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Author Topic: Ethnicity in The OO Churches in the US  (Read 3360 times) Average Rating: 0
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peteprint
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« Reply #90 on: January 31, 2012, 12:11:54 AM »

Thank you.  I assumed that would be the case since all Orthodox Churches seem to practice it.  Smiley

I hope to attend an Armenian Liturgy one day.  We have St. John Garabed Church here in San Diego.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 12:13:14 AM by peteprint » Logged
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« Reply #91 on: January 31, 2012, 12:12:43 AM »

Also, the "wafers" we use are different from what the Catholics use.  They are bigger and a little thicker, and the priest tears them into small pieces before giving them to the faithful.  In other words, it's not one "wafer" per person.  
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peteprint
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« Reply #92 on: January 31, 2012, 12:14:39 AM »

Thank you for the information.  I hope to witness an Armenian Liturgy in person this year sometime.
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Aram
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« Reply #93 on: January 31, 2012, 12:39:25 AM »

This problem exists in many EO parishes as well.  I have gotten to know a number of lifelong members (cradles) since converting, and many of them know almost nothing about the distinctive features of the faith.  Words like Theosis elicit a blank stare, while an understanding of the differences between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism is almost non-existent.  And these are not only people from the Old Country, but people born and raised in the Church here.
I'd be giving you a blank stare right now if you were standing in front of me talking about Theosis. 

Quote
A lot of converts like myself converted to Orthodoxy after years of study, reading numerous books on Orthodox history and theology which convinced us of the truth of the Orthodox faith.  It comes as a bit of a shock after joining a parish to discover that people born into the Church, and being active in a parish for decades, have little knowledge of terms like prelest, Orthopraxy, the Christological controversies of the early Church, the Orthodox view of the Atonement, and all the other subjects we discuss here on the forum.

Of course I am not questioning their commitment or personal piety, but it is still quite surprising to experience. 
The Church isn't a reading list.  It's a lived faith.    I realize your study was the reason you converted, but for a lot of cradles, that just isn't in the cards.  The Church is who we are and have always been, not what we've become.  The way we've learned our faith is different, and sometimes I think converts tend to come from your kind of experience, look at us, and assume we're somehow ignorant, or that we don't care.  Not to say that's what you're doing, but I've seen it.  I've been on the other end of it.  And it isn't fun. Even after being born into the Church, a lifetime of Christian education, learning to serve the Church, being trained as an academic who studies Orthodoxy (EO and OO), these things aren't always on my radar.  I love my Church and believe in it in the way in which I was raised to experience it.  Always have, always will.  I may not be able to tell you the theological technicalities separating the Armenian tradition from the Catholic understanding of things, but that doesn't particularly matter much to me. 
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peteprint
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« Reply #94 on: January 31, 2012, 12:56:19 AM »

Aram,

I have seen that as well (converts that take an arrogant attitude towards cradles), and I agree it is wrong.  Ideally the Church should always be bringing in people (converts) since that is a big part of Christianity, and hopefully the newcomers and the established members can each benefit from the other's experiences.

Even when I was a protestant, I remember converts that entered our church "on fire for the Lord" and hyper-motivated.  They seemed a bit extreme to me at the time since we were comfortable with things as they stood.  Usually they would calm down after awhile, and the pastor would channel there exuberance into appropriate channels.

I know one Orthodox convert who wanted to remove the pews in our parish and even literally close the doors during the dismissal of the catechumens.  Not to mention, he wished the priest would enforce a dress code.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 12:57:24 AM by peteprint » Logged
Aram
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« Reply #95 on: January 31, 2012, 01:56:40 AM »

Oh, yes, I didn't mean to come off as being overly critical.  I think your approach is perfectly fine, and it seems like you've been able to put it in perspective.  That's a good thing.  It's the ones that don't, who end up converting then alienating others because of their sheer befuddlement that things aren't exactly like what they read about, down to the letter, who seem to be the problem.  The ones who try to shake you down for a copy of The Rudder for a bit of light reading and spiritual edification.  (Yes, had that happen once.) 

It's all about perspective.
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« Reply #96 on: January 31, 2012, 02:18:38 AM »

Oh, yes, I didn't mean to come off as being overly critical.  I think your approach is perfectly fine, and it seems like you've been able to put it in perspective.  That's a good thing.  It's the ones that don't, who end up converting then alienating others because of their sheer befuddlement that things aren't exactly like what they read about, down to the letter, who seem to be the problem.  The ones who try to shake you down for a copy of The Rudder for a bit of light reading and spiritual edification.  (Yes, had that happen once.) 

It's all about perspective.

I think those types generally, before long, wind up in HOCNA.
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« Reply #97 on: January 31, 2012, 06:41:16 PM »

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« Reply #98 on: January 31, 2012, 07:12:29 PM »

You know, having educated priests was also a tough point for the Coptic Church at some time.  There was a very sad level of ignorance for both priests and monks before HH Pope Kyrillos VI's papacy.  You find some of the remnants of that ignorance during his papacy as well.  But ever since the establishment of the revolutionary Sunday School Program by the late great Archdeacon Habib Guirguis (who should be canonized a saint in our Church), and ever since HH Pope Kyrillos VI appointed very well educated bishops and abbots, it trickled down from there the massive education the Coptic Church passed down to their priests and laity (HH Pope Shenouda continued this with more fervor, who was also one of the pioneers of the Sunday School Movement).  Now, we have the resources to do social work better than before as well as evangelization, despite perhaps and arguably some ecclesiastical disorganizations.

Also, perhaps one of the more helpful things that accelerated the education of the Coptic Church was the preservation and subsequent understanding and study of our Coptic Liturgical and Hymnographical Traditions by the late great Dr. Ragheb Moftah and the good knowledge and memorization of Chantor Mikhail el-Batanouny.  This combined with Archdeacon Habib's insistence on education of proper Orthodox dogmas and preservation of the teachings of the Church fathers had a massive impact on the education level of Copts today.

I see an optimistic future for the Armenian Church.  So long as the education increases, so will the future look good, and the propensity to begin evangelical work.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 07:17:41 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #99 on: January 31, 2012, 07:34:43 PM »

I remember looking at this Coptic school before.  They offer an external Diploma in Theology (but you have to have a Coptic priest proctor the exams):

"You must have a Coptic Church in your city and a Coptic priest who is willing to sign your recommendation form to supervise your exams, and to mail the answer papers to us. The role of the priest will be only to receive the question paper, supervise your exam, and return personally the answer paper to the college."

Looks like a great program:

http://www.coptictheology.com/about/the_dean.php
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 07:36:20 PM by peteprint » Logged
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« Reply #100 on: January 31, 2012, 07:41:50 PM »

I remember looking at this Coptic school before.  They offer an external Diploma in Theology (but you have to have a Coptic priest proctor the exams):

"You must have a Coptic Church in your city and a Coptic priest who is willing to sign your recommendation form to supervise your exams, and to mail the answer papers to us. The role of the priest will be only to receive the question paper, supervise your exam, and return personally the answer paper to the college."

Looks like a great program:

http://www.coptictheology.com/about/the_dean.php

Oh no, I'm talking about something different, but yes, this school can be said to be a direct inheritance of the great work Archdeacon Habib did in the early 20th Century.

Some reading on the subject I'd recommend is Otto Meinardus' book "Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity."

A bit about the Archdeacon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habib_Girgis

A more detailed account:

http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/articles/2010/06/the-renaissance-of-coptic-orthodox-church-after-long-years-of-darkness/
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 07:46:36 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #101 on: January 31, 2012, 10:46:41 PM »

Thank you for the links!
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