel such that he effectively bows to Him. Elisha blessed him with the response, "go in peace."

The above is probably difficult to attempt to apply by yourself to your particular situation. As in all things, you should consult your spiritual adviser, but I would suggest that the type of necessity borne in St Severus' mind when conceding to an exception to the general rule is not to be found in the situation you describe.
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 05:20:30 PM »

We have a blessing from our priest to attend other church services (i.e. Protestant, Catholic) when we are unable to attend our own which is a two hour drive. In addition, our spiritual father (from a different jurisdiction) has also given us his blessing. Bottom line: speak with your priest/spiritual father about the situation and take what we say with a grain of salt.
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2009, 07:41:54 PM »


 What say ye?


Nay.

(If the priest and church are too far, two options then, 1. Move closer to the House of God or 2. Periodically (say 3/4 times a year) fly your priest in on a Saturday morning to pray the holy liturgy, have confession with you all and have the Holy Eucharist. (Who knows maybe the Gracious God will even commence a new community of Orthodox believers around this altar and faithful response. :-)

Obviously I recommend the second. :-)

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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2009, 08:09:39 PM »

I guess the "by the book" answer is no, except perhaps to attend a funeral or wedding.

The "what do people really do" answer is yes, from what I've seen.
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2009, 08:22:58 PM »

There are Oriental Orthodox churches closer. None of them are very close, but I found one that is less than half the distance in comparison to your other Ethiopian church. It's Saint Mark's Coptic church in New Orleans:

http://www.coptic.org/stmarkno/Home.html

Perhaps a with a 2.5-3 hour commute to church rather than 7 you may be able to attend Divine Liturgy occasionally?
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2009, 08:40:44 PM »

Are there any regular Orthodox churches you could attend that would be closer?
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2009, 09:52:52 PM »

I have attended non-Orthodox Churches - you can recite the Lord's Prayer & Christ is in our midst.  If they use the Nicene Creed, you can recite that as well (except for the Filoque, of course).  Just don't partake of their Eucharist.   Smiley

As Fr. James mentioned, try attending the Church in New Orleans and introduce youself to the Priest who may be willing to make the occasional drive to your part of the world for Divine Liturgy and other services.
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2009, 10:17:05 PM »

I guess the "by the book" answer is no, except perhaps to attend a funeral or wedding.

The "what do people really do" answer is yes, from what I've seen.

In which case my answer would be that I really go by the book (with funerals and weddings by specific permission).
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2009, 10:44:53 PM »

I have attended non-Orthodox Churches - you can recite the Lord's Prayer & Christ is in our midst.  If they use the Nicene Creed, you can recite that as well (except for the Filoque, of course).  Just don't partake of their Eucharist.   Smiley

As Fr. James mentioned, try attending the Church in New Orleans and introduce youself to the Priest who may be willing to make the occasional drive to your part of the world for Divine Liturgy and other services.

Ditto.

What else helps in this day and age - may be you may get a chance to see internet translation of Orthodox services? It would not substitute the real participation in Divine services, of course. However, this variant helps when the distances are large as in your case or /and when the weather conditions do not permit traveling.

Additionally, may be if you travel for business or / and personal reasons, you would have a chance to attend Orthodox worship there.

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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2009, 10:48:13 PM »

It's best to contact your priest rather than seek an answer here.
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2009, 10:54:24 PM »

In response to Replies #14 and #15.

Hereby, I strongly agree with Douglas. Actually, Douglas makes the decision in accordance with recommendations of (2) priests, which both really know the family and all factors involved.
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2009, 02:41:14 AM »


Are there any regular Orthodox churches you could attend that would be closer?

There are plenty of Eastern Orthodox churches closer to Jackson (even one in the city), but based off the OP being Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo and making the statement "I know it is forbidden to receive the sacraments in any Church other than a non-Chalcedonian Church.", I figured it wasn't worthwhile referencing any of those.
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2009, 05:28:42 AM »

What say ye?

NO! IT IS NOT OK!!!

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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2009, 08:42:51 AM »

I just looked in the Apostolic Canons, and they seem to be rather vague on this question. One canon clearly says that if one prays with excommunicated persons, even in a private home, then this one must be excommunicated. But Protestants aren't really "excommmunicated" because they, as a body, were never in communion with the Orthodox Church in the first place, right?
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2009, 10:19:50 AM »

I just looked in the Apostolic Canons, and they seem to be rather vague on this question. One canon clearly says that if one prays with excommunicated persons, even in a private home, then this one must be excommunicated. But Protestants aren't really "excommmunicated" because they, as a body, were never in communion with the Orthodox Church in the first place, right?

That is correct. There are a few other factors involved here (some of which I'm uncomfortable sharing... hey...this is a public forum  Wink). We do not really pray "with" those with whom we gather nor do we commune with them which goes without saying. As far as canons and the Rudder are concerned, while I can appreciate the prohibition against worshiping with the heterodox that some are voicing, we must also bear in mind that the canons also forbid us to go to a Jewish physician and to ride in a public conveyance with Jews. In short, some of these canons were applicable to the times in which they were formulated. The bottom line for ALL Orthodox is this: to place yourself in obedience to your priest/spiritual father (provided his counsel does not directly contravene the scriptures). In truth, our going to the occasional Protestant and Catholic service has done nothing but confirm how much we love our Orthodox church and how far from the tree some of these other Christian groups have rolled. To accept the advice of others over and against our priest and our spiritual advisor regardless of how well meaning they may be is a direct contravention of Orthodox practice in spite of whatever canons they may cite in support of their position. That's why I continue to say... seek the advice of your own priest. He has the care and well-being of your soul much more so that the rest of us. He will be able to best advise you. And no... I am not suggesting that anyone follow our example. It was given to us for very specific reasons and with very specific directions (which I have not shared).
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2009, 10:25:16 AM »

I have, since becoming Orthodox, gone to a precious few Protestant services, and it nearly killed me. They just are so lifeless, and boring compared to the Liturgy. I really, seriously, can't stomach anything but the Orthodox Liturgy/Services, etc.
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2009, 10:32:05 AM »

Avoid it unless you have a very good reason to go (funeral, wedding, etc. of a Protestant loved one for example). On days when you are unable to attend Church, you would be better off praying the Se'atat/Horologion/Agpia at home, or something similar (whatever your priest advices).

I would contact the local Coptic bishop and ask him if they'd be able to arrange some kind of service closer to where you are every now and again. You'll probably have more luck with the Egyptians.
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2009, 10:35:04 AM »

Avoid it unless you have a very good reason to go (funeral, wedding, etc. of a Protestant loved one for example). On days when you are unable to attend Church, you would be better off praying the Se'atat/Horologion/Agpia at home, or something similar (whatever your priest advices).
I agree. Excellent advice.
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2009, 11:26:15 AM »

Well I guess in the end it's up to whatever you and your spiritual father decide. With that said, and I don't mean to speak out of turn here, but I'm a little surprised that so many people think it's "never" ok to "pray with heretics"....(isn't heretic a pretty strong word for Chalcedonian Orthodox considering the agreed statements over the last 30-40 years?) We've had plenty of Ethiopian Orthodox come to our parish, because of the very situation you're in. They don't partake of Communion of course, but they certainly come and worship with us. I'm EO and have attended a Coptic Church, I just don't see what the big deal is. I feel just as at home in the OO Church that I feel in the EO. (sometimes more at home because most OO tend to be more welcoming to outsiders, assuming the people have been in America awhile)

I was also under the assumption that in certain circumstances if both the OO and EO Bishops agree, intercommunion can take place. In fact I'm 99% sure that is the case. I'm not saying I recommend you do that or even try to arrange that, only that I just don't see the problem in OO going to an EO Church and vice versa. It happens in parts of the middle east all the time.

I've also attended a Catholic parish, and again, I don't see the problem. Ideally we would always attend our own parish, or our own jurisdiction but that's not always possible in this country as you're finding out. Yes, praying from the book of hours etc is a good thing, but considering that you live SO far away from your Church, you'd essentially be turning your faith into a private religion, (just me and Jesus and my prayer book)...that's fine if you're a monk living in the desert for 10 years, because those guys are in communion with the saints, the angels and in union with God mystically. Yet for people with families I don't see how that can work out practically. I don't think you'll be able to maintain your Orthodox faith that way, and maybe not even your Christian faith. It's simply way too difficult to seperate your yourself from all Christian fellowship. You didn't say how often you can attend your parish, but I assume because of the distance, it must be only once or twice a year. Yes, monks and saints have gone decades, but then they're monks and saints...you're not. (no offense) I just don't see you maintaining your faith in that sort of context, and yes, I speak from personal experience. Of course my faith is weak, given over to periods of doubt, so if you're is strong, it might work out. But I'd be surprised if any OO priest would be so rigid is to tell you not to go to an EO Church. Not to take Communion is another thing entirely, but just to go and worship, (though without the Eucharist it's obviously not complete) and even fellowship, I really can't see any OO priest saying that. However he may and may do so for good reasons that apply to YOUR personal situation, but I don't think these things, as others have said, are "blanket" issues. Each person, situation, and spiritual life is different. So definitely talk it over with him and see what he says...in the mean time, I'm SURE there must be other OO in your area. From what I understand there are a lot of OO in the southern states.

Hope things work out for you...


Oh yes, edited to add that going to a Baptist Church regularly is probably a bad idea. Because their theology is so radically different than ours, and they're influence can be quite strong, so I agree with that for sure.
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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2009, 12:04:41 PM »


Oh yes, edited to add that going to a Baptist Church regularly is probably a bad idea. Because their theology is so radically different than ours, and they're influence can be quite strong, so I agree with that for sure.
NP

 
 



Good advice overall. For me... the key above is "regularly". The influence and the unspoken message that it can deliver to that congregation and pastor (that we are possible members) is not a good thing. Periodically we attend these services but we try to never attend the same church too often and certainly not back-to-back Sundays. And we have simply done a Typica service on our own when we were unable to attend our church due to the distance and the weather (we need to drive through the mountains which can be dangerous in the winter months).
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« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2009, 12:19:08 PM »

I know of many Copts who have Communion in EO churches when there is no OO church within many hours (and vice verca). It's definitely worth asking your father of confession if that is ok. Even if he says no (to communion but not attending), attending that would be better than attending a Protestant 'church'. If the answer to even that is no, doing stuff at home as a family (which is a small church) is great. I know Copts can say the appropriate hours from the Agpeya, plus the doxology of prime, plus the doxologies as part of the agpeya, plus a veneration for the saints of the day. They could also look at the daily readings, and even listen to an Orthodox sermon or watch a live broadcast of the Liturgy online. You can talk to your Father of  Confession about what you can do at home... assuming you make the journey to have communion as often as you and your Father of confession work out as appropriate given your abilities to travel.


Are there any regular Orthodox churches you could attend that would be closer?

There are plenty of Eastern Orthodox churches closer to Jackson (even one in the city), but based off the OP being Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo and making the statement "I know it is forbidden to receive the sacraments in any Church other than a non-Chalcedonian Church.", I figured it wasn't worthwhile referencing any of those.
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« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2009, 12:49:00 PM »

Thank you all for your wise comments and suggestions. Of course I will indeed consult the advice of my Priest and follow his direction. Since our baptism last June, we have only been to the Church 3 times in the past year. And we will be returning for Pentecost. I have been told by my Priest that it is fine to attend the Greek Orthodox Church here in my city as long as I refrain from commmunion.

Thanks again.

Selam
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« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2009, 02:56:01 PM »

Yes, praying from the book of hours etc is a good thing, but considering that you live SO far away from your Church, you'd essentially be turning your faith into a private religion, (just me and Jesus and my prayer book)..

It would be the whole family praying together, not an individual endeavour, in this case. I agree that an OO would benefit from going to an EO church and vice versa where that was the only option, but that's because we share a common faith and ethos. Even if one thinks there are substantial differences of faith between our respective churches, these would not be apparent in a Liturgy. Attending a Protestant or Catholic service is something very different, and in those cases I think staying at home praying Orthodox services together as a family would be much better.

Community is very important, but a community of believers, not just any community.

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I don't think you'll be able to maintain your Orthodox faith that way, and maybe not even your Christian faith.

I didn't realise there was a difference between Orthodox faith and Christian faith. Christianity = Orthdoxy, Orthodoxy = Christianity.
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2009, 06:01:17 PM »

I should clarify my suggestion about attending an EO parish in closer proximity to your location. I of course meant only attending, not communing (unless your spiritual father gives you permish to do so, naturally). I know what everyone means about not attending a Baptist church. I've attended occasionally an RC parish, and various Protestant churches, but truly,despite my best efforts, I nearly go insane with boredom and discomfort at those services-it's no longer "home" for me (if it ever was!?). Oddly, I've attended maariv at a local shul once, and felt more at home at that service than I've felt at any of the other Christian services.
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« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2009, 06:10:49 PM »

I didn't realise there was a difference between Orthodox faith and Christian faith. Christianity = Orthdoxy, Orthodoxy = Christianity.

ummm  Huh  There are Christians who are not EO or OO (depending on ones own affliation.)

Your priest sounds very wise and helpful Gebre with his saying that you might go to the Greek Orthodox parish in your town.  Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2009, 06:17:43 PM »

I have been told by my Priest that it is fine to attend the Greek Orthodox Church here in my city as long as I refrain from commmunion.


I was wondering if this would come up, and I have been refraining from posting in this thread since I did not want to appear to be trying to ''sheep steal', or anything like that.

Knowing that you have received this permission from your priest, my parish will be happy to have you worship with us!
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« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2009, 07:03:43 PM »

In July of last year the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church laid down guidelines about participating in mutual prayer at ecumenical events.  The bottom line is:  Don't do it.

A report on that is here
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=4928

The bishops said they were planning another and broader statement which will cover all situations of joint prayer (in mixed marriages, for example) but that has not yet appeared.  This future statement will be more in line with your question.
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« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2009, 07:16:29 PM »

I have been told by my Priest that it is fine to attend the Greek Orthodox Church here in my city as long as I refrain from commmunion.


I was wondering if this would come up, and I have been refraining from posting in this thread since I did not want to appear to be trying to ''sheep steal', or anything like that.

Knowing that you have received this permission from your priest, my parish will be happy to have you worship with us!

Wow!  Are you two that close to each other?  I'm sorry, but I live in Los Angeles and in my world view there are two places on this planet:  1.  California;  2.  Not California.  I know lots of people who live in Not California, but most of them don't live that close to each other.   Cheesy

Gebre Menfes Kidus,

If you live close to Fr. Chris and if you have the permission of your own spiritual father to do so, I would think going to Fr. Chris' Greek Church would be ideal.  The Greeks have beautiful liturgies and I can only imagine how great Fr. Chris' sermons would be.  Go for it.   Smiley 
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« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2009, 09:13:08 PM »

I have been told by my Priest that it is fine to attend the Greek Orthodox Church here in my city as long as I refrain from commmunion.


I was wondering if this would come up, and I have been refraining from posting in this thread since I did not want to appear to be trying to ''sheep steal', or anything like that.

Knowing that you have received this permission from your priest, my parish will be happy to have you worship with us!

Thank you so much! Is your Church in Mississippi? We live in Jackson. I know that a few Ethiopians here attend a Greek Orthodox Church in Jackson. I would look forward to coming sometime. Perhaps you can contact me via a personal message and we can discuss more in detail.

Thanks again for your invitation.

Selam
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« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2009, 09:56:23 PM »

Fr. Chris's parish is in Jackson.

http://www.holytrinityjackson.com/
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« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2009, 10:46:35 PM »

Fr. Chris's parish is in Jackson.

http://www.holytrinityjackson.com/

Great! Thanks.

Selam
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« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2009, 12:04:08 AM »

I think I recall that Fr Chris' parish is very close to a Coptic Orthodox parish. It would seem to me to make more sense to just attend that parish---worship and communion should go together.
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« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2009, 12:18:37 AM »

I must remind you that we live 7 hours away from our Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Atlanta, so this poses a problem.

Do you have to spend the night when you drive to Atlanta? Or do you take a really cheap, really early Sunday-morning Delta flight into Atlanta?
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2009, 12:40:08 AM »

I think I recall that Fr Chris' parish is very close to a Coptic Orthodox parish. It would seem to me to make more sense to just attend that parish---worship and communion should go together.

If I understand correctly, Fr. Chris and Gebre Menfes Kidus both live in Mississippi.  I don't think there are any Coptic (or any other OO) parishes there:

http://www.suscopts.org/diocese/churches/

I seem to recall we had a thread on this a little while back.  I'll look for it.
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« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2009, 12:46:03 AM »

I think I recall that Fr Chris' parish is very close to a Coptic Orthodox parish. It would seem to me to make more sense to just attend that parish---worship and communion should go together.

Regrettably, the nearest OO parish to Jackson, MS is the Coptic parish in New Orleans. Gebre is accurate in that NOLA is the closest, but he has ties to the Ethiopan parish in Atlanta, which I know first hand is a wonderful community.

There is a Coptic parish in Birmingham, AL; I think they have services most Sundays, but that their priest has to drive in from Atlanta. That information may be a bit old, though, and possibly their priest's situation has changed.
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« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2009, 12:48:39 AM »

I must remind you that we live 7 hours away from our Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Atlanta, so this poses a problem.

Do you have to spend the night when you drive to Atlanta? Or do you take a really cheap, really early Sunday-morning Delta flight into Atlanta?

I am originally from Atlanta, and my parents still own the house I grew up in. They don't live there anymore, but we are able to stay there whenever we go to Atlanta. I am hoping and praying that in time we will be able to move to Atlanta. But I have learned from past experience not to try and force God's hand. Other than being so far away from our Church, we have an ideal situation here in Jackson. We only pay 500$ a month in rent for a 3 bedroom house in a good neighborhood. We couldn't even come close to that in Atlanta. But God knows our needs, and in time I'm sure doors will be opened and we will be able to be nearer to our Church. I've thought about Birmingham, Alabama also, which is only 2 and a half hours from Atlanta. The cost of living is probably cheaper than Atlanta, and we could probably make it to our Church at least twice a month. Also, my father-in-law is blind and my wife travels 30 miles south each weekend to take care of his banking and prepare his meals for the week. So, that is another big reason why we are still here in Mississippi.

Selam    
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« Reply #41 on: May 23, 2009, 02:46:26 AM »

I must remind you that we live 7 hours away from our Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Atlanta, so this poses a problem.

Do you have to spend the night when you drive to Atlanta? Or do you take a really cheap, really early Sunday-morning Delta flight into Atlanta?

I am originally from Atlanta, and my parents still own the house I grew up in. They don't live there anymore, but we are able to stay there whenever we go to Atlanta. I am hoping and praying that in time we will be able to move to Atlanta. But I have learned from past experience not to try and force God's hand. Other than being so far away from our Church, we have an ideal situation here in Jackson. We only pay 500$ a month in rent for a 3 bedroom house in a good neighborhood. We couldn't even come close to that in Atlanta. But God knows our needs, and in time I'm sure doors will be opened and we will be able to be nearer to our Church. I've thought about Birmingham, Alabama also, which is only 2 and a half hours from Atlanta. The cost of living is probably cheaper than Atlanta, and we could probably make it to our Church at least twice a month. Also, my father-in-law is blind and my wife travels 30 miles south each weekend to take care of his banking and prepare his meals for the week. So, that is another big reason why we are still here in Mississippi.

Selam    

I'm from Atlanta, originally, too; lived in the Ben Hill neighborhood, near Green Briar Mall.
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« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2009, 02:57:53 AM »

Thank you all for your wise comments and suggestions. Of course I will indeed consult the advice of my Priest and follow his direction. Since our baptism last June, we have only been to the Church 3 times in the past year. And we will be returning for Pentecost. I have been told by my Priest that it is fine to attend the Greek Orthodox Church here in my city as long as I refrain from commmunion.

Thanks again.

Selam

But he'd be fine with you communing at a Coptic church, right?
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