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Author Topic: Intersting article  (Read 7733 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 18, 2004, 10:33:04 PM »

Here is the link to an article I found intersting: http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/brorthoc.htm

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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2004, 12:07:46 PM »

Yes, there are some interesting  and insightful things there, weeding through remarks about "Anglicanism" and "Shrink-riddled USA" and "Christian = Orthodox"
Sorry, I believe that one can be Christian and not be EO or OO or RC... but you all already knew that...

My apologies, I'm feeling a bit off today.

Ebor
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2004, 01:35:18 PM »

Like most articles it had good and bad in it.  The part that I thought was interesting and could be a spring board for discussion was this:

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There is only one criterion for entering the Orthodox Church and that is because you are convinced that it is for your personal salvation, for your spiritual survival, because it is God's Will for you, because you know that this is your spiritual home and that, whatever the cost, you can never be anything else.


Nothing to apologize for Ebor, discussion of what people liked or disliked about the article was why I posted  it :-D
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2004, 02:32:27 PM »

Here is the link to an article I found intersting: http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/brorthoc.htm

Yes! I have seen this before and definatly worth posting. Smiley Makes loads of sense to me.  

My favorite quote.

"The attachment to externals can extend to foreign clothes, language, food and folklore. I remember in one Russian church in Belgium, you immediately knew who the converts were; the men had nineteenth-century Russian peasant beards and the women wore dowdy long skirts and seemed to be wearing tablecloths on their heads. You knew who the Russians were because they dressed normally. In a Greek church here, there were two priests, a Greek and a convert. You immediately knew who the convert was because he wore huge wide-sleeved robes and an enormous chimney-pot on his head. The Greek just wore an undercassock."

Personally, I think this needs to be distrubted to all middle american convert parishes. LOL J/K. Frankly nothing is funnier than people who need to "dress" orthodox. I really wish they would stop raiding my Baba's closet.  Tongue
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2004, 04:57:00 PM »

Yes! I have seen this before and definatly worth posting. Smiley Makes loads of sense to me.  

My favorite quote.

"The attachment to externals can extend to foreign clothes, language, food and folklore. I remember in one Russian church in Belgium, you immediately knew who the converts were; the men had nineteenth-century Russian peasant beards and the women wore dowdy long skirts and seemed to be wearing tablecloths on their heads. You knew who the Russians were because they dressed normally. In a Greek church here, there were two priests, a Greek and a convert. You immediately knew who the convert was because he wore huge wide-sleeved robes and an enormous chimney-pot on his head. The Greek just wore an undercassock."

Personally, I think this needs to be distrubted to all middle american convert parishes. LOL J/K. Frankly nothing is funnier than people who need to "dress" orthodox. I really wish they would stop raiding my Baba's closet.  Tongue

I know.  I loved that bit!    Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2004, 01:21:48 AM »

Yes! I have seen this before and definatly worth posting. Smiley Makes loads of sense to me.  

My favorite quote.

"The attachment to externals can extend to foreign clothes, language, food and folklore. I remember in one Russian church in Belgium, you immediately knew who the converts were; the men had nineteenth-century Russian peasant beards and the women wore dowdy long skirts and seemed to be wearing tablecloths on their heads. You knew who the Russians were because they dressed normally. In a Greek church here, there were two priests, a Greek and a convert. You immediately knew who the convert was because he wore huge wide-sleeved robes and an enormous chimney-pot on his head. The Greek just wore an undercassock."

Personally, I think this needs to be distrubted to all middle american convert parishes. LOL J/K. Frankly nothing is funnier than people who need to "dress" orthodox. I really wish they would stop raiding my Baba's closet.  Tongue

I guess it depends on where you are.

I have not experienced any such thing, and I know loads of converts. We all dress like average Americans.

After I was in Russia awhile and had time to acquire clothes from Russian stores, I dressed like the average, modern Russian man, not like Raskolnikov in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. And I was and am clean shaven.

I grew my first long, full beard when I was a Lutheran, by the way.

Frankly, I am tired of cheap shots at converts.

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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2004, 04:08:46 AM »

I guess it depends on where you are.

I have not experienced any such thing, and I know loads of converts. We all dress like average Americans.

After I was in Russia awhile and had time to acquire clothes from Russian stores, I dressed like the average, modern Russian man, not like Raskolnikov in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. And I was and am clean shaven.

I grew my first long, full beard when I was a Lutheran, by the way.

Frankly, I am tired of cheap shots at converts.



Tough, get over it then.  There's a lot of wisdom in that article.  If it doesn't apply to you, then you don't need to be concerned with it.  I'm sure all (fill in your favorite Orthodox ethnicity) are tired of getting bashed for being referred to as ethnic ghettos/clubs/etc.  There's been numerous articles written on staying the narrow path (in more meanings than one), where a balance of "converts" (for lack of a better term since the article rightly condemns the incorrect usage) is good.  The ethnics can learn zeal from the converts and the converts can learn the faith, etc. from the ethnics.  This is just another.  Look at the whole picture before you target a phrase you don't like.  What if the author said, "I'm tired of conversion stories!  What about just being Orthodox?"  (Which the author pretty much does.)  Wouldn't you be offended since you're a "convert" (and so am I)?  I love reading them too!  But of course, we came from non-Orthodox backgrounds so that's why we feel the way we do.  At the same time, the author has a point.  We need to concentrate on ourselves - that is the purpose of the Church.  And as St. Seraphim says, acquire the spirit of peace and a thousand souls will be saved.

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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2004, 12:07:09 PM »

One thing that needs keeping in mind, is that there are no "born Christians."  No one is born Orthodox - we're born "children of wrath" according to St.Paul, nature of itself perishing.  No one is born with faith, no one is born a member of Christ; even if the begining of that journey occurs shortly after birth at the Baptismal font in a good, observant Orthodox family, that little soul is still not "born Orthodox."

Everyone must convert - whether that be discovering the Orthodox Church in one's adult life, or the beginings of making a personal, conscious committment to the religion of one's family and people (which, sadly, does not always occur as soon as this precious soul reaches the age of reason; there are many stories of people only taking a sincere interest in their salvation much later in life, despite having been baptized as infants and nominally raised in the Orthodox Church.)

Looked at that way, the only real distinction I see between converts (who, if it is not for marriage reasons, convert out of conviction) and serious "raised" Orthodox Christians, is that there is still a newness and freshness about the Orthodox Church with the former person than the latter.

If the lives of the neo-confessors against the heresies of Sergianism and Ecumenism have taught us anything (being themselves, with a few exceptions, "born and raised Orthodox" so to speak), it's more a question of seriousness and zeal, than a question of "kooky converts."  The same people who find many new converts to be odd, are the same ones who feel uneasy around the likes of a Fr.Ephraim or the zealot monks of Mt.Athos.

In 33 A.D., there were no "born Christians" - and for centuries to follow, due to the Church's growth, the majority of believers would also be "adult converts"... and saints, and martyrs, and confessors.  Let's keep things in perspective.

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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2004, 12:58:05 PM »

Elisha brings up a good point that ethnic Orthodox are not spared here by many of the converts...

I think that the point of the author is converts shoudl be aware of falling into the trap of externals and ethnicity more than an all out assualt on converts.  But I have seen many of these things in "born" Orthodox who are Americans of Greek descent.  

And Seraphim brings up a very intersting point which I highly agree with:
Quote
Everyone must convert - whether that be discovering the Orthodox Church in one's adult life, or the beginings of making a personal, conscious committment to the religion of one's family and people (which, sadly, does not always occur as soon as this precious soul reaches the age of reason; there are many stories of people only taking a sincere interest in their salvation much later in life, despite having been baptized as infants and nominally raised in the Orthodox Church.)

But I do disagree (in many cases it is true but not always) with
Quote
The same people who find many new converts to be odd, are the same ones who feel uneasy around the likes of a Fr.Ephraim or the zealot monks of Mt.Athos.
.  
I obviously don't find Geronda's monasteries to be odd, since I often go to Saint Anthony's!  I think converts are much more easily prey to "temptation from the right" (at least me personaly).  So it is important that in thier spiritual formation this is taken into account.
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2004, 02:32:56 PM »

Tough, get over it then.  There's a lot of wisdom in that article.  If it doesn't apply to you, then you don't need to be concerned with it.

Woah, calm down!  Take a deep breath; have a glass of milk and a bite of meat, if that's what it takes.  I don't think anyone was attacking you or any one else personally, just expressing discomfort with the frequent stereotyping of "converts"--a discomfort I, at least, share, though I am also uncomfortable with the frequent stereotyping of "ethnics."  I belong to a parish frequented in about equal parts by folks who used to be heterodox, recent immigrants, and second- to fourth-generation Orthodox, and not a few who fit into more than one of those categories.  And, I must say, none of them conform well to the usual stereotypes about "wild-eyed converts," "ethnic bigots," etc.

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And as St. Seraphim says, acquire the spirit of peace and a thousand souls will be saved.
Quote

Sounds like excellent advice.
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2004, 11:38:47 PM »

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Elisha:
Tough, get over it then.

Nope. Think it's wrong. Think your choice of opening remark is wrong, too.

If you had to face me, I wonder how you would speak?

I think I have a pretty good idea.

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Elisha: There's a lot of wisdom in that article.  If it doesn't apply to you, then you don't need to be concerned with it.

Perhaps, but I have as much right as you or anyone else to comment on any aspect of it.

And I am tired of convert bashing.

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Elisha: I'm sure all (fill in your favorite Orthodox ethnicity) are tired of getting bashed for being referred to as ethnic ghettos/clubs/etc.

Have you likewise told them, "Tough, get over it"?

Or do you reserve such wit and sensitivity for converts alone?

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Elisha: There's been numerous articles written on staying the narrow path (in more meanings than one), where a balance of "converts" (for lack of a better term since the article rightly condemns the incorrect usage) is good.  The ethnics can learn zeal from the converts and the converts can learn the faith, etc. from the ethnics.  This is just another.

Fine.

"Ethnics" are people.

Converts are people.

The Church is Catholic, meaning universal.

She is for people, regardless of origin.

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Elisha: Look at the whole picture before you target a phrase you don't like.

I don't recall targeting a phrase.

Perhaps you should actually read my post before commenting on it.

Quote
Elisha: What if the author said, "I'm tired of conversion stories!  What about just being Orthodox?"  (Which the author pretty much does.)  Wouldn't you be offended since you're a "convert" (and so am I)?  I love reading them too!  But of course, we came from non-Orthodox backgrounds so that's why we feel the way we do.  At the same time, the author has a point.  We need to concentrate on ourselves - that is the purpose of the Church.  And as St. Seraphim says, acquire the spirit of peace and a thousand souls will be saved.

There are one or two who post here who regularly bad-mouth converts.

That was what I was addressing.

If you don't like me and what I have to say, c'est la vie.

You might try beginning your posts by taking the advice with which you closed this last one.
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2004, 01:27:08 AM »

If someone has been Orthodox for like 10 or 15 years, they are not "Converts" anymore.  They are just Orthodox.

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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2004, 09:41:50 AM »

If someone has been Orthodox for like 10 or 15 years, they are not "Converts" anymore.  They are just Orthodox.

I don't know about that; the Matthewes-Greens' conversion is a decade old, yet Frederica is still a convert.  As long as you live your new religion in intentional contrast to your old, you are still a convert.
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2004, 06:22:11 PM »

One point that the article makes, that for example Keble has written too, is that some people are, as it were, going TO EO while others are getting there because they are going  away FROM some place else.  The destination may be the same, but the reasons for getting there are different.

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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2004, 07:37:45 PM »

. . . yet Frederica is still a convert.  As long as you live your new religion in intentional contrast to your old, you are still a convert.

I think that is unfair to her.  I've heard her speak in person several times, have conversed with her at table briefly, and have read several of her books and many of her articles.  While I have read her account of her leaving the Episcopal denomination and embracing the Orthodox Church, I must say, most of her writings, talks and conversations are clearly about exploring the fulness of Orthodox faith and, to a large extent in her journalism and book writing, explaining it to Christians belonging to non-Orthodox denominations.  In conversation with her, one clearly is in dialogue with a knowledgible and wise spokeswoman for the Orthodox faith, not with a disgruntled former Episcopalian, nor with a "convert."

Certainly, we are called to embrace Orthodoxy as the fulness of faith, not primarilly as a life raft from a sinking ship.  Nevertheless, that doesn't mean we are necessarily called to remain completely mum about our experiences on that sinking ship, especially if our comments are intended primarilly (as are the pertinent writings by Khouria Frederica, I believe) to give encouragement and hope to those who may be in the throws of a crisis from which the author has been rescued, and indeed, for which she is grateful, having found passage abord "the real thing." (Uff!  Someone throw this metaphor a lifeline!)
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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2004, 09:29:29 PM »

I think we should be careful about being too hard on those that we consider to have converted for the wrong reasons.  I often was accused of this after I left the Roman Catholic Church.  To an extent it was true in that I was not happy and content where I was and I found Orthodoxy was my home.  But it wasn't until my early exposure to Orthodox Monasticism that I began to really appreciate Orthodoxy for itself and not simply as an escape or life raft.  Every convert go through stages and grows - at thier own speed.  So if now they seem to have "crazy convert" syndrome give them some time rather rushing to pass judgement.
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2004, 12:51:10 AM »

I have a big beard.  If you're a "convert" and have a big beard you have a hard time because many people think you're doing it to be "Orthodox."  I worked a job at a factory in the Appalachians where many of the biker dudes and mountain boys had big beards and long hair, and nobody thought twice.  But since I'm an Orthodox "convert" it makes it somehow "wrong."  It's a ticket to an automatic judgment on immaturity and self-righteousness.

The fact is, before I knew what Orthodoxy was, I had a shaved head and no beard or moustache for about a month.  Then I was planning to grow out as long as I could.  A month later I visited my first Orthodox church.  It made it easy to grow my hair and beard because I would fit right along with the context.  I was accused of "playing" Orthodox.  I even had a monk tell me I shouldn't have long hair and a beard unless I planned to join the clergy.

Can't a "convert" have a big beard because he wants to without being judged on his motives?
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2004, 11:13:58 AM »

I have a big beard.  If you're a "convert" and have a big beard you have a hard time because many people think you're doing it to be "Orthodox."  I worked a job at a factory in the Appalachians where many of the biker dudes and mountain boys had big beards and long hair, and nobody thought twice.  But since I'm an Orthodox "convert" it makes it somehow "wrong."  It's a ticket to an automatic judgment on immaturity and self-righteousness.

The fact is, before I knew what Orthodoxy was, I had a shaved head and no beard or moustache for about a month.  Then I was planning to grow out as long as I could.  A month later I visited my first Orthodox church.  It made it easy to grow my hair and beard because I would fit right along with the context.  I was accused of "playing" Orthodox.  I even had a monk tell me I shouldn't have long hair and a beard unless I planned to join the clergy.

Can't a "convert" have a big beard because he wants to without being judged on his motives?


Excellent point.

I grew my first full beard while still a convinced Protestant (Lutheran) with absolutely no plans to convert to anything else and very little knowledge of Orthodoxy.

I grew one because I wanted to see how it would look. I liked it, kept it for awhile, and then shaved it off.

Over the years I have had various forms of facial hair, none of which had anything whatsoever to do with religion.

Most of the men in my parish, both convert and cradle, are clean shaven. A few have beards. No one seems to care, and no one seems to regard the hairy-faced as possessing any superior sanctity.

Some of the women cover their heads with scarves at liturgy. Most do not. Some of those who cover their heads are ethnic, cradle Orthodox. Some are converts.

I have yet to see anyone who seems to be "dressing Orthodox," unless by that one means dressing modestly. I have never been to an Orthodox church where I have seen anyone, cradle or convert, in ethnic folk costume.

The whole "convert vs. cradle" theme that pops up here from time to time is most distressing. That and the sectarian-like squabbling and apparent phyletism of the various "jurisdictions" are the biggest negatives about Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2004, 12:31:31 PM »

the GOA Metropolitan in our city told me to stop referring to myself as a convert! He said that I was "just" Orthodox. P.S. Good thing I can't grow a beard, being a girl and all. And I haven't bought any new "Orthodox" costumes - I always preferred long dresses/skirts, even when I was Lutheran. However I must confess that I have changed the kind of shoes I buy! My hsuband and I have often thought about opening a shoe store - "Comfortable Shoes for the Orthodox Christian." Does buying comfortable shoes make me suspect? Grin
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2004, 12:34:37 PM »

Yes.  Everyone knows real Orthodox Christians take their shoes off before entering the church.  Tongue
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2004, 01:29:56 PM »

Yes.  Everyone knows real Orthodox Christians take their shoes off before entering the church.  Tongue

Thank God for incense!  Wink
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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2004, 08:21:08 PM »

I guess it depends on where you are.

I have not experienced any such thing, and I know loads of converts. We all dress like average Americans.

After I was in Russia awhile and had time to acquire clothes from Russian stores, I dressed like the average, modern Russian man, not like Raskolnikov in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. And I was and am clean shaven.

I grew my first long, full beard when I was a Lutheran, by the way.

Frankly, I am tired of cheap shots at converts.


I visited an "ex-HOOM" parish one Sunday while visiting the city my job will be transfering me to in a couple of months. All of the women were wearing very long and very old fashioned floor length skirts and patterned babushkas. Many of the men had big long beards.  I was accosted by one of the babushki (I was wearing a pant suit, by no means was it slutty or in appropriatly tight) who insisted that I don a scarf. She produced one from her handbag.  I visited thier social hour after liturgy. I learned that 99% of the parish were converts and roughly half were ex-HOOM. I also learned that
all of the women were "homeschool" moms and were suspicious of me because I worked outside the home. One of these ladies couldn't get it through her head that I knew how to cross myself and what Ikons were etc...   I realize that this parish is now under the Bulgarian patriarchate but I think the "cult" mentality is alive and kicking. Needless to say I never went back and I have found a church in my new city.  

Yes, this experience colored my view of converts. Until that point I never thought twice about it.  Most of the converts I encountered before and after this experience dressed in standard Western wear.

As for cheap shots at converts... I must say there is an equal amount of cheap shots taken at the ethnic crowd. I think it's simply we don't understand each other.
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« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2004, 08:34:12 PM »

I visited an "ex-HOOM" parish one Sunday while visiting the city my job will be transfering me to in a couple of months. All of the women were wearing very long and very old fashioned floor length skirts and patterned babushkas. Many of the men had big long beards.  I was accosted by one of the babushki (I was wearing a pant suit, by no means was it slutty or in appropriatly tight) who insisted that I don a scarf. She produced one from her handbag.  I visited thier social hour after liturgy. I learned that 99% of the parish were converts and roughly half were ex-HOOM. I also learned that
all of the women were "homeschool" moms and were suspicious of me because I worked outside the home. One of these ladies couldn't get it through her head that I knew how to cross myself and what Ikons were etc...   I realize that this parish is now under the Bulgarian patriarchate but I think the "cult" mentality is alive and kicking. Needless to say I never went back and I have found a church in my new city.  

Yes, this experience colored my view of converts. Until that point I never thought twice about it.  Most of the converts I encountered before and after this experience dressed in standard Western wear.

As for cheap shots at converts... I must say there is an equal amount of cheap shots taken at the ethnic crowd. I think it's simply we don't understand each other.


Sounds like the one in my town - described to a 't'!  Nice folk, but acording to a well respected priest, it will take a generation or two for them to assimilate.

And, for everyone else, there are others in other jurisdictions that are similar to them.
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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2004, 01:17:21 AM »

They sound like Fundamentalists.

And Fundamentalists often overdo, whether they were born into their faith or converted to it.

BTW, if a woman enters a church in Russia without a scarf, she will be given one to wear. If she wears pants (modest or otherwise) into a church, she will more than likely be asked to leave.
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2004, 09:50:53 AM »

They sound like Fundamentalists.

And Fundamentalists often overdo, whether they were born into their faith or converted to it.

BTW, if a woman enters a church in Russia without a scarf, she will be given one to wear. If she wears pants (modest or otherwise) into a church, she will more than likely be asked to leave.

Yes, I am aware of that. I would be perfectly fine wearing a skirt and covering my head if I were to visit Russia. Actually from what I understand it's common for women in most Orthodox countries to cover thier heads and wear a skirt.   It's not that women don't cover thier heads, it's just that it's not necessary in America.

So until it becomes a requirment in America, you will only see me in a scarf on special occaisons.
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« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2004, 11:08:33 AM »

Phos Zoe, I hear you about the shoes.  Comfortable flats for me, including oxfords.  I wore nice flats for the Paschal liturgy last year and my feet were killing me.  I sing in the choir, so there is absolutely no sitting.  I don't think I remember my feet being so sore as they were last year.  I am wearing my comfortable brown oxfords, even if they don't look so nice.  They are cushioned and made for wide feet and are much more comfortable, and I am wearing them.
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« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2004, 11:50:16 AM »

So until it becomes a requirment in America, you will only see me in a scarf on special occaisons.  

Or, as my dear wife says. "I'll wear one when I see Pani wearing one." At which point Demetri has no retort worth defending (sigh)...  :-

Demetri
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« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2004, 12:02:34 PM »

They sound like Fundamentalists.

And Fundamentalists often overdo, whether they were born into their faith or converted to it.

BTW, if a woman enters a church in Russia without a scarf, she will be given one to wear. If she wears pants (modest or otherwise) into a church, she will more than likely be asked to leave.

Personally, I have no opinion on the scarf/pants issue either way.

I was merely pointing out that such things are not a function of whether or not one is a convert, but rather of one's position of strictness or laxity with regard to them.

The formally strict (which usually includes various Fundamentalist groups) will require things like the wearing of scarves and dresses by women.

Are all formally strict Orthodox converts?

Are all converts strict about such things?

Are all cradle Orthodox lax about such things?

I think the answer to all of the last three questions is no.
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« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2004, 03:02:26 PM »

It seems to me that this article has something for (or to get) everyone.  My first reading I picked up on the remarks about Anglicans and non-Orthodox. Many of the converts here seem to feel that it's aimed at them, while some cradle think it's being hard on them.

I think that one art to be practiced is trying to not let the personal situation get in the way of getting the heart of the message.  So writings are right up front about what The Message is, and others have more depths to be plumbed.

Ebor
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« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2004, 06:15:53 PM »

It seems to me that this article has something for (or to get) everyone.  My first reading I picked up on the remarks about Anglicans and non-Orthodox. Many of the converts here seem to feel that it's aimed at them, while some cradle think it's being hard on them.

I think that one art to be practiced is trying to not let the personal situation get in the way of getting the heart of the message.  So writings are right up front about what The Message is, and others have more depths to be plumbed.

Ebor

Exactly what I got out of it.  Fair is fair.  The article fairly pointed out everyones short comings (including moi).  If you feel that it targeted yourself, than take it as your share of humble pie for the day.
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« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2004, 10:46:26 AM »

Exactly what I got out of it.  Fair is fair.  The article fairly pointed out everyones short comings (including moi).  If you feel that it targeted yourself, than take it as your share of humble pie for the day.

There is a big difference between humble pie and stupid pie.

And stereotyping anyone, whether cradle Orthodox or convert, is a big fat slice of the latter.
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« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2004, 01:18:07 PM »

Phos Zoe & Elisha-
I belong to a congregation that was ex-HOOM in the beginning but now is about 1/4 ex-H, 1/4 cradles of various ethnicities & 1/2 "other" convert (Lutherans, RCs, Episcopalians & quite a few Evangelicals and Pentacostals). The women wear what they feel is nice and modest and cover or not depending on their personal decision - though a majority do. Some of the younger guys have beards. Most of it is just like personal choice. Most of the women work outside the home or are in school.
And our "weirdo" "homeschool moms" have built, staffed and are running the only Orthodox parochial school in our area and are able to offer affordable Christian education to non-Orthodox kids in the inner city.
Stereotyping can be a tricky business.
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« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2004, 10:42:59 AM »

There is a big difference between humble pie and stupid pie.

And stereotyping anyone, whether cradle Orthodox or convert, is a big fat slice of the latter.

2 cents from a convert wannabe.  I've just finished perusing the article, and I understand the concerns stated therein.  I remember reading in a few secular news articles over the last few years that Orthodox churches were picking up a lot of converts who had become dissatisfied with their Protestant experience and were attracted to the liturgical practices and, yes, even the "exotic" atmosphere of Orthodox worship.  (Sidenote: I've just begun visiting an OCA parish and am still trying to figure out what was so "exotic." But, then, most of the congregation are native to at least the Eastern seaboard.)  

Why deny that there are some converts who really do come for the wrong reasons and then consequently fall away?  I don't plan to be in a rush about this; this is serious business to me.  It's not that I'm better than anyone else, just older than some, and God has taught me that doing the right thing for the wrong reason isn't really doing the right thing at all.  (No brag; I've been an awfully slow learner.)  

I noticed that the author gave equal time to pointing out that cradle Orthodox are no better.  Did you read the part about Greek prisons being full of Orthodox?  I'm old enough to remember when, here in the USA, being part of a church was the socially acceptable thing.  In some parts of the Bible Belt, it still is.  Let's talk about that for just a minute.  My Protestant (UMC) church had to pull out the extra seats and have extra services to accomodate the C&E crowd.  So did the Baptist churches I was in before that.  God forgive me if this is dishonoring my parents, but my Baptist parents laughed at me when during my childhood I asked them whether we couldn't have family devotionals together in the evenings.  My brother, a recovering alchoholic, took his first drink (and got smashed) at age 15 at a party with the other boys in our church youth group.  My point is that if I go into Orthodoxy thinking that none of this happens in Orthodox churches because officially Orthodox Christians (cradle or convert) are intrinsically different by having their names on an Orthodox church roll, I'll be sorely dissappointed.  (Our archbishop was here last weekend to bless the new building and give the church full status rather than mission status, so I went to Saturday Vespers.  It was not well-attended. I wonder what it would have been like if he hadn't been there.)

"Many are called, but few are chosen."  I'd venture that it goes for cradle and convert Orthodox alike.
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« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2004, 01:15:58 PM »

Phos Zoe & Elisha-
I belong to a congregation that was ex-HOOM in the beginning but now is about 1/4 ex-H, 1/4 cradles of various ethnicities & 1/2 "other" convert (Lutherans, RCs, Episcopalians & quite a few Evangelicals and Pentacostals). The women wear what they feel is nice and modest and cover or not depending on their personal decision - though a majority do. Some of the younger guys have beards. Most of it is just like personal choice. Most of the women work outside the home or are in school.
And our "weirdo" "homeschool moms" have built, staffed and are running the only Orthodox parochial school in our area and are able to offer affordable Christian education to non-Orthodox kids in the inner city.
Stereotyping can be a tricky business.

I realize that not all ex-HOOM parishes are like the one I described. I go to a convert majority parish, yes some fit the "wack-a-dox" stereotype. Most do not and are reasonable people. My experience merely colored my view of converts and yes, I look at some with suspicion and annoyance.  I'm happy when someone proves me wrong.
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« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2004, 06:09:07 PM »

IF homeschooling (and I have seen cases of this done very well and cases of it gone horribly wrong) is what a group of families want to do, if they want to wear more traditional dress....what is the problem?
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« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2004, 08:14:31 PM »

IF homeschooling (and I have seen cases of this done very well and cases of it gone horribly wrong) is what a group of families want to do, if they want to wear more traditional dress....what is the problem?  

None, as far as I'm concerned.  But if wearing more traditional dress is their primary reason for homeschooling, that's different.  Then it's a problem.  Then it's not about a better education for the kids, it's about identifying with a different social group or promoting the idea that people who dress that way educate their children better. It's getting the cart before the horse.

Let's say that someone from "the English" wanted to become Amish.  I suspect that the Amish community would want to be sure that the potential convert wanted in because he or she believed that the Amish way of life is The godly way of life.  That entails making sure that the potential convert understands that plain clothes, farming and doing without modern conveniences are peripheral (and surely would get boring quickly) expressions of a deeper reality.  Of course, in this case, the traditional clothing is required, whereas in Orthodoxy, it isn't.  But we could compare it to, say, kissing icons (in the sense of going through the motions).  One could purchase icons online and put them up in your house and kiss them without joining an Orthodox parish.  Anyone can order CD's of Orthodox music and play them and learn to chant.  The same with incense.  Those are the peripherals.  The essentials are prayer, love, discipline, alms-giving, pitching in and doing your part to keep the church functioning, some of which is quite mundane.  The essentials add up to dying to ourselves a little more every day - rather tedious in the midst of the struggle, but the rewards (eventually) are ten times greater than our measly efforts.

Well, there I went and got preachy:  sorry 'bout that.   Embarrassed

Respectfully,
Dianne
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« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2004, 11:57:54 PM »

I was unaware that perhaps because I personally choose to wear a head covering and have always preferred long skirts and dresses (even when I was Lutheran) that assumptions are being made based on this. After all I'm just an ordinary middle aged professional lady with poor fashion sense! But I guess I was surprised to learn that I may be projecting an image of (great title btw) the dreaded "wack-a-dox." Maybe I could have an Extreme Makeover.  Grin
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« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2004, 12:29:41 PM »

IF homeschooling (and I have seen cases of this done very well and cases of it gone horribly wrong) is what a group of families want to do, if they want to wear more traditional dress....what is the problem?  

I could care less what people wear, it becomes a problem when someone tries to make me feel bad or guilty for not wearing "traditional" garb. In my experience, I was made to feel like I was somehow wrong.  It's also a problem when someone has to costume themselves to scream: LOOK AT ME I'M SOOOOO ORTHODOX! SEEEE! LOOOK AT ME!

As for homeschooling, it has pros and cons. I have seen it fail about 50% of the time.  However when it works it really works. These kids have been provided a better education. As part of my job, I work with homeschool families.  HS fails when a family fails to provide adequate social outlets, get help with weaker subjects and fail to be open minded in general. The organization I work for provides resources for HS families. I have witnessed some of what I have described first hand.

Again, I will not be made to feel guilty because when I do have children they will probably have a public education.
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« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2004, 02:33:21 PM »

I was unaware that perhaps because I personally choose to wear a head covering and have always preferred long skirts and dresses (even when I was Lutheran) that assumptions are being made based on this. After all I'm just an ordinary middle aged professional lady with poor fashion sense! But I guess I was surprised to learn that I may be projecting an image of (great title btw) the dreaded "wack-a-dox." Maybe I could have an Extreme Makeover.  Grin

The difference between you and "wack-a-dox" is the fact that you don't wear your clothes as an advertisment of your faith.  If you were to annoyingly insist that every female in your parish cover her head and wear long skirts that's wack-a-dox. It's an attitude and a state of mind.   Grin
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« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2004, 07:38:45 PM »

Was Saint Paul "wack-a-dox" ?
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« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2004, 11:53:03 PM »

Beware the Wack-a-dox, my son!

(apologies to Lewis Carroll)

 Grin
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« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2004, 08:24:57 AM »

 Grin  (We need a laughing smiley)
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« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2004, 08:36:32 AM »

Well, we do have :rofl: and :smiley1: plus a whole bunch of others (some less tasteful than others).
:cwm8:

Click here for the whole list

John
« Last Edit: April 02, 2004, 08:39:28 AM by prodromos » Logged
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« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2004, 09:24:04 AM »

Well, we do have :rofl: and :smiley1: plus a whole bunch of others (some less tasteful than others).
:cwm8:

John

Oh, John, that is gross!

Thanks for the link, though. Smiley
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« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2004, 01:39:31 PM »

Beware the Wack-a-dox, my son!

(apologies to Lewis Carroll)

 Grin

Don't forget your blorpal sword! lol.

Ewww the barf smiley.  :cwm30: This one is my favorite!

PS. The Jabberwocky is one of my favorites!

For the record, St. Paul was not wack-a-dox. Wack-a-dox exist soley in our modern era.  Grin
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