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« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2004, 02:28:18 AM »

lellimore,
 I am afraid that Edwin's observation, whether you are from the US or Canadian or whatever, is still valid.

Quote
As to Ania's post, it must be remembered that while some ethnic churches have the sort of background you described, many, perhaps the majority, don't.

Ania IS correct for the majority, however. Certainly so for older parishes. Although I was struck that I never considered the Russians as having similar experiences to the Greeks, I was very aware of the anti-ethnic bias suffered by other Orthodox traditions here - notably most of the central and east Europeans who came here from Trans-Carpathia to work the steel mills and coal mines, cheap labor for jobs "Americans" didn't want (sound familiar, anyone?)
You must realize that in the "old country" Orthodoxy was the main religion - by a wide majority. Hence, being XXXX and Orthodox were the same thing.

Quote

The specific church I referred to is basically full of well-to-do Greek bigots.

Oh? An interesting statement. I imagine these  people would be amused at those labels considering what they (or their parents or grandparents) went through to establish their parish. I remember the tail-end of the period of 'racism' in the south USA where, to the Southern Baptists and other Protestants who disliked the Catholics so, but who were so totally put out by those more-Catholic-than-the-Pope Greeks, we were sorely abused. Wasn't pretty; wasn't fun. But I forgave them in their ignorance. Perhaps you could too?
You must also know already that during the 400 year Turkish domination of the Greeks that the Church preserved "Greekness". Later, when the Greeks came to "America" they faced discrimination of another sort which, sadly, reinforced their clannish nature. Orthodoxy came to America in 1794 with the Russians. The first Greek church was built here barely 100 years ago in New Orleans. Give my "patrioti" a break! They'll catch up!

Those 'well-to-do" Greeks didn't come here that way. What is the difference between a "willful immigrant" and a "refugee"? In the 1890 to 1925 (and again after WWII) I assure you these Greeks were economic refugees at best and political/religious refugees (those from Turkey) as well.
As to over ethnicized parishes, you have a justifiable position. It's a problem we will work through and quicker than many realize. I never thought I would see Greek parishes speaking 90% English, but they exist now. More will come especially as other English speaking jurisdictions here begin to grow.

I hope I have not offended you too much. There are many Greek members of this forum but they post very rarely.
You are correct - spend more time worrying about "Correct Belief"!

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« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2004, 10:54:30 AM »

Funny Demetri, I never thought of the Greeks having the same experience as the Russians ;-)
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« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2004, 12:47:58 PM »

An interesting thing to consider is the lot of the Poles in America and their relationship with the Catholic Church.  When the Poles first came here this was an IRISH church (funny this should come up today).  Thus Poles couldn't have parish bussiness carried out in Polish because most parish priests of Polish parishes were Irish.  There were few Polish speaking priests or bishops - the Irish church didn't want them.  Thus a good number of Poles left the church - and this is what Orthodoxy risks doing if it is not careful.  

A good example of Irish bishops in action is the Saint Alexis Toth story...
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« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2004, 01:45:55 PM »

So, PhosZoe, should I expect to have to speak Greek (or whatever language) to you at your workplace to make you feel more comfortable?  Maybe I should change the language of all the documents that you work with as well?

If the Church is to fulfill the "Great Commission" so to speak, then it must use the language of the people it is evangelizing to.  Lumping in "english" with a crying room, instruments, etc. is a copout.  Your ethnic club is welcome to preserve the status quo and slowly die off - or it can do it's best to fulfill God's command and evengelize the native people.  

Maybe I wasn't being clear.  If a parish is overwhelmingly ethnic. I think it is wrong for someone to barge in ask 'demand' that english be used for the liturgy.  The majority should rule.  I don't think a "fresh immigrant" parish should bend over backwards to use english.

In a case where you have a Gen.3 or 4 parish where most of the people are ethnic, it may be easier to have an all english liturgy. Since most of the parish would probably understand English better than Greek (or Serbian, Russian etc.)

Cry rooms, instruments etc... It has been my experience these requests often follow the demand for English use.

 

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« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2004, 03:18:42 PM »

lellimore,
 I am afraid that Edwin's observation, whether you are from the US or Canadian or whatever, is still valid.

Oh? An interesting statement. I imagine these  people would be amused at those labels considering what they (or their parents or grandparents) went through to establish their parish. I remember the tail-end of the period of 'racism' in the south USA where, to the Southern Baptists and other Protestants who disliked the Catholics so, but who were so totally put out by those more-Catholic-than-the-Pope Greeks, we were sorely abused. Wasn't pretty; wasn't fun. But I forgave them in their ignorance. Perhaps you could too?
You must also know already that during the 400 year Turkish domination of the Greeks that the Church preserved "Greekness". Later, when the Greeks came to "America" they faced discrimination of another sort which, sadly, reinforced their clannish nature. Orthodoxy came to America in 1794 with the Russians. The first Greek church was built here barely 100 years ago in New Orleans. Give my "patrioti" a break! They'll catch up!

As to over ethnicized parishes, you have a justifiable position. It's a problem we will work through and quicker than many realize. I never thought I would see Greek parishes speaking 90% English, but they exist now. More will come especially as other English speaking jurisdictions here begin to grow.
Sorry I didn't divide up the points...I'm really not too good at this...anyway, I'll respond to the points in order; hopefully this still makes sense.  As to the nationalism bit, please be more specific or leave it alone.  This is bordering on a personal attack (and a highly unjustified one at that), so at least give me something I can actually respond to.  As to the "well-to-do's", you must be careful not to assume that any particular situation is universal.  Where I live (Ontario), there never has been much of a religious majority, and religious and ethnic relations have been relatively peaceful.  Still, the Orthodox Church has had just as much of a tendency toward provincialism and xenophobia as it has anywhere else.  It's only been recently that the situation here has changed.  In general I would say that in my area the Orthodox have tended to be treated better than they have treated the wider community.  Both this type of situation and the one you described are widespread; neither are universal.  The basic, essential point is that the church is called to preach to ALL nations.  Historically speaking, the Orthodox church has done a positively miserable job of that in North America.
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« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2004, 03:43:06 PM »

OK, lellimore.
As to 'universal' situations, where else have you had experiences with the Orthodox that you can share with us outside of Ontario?
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« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2004, 11:25:44 PM »

That point came out wrong.  I wasn't trying to get into a competition over who has had the most personal experience with Orthodox churches in different geographical regions (and I think most of you would probably beat me at that).  I just meant that no one's personal experience is universal, and gave my own as a counterexample to those already given.  My point was merely that Orthodox churches exist in various types of situations, and that the more annoyingly ethnic ones aren't always in areas where the Orthodox have often been shunned.
As an aside, I think the tone on this thread is degenerating, and I take a good part (if not most) of the blame for that.  I'm sorry about that, and I'll try to keep the tone friendly hereon.  I would ask that others do likewise.
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« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2004, 10:31:24 AM »

Aw, shucks, lellimore, you beat me to an apology  Smiley

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« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2004, 02:11:44 PM »

:This is bordering on a personal attack (and a highly unjustified one at that), so at least give me something I can actually respond to.:

I don't know much about the Canadian situation, although I do know that at least one non-English language has a very solid status as part of Canadian identity! But certainly in the U.S. context it is the height of arrogance to suggest that immigrants should be fluent in English. What I found more objectionable, though, was your latent assumption that immigrants who were not refugees but wanted to keep their culture were somehow selfish freeloaders who wanted the benefits of American, or Canadian, or whatever culture without the responsibilities. If that is _not_ what you were hinting, I apologize. But in that case I really don't know what you were trying to say.

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« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2004, 05:44:21 PM »

What you said about the Canadian situation is obviously quite true; French is an official language and is the prevalent one in Quebec and parts of New Brunswick.  If I had been talking about Canada in the earlier posts, my comments would have been altered accordingly.  I have no problem with the position of the French language in Canada.
As to why I was offended at being called an "American nationalist", there were essentially two reasons for this.  The first was just the "sniping" quality of the statement.  When I said "give me something to respond to" I meant that I think this might be an interesting area to discuss, but I think we should discuss it fully, rather than in pot shots at each other.  The second was that American nationalism tends to have a couple of features which distinguish it from the nationalisms elsewhere, and I personally think these distinguishing traits are negative.  I am a nationalist, but one of the "old school" so to speak.  
As to your summary of my earlier comments, it's generally correct (although a bit extreme).  You find those positions offensive; fair enough.  I would be perfectly happy to discuss them.
I'll try to hit one point on the head right away that you hinted at earlier, and is of course quite a common position, namely that America is an "immigrant country" or that "the only true natives here are the First Nations".  Neither of these statements is really true.  They rest on an unacceptable ambiguity in the words "native" and "immigration".  For the descendants of the original American settlers to not be considered native, you have to say that the descendants of immigrants are themselves immigrants.  But, this criterion disqualifies the first nations too.  They immigrated to the Americas as well; they just did it longer ago.  The first nations came from Asia and earlier; the colonists came from Europe and later, but both groups came.  Another problem with denying the descendants of colonists the title "native" is that it raises the obvious question of what is these people's native country.  In my case, my ancestors are English and French; does that make either of those places my native country?  I've never even been to England or France!  If I did what to go to either of those places and stay, I would be treated (rightfully) as an immigrant.  The essential problem with this view is that it ignores the fact that it is YOUR native country that is in question, not your ancestors.  Wherever you are born and grow up is your native country, no matter how it came about that you are there.
Also, America (and Canada) weren't founded by "immigrants" in the modern sense of the term.  In modern times, an immigrant comes to a country and lives there with people, following their laws and so forth.  The colonists weren't like this; they were conquerors.  They didn't immigrate to a place; they took it over.  Whatever the moral implications of this (and I find it as morally blameworthy as the next person), it is what happened, and the descendants of these colonists aren't guilty for it.  An English descendant living in the Americas is like a Turk in Anatolia or a Russian in the Eastern part of the federation, rather than like a new immigrant today.  This is a very relevant difference, but I'll leave it there for now, mainly because I don't actually know if anyone's interested in discussing this point.
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« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2004, 10:38:29 PM »

A point that hasn't be brought up yet is that when one converts to Orthodoxy a person is finding a new home.  If a person leaves thier native country to spend the rest of thier life in another land they will no doutb strive to learn the language.  I think the same should hold true for Orthodox converts.  Suppose even 10% of liturgy is Greek or Slavonic...wouldn't it be worth the effort to learn?  If the reality of your local parish is non english services why not just learn the language?
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« Reply #56 on: March 20, 2004, 12:07:33 PM »

I agree with that.  It's one thing to say that the liturgy should be open to English people, but if it's not, it's definitely better to adapt to the situation than to just not go to church or to go and not understand.
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« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2004, 02:46:48 PM »

I agree, if a person leaves their home country and moves to another, they should learn the language of their new country which also includes the Orthodox Church in that country.  Such as moving to Greece, learn Greek; Russia, learn Russian; and the US and Canada, learn English.  I certainly wouldn't expect to hear the Liturgy in English if I went to Greece but I would if I went to Canada.

I didn't become Orthodox to become part of an ethnic club.  I came because it is The Church.  

Last week the "Russian Wannabes" were in for a surprise.  The priest was out of town and in his place was a priest from Russia.   Very few had a clue as to what he said, especially during the homily.  English transcripts were handed out during coffee hour.
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« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2004, 07:06:14 PM »

and the US and Canada, learn English.  
Unless you're going to Quebec Grin
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« Reply #59 on: March 31, 2004, 01:36:29 AM »

Quote
How do other converts out there feel about liturgical languages?  Does a convert have a right to expect mostly English services?  Should a convert learn the language of whatever ethnicity dominates his parish?

As a very recent convert (I was baptized into the GOA on February 14, 2004), I have come to greatly enjoy the portions of the services performed in Greek. I've made a nominal effort to learn liturgical Greek, and now know what is being said and done even if not in English. Being a lover of both history and language, however, I am probably an exception; it is exciting for me to hear the worship being conducted in the ancient languages. Our parish is a fairly-even mix of ethnic Greeks and converts, so most of the services (probably about 65%) are in English. In the end, though, each priests knows his congregation and their needs, and the decision about language is best left to him and perhaps the parish council.

Just my thoughts, though... I'm probably not the most qualified person to decide.
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« Reply #60 on: March 31, 2004, 11:52:51 AM »

As a very recent convert (I was baptized into the GOA on February 14, 2004), I have come to greatly enjoy the portions of the services performed in Greek. I've made a nominal effort to learn liturgical Greek, and now know what is being said and done even if not in English. Being a lover of both history and language, however, I am probably an exception; it is exciting for me to hear the worship being conducted in the ancient languages. Our parish is a fairly-even mix of ethnic Greeks and converts, so most of the services (probably about 65%) are in English. In the end, though, each priests knows his congregation and their needs, and the decision about language is best left to him and perhaps the parish council.

Just my thoughts, though... I'm probably not the most qualified person to decide.

+º-ü+++++¦+¦ -Ç+++++++¦! Many years!
I applaud your language efforts; you will do well with that attitude among the Greeks. And your parish seems more enlightened and will do well in Christ's service Smiley

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« Reply #61 on: March 31, 2004, 12:02:17 PM »

The whole ethnicity issue that pops up here from time to time is probably the single most distressing thing about Orthodoxy. It is the root of the whole jurisdictional mess as well as the source of hubris and exclusivism.

I believe it has probably turned away many honest seekers over the years and will probably continue to do so.
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« Reply #62 on: April 05, 2004, 09:16:21 PM »

I took part yesterday in a meeting of conservative Episcopalians in my area, and in the course of the conversation I mentioned that if I left ECUSA the most likely possibility for me was Orthodoxy. One of the people there commented, "but could you really become Greek?" Which confirms what you are saying. However, thinking about it later I wondered if this isn't in fact a common stumbling block that most converts historically have had to get over. For instance, for African converts to Christianity in the 19th and much of the 20th centuries becoming Christian generally meant becoming European. We agree today that this was a very bad thing, but it's how Divine Providence allowed it to happen, and ultimately the Africans have been able to start building their own form of Christianity. I guess this is less of an issue for me because I love learning new languages and experiencing non-Anglo cultures, and I have a particular love for Eastern European culture (I spent quite a bit of time in Romania). So that really isn't a reason why I wouldn't become Orthodox (much more serious is that I have problems accepting that there is in fact one True Church that can be identified with a particular Christian group today; and women's ordination is also a significant issue for me).

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« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2004, 04:57:47 PM »

My feelings on this issue have shifted these past two weeks, as a result of my visiting a Greek Orthodox parish in Shreveport, near where I work during weekdays, for the Presanctified Liturgy and Bridegroom Matins.

The reception there was incredibly warm (warmer than I'd experienced in a purely English-speaking Church I'd visited, made up of a majority of converts).  About 10% of the service was in Greek, and it didn't trouble me in the slightest.  My feeling was that I was in a Church which experienced itself, first and foremost, as Orthodox Christian, and then as Greek.  They have a big sign outside that proclaims, "All Orthodox and Visitors Welcome!" and that welcome was embodied by many parishioners.

Inasmuch as most of the long-term parishioners are of Greek origins, it did not offend me at all, or put me off, that some Greek was used.  It would certainly not prevent me from joining the parish, were I to move to the area.

True, I understand basic liturgical Greek somewhat, and am interested in the language, but even if that were not the case, I would have had no trouble following the service:  The Greek parts were mostly part of three-part repetitions, in which the other parts were sung or spoken in English.
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« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2004, 06:32:52 PM »

I think it is wrong to generalize about ethnic parishes or converts parishes being generally more or less welcoming.  I think it is a thing the varies from parish to parish even within a jurisdiction.
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« Reply #65 on: April 11, 2004, 11:16:37 AM »

I think the priest determines how friendly the parish will be.   After 3 1/2 years, my husband and I are in search of a new Orthodox parish which isn't easy given the fact that  there are just a handful of Orthodox churches  here.

We want a priest who cares.  I don't care anymore about the people to fellowship with.  I just want a priest who will respond when the plea of help is given.  

The Liturgy has to be mostly in English though, so for us, the Greek church is out.  

 

 
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« Reply #66 on: April 21, 2004, 09:38:49 PM »

at home in any language.
yes sometimes I DO like to hear English in the Liturgy and Vespers and Matins, but only for the stichs of the saints that I want to really know about.
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« Reply #67 on: April 22, 2004, 06:22:21 PM »

My church does it in both........English and Macedonian.....our priest makes sure to do it in both languages.  I would say its about 50 50............................I myself understand Macedonian but have trouble understanding the Church Slavonic (I believe thats the term) but in english its no problem.


I have had discussions with some people as to what should be used......I find that hard core ethno nationalist don't want english to be used.....I tend personally to hear the message much clearer if English is used........thank God my priest agree's that for the younger generation English should be used since its the language that most of us fully understand.



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« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2004, 02:26:57 AM »

A point that hasn't be brought up yet is that when one converts to Orthodoxy a person is finding a new home.  If a person leaves thier native country to spend the rest of thier life in another land they will no doutb strive to learn the language.  I think the same should hold true for Orthodox converts.  Suppose even 10% of liturgy is Greek or Slavonic...wouldn't it be worth the effort to learn?  If the reality of your local parish is non english services why not just learn the language?


My in-laws being first generation speak their own form of Russian/Polish indicative to the kids from their generation in their old Chicago neighborhood....WHen I started dating their daughter though and they would do these little conversations between themselves in this dialect in their own homes...I was polite...However when we got marrried some years later and they visited our home and did the little conversation between themselves.....I let them know as politely as I could that I thought it rude they speak in a language neither my wife and I could understand...right in front of us!

They had never really thought about it before and when I brought it to their attention they realized I was right and have since ceased doing that in our home...and in their own. I think it is great if a convert wants to learn about a new Church and a new language all at the same time -- but is it reasonable to expect people to want to do this when they are attending Liturgy in the country of their birth? How many ethinic parishes have congregations who are literally dying off...and the children and grandchildren have moved on to something else or nothing at all?
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« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2004, 08:22:41 PM »

Quote
but is it reasonable to expect people to want to do this when they are attending Liturgy in the country of their birth? How many ethinic parishes have congregations who are literally dying off...and the children and grandchildren have moved on to something else or nothing at all?

Protestant feel good style mega churches are packed and growing....some ethnic places are growing, a good number aren't....I know of all english usage Orthodox parishes that are dying out.... so this is not so simple as some would wish to make it.
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« Reply #70 on: August 17, 2004, 10:15:41 PM »

I think that Orthodox parishes should have one service in English and one with the ethnic language. I know some do, like the one I go. They actually have one service 50-50.

Many Catholic churches have services in at least two languages, so those who do not speak English can observe Mass on Sundays.

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« Reply #71 on: August 18, 2004, 04:46:11 PM »

I think that Orthodox parishes should have one service in English and one with the ethnic language. I know some do, like the one I go. They actually have one service 50-50.

Many Catholic churches have services in at least two languages, so those who do not speak English can observe Mass on Sundays.



I am certainly no expert but I undertsand there is a practice in the Orthdox Church where an altar can only have one Divine Liturgy per day served from it.

Our parish gets around this by having one altar for an English Divine Liturgy...and another for Slovanic......Essentially we have two faith communities sharing the same building, as the Slovanics are even on the old calendar and the ENglish are not. On some Occasions though (like Pashca or a picnic to mark the start of the Sunday School Year) both communities come together.

We find that eventually those who attend the Slovanic service -- usually migrate over to the English after they have been in this country for a while....or their children want to attend Liturgy with their friends from Sunday School.
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« Reply #72 on: August 21, 2004, 12:24:44 PM »

It is very understandable that a person would feel more comfortable listening to the Divine Liturgy or any religious service on their native language or feel more comfortable just praying using their native language. I know because English is my second language. If you have been praying all your life using the same language, it is second nature and closer to the heart, your soul, you’re conscious and subconscious. However, if the church wants to communicate the word of God to everyone, the church should use the main language of the country where the parish is located. Why a person should need to learn a specific language to worship God? The Father gave through the Holy Spirit the knowledge of different languages to the apostles to go out to other nations to communicate his word and Jesus teachings. What is Jesus language? I think is Love. Wouldn’t Jesus say “I love you” and “Welcome” on a language that you could understand to bring you closer?
Here in the US, I think that every church should have a Divine Liturgy on the ethic language of the predominant group of the congregation and one in English.




I am certainly no expert but I undertsand there is a practice in the Orthdox Church where an altar can only have one Divine Liturgy per day served from it.

Hi Spartacus,
I never heard before about that practice. I’ll ask our priest. I wonder what is the reason for that? What is the relationship with the altar to limit the number of times to worship God?


Teresita  Roll Eyes So many questions in my head.....
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« Reply #73 on: August 21, 2004, 01:26:19 PM »


I am certainly no expert but I undertsand there is a practice in the Orthdox Church where an altar can only have one Divine Liturgy per day served from it.

Hi Spartacus,
I never heard before about that practice. I’ll ask our priest. I wonder what is the reason for that? What is the relationship with the altar to limit the number of times to worship God?


Teresita  Roll Eyes So many questions in my head.....

One of the first things I learned as an altar-boy back in 1959 or so was that we only can celebrate one Divine Liturgy -one sacrifice and resurrection- per altar per liturgical day. Those parishes which I have experienced which serve two liturgies have a main temple with its altar and an adjoining chapel with its own altar.

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« Reply #74 on: August 21, 2004, 07:18:46 PM »

One of the first things I learned as an altar-boy back in 1959 or so was that we only can celebrate one Divine Liturgy -one sacrifice and resurrection- per altar per liturgical day. Those parishes which I have experienced which serve two liturgies have a main temple with its altar and an adjoining chapel with its own altar.

Demetri


Yep!
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« Reply #75 on: August 24, 2004, 07:12:46 PM »

I am an Anglophone in a Serbian parish.  Many of the immigrants to our parish are refugees and would rather be in their homeland in their houses, which were destroyed, in Bosnia and Croatia.  They came here because this is where they could come to survive (and where a country let them in).  They speak Serbian (technically, many speak the Croatian and Bosnian variants).  The liturgy is in two languages:  70% Slavonic and 30% English - not in Serbian at all!  When there are almost no English speakers at liturgy and we have a very long liturgy, the priest delivers his sermon in Serbian.  Sometimes it is only in English.  It is usually in both, although it seems to be tailored to the two different groups within our community.  If only Anglophones are at a service, only English is used.

Our choir is made up of Anglophones, although there is one ethnic Serb who is fluent in Serbian.  We are planning to sing certain parts of the liturgy in English, Serbian and Slavonic.  

To the Serbs, this is an important issue.  It is their church.  They built it and their ancestors suffered and died to keep it.  I am now a member, true, but I'm not there to turn the place into Yankee central.  The church is growing by . . .  converts.  It something works, then don't try to "fix" it.

We have our share of racists.  Let's face it, that's what someone is who wants to deny someone access to the Church because of race.  I just don't let them bug me and I make darn sure that visitors don't feel left out.

Every once in a while I try my terrible Serbian out.  I get smiles.  I also make beer and share my goodies with the community.  They seem to like me well enough.  Sometimes I think it takes a little extra effort.  Should it?  Probably not, but we don't live in a perfect world and some things we shouldn't have to do, well, we do.  That's life.
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« Reply #76 on: August 24, 2004, 07:31:12 PM »

Having two liturgies OR having two altars in one church in order to have two liturgies are both abuses.  The reasoning is that there is ONE Eucharist per community.  We cannot divide the Lord.  The solution is liturgy part in English, part in language of whatever immigrants are there.

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« Reply #77 on: August 24, 2004, 08:23:38 PM »

what about having 2 priests. 2 Altars, 2 Eucharists per Liturgical day?
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« Reply #78 on: August 24, 2004, 08:26:56 PM »

That is techincally ok but a violation of the spirit of the canon, and if you have all that, why not have 2 churches?
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« Reply #79 on: August 24, 2004, 10:26:16 PM »

Nod..side by side.
sister parishes, just in a different part of the building
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« Reply #80 on: August 25, 2004, 02:20:27 AM »

That is techincally ok but a violation of the spirit of the canon, and if you have all that, why not have 2 churches?

OK, anastasios, I'll bite...how is two churches not also 'splitting' the community?
In Carnegie, PA (a south Pittsburgh suburban municipality) there are two stunningly beautiful Orthodox churches - an OCA and an Ukrainian- quite literally side-by-side. I must admit I shake my head a little every time I pass them.
In a town near me- population 1500 - there are three Orthodox churches (in three jurisdictions), each barely making ends meet.
How are these examples also not in the canonical spirit?
Better to have a temple with separate chapel in some cases than two churches, IMHO.

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« Reply #81 on: August 25, 2004, 09:07:41 AM »

Demetri,

And the sharing of the facilities by different jurisdictions doesn't split a community.  It brings two separate communities closer together.

One only has to drive down the road in my city with Baptist churches that have signs in three, sometimes four, languages.  There are obvious problems with this comparison, but I can’t imagine why separate chapels would be an abuse.  Truth be told, it would probably ease the workload of some of the priests, increase the number of weekly services, and expose the uber-ethnics to the concept that there are really other nice Orthodox Christians not of their ethnicity.

I don’t think many jurisdictions would go for it, though.  There would be all sorts of questions of ownership, etc. that would have to be worked out.
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« Reply #82 on: August 25, 2004, 09:17:08 AM »

This is why canons are guides and not hard and fast rules. The situation we are describing above simply did not exist when these particular canons were devised.
It is not our place to apply the canons but our bishops.

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« Reply #83 on: August 25, 2004, 10:30:53 AM »

[In Carnegie, PA (a south Pittsburgh suburban municipality) there are two stunningly beautiful Orthodox churches - an OCA and an Ukrainian- quite literally side-by-side. I must admit I shake my head a little every time I pass them.
In a town near me- population 1500 - there are three Orthodox churches (in three jurisdictions), each barely making ends meet.
How are these examples also not in the canonical spirit?
Better to have a temple with separate chapel in some cases than two churches, IMHO.]

I agree.  But this by no means is unique to Orthodoxy.  In the small town I came from (now less that 4000 people) there are three Roman Catholic churches.  All bearly surviving.  There is one Roman Catholic priest assigned to the town.  He has to serve Mass separately in each parish because the Irish wouldn't be caught dead in the Slovak or Lithuanian churches of vice versa!

Othodoc

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« Reply #84 on: August 25, 2004, 10:41:52 AM »

Quote
He has to serve Mass separately in each parish because the Irish wouldn't be caught dead in the Slovak or Lithuanian churches of vice versa!

The priest who heard my first confession and gave me my first Communion is in a similar situation.  He is the pastor of two churches in a small town near Pittsburgh, but he used to head three.  The Polish church was inspected a couple of years ago and foudn to be structurally unsound; you could even see it from the street.  The diocese decided that it just was not economically feasible to repair the church while there were two others in town that were perfectly capable of ministering to the needs of these parishoners.  

Those same parishoners had other ideas.  Aghast at the idea of having to worship with non-Poles, they tried to sue the diocese and the bishop, lost that fight, and then I believe bolted to the Polish National Catholic Church.  Their former paster, Fr. Michael, bluntly told them that if they thought the church was an ethnic social club and they couldn't worship with their fellow Catholics at another church in town, they had no idea what it meant to be a Christian and a Catholic.  Of course, this didn't endear him anymore to the leaders of the separatist movement.

As Orthodoc said, this isn't merely an Orthodox phenomenon.  It's one thing for Spanish-speaking Americans to have their own church, but quite another for second and third-generation Americans to be quibbling over the ethnicity of their churches.  It's quite sad.
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« Reply #85 on: August 25, 2004, 10:51:54 AM »

Quote
Aghast at the idea of having to worship with non-Poles, they tried to sue the diocese and the bishop, lost that fight, and then I believe bolted to the Polish National Catholic Church.  Their former paster, Fr. Michael, bluntly told them that if they thought the church was an ethnic social club and they couldn't worship with their fellow Catholics at another church in town, they had no idea what it meant to be a Christian and a Catholic.  Of course, this didn't endear him anymore to the leaders of the separatist movement.

They don't!

The tiny shrinking PNCC today proves that such a motive hasn't got much staying power.
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« Reply #86 on: August 25, 2004, 11:12:55 AM »

Having churches side-by-side would also be a violation of the spirit of the canons and that's not what I meant.  I meant that if there are enough people and need, that two different parishes could be established (I.e. as per the normal process of when a church grows; I didn't mean have two differnet ethnic parishes one right accross the street from another).  For instance, in Charlotte, NC, the Greek Cathedral in the city still was predominately immigrant Greek while their mission in the suburbs was mostly English-speaking.

Prodromos,

You're right, the canons did not forsee certain situations and it is the job of the bishops to apply them.  But sometimes they apply them wrongly. Smiley

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« Reply #87 on: August 25, 2004, 12:40:54 PM »

OK, anastasios, I'll bite...how is two churches not also 'splitting' the community?
In Carnegie, PA (a south Pittsburgh suburban municipality) there are two stunningly beautiful Orthodox churches - an OCA and an Ukrainian- quite literally side-by-side. I must admit I shake my head a little every time I pass them.

Actually they are not side-by-side, there is an AME church in between them.  The OCA parish is my "home parish."  There is an historical reason for two churches being there and it is ethnic.  It is unfortunate but that is reality.  We have our people and new Russian immigrants; the Ukrainians have their people and new Ukrainian immigrants.  The Ukrainians use a lot of modern Ukrainian.  We use English with a wee bit of Slavonic.  

In one way the parishes meet different needs.  But, all said, there should be one parish I agree.

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« Reply #88 on: August 25, 2004, 03:47:25 PM »

Quote
You're right, the canons did not forsee certain situations and it is the job of the bishops to apply them.  But sometimes they apply them wrongly. Smiley

Hmm, please don't take this the wrong way...I've been struggling with this for a while...but if we truly believe that our bishops are the ones whose job it is to apply the canons (which it is), a power invested in them so-to-speak through the Holy Spirit at their ordination, and a power that we don't have as laypeople, then what authority do we have to say they are applying them "wrongly"? If you (this is a general "you," as in anybody) are in communion with your Church, you are in communion with all of its bishops as well, and to believe deep down that they are wrong presents problems, IMO. There is something amiss somewhere...now I know that it becomes complicated when bishops in communion with each other interpret canons differently, and so it seems happenchance whether or not you are in a diocese with a bishop you "agree" with or not, which seems "unfair," but I *think* it is more important to be obedient to, let's say *my* bishop rather than for me to let the entire structure of faith in the heirarchy of the Church crumble in my mind simply because I don't think my bishop is "right" when I have no idea what "right" is anyway.

Just my 2 cents Smiley

Please note, I did not have the current issue of churches side by side in mind when I wrote this, I'm only responding to the comment I quoted. Smiley
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« Reply #89 on: August 25, 2004, 05:12:18 PM »

Bishops can err since they are not perfect.  In this specific case, however, it is up to the Synod to fix the error.  Sometimes a Synod is in error--I think several synods are in error for setting up 18 or so jurisdictions in America--and perhaps then a Great Council can fix it.  What about when a Great council is wrong? Then it was not so "great"--c.f. Ephesus "II"--and in that case the entire people of God rise up against that council.

As a lay(wo)man your and my duty is usually to obey the bishop though Smiley

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