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Author Topic: visiting other parish/jurisdictions?  (Read 805 times) Average Rating: 0
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calligraphqueen
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« on: August 24, 2009, 03:08:21 PM »

Our attendance at our little elderly GOA parish is so low at present that the priest is only coming up every other week. So he told us to go to the WR parish downtown- a very small start up parish. The only time dh and I had seen any of their service/practice is when they used our building for their priest's Chrismation and ordination.  Dh and I, at that time, were reminded a bit too much of the protestant past we had left behind. We never again considered going to that parish, and were already well settled at our Greek parish.
Now that we only have even DL on every other Sunday its even more important to make a decision. Without the ability to travel hours to other Greek parishes we are pretty limited. So yesterday I went to the WR parish with one of my sons.

Is there any reason to think that this will confuse my children in any way? I bumbled along, as it was both familiar and odd at the same time. My three sons are all servers in the altar with our priest, so I don't know how much of the service they remember from the aspect of being in the congregation. I just don't know how to feel about it, a bit sad that our parish doesn't even realize what they have and this start up parish is renting a tiny building without any space while our building frequently sits empty!   And yes, this is one of the reasons I can understand the push for church unity!   Does anyone else jump around in various jurisdictions as a matter of practice?  I just feel out of sorts a bit. Huh
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Tamara
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2009, 03:45:39 PM »

Our attendance at our little elderly GOA parish is so low at present that the priest is only coming up every other week. So he told us to go to the WR parish downtown- a very small start up parish. The only time dh and I had seen any of their service/practice is when they used our building for their priest's Chrismation and ordination.  Dh and I, at that time, were reminded a bit too much of the protestant past we had left behind. We never again considered going to that parish, and were already well settled at our Greek parish.
Now that we only have even DL on every other Sunday its even more important to make a decision. Without the ability to travel hours to other Greek parishes we are pretty limited. So yesterday I went to the WR parish with one of my sons.

Is there any reason to think that this will confuse my children in any way? I bumbled along, as it was both familiar and odd at the same time. My three sons are all servers in the altar with our priest, so I don't know how much of the service they remember from the aspect of being in the congregation. I just don't know how to feel about it, a bit sad that our parish doesn't even realize what they have and this start up parish is renting a tiny building without any space while our building frequently sits empty!   And yes, this is one of the reasons I can understand the push for church unity!   Does anyone else jump around in various jurisdictions as a matter of practice?  I just feel out of sorts a bit. Huh

If you don't like the WR parish, why not try to get more people to join your little parish? Invite friends and neighbors.
This little Greek Orthodox parish doesn't have to die if you and others love it. Just a thought.
If we had Orthodox unity it wouldn't mean all parishes would become WR. In fact, the majority of them are Eastern Rite
so don't worry about that one. Orthodox unity is only about having one synod of bishops who would take care of the parishes which would be has varied as they are now.

Tamara
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ialmisry
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2009, 04:40:57 PM »

Our attendance at our little elderly GOA parish is so low at present that the priest is only coming up every other week. So he told us to go to the WR parish downtown- a very small start up parish. The only time dh and I had seen any of their service/practice is when they used our building for their priest's Chrismation and ordination.  Dh and I, at that time, were reminded a bit too much of the protestant past we had left behind. We never again considered going to that parish, and were already well settled at our Greek parish.
Now that we only have even DL on every other Sunday its even more important to make a decision. Without the ability to travel hours to other Greek parishes we are pretty limited. So yesterday I went to the WR parish with one of my sons.

Is there any reason to think that this will confuse my children in any way? I bumbled along, as it was both familiar and odd at the same time. My three sons are all servers in the altar with our priest, so I don't know how much of the service they remember from the aspect of being in the congregation. I just don't know how to feel about it, a bit sad that our parish doesn't even realize what they have and this start up parish is renting a tiny building without any space while our building frequently sits empty!   And yes, this is one of the reasons I can understand the push for church unity!   Does anyone else jump around in various jurisdictions as a matter of practice?  I just feel out of sorts a bit. Huh

A week ago, because we went to Dormition Monestary (ERO of course) we went to the WRO parish in Detroit for the weekend.  We have been there before.  It didn't confuse my sons, although they questioned the violin playing during the hymns from the hymnal (as opposed to the chants), something I question myself.  They saw it as perfectly Orthodox (for one thing, it resembled our DL and not the megachurch their mother goes to, when she goes).

May I ask, where are you writing from?
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ms.hoorah
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2009, 06:12:28 PM »

Calligraphqueen,

No, I don’t think it will be bad or terribly confusing for your children to visit other jurisdictions.   In the summers, I frequently took my children to visit friends/family in other jurisdictions.  We saw and heard interesting Orthodox things that we would not have experienced otherwise.  Because my son has been an alter boy from the time he was 4 or 5, this gave him a chance to participate in the “other side” of the DL.  Enroll your kids in Orthodox church camps, Orthodox basketball youth leagues, or take them to  Orthodox youth functions if there are any in your area.   They will find other kids that they recognize quickly from different jurisdictions.  I am hoping my adult children will recognize (and talk to because they are very shy) other Orthodox adults they previously met in their youthful, Orthodox travels and of course, date them. Smiley

I understand your sadness with declining church membership.  I wish there was a “play book”  (like football, basketball, and etc.... Am I joking here?) where we would know how to appropriately encourage people to come in and visit us in Orthodoxy.  Some of our churches have been very ethnic since they are over 100 years old.  It might take decades for anyone to even consider looking at these churches, even if these churches now consist only of new members. The reputation of “ethnic and I won’t fit in” remains for years. At the church I attend, I have jokingly thought about suggesting a large, outside sign which says:

We are not-so-ethnic anymore! All of us speak English in here!  Free English literature about the Orthodox faith! 

I know, I know....there are potentially dangerous things that can happen if you “push” people into Orthodoxy.  Sadly, for many of our tiny and dwindling churches, it sometimes appears that there is just not much time left. Besides trying to live the Orthodox faith, which hopefully encourages others to want to visit and learn about Orthodoxy, I only have a few suggestions.  Look on the list of parishioners that may still be living in the community and start calling them AND their children. Tell them that they are missed at your church.  Have a picnic and personally invite them to come visit....like a family reunion.  My church puts a tiny advertisement in the newspaper inviting others to visit. A few families visited us after reading this ad.  A couple of Orthodox families from “the motherland” have found our church through this small advertisement and now attend. The priest’s answering machine and our church’s web site also explain exactly when services are held.  I have tried to find info. about DL times from Orthodox churches when vacationing or at a conference and their web page is empty or outdated by years.  This is really not conducive to increasing participants at DL. 

I wish that someone with knowledge about the Antiochian Oklahoma City program to “promote Orthodoxy” would tell me about this program.  I don’t want to criticize.  I just want to learn. Is there a site where the statistics/$$ spent/program details/etc... are discussed so that the other jurisdictions could learn details about this program, not just see the program flyers?
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calligraphqueen
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2009, 06:17:08 PM »

Quote
A week ago, because we went to Dormition Monestary (ERO of course) we went to the WRO parish in Detroit for the weekend.  We have been there before.  It didn't confuse my sons, although they questioned the violin playing during the hymns from the hymnal (as opposed to the chants), something I question myself.  They saw it as perfectly Orthodox (for one thing, it resembled our DL and not the megachurch their mother goes to, when she goes).

May I ask, where are you writing from?

This little parish used a man with a small keyboard. He tried valiantly to sing and often tried to break into harmony. The words in their Liturgy book were just printed words, no music to follow. So I had no idea of what key they were in or anything as he didn't play the keyboard during those. I am just so used to our Greek chanter I guess?? Yet I did notice that most of the things, including the scripture reading, were sung or chanted rather than just read. I have heard that is how its technically supposed to be done, so as not to insert ourselves into what it is we are reading. I think I would favor a violin over the keyboard, but that is just me.  Smiley  
I think part of me feels a bit discouraged in that the folks are my home parish don't realize what they have. Its just something they were given at birth, not something they have had to fight to even find buried in this little protestant hamlet. I am writing from the south, particularly flavored by the infamous Jerry Falwell. Without whom I may not have ever found Orthodoxy, as odd as that seems.
As to inviting others to join us, not likely. It is decidedly baptist here and we have been accused of joining the 'cult of Catherine" (whatever that is) and abandoning our family and worse. Its not been terribly pretty since conversion. There is a decided hostility towards anything that looks remotely "Roman" in any way shape or form.  We ought to have enough cradle born/Greek/ER Orthodox to keep things going just fine. Its just people stopped caring for some reason?
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Thomas
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2009, 05:03:30 PM »

Visiting a Western Rite Orthodox Church can be a teaching tool for your children that Orthodoxy does have a Western Riite and an Eastern Rite that are both fully Orthodox.  My kids were most often confused by the attendance at various jurisdictions of Eastern Orthodoxy because the presentation of the services and the languages used were often quite different.  They recognized the commonality but also were confused by the differences (for example Slavic practicve versus Byzantine/Greek Practice). They often had problems trying to follow the service because of something there were not used to seeing being present ( the chanting of the Beatitudes for example).

Our solution was simply to discuss how wonderful Orthodoxy was that it could embrace the various traditions  and still remain one unified Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. They soon enjoyed their excursions to other Orthodox jurisdictions and took back something different with every encounter.

Thomas
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Your brother in Christ ,
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