So I was born into another Christian Faith, but as I've grown up I've looked into other denominations. My research led me to my first introduction to orthodoxy and I was amazed... months later I am now convinced that Orthodoxy is true and I want to convert. I do however have some questions/concerns:
1. What do I tell those in my faith community now? (Mother, Grandmother, Pastor, Church Friends)
2. Will the Orthodox church accept my original baptism (done by sprinkling in the name of The Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit)?
3. What does the actual conversion process involve?
4. How do I begin?
Thank u in advance and Peace of Christ
Welcome to the forum!
1. Be careful not to be overbearing, especially in the early stages. It's good to be excited and take a strong interest in matters of faith, but be cautious about "convertitis", that is, the condition of alienating people with minutiae and basically causing people to roll their eyes when they see you coming. Not that anyone should "hide it under a bushel", no, but just be careful. Don't do what I did: find ways to interject deep spiritual conversations in places where they don't belong. If others want to talk, that's fine, and when you get close to actual conversion it might be appropriate, but just be wise and it's usually best to let others initiate a conversation.
And finally, don't be judgmental about non-Orthodox people. Don't even have the appearance of it. Many, including myself, have learned that the hard way.
2. Technically no non-Orthodox baptism is "accepted" in its own right, rather they are completed in Chrismation. But some jurisdictions will require you to be baptized by an Orthodox priest, though it's more common to be received by Chrismation alone. There is no universal rule, but since you were baptized in the name of the Trinity, it's more likely than not that you would not be baptized again.
3. When the formal process begins, you will be made a Catechumen. Again, the length of time and what exactly this entails varies. You will be instructed in the faith in some way, and each priest does this differently. My Catechumenate was about 8 months long, meeting with my priest weekly. In general, be prepared for a gradual process. It will take some time for you to be ready to enter the full life of the Church. Your priest will help you learn whatever you need to learn.
4. Visit different parishes in your area and find out which one you feel at home with. Meet with the priests and see how they handle the Catechumenate process. Find a priest who you feel comfortable talking to, as he will eventually be hearing your confessions and guiding you. (That said, I think it's generally best to go to the parish nearest to your home. But that's just my opinion.)
Humility and patience are what you need most in this stage, so keep those things in mind. All the best to you!