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Author Topic: Unity of Antiochians and OCA - Dreaming  (Read 8715 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: August 18, 2009, 08:35:20 AM »

What if the Antiochians and OCA merged? We can see that these two groups are very close and probably closer than any other jurisdictions in North America. I am interested in what everything thinks or any ideas that anyone has. I know this is probably just a pipe dream, but I like to dream anyway.

I decided to look at each group's bishops, where they reside & what the situation could look like.

This is a map showing the current situation with Bishops in the Antiochian Archdiocese & the OCA. There is VERY little overlap between these two. The only city where there is more than one Bishop is Ottawa. (I didn't include Met. Philip because I didn't know where he is located)


So I decided to then make a little map showing the current situation with Bishops, then trying to draw up jurisdictional lines for each diocese.

The diocese I came up with were (with their respective Bishops)
Diocese of Eastern Canada (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of Western Canada (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of Alaska
Diocese of New England (Bishop Nikon)
Diocese of New York, New Jersey & Connecticut (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania (Bishop Tikhon)
Diocese of Western Pennsylvania (Bishop Mechizedek)
Diocese of Washington D.C. & Delaware (Metropolitan Jonah or Metropolitan Philip)
Diocese of Ohio (Bishop Mark)
Diocese of Michigan (Bishop Nathaniel)
Diocese of the Appalachians & Carolinas (Bishop Thomas)
Diocese of the South (Bishop Antoun)
Diocese of the Midwest (Bishop Job)
Diocese of the Great Plains and Ozarks (Bishop Basil)
Diocese of Texas and New Mexico (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of the Southwest (Bishop Joseph)
Diocese of Northern California, Utah and Nevada (Bishop Benjamin)
Diocese of the Northwest (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of Mexico (Bishop Alejo)

Then for fun, I decided to figure out jurisdictions should all three (Antiochian, OCA & GOA) merge... The yellow lines denote new diocesan lines as a result of the Antiochian-OCA-GOA merger...

The diocese would then be split up more into smaller segments, the situation in Chicago could be resolved by moving a bishop to Milwaukee (or Minneapolis/St. Paul) and giving the more northern states to them. By creating a separate "Rocky Mountains" diocese with Colorado and New Mexico. Splitting Florida from the Diocese of the South and giving the Carribean to Bishop Antoun. Splitting up the Northeast into more segments.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2009, 08:41:47 AM »

Im for it...it could work..Met.Phillip is in Englewood,NJ but I am praying he will be gone soon.Bishop Antoun even though he is the Bishop of Miami lives in Englewood too..go figure.
This Unity could work.
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2009, 09:29:41 AM »

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

I think cleveland has produced an even more detailed pipe-dream plan. Should be on OC.net somewhere.

Might be a fun exercise in fantasy for church-nerds, but plain truth is something like that ain't gonna happen -- at least not in the next 30 years. Hard to see the future further ahead than that, but we've got at least that long before it's anywhere near the realm of statistical probability.
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2009, 09:35:09 AM »

Oh, if he's in NJ then we could simply just split NJ & NY state off, and give NYC & Long Island to another Bishop. (I think that NYC & Long Island need their own diocese, as they have so many churches)

I certainly hope unity isn't 30 years off... It might be 10 years off but hopefully not 30, I don't want to be half a century old by the time I see unity... lol
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2009, 09:51:53 AM »

What if the Antiochians and OCA merged? We can see that these two groups are very close and probably closer than any other jurisdictions in North America. I am interested in what everything thinks or any ideas that anyone has. I know this is probably just a pipe dream, but I like to dream anyway.

The dream of some.  The nightmare of others.

Indications suggest that those who would have to make this happen (or sabbotage it) are thinking about this now. I think a catalyst might occure when the proverbial hits the fan when the episcopal assembly scheme comes before SCOBA, if it comes up at the next meeting this month: Met. Jonah is not officially involved with the scheme, but is officially a member of SCOBA.  The scheme conflicts with SCOBA's constitution, so it promises to be interesting.


Quote
I decided to look at each group's bishops, where they reside & what the situation could look like.

This is a map showing the current situation with Bishops in the Antiochian Archdiocese & the OCA. There is VERY little overlap between these two. The only city where there is more than one Bishop is Ottawa. (I didn't include Met. Philip because I didn't know where he is located)

There is more technical overlap, but only technical: there is an Antiochian Archdiocese in Alaska, with Bishop Joseph of CA as locum tenens. That should not only be merged with the OCA's Alaskan diocese, but the Alaskan diocese should be made into an "ethnic" diocese (like Detroit for the Romanians, or Boston for the Albanians) for the Amerindians.

There is real over lap in Virginia: Bishop Thomas is in West Virginia for the Antiochians there and in Pennsylvania (where the OCA has two dioceses) and Virginia and Maryland and Delaware, which is under the OCA's newly revived Diocese of DC under Met. Jonah.  Met. Philip is in NJ, but his diocese includes DC and New York.  Overlap in a big way.

There is also the problem that the OCA's exarchate in Mexico is in another Archdiocese of the Antiochians.




Quote
So I decided to then make a little map showing the current situation with Bishops, then trying to draw up jurisdictional lines for each diocese.

The diocese I came up with were (with their respective Bishops)
Diocese of Eastern Canada (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of Western Canada (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of Alaska
Diocese of New England (Bishop Nikon)
Diocese of New York, New Jersey & Connecticut (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania (Bishop Tikhon)
Diocese of Western Pennsylvania (Bishop Mechizedek)
Diocese of Washington D.C. & Delaware (Metropolitan Jonah or Metropolitan Philip)
Diocese of Ohio (Bishop Mark)
Diocese of Michigan (Bishop Nathaniel)
Diocese of the Appalachians & Carolinas (Bishop Thomas)
Diocese of the South (Bishop Antoun)
Diocese of the Midwest (Bishop Job)
Diocese of the Great Plains and Ozarks (Bishop Basil)
Diocese of Texas and New Mexico (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of the Southwest (Bishop Joseph)
Diocese of Northern California, Utah and Nevada (Bishop Benjamin)
Diocese of the Northwest (Unknown Bishop)
Diocese of Mexico (Bishop Alejo)

Then for fun, I decided to figure out jurisdictions should all three (Antiochian, OCA & GOA) merge... The yellow lines denote new diocesan lines as a result of the Antiochian-OCA-GOA merger...

The diocese would then be split up more into smaller segments, the situation in Chicago could be resolved by moving a bishop to Milwaukee (or Minneapolis/St. Paul) and giving the more northern states to them. By creating a separate "Rocky Mountains" diocese with Colorado and New Mexico. Splitting Florida from the Diocese of the South and giving the Carribean to Bishop Antoun. Splitting up the Northeast into more segments.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

I wouldn't put any plans on the Greeks joining in the merger, but I would plan the merger with that eventuality in mind. Once the snow ball gets rolling, it will be a done deal.

I would also give more thought to the OCA ethnic dioceses, which in the main I think are a good idea given the nature of Orthodoxy in the New World.  I made a suggest on this somewhere.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2009, 09:58:57 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2009, 09:53:20 AM »

Im for it...it could work..Met.Phillip is in Englewood,NJ but I am praying he will be gone soon.Bishop Antoun even though he is the Bishop of Miami lives in Englewood too..go figure.

Explains a lot.  I understand Met. Philip spends a lot of time in FL as well.


Quote
This Unity could work.

Lord willing, it will work.
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2009, 09:57:31 AM »

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

I think cleveland has produced an even more detailed pipe-dream plan. Should be on OC.net somewhere.

Yes, I've been trying to find that. It was quite good.

Quote
Might be a fun exercise in fantasy for church-nerds, but plain truth is something like that ain't gonna happen

That's what they told Bill Gates in his garage, and the rest of the computer nerds.
http://www.pbs.org/nerds/timeline/micro.html


Quote
-- at least not in the next 30 years. Hard to see the future further ahead than that, but we've got at least that long before it's anywhere near the realm of statistical probability.

Oh, recent events are moving the calendar up a bit.
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2009, 10:04:49 AM »

Oh, recent events are moving the calendar up a bit.

Talks at Rives Junction are hardly indicative of reality across the land (and across the world). Don't get me wrong: I love Rives Junction; it is my spiritual home. But it's also on the bleeding edge of the pro-American-autocephaly faction, and, thus, not much of a bellwether.
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2009, 10:09:25 AM »

Yeah, I know that state-by-state there is a lot of overlap, but in my opinion, the boundaries ought to be redrawn completely. I'm kind of thinking of it like "redistricting"... It ought to be divided by region and population.

One thing, we also ought to think about geography & cities.

Maybe for those states that are divided up (like California & Pennsylvania), they should be divided by the counties.

pensateomnia, there are more events that have pushed it forward than just Rives Junction...
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2009, 10:21:36 AM »

Oh, recent events are moving the calendar up a bit.

Talks at Rives Junction are hardly indicative of reality across the land (and across the world). Don't get me wrong: I love Rives Junction; it is my spiritual home. But it's also on the bleeding edge of the pro-American-autocephaly faction, and, thus, not much of a bellwether.

LOL. Neither's the Phanar.  But unlike the Phanar, Rives Junctin is living in the present for the future.  And it is here: I never did buy Archb. Spyridon's dogma that the EP knows America better than us here.

The Orthodox can chose to die off as ethnic clubs, or carry on as the Body of Christ. Yes, Rives Junction is on the cutting edge of the latter option, and since Father Braga et alia are Old World, it is not a bunch of impatient Americans pushing it.

The Church in North America isn't on the EP agenda for his trip here as it stands now, but he might be forced to put it on.  When is SCOBA scheduled to meet again?



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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2009, 10:33:15 AM »

pensateomnia, there are more events that have pushed it forward than just Rives Junction...

I used Rives Junction as a sort of metonymy. The salient point is not the place or even the specific scuttlebutt reportedly discussed, but the real power (or lack thereof) of the larger faction it represents to effect such drastic change.

In reality, this kind of thing is just talk -- the same talk that's been happening for 45 years, ever since the time of the original rumblings in the Metropolia. And, in those 45 years, much more significant events than these recent ones have occurred.

I understand that people get excited about this kind of dreaming, but the unfortunate reality is that actually implementing it would lead to major schism. That's just the truth. It's more productive to focus on the local level and build unity there.
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2009, 10:37:44 AM »

LOL. Neither's the Phanar.  

I wasn't even thinking about the Phanar -- which is a whole different level. This thread is about the OCA and Antiochians. Even that's not going to happen. Just look at the recent Convention.
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2009, 10:39:09 AM »

Unity has to happen on every level. The hierarchs talking in Rives Junction are an example. Lay and clergy working together at a local level is another. But unity will come on God's time table. And it may come sooner than we think. Keep dreaming Devin. But work and pray for Orthodox unity too.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2009, 10:40:12 AM »

I really don't see how a major schism would happen... It isn't like the Antiochians are hugely divided on the issue. I remember seeing a study/poll that showed most Orthodox Americans were united , even in the desire for unity. The differences arise in how it will be done.

You are right Tamera, I don't know what it is like in other regions, but I think here in the Midwest there is a lot of cooperation between churches.
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2009, 10:42:06 AM »

Yeah, I know that state-by-state there is a lot of overlap, but in my opinion, the boundaries ought to be redrawn completely. I'm kind of thinking of it like "redistricting"... It ought to be divided by region and population.

One thing, we also ought to think about geography & cities.

Maybe for those states that are divided up (like California & Pennsylvania), they should be divided by the counties.

No, as you pointed out, the See overlap is remarkably (providentially?) small, which is the more sticky issue, and even among these, the "stickyness" is confined basically to San Francisco, New York and perhaps Chicago (that because the OCA Cathedral was founded by canonized saints).

Your division of CA, now that I've been to SF, makes a lot of sense to me, and to history/demography.

Your final dicose map makes sense, except I would leave NM and TX together, put WY with CO and maybe MT.  ID can go either with them or Seattle. (I've never been to that corner of the US, so I can't speculate too much here).

I'd go with the see in Minneaopolis, at the OCA cathedral because of the history and sanctity of St. Alexis Toth.

The Carolinas should be in the South, whose see should be the Greek one in New Orleans (again homage to history). AR should be in the south, MO with IL (yeah, I'm sure the MO are thrilled on that prospect).  Florida be on its own.

KY should be with WV, under Charleston, and  VA and MD under Washington.

Quebec should have its own bishop, as an ethnic diocese for the French (which would include LA and VT and ME).

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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2009, 10:43:39 AM »

I really don't see how a major schism would happen... It isn't like the Antiochians are hugely divided on the issue. I remember seeing a study/poll that showed most Orthodox Americans were united , even in the desire for unity. The differences arise in how it will be done.

I would agree. Most Antiochians want unity. We just need to get our house in order first. And God will make sure that happens because there is too much work to do.
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2009, 10:44:07 AM »

LOL. Neither's the Phanar.  

I wasn't even thinking about the Phanar -- which is a whole different level.

"All politics are local." (I don't quote Tip O'Neill often for his wisdom).

Quote
This thread is about the OCA and Antiochians. Even that's not going to happen. Just look at the recent Convention.

yes, what about the recent convention?
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2009, 10:48:41 AM »

I really don't see how a major schism would happen...

Apparently you didn't pay attention to what happened at the Convention. You'd lose a LOT more than the Detroit 4, including bishops (in the plural).

Anyway, your hope springs eternal, which is good. Sometimes, though, it's also good to listen to and acknowledge the real existence of (strong) voices that don't agree with one's preconceived notions.
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2009, 10:57:34 AM »

almisry, I put MO with KS and others simply because KC and other Missouri cities border the KS/MO line. Kansas City is equally divided between KS and MO:
http://www.ingramsonline.com/dkc2/images/kcmap.gif

Most of the Orthodox Churches in KC are in KS. (though majority of the overall population is in MO) Also, I decided to lump St. Louis in there too since the vast majority of St. Louis (population & churches) is in Missouri.
However, Missouri could be divided as well with SE & E going with Illinois, and NW, W and SW going with Kansas.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/ec/Missouri_population_map.png/600px-Missouri_population_map.png
In Missouri there is also cultural differences. Stl is very East-Coastish and KC is very West-Coastish... So it would make more sense to divide Missouri in half.

I also had put AR with Kansas simply because of the Ozarks culture, but it could definitely be better in the South.

I also had tried to lump the Appalachian states together since there is a distinct culture there.

Nice suggestions almisry, since I've only been to a small part of the country, I'm not aware of a lot of situations & cultures.
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2009, 11:06:53 AM »

Wait a minute!  How on earth can one even dream of Antiochian unity when they are allowed to choose which rite they utilize-so there is already divide there. From what I understand from my Antiochian convert friend there is some snootiness involved between the two groups who have chosen one or the other.  The only time I saw their western rite practice is when they once used our Greek parish and frankly I did NOT like it at all. Simply for the fact that it was too familiar, too western, too much like what I had spent a heck of a lot of time trying to get away from! While I am not the least bit Hellenic, I just can't see how you would get the GOA folks to give up their rich cultural heritage to blend in with what looks a lot like Western practice-ala old English Hymnology instead of the original Greek. Just simply would not happen. Some of the converts like to be embedded in the foreign, deeply so since they are still healing the wounds of the familiar, the Western or the American. I am not stating culture to be a marker for purity or superiority, but neither is it somehow inferior to the American thinking.

I am all for unity, but would we be truly loving if we asked all the cultural Orthodox here in the US to give up that culture to somehow 'homogenize" the Faith to look more American? Every time this topic comes up I can't get anyone to answer the question as to what to do with people's cultures? It would be wrong to simply toss everything each jurisdiction has to offer, and offensive to those people. I just cannot figure out how unity could work without insulting various people groups. What have the Antiochians here brought to the table that is supposedly more perfect than what any of the other jurisdictions have to offer? I note that even on various forums of ladies only, there is a bit of a discord amongst those that think Western Rite is too Latin/Roman/"Western"  Not sure they mean to do this, but it does come across to the western rite ladies. I find it very odd sitting in my perspective.
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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2009, 11:14:46 AM »

Wait a minute!  How on earth can one even dream of Antiochian unity when they are allowed to choose which rite they utilize-so there is already divide there. From what I understand from my Antiochian convert friend there is some snootiness involved between the two groups who have chosen one or the other.  The only time I saw their western rite practice is when they once used our Greek parish and frankly I did NOT like it at all. Simply for the fact that it was too familiar, too western, too much like what I had spent a heck of a lot of time trying to get away from! While I am not the least bit Hellenic, I just can't see how you would get the GOA folks to give up their rich cultural heritage to blend in with what looks a lot like Western practice-ala old English Hymnology instead of the original Greek. Just simply would not happen. Some of the converts like to be embedded in the foreign, deeply so since they are still healing the wounds of the familiar, the Western or the American. I am not stating culture to be a marker for purity or superiority, but neither is it somehow inferior to the American thinking.

I am all for unity, but would we be truly loving if we asked all the cultural Orthodox here in the US to give up that culture to somehow 'homogenize" the Faith to look more American? Every time this topic comes up I can't get anyone to answer the question as to what to do with people's cultures? It would be wrong to simply toss everything each jurisdiction has to offer, and offensive to those people. I just cannot figure out how unity could work without insulting various people groups. What have the Antiochians here brought to the table that is supposedly more perfect than what any of the other jurisdictions have to offer? I note that even on various forums of ladies only, there is a bit of a discord amongst those that think Western Rite is too Latin/Roman/"Western"  Not sure they mean to do this, but it does come across to the western rite ladies. I find it very odd sitting in my perspective.

Why would we have to have the same rite? Unity means we would have ONE synod of bishops, not fifteen. Cultural diversity could easily coexist under one synod.
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2009, 11:17:33 AM »

Another thing to consider (apropos ialmisry's suggestion of ethnic dioceses): While Antiochian and OCA people in MO and KS appear indistinguishable to 88Devin12, such is not always the case in other regions, including areas with the largest numbers of Orthodox Christians. This whole exercise of dividing bishoprics into geographical regions that correspond to American cultures might be palatable to those Orthodox who strongly identify with that particular American regional culture, but, in my experience, it would not work in most of the areas of the country with the greatest number of Orthodox Christians. So, I would imagine you'd need to give special attention to this type of issue throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, parts of PA and in FL. Probably elsewhere too. Just happen to have lived in those regions and seen the reality firsthand.
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« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2009, 11:21:06 AM »

I would have to say that also, the various "rites" can certainly be different. Nothing would change.

The thing is though, this is the American church, yes there are divisions ethnically and their traditions are to be respected, but all ethnicities can be under the same bishop. (and should be)
Eventually we won't have "pure" ethnic communities in these churches...

Many churches that were once soley ethnic are now in a situation where the former majority is now outnumbered.

Also we must realize that these communities will not inter-marry and so ethnicities will become more and more blurred. This is America, we are a melting pot and our church needs to reflect that.

Also, remember that converts are going to come in, and in more numbers. With any merger should come more evangelism and more openness to converts. Any ethnic walls need to dissapear.
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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2009, 12:08:39 PM »

Many churches that were once soley ethnic are now in a situation where the former majority is now outnumbered.

Yes, and many are still predominately otherwise, in self-indentification, liturgical language, language used at home, etc. Just come visit me. I can take you to OCA (of the Russian/Slavonic, Romanian & Bulgarian variety), Antiochian, Ukrainian, Russian Patriarchal, Romanian Patriarchal, ROCOR, Serbian & Greek parishes, all within an easy drive, at which you would hear little English, unless you're doing the talking. You can speak to the parishioners. The majority would object to your plan, for a wide variety of reasons. Same goes for the clergy. These are real, practicing, faithful Orthodox Christians -- tens of thousands, actually -- whether we like their perspective or not.

A friend of mine actually did an experiment like that in another region of the country (Florida). Went to 35 different parishes in 35 weeks. Wrote a 110-page report. Similar thing down there.

If one really wants to figure out strategies for Orthodox unity, it's a good idea to honestly assess the lay of the land and to think about how to enact the idea amongst the many, many, many clergy and laity who object to the idea as it has been articulated so far. Otherwise, this sort of thing is like preaching to the choir.
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2009, 12:20:37 PM »

I would have to say that also, the various "rites" can certainly be different. Nothing would change.

The thing is though, this is the American church, yes there are divisions ethnically and their traditions are to be respected, but all ethnicities can be under the same bishop. (and should be)
Eventually we won't have "pure" ethnic communities in these churches...
You would have to realize that despite being able to mark where bishops are now, and where they would be placed-there are some areas of the country where Orthodoxy is so vastly overcome by protestantism that there are hardly any churches. Limiting parishes to this new homogenized "American" form of the faith would quite possibly limit that further. Its hard enough finding an Orthodox parish in the South now, much less one with a full time priest. The only way this convert can attend a Vespers or anything outside of a Sunday Liturgy is to go to the Western rite Antiochian parish-something my dh and I are loathe to do. We just simply do not favor that practice, nor is there any reason to force the issue. It simply demonstrates that Orthodoxy isn't as readily available in some parts of the US as it should be. Blurring the Faith to appear more "American" won't do anything to help that.[/color]
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Many churches that were once soley ethnic are now in a situation where the former majority is now outnumbered.
I think we might have done that in our own parish already. Once our family of 9, 8 now that dd didn't convert, showed up it seems older members stopped attending. Maybe it was less obvious that they weren't there due to our numbers? Not really sure there, but after we were unable to attend this Sunday the priest decided he will only come once every other week. He is already 86, so he isn't being trifling. Its just that our 8 people are mostly children so they aren't 'contributing' to what it costs to put the priest in the hotel while he is here. Those that aren't coming aren't contributing...and you have a nice mess. Pretty soon all we will have is the parish with the rite we so greatly dislike or travelling with a special needs child 65 miles away. Unlikely on either count.

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Also we must realize that these communities will not inter-marry and so ethnicities will become more and more blurred. This is America, we are a melting pot and our church needs to reflect that.

Also, remember that converts are going to come in, and in more numbers. With any merger should come more evangelism and more openness to converts. Any ethnic walls need to dissapear.
There is nothing covertly wrong with ethnicities, each culture brings something valuable to the table no matter what issue we are addressing. We might be a land of mutts, but this is hardly something to be incredibly thrilled over. When it all comes down to it we are human beings, with decidedly different preferences. If I had a cultural identity that wasn't 'blurred' to the point of confusion I would LOVE to give that to my children! The Church needs to reflect Christ, not American identity issues. Walking into a Greek parish myself was quite an awakening, but I never experienced any 'ethnic walls' despite my non Hellenic state. I realize some do experience cultural issues, and hence the mad frenzy to create a decidedly "American" Orthodox church. But as you can see from the consternation here, what exactly is specifically "American?"  I am thankful to be a convert, and yes, I do believe Orthodoxy needs to stop hiding behind quotes like "we don't prosletyze" and "we are waiting for when folks find US I just don't get all the frenzy I guess. Its hard enough trying to become more Orthodox, especially with the limitations of few parishes, retired priests, mission parishes and more here in the South I am just thankful we found Orthodoxy at all, so maybe the push to be so blurred is wasted on me Embarrassed

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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2009, 12:51:47 PM »

Wait a minute!  How on earth can one even dream of Antiochian unity when they are allowed to choose which rite they utilize-so there is already divide there.

None that didn't exist in the first 1200 years of the Orthodox Church.

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From what I understand from my Antiochian convert friend there is some snootiness involved between the two groups who have chosen one or the other.  The only time I saw their western rite practice is when they once used our Greek parish and frankly I did NOT like it at all. Simply for the fact that it was too familiar, too western, too much like what I had spent a heck of a lot of time trying to get away from!

So the Eastern Rite in Greece is too familiar, too Eastern so it should be ditched there?


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While I am not the least bit Hellenic, I just can't see how you would get the GOA folks to give up their rich cultural heritage to blend in with what looks a lot like Western practice-ala old English Hymnology instead of the original Greek.

Which most don't understand.

When they speak Greek at the coffee hour exclusively, I'll buy the argument that the DL must be in Greek (or any language for that matter: I've been to plenty of Romanian Churches where the DL was all Romanian, but then so was the coffee hour).


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Just simply would not happen. Some of the converts like to be embedded in the foreign, deeply so since they are still healing the wounds of the familiar, the Western or the American.

Smells and bells. The call is to transform society, not hide from it.


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I am not stating culture to be a marker for purity or superiority, but neither is it somehow inferior to the American thinking.

I am all for unity, but would we be truly loving if we asked all the cultural Orthodox here in the US to give up that culture to somehow 'homogenize" the Faith to look more American?

Who's calling for that?  The OCA's ethnic diocese's says otherwise (though one should be set up for the Carpatho-Russian and another for the Russians, to underline that). My only fear about the OCA-Antiochian merger was the WRO.  I've been told that Met. Jonah, however, is very supportive.


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Every time this topic comes up I can't get anyone to answer the question as to what to do with people's cultures?

Somewhere I did an entire post on that.


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It would be wrong to simply toss everything each jurisdiction has to offer, and offensive to those people.

No one advocating unity (and autocephaly) is advocating that.

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I just cannot figure out how unity could work without insulting various people groups. What have the Antiochians here brought to the table that is supposedly more perfect than what any of the other jurisdictions have to offer?

As opposed to the OCA or GOA?


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I note that even on various forums of ladies only, there is a bit of a discord amongst those that think Western Rite is too Latin/Roman/"Western"  Not sure they mean to do this, but it does come across to the western rite ladies. I find it very odd sitting in my perspective.

There's a Ladies only forum?

I just went to the WRO in Detroit, Holy Incarnation this weekend. God grant them many years!  VERY Orthodox.  And Western.
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« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2009, 01:08:16 PM »

Wait a minute!  How on earth can one even dream of Antiochian unity when they are allowed to choose which rite they utilize-so there is already divide there. From what I understand from my Antiochian convert friend there is some snootiness involved between the two groups who have chosen one or the other.  The only time I saw their western rite practice is when they once used our Greek parish and frankly I did NOT like it at all. Simply for the fact that it was too familiar, too western, too much like what I had spent a heck of a lot of time trying to get away from! While I am not the least bit Hellenic, I just can't see how you would get the GOA folks to give up their rich cultural heritage to blend in with what looks a lot like Western practice-ala old English Hymnology instead of the original Greek. Just simply would not happen. Some of the converts like to be embedded in the foreign, deeply so since they are still healing the wounds of the familiar, the Western or the American. I am not stating culture to be a marker for purity or superiority, but neither is it somehow inferior to the American thinking.

The Antiochians aren't the only one's to have Western Rite. ROCOR (which are probably the most traditional Orthodox jurisdiction) has a Western Rite as well which I believe was established by St. Tikhon of Moscow.

Quote
I am all for unity, but would we be truly loving if we asked all the cultural Orthodox here in the US to give up that culture to somehow 'homogenize" the Faith to look more American? Every time this topic comes up I can't get anyone to answer the question as to what to do with people's cultures? It would be wrong to simply toss everything each jurisdiction has to offer, and offensive to those people. I just cannot figure out how unity could work without insulting various people groups. What have the Antiochians here brought to the table that is supposedly more perfect than what any of the other jurisdictions have to offer? I note that even on various forums of ladies only, there is a bit of a discord amongst those that think Western Rite is too Latin/Roman/"Western"  Not sure they mean to do this, but it does come across to the western rite ladies. I find it very odd sitting in my perspective.

Nobody has to abandon their culture. The monastery in Rives Junction and one of the churches in my city are OCA but are Romanian and the church in my city has had no problem with keeping their language and their culture. The same goes for an Albanian church I went to that is under the OCA.
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« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2009, 01:27:13 PM »

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14412.msg205010.html#msg205010

Thats the link to Cleveland's previous post on the matter. As we can see from the thread, we've talking about this topic ad nauseum on several occaisions.

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« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2009, 01:40:52 PM »

Another thing to consider (apropos ialmisry's suggestion of ethnic dioceses): While Antiochian and OCA people in MO and KS appear indistinguishable to 88Devin12, such is not always the case in other regions, including areas with the largest numbers of Orthodox Christians. This whole exercise of dividing bishoprics into geographical regions that correspond to American cultures might be palatable to those Orthodox who strongly identify with that particular American regional culture, but, in my experience, it would not work in most of the areas of the country with the greatest number of Orthodox Christians. So, I would imagine you'd need to give special attention to this type of issue throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, parts of PA and in FL. Probably elsewhere too. Just happen to have lived in those regions and seen the reality firsthand.

I don't see any great difference among the jurisidictions on how they divide New England, NY, NJ, PA or FL, so I don't see your point.

They live in those geographical regions.  They had better reconcile themselves to that fact, and start evangelizing where they are.

Church politics trying to pass itself off as "culture" is another matter.
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« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2009, 01:46:28 PM »

Maybe we should get back to the original post which only mentioned unity between AOCA and OCA. The original poster was not talking about unity with any other jurisdictions at this time. And I want to stress again, unity means one synod of bishops, not cultural homogenization.
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« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2009, 01:48:38 PM »

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14412.msg205010.html#msg205010

Thats the link to Cleveland's previous post on the matter. As we can see from the thread, we've talking about this topic ad nauseum on several occaisions.

Ah, yes. Thanks for the link. Many good things there. One of his points, which reflects part of what I was trying to highlight:

It should be noted that the Ohio Valley and Northeast combined have 25% of the US population, 7% of its land mass, but 44.4% of its Orthodox parishes.
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« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2009, 02:14:10 PM »

We need to allow parishes to choose between the Slavic Tradition, Byzantine Tradition, Arabic Tradition and yes, the Western Rite Tradition. Even combining them is ok as they are ALL Orthodox.

In my opinion, the parish and dioceses need to start working to help teach their faithful the English language. This isn't a necessity nor something to be demanded, but the decendants of these people will speak English, and it would be best if they spoke it to operate in the world as it is.

If a parish is the only one in a given area, in my opinion then it is wrong for it to be in a foreign language. However if it is one of dozens in a region, then it must prioritize whether it can be most effective in English or another language.

As he pointed out, we don't run from the culture, we transform it. We cannot do this if we lock ourselves in our churches and ignore everything around it. What did St. Paul say about tongues in Corinthians? I know this isn't about the gift of tongues, but it's the same thing, people are speaking in languages that others may not understand, if it's a stumbling block to many people, then it needs to be addressed.

Our goal needs to be retaining who we have, pulling back those who have left, and bringing in those who have never belonged. Each parish, in addition to dioceses needs to address how to best do this. (good luck)

Unifying also doesn't mean total breaking of ties with Antioch/Syria. Look at the OCA & Moscow, we are still very close, even though the OCA has autocephaly. Although autocephaly from Antioch would exist, relations could still be very close.
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« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2009, 02:16:25 PM »

Every time this topic comes up I can't get anyone to answer the question as to what to do with people's cultures?

Somewhere I did an entire post on that.

While we are dreaming.....

There would have to be a reorganization of bishops, so there would be no overlap.  Someone here did a study on that somewhere.

Recently I saw something about a ROCOR bishop who has as part of his title, besides his diocese "defender of the Old Rite" (he is the touchpoint for the Old Ritualists in ROCOR).  There is something like that should be had, as Met. Jonah quoted St. Tikhon in his recent statement.

So St. Nicholas, St. Raphail's see, should be set aside for a bishop who would be "defender of the Antiochian Usage and Arabic tradition."  Said bishop would be the one to approve the Arabic liturgical texts, and serve as the Holy Synod's overseer of Antiochian liturgical usage, stating what was ligitimate and what was liturgical abuse, and speak up and defend the Antiochian customs and tradition.  Said bishop would also advise on relations with the Arab Orthodox abroad in general and Antioch in particular.  Also with the Melkite and Maronites, and the advisor on the issue of reunion with the Syriac Orthodox, here and in Syria.   Said bishop could also be charged with mission to Muslims, here and abroad.

If necessry, and possible, a see can be set aside for the defender of "Jerusalmite usage" can be set up.  I wouldn't recommend Ben Lomand.

In Boston, a see for an Albanian bishop should be set up who would continue the tradition of St. Fan Noli, approve Albanian texts, missions to Albanian Muslims, etc.

In Sitka, the See should be charged with missions to the Amerindians, defender of the use of their languages in the rites, etc.

San Francisco should have a bishop who is the "defendor of the Great Russian Usage and Tradition," a bishop in Pensylvania should be the "defender of the Carpartho-Russian, Rusyn and Ruthenian Usage and Traditions."  This is important: doing this both preserves the place of the Russians and the returnees from the Vatican in the history of Orthodoxy in North America, and cuts the OCA as a whole free to develop organically, and allay fears of the non-slavs, and in the case of the Ukrainians, slavs.

The Romanians can stay put and keep Detroit, and act as defender of the Romanian usage, etc.

We would have two bishops in Canada, Bp. (not auxiliary) Alexander should stay in Montreal (or more to Quebec City, it's much better) to serve the French (not only in Canada but in USA), and Bp. Serapim in Ottawa to make sure that Canada is not relegated to an afterthought by the Holy Synod of the new OCA. Speaking of which, the opportunity might be taken to rename it the "Orthodox Church in North America," or to think about autocephaly for Canada  (although I think the guarenteed sees for the French and English Canadians, and, if Ukrainians are enticed to join our common cause, then Vancouver can be restored as a see for the Ukrainians too).

The OCA's exarch in Mexico can serve for the Hispanics, but that would also entail dealing with the seperate Antiochian Archdiocese.

And looking towards the future: Chicago could be set aside of the Serbs: we have the largest number of them here. Or the Orthodox Poles, if they become numerous enough in this country.  We have more Poles than anyone except Warsaw.

The last of course, I expect, would be the Greeks.  They can have New York.

Of course, these assignments to certain thrones are not exclusive.  Just because Brooklyn is the Arab See, doesnn't mean an Arab can't be a bishop to another diocesan see, etc. It just makes sure SOMEONE is doing these tasks, and SOMEONE is looking out for the Arab Orthodox, the Albanian Orthodox, the Romanian Orthodox, etc. and make sure that the Russain Orthodox and CR Orthodox are not too over powering.

As for the WRO, perhaps, if the merger were to happen, Wichita should be groomed as a WRO bishop.


Criticisms?

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« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2009, 02:20:05 PM »

In my opinion, the parish and dioceses need to start working to help teach their faithful the English language. This isn't a necessity nor something to be demanded, but the decendants of these people will speak English, and it would be best if they spoke it to operate in the world as it is.

En Quebec? Jamais!


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Unifying also doesn't mean total breaking of ties with Antioch/Syria. Look at the OCA & Moscow, we are still very close, even though the OCA has autocephaly. Although autocephaly from Antioch would exist, relations could still be very close.

Yes, just because you grow up and move out of the house doesn't mean you dump mom.
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« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2009, 02:44:18 PM »

hehe, sorry, I forgot about Canada (and Mexico, and the Carribean)
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« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2009, 02:46:24 PM »

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14412.msg205010.html#msg205010

Thats the link to Cleveland's previous post on the matter. As we can see from the thread, we've talking about this topic ad nauseum on several occaisions.

-Nick

Thanks for the link.  I had found it only a moment before you posted this, but even I had to use the search function to find it (with all the North Am Unity threads out there).
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« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2009, 03:21:15 PM »

Quote from: ialmisry

None that didn't exist in the first 1200 years of the Orthodox Church.
The divide between ER and WR did exist during that time? I know there were many hairs split, but I was unaware that this was one of them. Or am I misunderstanding you here?

Quote
So the Eastern Rite in Greece is too familiar, too Eastern so it should be ditched there?
I didn't say ditch anything, that was precisely the issue I was trying to get someone to address. By 'blurring' Orthodoxy into something decidedly American, whatever that means, some things will by default have to go. That is what bothers so many people. Its just that for me personally, and for my dh, we both needed to be away from what was 'familiar' because the "familiar" we wrong doctrine, wrong theology and wrong thinking. Going slightly back, or a step back towards that just doesn't sit well with my personal tastes is all.


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Which most don't understand.

When they speak Greek at the coffee hour exclusively, I'll buy the argument that the DL must be in Greek (or any language for that matter: I've been to plenty of Romanian Churches where the DL was all Romanian, but then so was the coffee hour).
Indeed I speak not a word of Greek outside of Liturgy and the names of foods...dh is a foodie to be sure. Yet I believe after these few years my spirit has picked up enough understanding to somehow 'know' when my intellect may not. Plus the darn words in English are right beside everything in the Liturgy book. Its really not as complicated as folks make it out to be, nevertheless it has to come down to personal preference in the matter. IF I want English only simply because I am in America, then I can drive down to our inner city and attend the Antiochian WR parish, or I can go without DL at all.



Quote
Smells and bells. The call is to transform society, not hide from it.


Quote
I am not stating culture to be a marker for purity or superiority, but neither is it somehow inferior to the American thinking.
You would take someones decidedly painful past and need for the changes in ancient practice is simply 'smells and bells?" How can you so easily dismiss a person and yet be worried about transforming society?  And who is to say that I am not actively engaged in transforming my society simply because I am a mutt of Celtic/German breeding in a foreign (to America) church? I can't hide from anything, I attract attention regardless of where I am because living my Faith is rather obvious. I say I am a believer in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, and I have 7 children in tow. I couldn't hide if I wanted to! And to add insult to injury I am usually the ONLY Orthodox in my TRBC flavored circles, in my family, just about anywhere. I can't hide, I am right there ready to be challenged on all the various issues folks bring up. And they do.



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Who's calling for that?  The OCA's ethnic diocese's says otherwise (though one should be set up for the Carpatho-Russian and another for the Russians, to underline that). My only fear about the OCA-Antiochian merger was the WRO. 
I've been told that Met. Jonah, however, is very supportive.
I can't say much on Met Jonah, I have only heard three podcasts of the man, and two caused a great deal of consternation within the other jurisdictions. The fact is that this can't be as simplistic as people wish it to be. And I still can't see the great need for this autocephaly-will it change the spiritual atmosphere in our country somehow?[/color]


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No one advocating unity (and autocephaly) is advocating that
. My merging, homogenizing and blurring, some groups will by default lose some aspects of their culture and identity. Assuming they participate at all.


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As opposed to the OCA or GOA?
Yes, to any jurisdiction to all of them.[/quote] Lets see if I have this straight: We are supposed to go along with creating, or recreating, Orthodoxy to suit the finer and peculiar tastes of the American-which are varied to say the least. Because they are so varied, one cannot arrive concisely at makes up an "American Orthodox" and there is no historic precedent to aid us in this definition. So since we simply do not want a patriarch of various other countries having any say here, we absolutely must gain autocephaly on this land mass in order to feel vindicated? That which the Greeks, the Russians and others have been doing for centuries has little merit and certainly the value of said experience is moot. So let us reason to recreate Orthodoxy in our own likeness so that it appears more favorable to the American palate?


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There's a Ladies only forum?

I just went to the WRO in Detroit, Holy Incarnation this weekend. God grant them many years!  VERY Orthodox.  And Western.
NO ladies only forum here, just the ones I have found since converting. And I never suggested that WRO were somehow less Orthodox or wrong in ANY way, shape or form. I simply expressed a preference to NOT be WR as I found it too familiar to me personally. I do not want familiar, as for me that would be a great deal more pain. My experience is just as valid as anyone else's I suppose, I just figure that a person should have the ability to choose WR or ER. The way I see it, again its merely my opinion so far as a convert, is that the WR is far more Latin looking, possibly High Anglican, than I wish for myself and family. But the fact that my WR friend practices Ash Wednesday and I don't is not a matter of salvation.  Anyone wishing to combine all the Orthodoxy in America into one thing is going to have to face those that favor one over the other, and those that are perfectly happy doing what they have done for 85 years. I will have to look up the other posts on this, but thus far when discussing it elsewhere I get either, "WE need unity at all costs, autocephaly here on this land mass and cultural identity gets in the way of that" or "what we have done for centuries is good enough for everyone" Neither side seems willing to concede either way, and I am suggesting this does nothing to further the faith here at all!

Fixed some of the quote tags, but having a little trouble sorting some of them out.  As a rule, I recommend hitting preview when you're doing quotes like this just to verify you got everything the way you want it to look. ~Veniamin
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« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2009, 04:51:46 PM »

I don't see how they'd have to give up cultural practices... Many groups in the OCA retain different cultural practices... There are parishes that are more Byzantine, some are more Slavic and others are more Arabic... Just because you are under the same Bishop doesn't mean your specific traditions dissapear.

To give an analogy... If a bunch of Russian parishes suddenly went under GOA, their onion domes wouldn't be replaced by Byzantine ones would they?
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« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2009, 04:55:12 PM »

I think more of an issue would be something like, could Serbs still find a Priest to celebrate their Slava with, etc.
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« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2009, 04:55:49 PM »

The last time I looked in a phone book I saw around 140 parishes in the Pittsburgh region(south western Pa) alone. Most of the clergy around here seems to know eachother, but I don't have a clue how the Orthodox around here feel about unity.

We have about 5 to 7 Antiochian parishes in the region......I forgot....hmm. But yeah, I don't know how the Orthodox around here feel about unity.








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« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2009, 05:05:34 PM »

I think more of an issue would be something like, could Serbs still find a Priest to celebrate their Slava with, etc.

Why not? We would still have all the seminaries and monasteries... The only difference is that now they are under the same Bishop...
Also, the seminaries should reflect any unity by teaching across all traditions... Seminarians should learn Slavic, Byzantine, Arabic & Western Rite traditions. It not only helps maximize their effectiveness to serve more parishes, but it also makes them more well rounded and helps them understand other traditions... As for speaking other languages, they could offer more language courses and basic language courses. Parishes may not be able to be completely in another language, but some is better than none right?
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« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2009, 05:46:59 PM »

There have been some excellent suggestions by Cleveland, ialmisry,  Deacon Zarras (accessible in the thread that has Cleveland's input) and 88Devin12. In particular, I like the emphasis on not turning our back on ethnic churches yet, at the same time, be future oriented (area and population based growth projections, rather than where the churches now are).

I would like to also state that there seems to be a divide in the United States between those folks who live roughly west of the Mississippi and the Deep South, and those who live to the east of the great river. The divide concerns how open folks are to converts and other ethnic types, with those in the West/South more open. I know there are exceptions and yet I cannot shake the feeling (and it is only anecdotal and personal) that this may be due to living among mainly Protestant populations as very small islands.

My own approach would be to first start with a vision and then figure out the intermediate steps. My vision would be to have at least one bishop per state (number to be determined on a projected per capita basis); the mission would then be to make that happen in accordance with some realistic bishop to priest to congregant ratios. The intermediate steps would be similar to the proposals on the table. I do think, however, that a transformational such as this should start with a strong vision and complementary vision. It is true that this approach would emphasize areas of growth at the expense of existing large pockets of Orthodox presence. But, is this not the way that a united and missionary church would operate?
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« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2009, 05:59:48 PM »

Wait a minute!  How on earth can one even dream of Antiochian unity when they are allowed to choose which rite they utilize-so there is already divide there...I am all for unity, but would we be truly loving if we asked all the cultural Orthodox here in the US to give up that culture to somehow 'homogenize" the Faith to look more American?

I know where you are coming from; however, there should/would be no need doctrinally or ecclesiastically to have just one rite in any united continent-wide church. First, there were many different liturgies in the Early Church--there was no homogenization then and we should not do so now. Second, if God-willing, we reunite with the OO, there will be more liturgies that we see now. Third, should we grow as we hope and pray that we do, there should be no reason for anyone not to be able to choose the rite of his/her choosing. Fourth, does it really matter all that much if my chanting and melodies are different than yours, especially if you do your thing in Church X while I do mine in Church Y? Finally, please consider that esthetics are fleeting: who knows what you will consider pleasing to you ten years from now?
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« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2009, 07:21:20 PM »


My merging, homogenizing and blurring, some groups will by default lose some aspects of their culture and identity. Assuming they participate at all. [/color]

Did you miss my post? As I said, Romanians here in my city are under the OCA and they have no problem at all keeping their cultural traditions alive.

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« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2011, 05:40:44 PM »

The Spirit is descended!

I just happened upon this map of the Orthodox in the US in 2000.



Is there a Church there in Idaho?

Here's the competition:

and old friends:
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« Reply #45 on: June 18, 2011, 07:44:24 PM »

I know of three Antiochian, one Greek, and one ROCOR parish(es) in Idaho.  There may well be more.
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« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2011, 01:11:37 AM »

I know of three Antiochian, one Greek, and one ROCOR parish(es) in Idaho.  There may well be more.

If anyone has the new Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches then we could find out if there are more! lol
I think there is also a .pdf on orthodoxreality.org that has the states and how many churches are there, but I have no clue right now where to find it.
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« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2011, 10:45:22 PM »

Out of curiosity, why would it really even matter if they merged.

If they are united in Eucharist?

Isn't the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist that when your receive the body & blood, that you are in 100% communion with every Orthodox Christian Worldwide? (of course "Orthodox" meaning the ones that your jurisdiction is in communion with)

If the real point is the Eucharist and sacraments, the jurisdictional issues really only mean a "churchy", "money", and "property line" issue.  I could not imagine this happening.    However, sure, anything is possible.   But within the same communion, I just don't see the point I guess?? 

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« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2011, 10:49:12 PM »

Out of curiosity, why would it really even matter if they merged.

If they are united in Eucharist?

Isn't the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist that when your receive the body & blood, that you are in 100% communion with every Orthodox Christian Worldwide? (of course "Orthodox" meaning the ones that your jurisdiction is in communion with)

If the real point is the Eucharist and sacraments, the jurisdictional issues really only mean a "churchy", "money", and "property line" issue.  I could not imagine this happening.    However, sure, anything is possible.   But within the same communion, I just don't see the point I guess??  


Well, for starters, instead of huge dioceses where the bishop is running around constantly and still doesn't get to all the parishes, we can have local compact dioceses where not only is the bishop not running himself into a grave but can reach all his parishes and they can all easily reach him.
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« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2012, 03:35:17 PM »

I just saw this map and it reminded me of the above post, for comparison:

Its the population density of the USA in 2000
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« Reply #50 on: May 20, 2012, 10:25:44 PM »

the map has been updated:
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« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2012, 06:42:16 AM »

That would be really nice and all but I honestly doubt it would work out. I've never attended an Antiochian Church and I know very little about the formal relations between the OCA and Antiochian Church, but from what Arab Christians at my Church have told me, the Antiochians do not have very positive thoughts about the OCA, and are generally skeptical of non-Arabs. Now combine this with the fact that the OCA is extremely laid back and made up mostly of western converts and I think you have a bad combination. I had always thought that the OCA and ROCOR were the closest North American jurisdictions and were likely to merge together since they both share a common ancestor (Russian Patriarch).
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« Reply #52 on: May 21, 2012, 07:07:09 AM »

That would be really nice and all but I honestly doubt it would work out. I've never attended an Antiochian Church and I know very little about the formal relations between the OCA and Antiochian Church, but from what Arab Christians at my Church have told me, the Antiochians do not have very positive thoughts about the OCA, and are generally skeptical of non-Arabs. Now combine this with the fact that the OCA is extremely laid back and made up mostly of western converts and I think you have a bad combination. I had always thought that the OCA and ROCOR were the closest North American jurisdictions and were likely to merge together since they both share a common ancestor (Russian Patriarch).
JamesR, I wonder if you're being unduly influenced by the Arabs in your church who may have left the Antiochian church for personal reasons (yes, I realize that's just supposition on my part - you will know better than I). My own small parish is predominantly non-Arab - and the few Arabs that we have are in ethnically mixed marriages or well on the way to local cultural assimilation. We have an excellent relationship with a small OCA parish about 45 minutes away. Their deacon occasionally assists our priest for weddings, funerals, etc. That deacon's brother (and family) is a member of our parish. Experiences will vary. Unity of this sort at the local level will happen long before any formal administrative unity.
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« Reply #53 on: May 21, 2012, 02:15:25 PM »

That would be really nice and all but I honestly doubt it would work out. I've never attended an Antiochian Church and I know very little about the formal relations between the OCA and Antiochian Church, but from what Arab Christians at my Church have told me, the Antiochians do not have very positive thoughts about the OCA, and are generally skeptical of non-Arabs. Now combine this with the fact that the OCA is extremely laid back and made up mostly of western converts and I think you have a bad combination. I had always thought that the OCA and ROCOR were the closest North American jurisdictions and were likely to merge together since they both share a common ancestor (Russian Patriarch).

Arabs are no longer a majority in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and since the 1980s, Antiochian clergy have been about 70 percent non-Arab.
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« Reply #54 on: May 21, 2012, 02:17:58 PM »

That would be really nice and all but I honestly doubt it would work out. I've never attended an Antiochian Church and I know very little about the formal relations between the OCA and Antiochian Church, but from what Arab Christians at my Church have told me, the Antiochians do not have very positive thoughts about the OCA, and are generally skeptical of non-Arabs. Now combine this with the fact that the OCA is extremely laid back and made up mostly of western converts and I think you have a bad combination. I had always thought that the OCA and ROCOR were the closest North American jurisdictions and were likely to merge together since they both share a common ancestor (Russian Patriarch).
JamesR, I wonder if you're being unduly influenced by the Arabs in your church who may have left the Antiochian church for personal reasons (yes, I realize that's just supposition on my part - you will know better than I). My own small parish is predominantly non-Arab - and the few Arabs that we have are in ethnically mixed marriages or well on the way to local cultural assimilation. We have an excellent relationship with a small OCA parish about 45 minutes away. Their deacon occasionally assists our priest for weddings, funerals, etc. That deacon's brother (and family) is a member of our parish. Experiences will vary. Unity of this sort at the local level will happen long before any formal administrative unity.

No, he's just making stuff up as he goes along based on his own imagination and what he reads on the internet.
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« Reply #55 on: May 21, 2012, 02:35:25 PM »

I personally hope for it but I doubt it will be any time soon. There is the supposed general council sometime in 2013, but there is too much ego, too much money, too much property, and really, too much loyalty to the jurisdiction to clean it all up in one meeting.

In reference to the arabs, I really think its not so much arabs, or even laity for that matter. Its the leadership.

PP
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« Reply #56 on: May 21, 2012, 08:46:12 PM »

That would be really nice and all but I honestly doubt it would work out. I've never attended an Antiochian Church and I know very little about the formal relations between the OCA and Antiochian Church, but from what Arab Christians at my Church have told me, the Antiochians do not have very positive thoughts about the OCA, and are generally skeptical of non-Arabs. Now combine this with the fact that the OCA is extremely laid back and made up mostly of western converts and I think you have a bad combination. I had always thought that the OCA and ROCOR were the closest North American jurisdictions and were likely to merge together since they both share a common ancestor (Russian Patriarch).
JamesR, I wonder if you're being unduly influenced by the Arabs in your church who may have left the Antiochian church for personal reasons (yes, I realize that's just supposition on my part - you will know better than I). My own small parish is predominantly non-Arab - and the few Arabs that we have are in ethnically mixed marriages or well on the way to local cultural assimilation. We have an excellent relationship with a small OCA parish about 45 minutes away. Their deacon occasionally assists our priest for weddings, funerals, etc. That deacon's brother (and family) is a member of our parish. Experiences will vary. Unity of this sort at the local level will happen long before any formal administrative unity.

No, he's just making stuff up as he goes along based on his own imagination and what he reads on the internet.

Boy am I glad that I wasn't drinking anything when I read that.  It would have cost me a laptop.
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« Reply #57 on: May 21, 2012, 09:22:56 PM »

I personally hope for it but I doubt it will be any time soon. There is the supposed general council sometime in 2013, but there is too much ego, too much money, too much property, and really, too much loyalty to the jurisdiction to clean it all up in one meeting.

In reference to the arabs, I really think its not so much arabs, or even laity for that matter. Its the leadership.

PP

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« Reply #58 on: May 22, 2012, 09:55:49 AM »

I personally hope for it but I doubt it will be any time soon. There is the supposed general council sometime in 2013, but there is too much ego, too much money, too much property, and really, too much loyalty to the jurisdiction to clean it all up in one meeting.

In reference to the arabs, I really think its not so much arabs, or even laity for that matter. Its the leadership.

PP

Yes, but there have been 50 years of meetings leading up to the one meeting.
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