Poll

What were/are the 1-2 issues that were/are holding you back from the catechumenate?

Geography/Proximity to Orthodox Parishes
9 (16.7%)
Doctrinal Issues/Concerns
8 (14.8%)
Family/Spousal Considerations
13 (24.1%)
Negative Experience in visiting Orthodox parishes
0 (0%)
Sense of commitment to Protestant/RC congregation
3 (5.6%)
Other
4 (7.4%)
No barriers to entry, relatively smooth transition
17 (31.5%)

Total Members Voted: 54

Author Topic: Poll for Converts & Inquirers: The Transition from Inquiry to the Catechumate  (Read 1152 times)

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Offline Hinterlander

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I am now in the fourth year of my inquiry.  I chalk this to my indecisiveness and unwillingness to take action that might alienate me from my family/spouse. I think all doctrinal issues were resolved within a year or two.  My sense of commitment to a Protestant congregation is no longer an issue after moving in recent years.

Offline Agabus

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The issue would have been decided long before if distance hadn't been a factor. And talking to folks in our town, if distance wasn't a factor, they would've been more interested in the Church.

Seven years later, I'm used to spending three hours on the road round-trip, but I'm still not a fan.
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THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Elisha

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I am now in the fourth year of my inquiry.  I chalk this to my indecisiveness and unwillingness to take action that might alienate me from my family/spouse. I think all doctrinal issues were resolved within a year or two.  My sense of commitment to a Protestant congregation is no longer an issue after moving in recent years.

We have some RC guy in town who has been "inquiring" for like...IDK....10 years?  Hah!  No, really.  He was made a catechumen years ago, then just stopped coming, then would come and go.  He doesn't have a "geography" excuse though.

One lady, her daughter converted many years ago.  Her husband did more recently, but she's still in catechumen mode, but comes to most services.

To each their own.

Offline RaphaCam

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I had a bit of a geographical problem in the very beginning, but I eventually got used to wake up really early, no big deal. I also went through bad times with the fear RC's might be right and I might be dooming myself, but I sorted that out eventually. Not a major problem either.
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Offline ConfusedRC

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I had the desire to convert for three years before my wife finally consented. Now, she is my biggest supporter. I may be chrismated tomorrow and she was sad that she can't be there.

I hope and pray that she will eventually convert herself.

Offline Eruvande

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I'm still inquiring, and couldn't decide which choice to check, because my issues are a mix of my husband not being very excited about the prospect, and the fact that I can't get to any nearby congregation without his help and/or permission. Stuck in a kind of limbo, I am.
Clumsily walking a narrow path and getting most of it wrong, but I'm still walking...

Offline Yelizaveta

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My biggest obstacle was definitely geographical. Even though I've lived in areas with a respectable Orthodox population (enough support 6-15 orthodox parishes), I'm not in one location for an entire calendar year. Right now, I have two "home" churches. Thankfully, the priests have been very understanding with my situation, so it ended up not being a big deal.

Offline Indocern

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I had the desire to convert for three years before my wife finally consented. Now, she is my biggest supporter. I may be chrismated tomorrow and she was sad that she can't be there.

I hope and pray that she will eventually convert herself.

It is very good for your family to be converted to orthodox, because the orthodox church can help you a lot.

Offline eddybear

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My answer to the question asked is a smooth transition. However, I can't for the moment progress beyond the catechumenate because of spousal reservations.

Offline petros22

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I used to be an Evangelical Anglican. When I realised something was missing from my church (sacraments, the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, historical claim to be the church Jesus founded), I started to look into Catholicism, which I ultimately converted to. I did briefly consider Orthodoxy, the main reason I did not consider it more closely was proximity to the nearest parish and the fact that the RC could offer me daily services. A priest I really connected with helped too.
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secretes are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy holy spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name: through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Offline rft183

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I used to be an Evangelical Anglican. When I realised something was missing from my church (sacraments, the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, historical claim to be the church Jesus founded), I started to look into Catholicism, which I ultimately converted to. I did briefly consider Orthodoxy, the main reason I did not consider it more closely was proximity to the nearest parish and the fact that the RC could offer me daily services. A priest I really connected with helped too.
I came to Orthodoxy from Protestantism through Catholicism...  I considered remaining a Catholic partially because of the daily services.  I really did like that aspect of the Catholic Church - easy availability!  But ultimately I decided that my spiritual life would be better served in the Orthodox Church.

Offline DeniseDenise

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Just a note...


Don't ask for 1-2 issues when we can only vote for one.

;)
All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline Hinterlander

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Just a note...


Don't ask for 1-2 issues when we can only vote for one.

;)

I thought I had clicked the right box but apparently I hadn't.

Offline Ahlstrom

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My family and its extensions are composed of atheists, Methodists, Lutherens, and Baptists. No one's ever said anything bad or barred me.  :)

Although I wouldn't tell my friends in the countryside I'm Orthodox, the one Catholic Church in the town of 3,000 gets enough local flak as is, haha.
Psalm 103:8 - The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Offline TheTrisagion

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My wife is my sole obstacle. The day she says it is ok is the day that I will be calling my priest to let him know I can be chrismated.
The term planet earth is an innovation which has arisen in recent centuries with the error of heliocentrism.

If one wants to confess a pure doctrine of Orthodoxy, they should be careful not to refer to the earth as a planet, unlike the current Pope as well as Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Bartholomew, who regularly speak in error when they refer to our planet earth.

Offline biro

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My wife is my sole obstacle. The day she says it is ok is the day that I will be calling my priest to let him know I can be chrismated.

I thought you had been Orthodox a long time.

Offline Hinterlander

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My wife is my sole obstacle. The day she says it is ok is the day that I will be calling my priest to let him know I can be chrismated.

I thought you had been Orthodox a long time.

Catechumens are considered Orthodox.

Offline TheTrisagion

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My wife is my sole obstacle. The day she says it is ok is the day that I will be calling my priest to let him know I can be chrismated.

I thought you had been Orthodox a long time.
I wish. I attend regularly and am pretty involved, but as they say in my parish, I'm the eternal catechumen.  :-\
The term planet earth is an innovation which has arisen in recent centuries with the error of heliocentrism.

If one wants to confess a pure doctrine of Orthodoxy, they should be careful not to refer to the earth as a planet, unlike the current Pope as well as Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Bartholomew, who regularly speak in error when they refer to our planet earth.

Offline biro

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Okay, sorry. :)

Offline ConfusedRC

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My wife is my sole obstacle. The day she says it is ok is the day that I will be calling my priest to let him know I can be chrismated.

I thought you had been Orthodox a long time.
I wish. I attend regularly and am pretty involved, but as they say in my parish, I'm the eternal catechumen.  :-\

It took my wife three years to come around. I don't know how long it has been for you, but I feel your pain. I will keep you in my prayers.

Offline Dominika

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Surely, it's past, but it was other: fear if I manage with fasts, separation celebration of Pascha with my mother (but on the other hand, it's been the case with my father over the years, as he's Orthodox), not proper time of the Holy Week services (that are heart of liturgical year and spirituality generally saying) in Warsaw parishes.
So, not so difficult things to overcome; especially, that actually I've been broguht in Orthodoxy and Catholicism together because of my mixed family, so that's propbably different experience from most converts.
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Offline servulus

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I've been waiting on my family. My priest told me I could be a catechumen about a month ago but I'm waiting out of consideration for my wife and older children. They are coming around. I have a very large family and I think this complicates things because each person has their own concerns. I don't want to divide my family. My wife is ok with me becoming Orthodox and thinks she will convert too, eventually. Most of my kids are on board but one of my older kids is unsure. I've been a regular attendee for half a year.

Offline Minnesotan

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Geography for one (I don't drive, and riding the public bus system is cumbersome, so even 8 miles away is too far. It pretty much has to be within walking or biking distance).

The other is panic attacks. No, really. The two times I actually did manage to ride the bus to parishes (one was Coptic, one was OCA) I ended up having too much nervousness either outside the door, or shortly after walking inside, that I had to leave. Add to that the fact that I don't know anyone in person who shares my interest (or who I'm 100% certain would understand if I told them).

It's ironic that people like me have such a hard time with churches, even though we're the ones who need it the most (it's not the healthy who need a doctor and all that). You'd think that churches, Orthodox churches included, would go out of their way to reach out to people with special needs and make things easier for us, since we're the ones who actually need it the most and we'd be the most likely to keep attending as long as we had the necessary support. But it seems like no one cares about us, they only want the "normal" people who won't take up too much of their time or energy.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 02:04:26 AM by Minnesotan »
I'm not going to be posting as much on OC.Net as before. I might stop in once in a while though. But I've come to realize that real life is more important.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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It's ironic that people like me have such a hard time with churches, even though we're the ones who need it the most (it's not the healthy who need a doctor and all that). You'd think that churches, Orthodox churches included, would go out of their way to reach out to people with special needs and make things easier for us, since we're the ones who actually need it the most and we'd be the most likely to keep attending as long as we had the necessary support. But it seems like no one cares about us, they only want the "normal" people who won't take up too much of their time or energy.

Unfortunately, that is often true, and it's good to call that out, if only to recognise how regrettable and contrary to the gospel it is.  But in most cases, I don't think it's a matter of "no one cares". 

I think miscommunication or lack of communication is a big part of it.  As a parishioner or a cleric, there is a reticence to be too nosy with visitors lest you turn them off, and so they're waiting for the initiative to come from the visitor.  As a visitor, you may want them to be nosy so that you have an opening to talk to them about your needs, or you may appreciate their respect for your space but at the same time feel like they wouldn't care about your problems.  So no one makes a move. 

I've been in situations where the clergy and/or the parishioners just don't care, so I know that's out there.  But usually, when I open up, I find that they are quite receptive and helpful.  I've had people offer me rides to and from church events, offer to come over and cook for me when I'm sick, help me with repairs and other house work, etc., and often it's the parish priest who, hearing that there's a need, takes it on himself to help me himself or find someone in the parish who can help me.  And I've volunteered to be that person as well when needed.  People just have to know there's a need, and they'll usually figure out how to address it. 

Which brings me to another issue: we are not very imaginative.  We don't do well without an actual person to deal with.  It's one thing to suggest that "Maybe there are people in the local area who would benefit from X", and another thing for "Mor" to show up and tell them "I'm a person in the local area who would benefit from X".  I've seen this at play in parishes.  The clergy and/or the parishioners may suggest some sort of general need that should be addressed, and they might brainstorm for a while, but whatever plan they come up with ends up stalling in a way it doesn't when it begins with an actual person or group and his/her/its needs. 

We're not perfect, and that's not an excuse.  But I do think a little openness, communication, and good will from all parties go a long way. 

Offline RaphaCam

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Minnesotan, have you tried contacting the priest when there's nothing going on at the parish, just you and him? It might be less enerving for you and make things much easier when you finally manage to attend the Divine Liturgy.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 01:44:59 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline FenderTL5

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I was an active participant in the music department at my protestant/evangelical congregation.
I was reluctant to give it up from both my desire to play and my commitment to the leadership.

I attended a weeknight, once a week, several month series of catechumen classes at the Orthodox parish - so the hair-standing on the back of my neck, realization that I had been wrong in my beliefs all my life had already taken place.
I ended up reducing my commitment from every week to once a month, then gradually started declining all participation.


Offline WPM

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You grow and change over time .. (Many years)