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Author Topic: I keep telling my wife I’m not becoming Orthodox...(1st post)  (Read 12505 times) Average Rating: 0
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DaveInCSA
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« on: November 14, 2009, 04:08:35 PM »

And yet I keep taking small steps.  Wink

Hello everyone!

My name is David. I’m 43 years old and currently reside in a small town in the Upstate of South Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, NC.

A brief synopsis of my journey. On my 16th birthday I received a Bible from my Russian grandmother. I told her that “I would never read it” but one day sometime in my later teens and early twenties I did read it. I wasn’t raised in any church but became interested in End of the World type stuff and heard that the Bible had a book called Revelation in it. So I dusted off the Bible and attempted to read Revelations. Well as you can imagine, scrolls, churches, The Lamb, bowls, Angels, it didn’t make much sense. As clearly as I’m writing to you, in my thoughts I heard, “If you want to understand the end, you must understand the beginning”. So I flipped over to Genesis and started reading. I think somewhere around Numbers I got bogged down and decided to slip ahead to the New Testament where I encountered Jesus. I was BLOWN AWAY!! I had thought that the Bible was full of fortune cookie like sayings. But instead I encountered Jesus, the Son of God, who loved me and was laying his life down for me.

So I started attending an Evangelical Free church where I met my wife and for the last 20 years now we have been in various churches mostly nondenominational churches. Charismatic ones at first but lately I’ve stayed away from that. Along the way I’ve been an elder, worship leader at various churches and church plants. I was ordained at one church and was the associate pastor. That didn’t end well and we ended up broke and had to start all over again. That was all up in Connecticut. I’ve been in the Carolina’s now for 6 years.

So why am I here? Not sure. I guess it comes down to worship. We currently attend a non-denom church that’s loosely affiliated with the Southern Baptist’s. There’s no reverence. There’s no awe. There’s no meeting with God! There’s no beauty. We meet in this warehouse like building. Tomorrow morning I will be up on the “platform” playing electric guitar on 5 songs with zero theological content. We have a light show and hey a smoke machine!!! I really can’t take it much more. I won’t attend a charismatic church any longer. I’ve seen way too many believers get wrecked over some untested prophetic words and too much weirdness explained away as the Holy Spirit. This article really rings true. http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles-2009/Wison-Narcissism-Goes-To-Church.php .

My wife just called wanting to know why an “Ancient Faith Radio” mug was came in the mail. Uh Oh!

We used to go to the Greek Festivals at the Greek Orthodox Church when we lived in CT and were struck by the sense of awe and reverence in the church. So that is drawing me.

I also just go done reading Luther’s biography, Here I stand which was very interesting. I love history so I decided to do a little more reading on the early church and have discovered some things that conflicted with my presumptions. I always thought that the early church was like a pot-luck home group meeting and all that ritual was introduced by the catholics. WRONG! They also didn’t think they were just having some symbolic bread and wine when having communion. That was a surprise! So I’m reading and find it all rather interesting.

I do not really want to drive an hour to church so that’s an issue. Plus it would be major church culture shock for my kids. This little journey has been mine. I’ve shared a little bit with my wife but she is not where I am. I was telling her the other day that I wondered why churches don’t point back to the Nicene Creed for their statement’s of faith. I received the usual protestant, evangelical response “Why would we need that, we have the Bible.”  That’s typical a typical response I’m getting when I mention some of these discoveries to people. I tell them the same people who decided the Books we have in the Bible came up with these Creeds! You would have thought that St. Paul was passing out complete New Testaments to his converts!! I have the usual issues with Mary. Sorry! That will take some time and further study to overcome if I can

So that’s a little of where I am. Not sure where I’ll end up. We are considering changing to a PCA Presbyterian Church that’s near by, so I’m also reading Reform stuff. I came across a statement last night about basing the church on the scripture. It seems almost backward to me now. This PCA church confesses creeds and scripture during their worship services. I like that. I don’t believe all of Calvinism so I would have issues to work through there as well.

That’s all.

Dave
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2009, 04:42:12 PM »

Welcome to the forum!  Thanks for sharing your story.  I hope we can be of help to you if you need it, and feel free to stop by the prayer forum with any issues you are facing.  May God guide your steps and lead you toward his salvation.
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2009, 04:50:53 PM »

Welcome to the forum.   Smiley

There is a post or two which breaks down every phrase of the Nicene Creed to a Gospel passage.  If you find it, you may want to share that with your wife.   Smiley

I've been past Charlotte, NC and spent few days in Greenville, SC, very pretty country.  I haven't been to Columbia and I've been to Hilton Head, Charleston and Myrtle Beach on the Low Country - go figure.   Shocked
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2009, 05:36:55 PM »

Hi, Dave!  Love the username, by the way...  Grin

If you have trouble finding the Nicene Creed / Scripture Reference sheet, I can email you a copy.  PM me if you want me to send it to you.

Welcome to the forum.  Sounds like you're thinking this through.  I would definitely make sure you make a clear decision regarding embracing either TULIP or the patristic idea of salvation in the Church.  The two are pretty much polar opposites, in my opinion.

Again, good to have you here!
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2009, 05:51:51 PM »

Dave,

Maybe you were predestined to come here? Wink Sorry, that's such an obvious and lame joke. Welcome to the forum.
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2009, 06:00:50 PM »

Dave,

Orthodoxy is the fullness of the Christian Faith that Christ established. All other Churches/Denominations lack the the full Truth. Once you have discovered the Truth of Orthodoxy you are not going to be able to hide from it. I am sure you are well on your way. I hope it is a smooth journey but chances are the evil one will try to put stones in your way. Overcome them! BTW, driving a distance to an Orthodox church is very common in this country. I myself drive two hours, though I limit Sunday worship to ever yother week and feast days, but do not let the distance stop you. When I converted my wife had reservations as well. Although I am not a huge fan of Frederica Mathewes-Green a few of her writings did help sway my wife, see: http://www.frederica.com/facing-east-excerpt-1/

May God bless you and keep you.

Sinner Servant-Michael
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2009, 06:09:22 PM »

Hi, Dave!  Love the username, by the way...  Grin

If you have trouble finding the Nicene Creed / Scripture Reference sheet, I can email you a copy.  PM me if you want me to send it to you.

Welcome to the forum.  Sounds like you're thinking this through.  I would definitely make sure you make a clear decision regarding embracing either TULIP or the patristic idea of salvation in the Church.  The two are pretty much polar opposites, in my opinion.

Again, good to have you here!

Your the 1st person to figure it out on a number of forums.  Wink

My wife has no problem with the Creed. The worship leader at the church we were last at in Connecticut left and became Catholic. Most people our friends think he lost it and isn't "saved" anymore. I've been talking to him about this stuff and he warned me to go slow with my wife. His wasn't ready for the changes that happened once he made public his decision. For him it was also that darned church history that caused him to reconsider some things.

I think for both of us we want something rooted with doctrine and some link to history. As apposed to someone just deciding to start a church because they feel God has called them to. We are both more Arminian than Calvinistic.

I would love to take the drive to a OCA church in Charlotte but I need to work on her a little more.
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DaveInCSA
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2009, 06:11:42 PM »

Here's a question for you all.

Am I considered to be a Christian in your view???
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 07:06:00 PM »

Here's a question for you all.

Am I considered to be a Christian in your view???

You attempt to follow Christ, right? So yes.
The concept of "Orthodox Christian" by its definition implies that there are "not-Orthodox Christians".
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 07:20:42 PM »

Hi Dave,

If you wish, please PM me, let's talk - I might suggest some good Internet resources for you.

--G.
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2009, 07:38:02 PM »

Here's a question for you all.

Am I considered to be a Christian in your view???

Dave,
If you are considering Orthodoxy I believe it is the best consideration you have made.  All I can say is I understand.  Been there done that!  I am grateful for making that right choice.  God always provides a way; be encouraged.
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2009, 09:45:45 PM »

Hi, Dave!  Love the username, by the way...  Grin

If you have trouble finding the Nicene Creed / Scripture Reference sheet, I can email you a copy.  PM me if you want me to send it to you.

Welcome to the forum.  Sounds like you're thinking this through.  I would definitely make sure you make a clear decision regarding embracing either TULIP or the patristic idea of salvation in the Church.  The two are pretty much polar opposites, in my opinion.

Again, good to have you here!

Your the 1st person to figure it out on a number of forums.  Wink

 I just saw this and immediately got it.  I agree with DavidBryan.  Wink  Oh, and welcome to the forum!
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2009, 10:53:02 PM »

I looked up Charlotte, NC and found quite a few churches that are in Charlotte or near.

http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2009, 11:00:53 PM »

Welcome!
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2009, 11:15:57 PM »

Your the 1st person to figure it out on a number of forums.  Wink

Yeah, that and the "Bapticostal" thing in your faith indicator.  I've been using that to describe what I was for years now.

As for the Christian question, ditto what everyone else has said.  Yes, you're a Christian.  "There's water in your glass."  In other words, if a guy's going through the desert and you give him the choice between a full canteen of clear water and a glass half full with backwash, well...he'll appreciate either one, ultimately, but you obviously want the "fullness."

Folks outside the Church may not have it all, but I think they have something.  More to the point, I think some wisely drink the half-glass they've got while others with a full canteen mess around with water fights, spilling their water on the arid ground in ways that ultimately hurt everybody (themselves most of all), or waste it like Dusty Bottoms in Three Amigos.  For me, it was about going to where the water was pure and plentiful, and trying to "take...drink" of it as best I could.  I do hope you'll one day do the same.  God be with you.
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2009, 01:36:28 AM »

I was telling her the other day that I wondered why churches don’t point back to the Nicene Creed for their statement’s of faith. I received the usual protestant, evangelical response “Why would we need that, we have the Bible.”  That’s typical a typical response I’m getting when I mention some of these discoveries to people.

Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan said something quite on target about this.  He basically said creeds are necessary cause the Bible is just too long and complicated- by which he was in no way discrediting the Bible. It's just commonsense.  If someone asked you "What do Christians believe?"  I think it's pretty far to say however you respond would be your creed whether you call it that or not.  I thank God for the creed.  Living in a country where people really don't know what Christians believe, it comes in very handy to have it memorized!

If your reading the early church stuff, may I recommend Jaroslav Pelikan's The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, as well as J.N.D. Kelley's Early Christian Doctrine and Henry Chadwick's The Early Church.  For primary texts Michael Holmes version of the Apostolic Fathers is great (he's even a Baptist- weird, I know. Go figure!), as is the Popular Patristics series from St. Vladimir's.

God bless you and your family on your journey!
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2009, 01:57:29 AM »

Welcome Dave!  Smiley

If I were to offer up some unsolicited advice  laugh, I would just say that it's important for you to be true to yourself and where you are at (although going outside your comfort zone a little bit is probably a good thing Wink) but also to always honestly do your utmost to attempt to discern in all honesty what the Lord is saying to you.  (I'm sure you're asking Him regularly to reveal Himself and His will for you.)  Of course, we all hope that you will rejoice in eventually finding a home in Orthodoxy.  Funny, now that I think of it, I think that many converts to the faith started out having lots of problems with certain elements of Orthodoxy (being very challenged by these elements) but also finding other things in the Orthodox Church to be strangely compelling.  Smiley  Wink  I hope you're successful in tracking down some Orthodox folks to connect with in your neck of the woods, as well as a church community when you feel ready.  Once again, welcome!
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2009, 02:02:15 AM »

Welcome to the forum. May God guide your path. Getting into that history stuff can be very dangerous!  Wink
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« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2009, 07:13:53 AM »

Quote
Folks outside the Church may not have it all, but I think they have something.  More to the point, I think some wisely drink the half-glass they've got while others with a full canteen mess around with water fights, spilling their water on the arid ground in ways that ultimately hurt everybody (themselves most of all), or waste it like Dusty Bottoms in Three Amigos.  For me, it was about going to where the water was pure and plentiful, and trying to "take...drink" of it as best I could.  I do hope you'll one day do the same.  God be with you.

Huh. That's a great interpretation/usage of a funny scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHVpJGXZ21o
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« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2009, 01:12:14 PM »

Quote
Folks outside the Church may not have it all, but I think they have something.  More to the point, I think some wisely drink the half-glass they've got while others with a full canteen mess around with water fights, spilling their water on the arid ground in ways that ultimately hurt everybody (themselves most of all), or waste it like Dusty Bottoms in Three Amigos.  For me, it was about going to where the water was pure and plentiful, and trying to "take...drink" of it as best I could.  I do hope you'll one day do the same.  God be with you.

Huh. That's a great interpretation/usage of a funny scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHVpJGXZ21o


Thanks.
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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2009, 05:56:34 PM »

Dave, I can relate your situation.  I was chuckling to myself when you mentioned that your wife found your Ancient Faith Radio coffee cup.  This morning my wife found the typed response from the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese I recently received in the mail.  I had inquired about the possibility of a church coming to area, and my wife asked me if I was going to start a church or something, and she has also asked me if I am going to convert to Orthodoxy.

Up to this point my response to her has been "No, I am still learning about church history or I am just interested in learning about the Orthodox Church".  Well, my last response was "I believe the fullness of the Christian Faith is held in the Orthodox Church".    Now, I may be ready to talk with her about the unstoppable draw to the Orthodox Church and future plans.

I pray everyday for the strength to follow the Will of God and I ask why I am being lead to study about the Orthodox Church.  Does He want me to become Orthodox?  It feels like I am being drawn to this Church and I cannot stop the momentum of what may happen.

I am continuing to study and read all my books about the Orthodox church I hope it is Gods Will that I and my family can become Orthodox.   With lots of PRAYER, studying, and TIME I am feeling more confident that the Orthodox Church is the one true Church.  I do not know how long it will continue to be before I commit to Orthodoxy but, the pull is strong and I do not think I can last much longer.  From my experience my advice for you is to Pray, study, ask questions, and seek un-biased historical correct answers.

On the point of having a spouse unsure of your motives I can recommend from previous and current experience to be open, honest, and take it slowly.  My wife is a devout, uneducated Catholic and she is not entirely open to moving to another church.  I use the word entirely because I have faith that this will change one day.  One more bit of advice is to heed the advice of Orthodox Christians and they here have helped me on my journey.

I hope I was able to help you throughout all my ramblings.


So, God Bless you in your Journey!

Caleb
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« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2009, 07:01:50 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

Caleb- sounds like we are in the same place. I was at work when I typed out my initial post and she called me in the middle of it with the "You ordered an Ancient Faith Radio Mug?!?!?!"

That's after receiving the 2010 Icon Calendar earlier in the week for making a donation. I asked her about the donation so she knew I was doing it.

My wife in a RN and usually works Sunday's. Last night I sent her that Frederica link that was posted above. She usually has her quiet time in the morning before leaving. She told me later that she was almost late because she was reading it so I'll have to see what she thought once she gets home and settles. The church we attend has Saturday night services so we usually go Saturday night together and then I go again Sunday AM's and play on the worship team.

This morning I printed out some of the morning prayers and the creed and found a corner of the sanctuary to read and pray. Then the smoke machine was turned on. LOL!!  Roll Eyes Gotta have smoke for all the expensive lighting to work better.  Roll Eyes

She and I need a Sunday home together where we can visit an Orthodox church in Charlotte. If she's willing. Don't want to push it too hard. This would be a major change for us. I need the Holy Spirit to show her.

There is a real strong pull. I've told her that in my opinion, from what I've learned the Orthodox church is THE Early Church. I can't wait for the next message we hear with reference to the Early Church.
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« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2009, 07:57:26 PM »

And yet I keep taking small steps.  Wink

Hello everyone!

My name is David. I’m 43 years old and currently reside in a small town in the Upstate of South Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, NC.

A brief synopsis of my journey. On my 16th birthday I received a Bible from my Russian grandmother. I told her that “I would never read it” but one day sometime in my later teens and early twenties I did read it. I wasn’t raised in any church but became interested in End of the World type stuff and heard that the Bible had a book called Revelation in it. So I dusted off the Bible and attempted to read Revelations. Well as you can imagine, scrolls, churches, The Lamb, bowls, Angels, it didn’t make much sense. As clearly as I’m writing to you, in my thoughts I heard, “If you want to understand the end, you must understand the beginning”. So I flipped over to Genesis and started reading. I think somewhere around Numbers I got bogged down and decided to slip ahead to the New Testament where I encountered Jesus. I was BLOWN AWAY!! I had thought that the Bible was full of fortune cookie like sayings. But instead I encountered Jesus, the Son of God, who loved me and was laying his life down for me.

So I started attending an Evangelical Free church where I met my wife and for the last 20 years now we have been in various churches mostly nondenominational churches. Charismatic ones at first but lately I’ve stayed away from that. Along the way I’ve been an elder, worship leader at various churches and church plants. I was ordained at one church and was the associate pastor. That didn’t end well and we ended up broke and had to start all over again. That was all up in Connecticut. I’ve been in the Carolina’s now for 6 years.

So why am I here? Not sure. I guess it comes down to worship. We currently attend a non-denom church that’s loosely affiliated with the Southern Baptist’s. There’s no reverence. There’s no awe. There’s no meeting with God! There’s no beauty. We meet in this warehouse like building. Tomorrow morning I will be up on the “platform” playing electric guitar on 5 songs with zero theological content. We have a light show and hey a smoke machine!!! I really can’t take it much more. I won’t attend a charismatic church any longer. I’ve seen way too many believers get wrecked over some untested prophetic words and too much weirdness explained away as the Holy Spirit. This article really rings true. http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles-2009/Wison-Narcissism-Goes-To-Church.php .

My wife just called wanting to know why an “Ancient Faith Radio” mug was came in the mail. Uh Oh!

We used to go to the Greek Festivals at the Greek Orthodox Church when we lived in CT and were struck by the sense of awe and reverence in the church. So that is drawing me.

I also just go done reading Luther’s biography, Here I stand which was very interesting. I love history so I decided to do a little more reading on the early church and have discovered some things that conflicted with my presumptions. I always thought that the early church was like a pot-luck home group meeting and all that ritual was introduced by the catholics. WRONG! They also didn’t think they were just having some symbolic bread and wine when having communion. That was a surprise! So I’m reading and find it all rather interesting.

I do not really want to drive an hour to church so that’s an issue. Plus it would be major church culture shock for my kids. This little journey has been mine. I’ve shared a little bit with my wife but she is not where I am. I was telling her the other day that I wondered why churches don’t point back to the Nicene Creed for their statement’s of faith. I received the usual protestant, evangelical response “Why would we need that, we have the Bible.”  That’s typical a typical response I’m getting when I mention some of these discoveries to people. I tell them the same people who decided the Books we have in the Bible came up with these Creeds! You would have thought that St. Paul was passing out complete New Testaments to his converts!! I have the usual issues with Mary. Sorry! That will take some time and further study to overcome if I can

So that’s a little of where I am. Not sure where I’ll end up. We are considering changing to a PCA Presbyterian Church that’s near by, so I’m also reading Reform stuff. I came across a statement last night about basing the church on the scripture. It seems almost backward to me now. This PCA church confesses creeds and scripture during their worship services. I like that. I don’t believe all of Calvinism so I would have issues to work through there as well.

That’s all.

Dave


Let your wife read some of the same stuff you are reading, and let her listen to some of the same stuff you are listenning to. That way, you will both grow in the same direction together, instead of growing apart.







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« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2009, 08:07:00 PM »

Also, Vespers on Sat night might be a better intro to Orthodoxy than Divine Liturgy. It's shorter, communion is not served, and most converts find it easier to handle then jumping right into Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2009, 04:00:13 AM »

Also, Vespers on Sat night might be a better intro to Orthodoxy than Divine Liturgy. It's shorter, communion is not served, and most converts find it easier to handle then jumping right into Divine Liturgy.

I was just thinking the same thing as I got to the last posts (for now) on this thread.  Our first service was last year's Christmas Eve vigil (I think communion was served) but that was because we in a situation that presented itself in a town 2 hours from where we live.  But it was two months or so later that we made our own decision to go to the mission church in town -- and we started with a Saturday night Vespers service.  It was the two of us, and three others -- including the reader!  Very un-intimidating. 

Hi Dave, welcome.  I'm fairly new here myself ~ one of the many converts who has found their way to Orthodoxy in recent months.  Many things you wrote about sounded very familiar; that was our life about 6-8 months ago.  Not that we're "there" yet! We are still learning and growing; we did become catechumens in August and may be baptized sometime early next year.  And then it still goes on from there -- the learning and growing I mean! 

A couple of comments: I was the one in our family that first started reading about the Orthoodox church.  I chose to not say anything to my husband after the initial comments; I wanted God to work on him ~ not me, you know?  And within a couple of weeks he asked me "out of the blue" what book I'd suggest he read.  He's led the way ever since.  As for our kids, they LOVE Orthodoxy!  LOVE it.  We have seven between the ages of 1 and 16.  Now I know this is OUR situation and it obviously won't necessarily be yours; in fact we know a family right now in the serious inquirer stage, with more kids than we have, whose older children are not all that thrilled.  They just wonder what they're supposed to do with all their parents had taught them to the point right before they discovered Orthodoxy.  I do understand that. 

As for continuing to attend a non-Orthodox church ~ it gets harder!  In fact we found that once we attended that Vespers service that it was less than a month before we left the church we'd been attending.  One of the final straws for my husband was singing a song that said something about "God, overflow your river into my life."  He asked me, "Aren't we supposed to go to God and get into what He's doing?" 

Anyway, a bunch of words which -- when all boiled down -- say (again) "Welcome, and I hear where you're coming from. The journey is real and true." 
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« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2009, 04:20:31 AM »

Then the smoke machine was turned on. LOL!!  Roll Eyes Gotta have smoke for all the expensive lighting to work better.  Roll Eyes

Don't forget that censers are the original smoke machines:

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« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2009, 11:13:16 AM »

Dave, I am a convert who attends at a Greek Orthodox parish in Charlotte (actually, closer to you via I-485 than you may think). Anwyays, I sent you a PM with some additional information.
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« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2009, 11:54:06 AM »

Our first service was last year's Christmas Eve vigil (I think communion was served) but that was because we in a situation that presented itself in a town 2 hours from where we live.  But it was two months or so later that we made our own decision to go to the

Many Parishes on Nativity or Pascha night serve not vigil (vespers+matins+1st hour) but midnight office+matins+hours+Divine Liturgy (it lasts usually more-less 4 hours altogether) so Eucharist is served.
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« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2009, 11:56:52 AM »

Dave,
Get the book "Facing East," by Frederica Mathewes-Green for your wife. When I picked up the book, I was a lifelong Lutheran in the discernment process for seminary and the ordained ministry. When I finished it, I was out the door looking for the nearest Orthodox Church!
Ok, it wasn't quite that quick, but in that little book I found that the Church I had always dreamed of, and never let myself believe existed actually did exist! And not only that, had existed for 2000 or so years, give or take.

I didn't want to become Orthodox. I had my future all planned and I didn't want my mother to cry or my family to be mad at me. I didn't want to leave all my friends to be a stranger in a new church - like being the new in-law at a family reunion who doesn't know how to make the potato salad the way they do or know the family jokes. I didn't want any part of it!

Unfortunately the more I read and studied, the worse it got. There was simply no way for me to walk away from the Truth - the Orthodox Church is the Church that Christ founded, the Church that contains the fullness of the Faith given by Christ to the Apostles, and if I was serious about following Him, it had to be in the Orthodox Church.

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« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2009, 01:57:20 PM »

Welcome Dave!

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers like yourself may ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. We hope you will use it to learn the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. We try to provide direct and simple answers with sources if possible.

Again Welcome to the Forum!


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« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2009, 02:01:10 PM »

A few weeks ago I finished reading: "Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy A Reformed Perspective"

What does everyone suggest I read?
Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
The Orthodox Church


My wife has made some positive comments. Right now our schedules are a little crazy. I work in College Sports Media and she's a RN so we have opposite schedules on weekends so someone is home with the kids. A midweek Vespers service may work! I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does. We may avoid our church at Christmas this year. I can't take another year of rocked-out Christmas Carols. Sad
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« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2009, 02:18:51 PM »

A few weeks ago I finished reading: "Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy A Reformed Perspective"

What does everyone suggest I read?
Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
The Orthodox Church

Here's an online catechism on the Orthodox Church in America's (OCA) website, which is one of the jurisdictions of the Church in America.
http://www.oca.org/OCorthfaith.asp?SID=2
It's commonly known as the rainbow series and was made by Fr. Thomas Hopko.
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« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2009, 02:48:13 PM »

I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does.

Boy, are you in luck! Generally speaking, except for special circumstances, pretty much all Orthodox Churches celebrate the Divine Liturgy at midnight on Christmas Eve.
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« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2009, 02:57:54 PM »

A few weeks ago I finished reading: "Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy A Reformed Perspective"

What does everyone suggest I read?
Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
The Orthodox Church


My wife has made some positive comments. Right now our schedules are a little crazy. I work in College Sports Media and she's a RN so we have opposite schedules on weekends so someone is home with the kids. A midweek Vespers service may work! I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does. We may avoid our church at Christmas this year. I can't take another year of rocked-out Christmas Carols. Sad

If you haven't already, Timothy Ware's "The Orthodox Church" is a must-read primer on Orthodoxy. Originally an Anglican, Ware eventually converted to Orthodoxy and went on to become a Bishop in the Church. He is now known as +Metropolitan KALLISTOS. The book was written before all this took place.
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« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2009, 02:59:11 PM »

Also his "The Orthodox Way," which I actually liked better, even though I'm sort of a history geek.
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« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2009, 03:16:47 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

Caleb- sounds like we are in the same place. I was at work when I typed out my initial post and she called me in the middle of it with the "You ordered an Ancient Faith Radio Mug?!?!?!"

That's after receiving the 2010 Icon Calendar earlier in the week for making a donation. I asked her about the donation so she knew I was doing it.

My wife in a RN and usually works Sunday's. Last night I sent her that Frederica link that was posted above. She usually has her quiet time in the morning before leaving. She told me later that she was almost late because she was reading it so I'll have to see what she thought once she gets home and settles. The church we attend has Saturday night services so we usually go Saturday night together and then I go again Sunday AM's and play on the worship team.

This morning I printed out some of the morning prayers and the creed and found a corner of the sanctuary to read and pray. Then the smoke machine was turned on. LOL!!  Roll Eyes Gotta have smoke for all the expensive lighting to work better.  Roll Eyes

She and I need a Sunday home together where we can visit an Orthodox church in Charlotte. If she's willing. Don't want to push it too hard. This would be a major change for us. I need the Holy Spirit to show her.

There is a real strong pull. I've told her that in my opinion, from what I've learned the Orthodox church is THE Early Church. I can't wait for the next message we hear with reference to the Early Church.

Here is another internet radio site: www.ourlifeinchrist.com

This is run by two converts and has an archive filled with the subjects Protestant Converts are most interested in. Their show is also on Ancient Faith Radio, but the archive has a long list of subjects that you may want to listen to. They have a very conversational tone and are easy to listen too.
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« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2009, 03:26:14 PM »

Here is another internet radio site: www.ourlifeinchrist.com

This is run by two converts and has an archive filled with the subjects Protestant Converts are most interested in. Their show is also on Ancient Faith Radio, but the archive has a long list of subjects that you may want to listen to. They have a very conversational tone and are easy to listen too.

Orthodox Christian Network (http://www.myocn.net/) also has a plethora of wonderful resources worth looking into.
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« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2009, 03:45:14 PM »

She and I need a Sunday home together where we can visit an Orthodox church in Charlotte.

Don't know if anyone else has already mentioned this on the thread, but there is a beautiful community in Charlotte called St. Nektarios. Very active congregation, with many ministries and great people.

Several of my friends from seminary serve there.
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« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2009, 04:24:03 PM »

She and I need a Sunday home together where we can visit an Orthodox church in Charlotte.

Don't know if anyone else has already mentioned this on the thread, but there is a beautiful community in Charlotte called St. Nektarios. Very active congregation, with many ministries and great people.

Several of my friends from seminary serve there.

That is my parish. It is wonderful. I pm'd Dave about it. I just couldn't be more thrilled/happy with the community!
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« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2009, 05:56:27 PM »

What does everyone suggest I read?

The book we read out loud as a family, that pretty much sealed our journey for us, was Matthew Gallatin's Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells.  We read it in one day if I remember correctly.  I had also read Becoming Orthodox and another one I liked was Thomas Howard's Evangelical is not Enough (he eventually chose Roman Catholicism, but his description of our frustrations with evangelicalism were spot on and made me feel like I wasn't crazy!).  Another good book I liked is Common Ground: An Introduction To Eastern Christianity For The American Christian by Jordan Bajis. None of these I listed are deep theological books, but I'm not a deep theological person -- I just needed the basics to push me over the edge!   Smiley

Speaking of crazy, I've had that conversation with myself dozens of times in the last year, "Am I CRAZY?!" It's been awhile since I've asked myself that, though, because the Orthodox church is everything I longed for in a church for the 23+ years I was a Christian before attending my first Orthodox service. 
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« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2009, 01:15:17 PM »

A few weeks ago I finished reading: "Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy A Reformed Perspective"

What does everyone suggest I read?
Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
The Orthodox Church


My wife has made some positive comments. Right now our schedules are a little crazy. I work in College Sports Media and she's a RN so we have opposite schedules on weekends so someone is home with the kids. A midweek Vespers service may work! I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does. We may avoid our church at Christmas this year. I can't take another year of rocked-out Christmas Carols. Sad

I apologize for not welcoming you the first time around so Welcome Dave!  I was excited for you.
I am a fairly new convert.  One of the books you have listed by Peter Gilliquist "Becoming Orthodox" is one which I initially found most helpful; especially since you have been a pastor.  May God bless you in your journey. Smiley
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« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2009, 01:35:38 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.

My wife surprised me last night when I got home from work. She had reached out to an old friend up in CT who is Greek Orthodox. I'm pretty sure her husband works for the Arch-Diocese of NY. She told her what is going on and we are going to exchange emails. She pointed us to this http://www.acrod.org/ . There is an online class Orthodoxy 101 that started last night. I missed the first class but signed up for it.

My wife is very supportive. She's just not feeling like we are supposed to leave where we are yet. We are trying to plan a visit somewhere soon.
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« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2009, 01:44:22 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.

My wife surprised me last night when I got home from work. She had reached out to an old friend up in CT who is Greek Orthodox. I'm pretty sure her husband works for the Arch-Diocese of NY. She told her what is going on and we are going to exchange emails. She pointed us to this http://www.acrod.org/ . There is an online class Orthodoxy 101 that started last night. I missed the first class but signed up for it.

My wife is very supportive. She's just not feeling like we are supposed to leave where we are yet. We are trying to plan a visit somewhere soon.

Awesome...  Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2009, 01:51:17 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.

My wife surprised me last night when I got home from work. She had reached out to an old friend up in CT who is Greek Orthodox. I'm pretty sure her husband works for the Arch-Diocese of NY. She told her what is going on and we are going to exchange emails. She pointed us to this http://www.acrod.org/ . There is an online class Orthodoxy 101 that started last night. I missed the first class but signed up for it.

My wife is very supportive. She's just not feeling like we are supposed to leave where we are yet. We are trying to plan a visit somewhere soon.

Wonderful news!  May the Lord continue to bless you both on this journey.
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« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2009, 03:50:20 PM »

pretty much all Orthodox Churches celebrate the Divine Liturgy at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Mine does at 2 o'clock Tongue
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