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Momzilla
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« on: February 20, 2004, 10:45:21 AM »

hello everyone! I was referred to this forum by Oblio (thanks!), and I've already seen a few familiar names in the brief time I've been lurking.  I've also checked the map and I see that there is at least one other person in Greenville, SC, which is where I am.

A little about me....  I'm 34 (soon to be 35), married with two boys.  I work full-time as a lawyer; my husband, bless his heart, is a stay at home dad.  I grew up in a non-religious household, and became a Christian in my mid-20s.  I'm presently attending a methodist church, and while it's a wonderful place, filled with wonderful, God-loving people, I am beginning to think it's not where God wants me to be.

One of my coworkers is Jewish, and his fiancee has just completed the process of converting.  We were having a discussion one day about various Jewish sects (Orthodox, Hasidic, Reform, etc.), and I asked him how Reform Jews justified not being Orthodox--i.e., how do non-Orthodox Jews justify their rejection of tradition and scripture that calls them to a certain standard of life?

I've been asking that same question of myself lately, for a variety of reasons related to my growing sense that most Protestant churches are too much of this world, instead of simply being in this world, but of Christ.  I do not see in Protestantism the principles that will guide me to consecrating the whole of my life to God, which is what I believe that Christians are called to do.

Oh dear, I'm rambling.  I'll stop now, and just say that I'm glad to be here!  Smiley
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PhosZoe
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2004, 11:12:24 AM »

Hi Momzilla!

BTW I love your screen name! This board is a nice place have your questions answered. It's a good group of people who are most helpful and eager to help.

Have you visited an Orthodox church before? Need book reccomendations?

To comment on your last paragraph, I couldn't have said it better. Although I came straight to Orthodoxy via Byzantine Catholic, I explored various Protestant churches and felt the same way but I couldn't think of a way to put it into words.

I wish you the best on your journey and welcome!
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Momzilla
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2004, 11:19:28 AM »

Thanks, PhosZoe!  I've read "Becoming Orthodox" by Peter Gillquist. It was a wonderful way to start investigating orthodoxy.  As I was reading, the thought that kept popping into my head was "why didn't anybody tell me this???"

I'm now working my way through Bishop Ware's book "The Orthodox Church."  That's a little slower going, especially since I usually don't have time to do much reading until just before bed, when I'm pretty tired.  The folks over on CF have also given me a ton of links, which I try to look at when I have a few spare minutes at work.

I have not yet visited an orthodox church, but I hope to do so soon.  Would it be okay to visit during Lent?  That is such a special time.... I would hate to disturb the life of the church.  If need be, I'm happy to wait  until after Pascha to visit.
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Doubting Thomas
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2004, 11:29:16 AM »

Hey Momzilla,

I am not (yet) Orthodox, but I can certainly relate to your story.  A couple of books I recommend are Clark Carlton's The Way and Matthew Gallatin's Thirsting For God in a Land of Shallow Wells.  Both do an excellent job of presenting Orthodoxy to Protestants and answering typical objections.  Thirsting for God is my favorite of the two (though I've read both 3-4 times), and I'm trying to get my wife to read it because I believe it can answer her questions very well.
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2004, 11:42:31 AM »

Hellloooooooooooooooooooooooo Momzilla!!!! Good to see you over here!
Smiley
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ania
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2004, 12:23:51 PM »

Welcome Momzilla (great name :-D) !
Come visit during Lent!  Personally I think the music during Great Lent, especially the last week (at least in churches where they serve in Church Slavonic) is the best, if a little subdued.  
Anyway, welcome. :-D
Ania
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2004, 12:27:56 PM »

Just a thought, Momzilla...this Sunday is "Forgiveness Sunday".....I think this would be a wonderful time for you to attend....It will be my first one, but from everything I have heard, it is one of the most beautiful services of the year...
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2004, 02:18:06 PM »

Welcome.

By all means do visit during Lent, it is a very special time and you will get a very special impression of Orthodoxy -- particularly if you can manage to visit one of the weekday liturgies of the presanctified gifts.  Also, if you can manage, I would recommend a visit on Pascha itself ... that one service pretty much sums up more or less the entire experience of Orthodox Christianity.

Brendan
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2004, 02:46:07 PM »

Just a thought, Momzilla...this Sunday is "Forgiveness Sunday".....I think this would be a wonderful time for you to attend....It will be my first one, but from everything I have heard, it is one of the most beautiful services of the year...


I don't know if that's such a good idea. With all of the prostrations going on and asking forgiveness between people who most likely know each other well, a newcomer might feel a little intimidated. I know I would.
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2004, 03:46:38 PM »

I don't know if that's such a good idea. With all of the prostrations going on and asking forgiveness between people who most likely know each other well, a newcomer might feel a little intimidated. I know I would.

Ditto.  The forgiveness Vespers service is probably the most intimidating service of the year IMO.
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2004, 06:01:52 PM »

Momzilla,

First of all, welcome to the forums... I am also in Greenville, SC, and would like to invite you to visit my parish, St. John of the Ladder Orthodox Church, if you would like.  There are also a few other Orthodox churches in the area: St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral(Downtown Greenville), Christ the Saviour Antiochian Orthodox Church (Anderson), St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church(Spartanburg), and St. Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church (Fountain Inn).  My church is located near the Donaldson Center off of I-185.   We have around 80 members (50/50 convert/cradle) from a variety of backgrounds.  Feel free to send me a private message if you need more information.

Again, welcome to the forums. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2004, 07:21:16 PM »

Welcome, Momzilla!   Here's a great read for you (very accessible, well written, MOVING, and written from the perspective of a convert to Orthodoxy):  At the Corner of East and Now, by Frederica Mathewes-Green.

God's blessings for you as you continue on your spiritual journey toward God.

-David
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Momzilla
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2004, 01:37:42 PM »

David,  Thank you for the invitation--I will definitely take you up on it in the coming weeks.  St. John is the first parish I want to visit, in large part because of the mix of cradle/convert.  Also, it's relatively small (I'm going to a really big church right now)--I like the idea of knowing most or all of my fellow parishioners.

I'm still noodling through some logistics--I usually bring my sons with me to church and I'm a little wary of trying to keep them under control during a long service.  Nevertheless, I'll PM you soon--I have a couple of questions.  Thanks!

And Karamazov, thanks for the recommendation of "Mama Fred's" book.  I've read a good many of her articles, and I definitely would like to read the whole book.
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2004, 02:09:23 PM »

Hello everyone here.

I just wanted to introduce my self  on the board.
My name is Chrysostom( Johnny) and i am from denmark.
I was formaly raised as a Jw, but no longer follow that religion, a few years ago i started a study, in search of the true religion.
This have lead me into studying the catholic church, first the Roman, and now the Orthodox.
Thrue books like "the way, Orthodox Christianity" by Bishop Kallistos ware, (i have to admit im not sure this is the correct english title as i have it in danish) and Christos Yannaras "Elements of faith"( have not finished this yet).
And internetsites like  http://www.goarch.org/ The ISOS is great.
And http://www.oca.org/ there intro to "the Orthodox faith" by Rev Thomas Hopko, have been a blessing, especialy the part about the trinity is perfect http://www.oca.org/pages/orth_chri/Orthodox-Faith/index.htm.
These and many other have made me strongly belive that the Orthodox church is were i belong.
So i have joined this board to finish this study and ask questions, and talk to others about Orthodoxy, and Hopefully soon myself become "a brother in christ".
 Sincerely Chrysostom.
Tit 3:15 >> All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.<<
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Anastasios
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2004, 02:33:19 PM »

Chrysostom,

Are there Orthodox Churches near you? I would like to know the situation of the Orthodox Church in Denmark.

Is Christianity in general suffering due to secularism in Europe? Here in America we often hear about Europe's "losing the faith."  Is this true and accurate?

Thanks for sharing with us.

anastasios
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2004, 04:29:39 PM »

Hi anastasios
 No sadly there are no Orthodox churches near me (for about 90-100 miles as far as i know)

We have a large russian Orthodox church in copenhagen, and i have heard of a new church not so long ago, from 2002, under antioch, but i am not sure.
There is also a Orthodox church congregation in copenhagen called (Gudmoders-theotokos/ beskyttelse-protection) under the danish Orthox priest F.poul sebbelov, this congregation is part of a larger one in Oslo norway, (HL. nikolai menighet) Saint nikolai congregation.
Besides this there are a few other churches and some small congregations, but these are the ones i am familier with so far.
Now to your other question.
Yes i wood have to say that its largely right.
But i dont think it is faith as much as it is real truth and inspiration, that is laking.
Many see the church as important and a part of us, but the have no faith in it, and personaly many feel(my self included) that the danish state-church is spiritualy dying, that it in many cases have fallen to  secularism.
Not so long ago when a danish priest was asked if he believed in God he answered "no".
Many here accepts the church but it has no bearing on the lief of people, they will only accept its teachings and morals if it "fits" them.
And many dont see the need to go so we se churches closing, churches stand un-occupied(being used for rock concerts).
So now you see religions like buddism and wicca (especialy pagan religions) being very popular.
We form our own truth instead of letting real truth form us. :- sadly

Hope this answer helps.
Sincerely Chrysostom.

Tit 3:15 >> All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.<<  Wink

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Karamazov
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2004, 05:20:57 PM »

And Karamazov, thanks for the recommendation of "Mama Fred's" book.  I've read a good many of her articles, and I definitely would like to read the whole book.

You're welcome, Momzilla.  Hey...if we were to call you "Mom" for short, what would we call "Godzilla?"  (shudder....) Cool
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2004, 05:33:57 PM »

Well, Karamazov, for Monster-san we should call him by his name in the original Japanese "Gojira"  so he could be "Goj" maybe.   Grin

Ebor (dabbler in things Japanese)
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2004, 05:44:43 PM »

Hello everyone here.

I just wanted to introduce my self  on the board.
My name is Chrysostom( Johnny) and i am from denmark.
I was formaly raised as a Jw, but no longer follow that religion, a few years ago i started a study, in search of the true religion.
This have lead me into studying the catholic church, first the Roman, and now the Orthodox.

Welcome, Father among our Saints!  You've picked the moniker of my favorite, most beloved Saint, John Chrysostom!

I noted your journey to God began with Judaism.  Here is a link to a pamphlet you may find interesting:
http://conciliarpress.bizhosting.com/orthodoxy_jewish_and_christian_1.html

Also, I know that many Jews and Muslims have difficulty with the Christian Trinitarian understanding of the nature of God.  I recommend you read the following interview with Fr. Daniel Byantoro:
http://www.pr.ru/emmaus/samples/Indonesi.pdf

God Bless you and help you on your journey to Theosis.

-David
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2004, 05:46:24 PM »

Well, Karamazov, for Monster-san we should call him by his name in the original Japanese "Gojira"  so he could be "Goj" maybe.   Grin

Ebor (dabbler in things Japanese)

Don't tell me Godzilla is a "goy"?!?!? Shocked
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Ebor
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« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2004, 06:06:17 PM »

My mistake.  iirc, in Japanese, the syllable split would not have included the 'j'  so the Great Radioactive One would be "Go"...now if you want the kanji character for that, it will take me a while..... <grin>

We now return you to our previously organized introduction thread...

Ebor
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2004, 06:33:25 PM »

Chrysostom,
Welcome!  You may be interested in reading about Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco - a 20th century Orthodox Christian saint - he was bishop in Western Europe for a time (early 1960s) -- he was in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia -- but the important point is that when he was bishop of Western Europe he made it a point to learn about native Western European Orthodox saints and to incorporate them into our Church calendar -- British, French, Dutch, German, etc., saints.  I'm sure there were some Danes as well.  I am aware that he ordained some native Western European men to the priesthood also.  Welcome!
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2004, 10:22:43 PM »

Hi Karamazov

Thanks for the link, i actualy think about getting that book.
Now when i wrote i grew up Jw,(i wish this was judaism), but sadly i have to admit that it stands for jehovah witnesses Embarrassed

Hi Gregory2 thanks for your advise about Saint John Maximovitch i have found a website dedicatet to him.
http://www.saintjohnwonderworker.org/......
 Smiley
Sincerely Chrysostom..

>>Hear my prayer, LORD! Let my cry come to you.
Don't hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Turn your ear to me. Answer me quickly in the day when I call.<<
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« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2004, 08:25:32 AM »

I am also new to the board, and considering conversion.

I am becoming aware that I need to avoid committing myself impulsively. I was exposed to Orthodoxy several years ago by two friends who had converted and who gave me a fairly hard sell. I was attracted but did not seriously consider conversion. Now I am exploring again under my own power.

As I wrote to someone earlier today on another Orthodox board, I hate my lack of spiritual growth, but find the asceticism of Orthodoxy daunting. I also need to evaluate Orthodox theology, rather than impulsively converting because I like Orthodox worship.

 I am now praying for discernment, and I am having lunch today with a (convert) deacon from my local parish. I feel drawn to attend the special services which go on during Lent, but I wonder if I should "back off" in the interests of discernment.

I also would recommend "Facing East". However, Fredrika (perhaps the best Christian writer in America, imo) is a very, very happy convert. I have been immersed in the writings of Protestants who became Orthodox and are quite happy. I suspect my discernment process might benefit from reading the stories of cradle Orthodox who left for First Baptist or the Assemblies of God...

One of my convert friends who had given me a hard sell on conversion apologized to me several months later. To make a long story short, he had realized that Orthodoxy, like every other church, is made up of fallen people living in a fallen world. However, he is still committed to Orthodoxy and would never return to Protestantism.

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« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2004, 09:07:47 AM »

I just wanted to say welcome to Momzilla :wave:, Chrysostom, and Phred !
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