Welcome to the forum!
So I was just dropping by to say hey mainly and explain myself. I haven't really committed to converting yet. I've read a lot of Orthodox material in the past; however, I'm still confused.
Is it kosher for me to attend a Divine Liturgy next Sunday just to experience it for the first time and see how I feel? I've always been led away from Orthodoxy by others claiming that Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism is just nit-picking at some point and I should just stick with my culture. I am hardly Russian. I am hardly Greek. Not Albanian. etc. etc. Will I be alienated if I were to attend the DL? Should I talk to a priest beforehand?
Yes, it is kosher. It's not like there is some church bouncer with an "ethnicity detector" who says "Nope, not enough Russian. Go away".
As for culture, forget it. If religion was dependent upon culture than we would all be pagans and only those of Hebrew descent would be Christians.
Let me tell you about my background. My ancestors came to the USA in different times between the 17th century and 1903 and from different areas as well. My ethnic background comprises of Germans, Scots, Irish, Welsh, French, Spanish and possibly a small bit of African-American. The religious background is a mix of Protestantism and Catholicism with rumors of an Adventist and maybe a Mormon somewhere in there. I was a Roman Catholic from when I was baptized at five until I was chrismated Orthodox at sixteen.
Before I became Orthodox, I thought that I would be betraying my ancestors because the most recent immigrants of my family were Roman Catholic Germans from Bavaria and had been for, as far as I know, centuries. It took some time, but eventually I did realize that even though they may have been Roman Catholic and someone in this part of the family was Protestant and someone else may have been Mormon, etc etc; I realized that it did not matter all that much because even though Orthodoxy has traditionally been in the lands of Slavs, Greeks, Romanians and Arabs the fact of the matter is this: wherever Orthodoxy goes, locals of that land become Orthodox (sometimes a lot, sometimes not so many) and that Orthodoxy in that land will change that culture at some level or another.
If you care for more details on how I went from Roman Catholic to Orthodox, feel free to send a private message.
So, we figure that Orthodoxy has been in North America since 1794. That's over 200 years. Sure, the last half of that wasn't so hot, but for that we can blame Communism and human nature. Americans are becoming Orthodox that have as much Slavic, Greek, Romanian or Arab blood in them as an Icelander has Uzbek blood.
One's ethnicity does not determine whether one "can" or "can not" be this or that. I know people that are Turkish, Native Alaskan and American Mutt who are Orthodox. I also know people who are Russian, Bulgarian and Romanian who defected from those countries who are Orthodox and I even know Greeks who are Orthodox. And you know what? We all, for the most part, tend to get along just fine
Consider yourself to be more than welcome to a Divine Liturgy