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Author Topic: First post...fresh to Orthodoxy.....help??  (Read 913 times) Average Rating: 0
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blessedbeggar
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« on: November 05, 2010, 11:48:17 PM »

Hello All! As the subject suggests, this is indeed my first post, and I am very fresh to Orthodoxy. I am only into the inquiry stage for the moment, but Orthodox seems to be the most fitting faith tradition that I have ever found. A short introduction: I am 32, married, with 1 toddler. I was raised Baptist, but now I am a member of a Church of God (yes pentecostal). To be honest, I dabbled in virtually every religion/faith tradition before finally settling into my current one. However, I didn't even know that Orthodoxy existed until recently. Several months ago, I had a faith crisis that pushed me to question all that I knew and believed. I decided that I must re-discover my faith, so to speak, and be able to live out my life according to the scriptures and the Traditions of the early church. I found that at my current church, what I see played out in service and in the lives of many members, when stacked against what I read in the New Testament are two separate things altogether. So seeking true, ancient faith; I was lead first to Catholicism, and then to Orthodoxy.
      What little I have learned about Orthodoxy speaks to my soul as the authentic Church established by Christ. However, I have an issue with truly exploring it. I contacted the ONLY parish in Kentucky, an OCA church that is nearly 3.5 hours away from my home. I have spoke to the priest there multiple times over e-mail, but I am unsure when I will be able to attend a service there. The only other Orthodox near me is still 1.5 hours away, and in another state. It is Antiochian, and so far hasn't responded to my inquiring e-mails. Is this a hurdle that many possible converts face here in the states? Also, how does one go about converting at such distances?
      I pray that you all will be able to help me, and in the meantime I also ask for prayer for my wife. She is still very attached at our current church, despite having many of the same issues I do with it.

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 11:58:16 PM »


Welcome to the forum!

I am glad to hear you have found the True Church!

Unfortunately, many people have the same issue - no Orthodox church nearby.

I, on the other hand, have at least 15 in a 30 mile range!  Can you believe that?

Please, don't let the distance stop you.  It's worth the drive - even once a month! 

In the meantime, I hope you find this forum helpful and supportive as you take your first steps and grow in strength!

Once again, welcome!

May the Lord have mercy on you and your family and guide you safely home!
;-)

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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2010, 12:30:08 AM »

Welcome to the forum!

This is what I could find for EO churches in Kentucky:

http://athanasiusoca.org/

http://panagia.ky.goarch.org/

http://www.assumption.ky.goarch.org/

http://www.antiochian.org/node/16229

http://www.standrewlexington.org/
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ialmisry
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2010, 12:30:25 AM »

Hello All! As the subject suggests, this is indeed my first post, and I am very fresh to Orthodoxy. I am only into the inquiry stage for the moment, but Orthodox seems to be the most fitting faith tradition that I have ever found. A short introduction: I am 32, married, with 1 toddler. I was raised Baptist, but now I am a member of a Church of God (yes pentecostal). To be honest, I dabbled in virtually every religion/faith tradition before finally settling into my current one. However, I didn't even know that Orthodoxy existed until recently. Several months ago, I had a faith crisis that pushed me to question all that I knew and believed. I decided that I must re-discover my faith, so to speak, and be able to live out my life according to the scriptures and the Traditions of the early church. I found that at my current church, what I see played out in service and in the lives of many members, when stacked against what I read in the New Testament are two separate things altogether. So seeking true, ancient faith; I was lead first to Catholicism, and then to Orthodoxy.
      What little I have learned about Orthodoxy speaks to my soul as the authentic Church established by Christ. However, I have an issue with truly exploring it. I contacted the ONLY parish in Kentucky, an OCA church that is nearly 3.5 hours away from my home. I have spoke to the priest there multiple times over e-mail, but I am unsure when I will be able to attend a service there. The only other Orthodox near me is still 1.5 hours away, and in another state. It is Antiochian, and so far hasn't responded to my inquiring e-mails. Is this a hurdle that many possible converts face here in the states? Also, how does one go about converting at such distances?
      I pray that you all will be able to help me, and in the meantime I also ask for prayer for my wife. She is still very attached at our current church, despite having many of the same issues I do with it.

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar

Welcome.

This has 7 listings for KY (btw, I was just through your fair state a week ago. my priest is from Louisville)
http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php

Where are you located?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 12:32:17 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 12:45:57 AM »

Welcome to the forum.

I hope you take the time to visit one of the parishes, experiencing the Divine Liturgy for the first time was such a thrilling experience after having read so much about eastern orthodoxy (It took me a few months before finally visiting the Russian parish an hour away).

My priest is also slow with E-mails.  I have not asked  him but I am fairly certain that he prefers the cell phone (if face to face is not practical).



http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php


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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2010, 02:19:52 PM »

Welcome aboard. Nice to meet you.   Smiley   angel
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2010, 08:25:13 PM »

      What little I have learned about Orthodoxy speaks to my soul as the authentic Church established by Christ. However, I have an issue with truly exploring it. I contacted the ONLY parish in Kentucky, an OCA church that is nearly 3.5 hours away from my home. I have spoke to the priest there multiple times over e-mail, but I am unsure when I will be able to attend a service there. The only other Orthodox near me is still 1.5 hours away, and in another state.
My first year of attending Orthodox services involved crossing a state line and driving an hour-and-a-half. The parish I am a part of now is also an hour-and-a-half away, but in the same state. I have two young children, which means that most Sundays, with stops for them to use rest stops or whatever, I spend approximately four hours on the road, round trip. Having to drive that far sucks, and it's hard to integrate into parish life, but I have resolved that a long but doable drive isn't too much of a sacrifice to participate in the life of the true Church. It's not ideal (and some weeks, it's very hard), but I consider it part of my personal struggle for salvation.

I don't know if this perspective helps you, but it's what keeps me going week to week.
Quote
It is Antiochian, and so far hasn't responded to my inquiring e-mails. Is this a hurdle that many possible converts face here in the states?
Having corresponded with a number of priests, from both the parishes I have been a part of and just random clergy I have met through the Internet, I can say that my experience is that clergy are a little slow in responding, especially married clergy with children. But I am guilty of the same thing, and I don't have the many pastoral duties they have.
Quote
Also, how does one go about converting at such distances?
Slowly. Which, IMO, is a good thing.
Quote
I pray that you all will be able to help me, and in the meantime I also ask for prayer for my wife. She is still very attached at our current church, despite having many of the same issues I do with it.
My spouse was initially very hesitant about Orthodoxy, but as we continue in our entrance into the Church, she has become much more openly zealous than I am. I have heard this is often true, that men go looking for the Church and that their wives, while initially more hesitant, often end up being more pious.

My experience may not be normative, but I hope some of this helps. I will pray for you; pray also for me, a sinner.
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2010, 12:03:04 AM »


[/quote]

Welcome.

This has 7 listings for KY (btw, I was just through your fair state a week ago. my priest is from Louisville)
http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php

Where are you located?
[/quote]

First and foremost, thanks for the welcome! In my zeal to gobble up everything, I seem to have left my first post without really finishing it. Thank you for the links, but as you can see, all of the parishes are somewhat localized. I am in Harlan, Ky., which is the southeastern-most tip of the state. Since posting, my wife and I have continued speaking with the priest at St. Athanasius in Nicholasville, Ky. and feel that it will most likely become our home for our journey into Orthodoxy. As I stated previously however, it is at least 3 hours from our home, and we have a 3 year-old. We really aren't sure exactly how things will pan out in that respect. Financially a weekly drive of that distance isn't feasible.

Let me pose another question...are there others here who cannot attend Divine Liturgy regularly? If so, what is the alternative? Is staying home and reading the service or something of that nature acceptable? What is a tonsured reader?

Thanks for everything!

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 12:33:02 AM »

There's a few parishes outside of Kingsport, TN, which according to Google Maps should take you in the neighborhood of 1 1/2 hrs to reach.
Still quite a drive, but a little better than 3 hours.

http://www.scoba.us/directory.html?radius=75&postalcode=40831&searchType=proximity (The SCOBA directory has a search by zip code function, which can locate the nearest parish within a radius of miles, as opposed to limiting you to just what's in your state).

Speak with a priest and obtain his blessing to do so, of course, but there is the the Typica http://orthodoxwiki.org/Typica, which can be prayed when a parish is too far away.
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 12:39:40 AM »



Welcome.

This has 7 listings for KY (btw, I was just through your fair state a week ago. my priest is from Louisville)
http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php

Where are you located?
[/quote]

First and foremost, thanks for the welcome! In my zeal to gobble up everything, I seem to have left my first post without really finishing it. Thank you for the links, but as you can see, all of the parishes are somewhat localized. I am in Harlan, Ky., which is the southeastern-most tip of the state. Since posting, my wife and I have continued speaking with the priest at St. Athanasius in Nicholasville, Ky. and feel that it will most likely become our home for our journey into Orthodoxy. As I stated previously however, it is at least 3 hours from our home, and we have a 3 year-old. We really aren't sure exactly how things will pan out in that respect. Financially a weekly drive of that distance isn't feasible.

Let me pose another question...are there others here who cannot attend Divine Liturgy regularly? If so, what is the alternative? Is staying home and reading the service or something of that nature acceptable? What is a tonsured reader?

Thanks for everything!

In Christ,
Blessed Beggar
[/quote]

What you are asking about is a Reader Service/Typika.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/services_nopriest.aspx
http://www.scoba.us/military/readers-service.html
http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/horologion.htm

A tonsured reader is a lesser ordination: it means a layman authorized to read during services (Epistle etc.)
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2010, 11:18:20 AM »

Thanks again all for the responses I received. My family and I have migrated into the local Catholic parish, and my wife has fallen in love with true liturgical worship. With such a long drive to the closest Orthodox parishes, we have decided to slow down and just enjoy time in the Catholic faith, and will likely convert here. We realize that there are indeed many differences to be found in the two ancient faiths, but there are indeed many more similarities there (especially from the outside looking in). We are not giving up on the idea of one day moving into the Orthodox church, but we must be reasonable and led of God. In prayer, we have found peace here in the local parish, and we simply and humbly pray that God's will be done in all things.
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