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Author Topic: Best Place for Orthodox Families to Live?  (Read 6409 times) Average Rating: 0
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MomofTwo
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« on: December 07, 2010, 11:07:22 PM »

Currently our family lives in Southern California. Our church is very sweet, but small. Our children are the only children that attend. Our church is looking into purchasing a new building which offers more parking and which might allow our parish to grow. We cannot grow in our current location as we literally have only 16 parking spaces available and no off site parking. The other parishes in the area speak languages other than English for their services.

I would like to move out of the area some day, particularly if our parish doesn't move. Where are some of the best places in the country for Orthodox families to live? Are there any states doing well under the economic crises? My husband is very nervous about the economic climate and worried about finding a job anywhere else as he's employed right now and our mortgage is affordable so he doesn't even want to consider moving right now. But we both dream of living in a more rural area in which we could have a property with a little more space...either in California, or possibly, possibly elsewhere.

Our children aren't getting any younger, and we have this dream for them to have a smaller town life...but we need to pay the bills and the mortgage! Any opinions out there?
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 11:24:44 PM »

Central Kentucky has three Orthodox parishes, the Antiochians, the Greeks and the OCA. Of those, we (the OCA) have a ton of little ones running around, and we've still got more on the way. We're a very young parish in general (most of us are 20s-30s), and so we've got a lot of really young kids.

We're a little cramped right now in a rental space, but we have land and are actively working to build a new temple on it. Jobs...it depends on what you're looking for, but we're definitely a smaller town. Lexington is the biggest thing around, with about 300,000 people. If that's too big, there are several other smaller towns that are only a short drive. Our church is actually in Nicholasville, which is a town of about 20,000, and there are plenty of smaller towns than that around, too.

And, of course, we're a long, LONG way away from California!
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 11:34:30 PM »

It's funny you mentioned Lexington, Kentucky. My brother and sister-in-law lived there for a while and loved it. I'm not sure which Orthodox parish they attended, as they were newer converts then, but they still rave about Lexington. They had to move out of the area for school.
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 11:39:01 PM »

It's funny you mentioned Lexington, Kentucky. My brother and sister-in-law lived there for a while and loved it. I'm not sure which Orthodox parish they attended, as they were newer converts then, but they still rave about Lexington. They had to move out of the area for school.

Wow, small world! Yeah, I've grown up in Kentucky, and I really do love Lexington and the surrounding area. I probably wouldn't have a clue who your brother and sister-in-law are, but it would be interesting to know which parish they went to!
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 11:40:39 PM »

Names removed because of poster's request. Please contact her via PM if you want to get to know them - Michał Kalina.
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 11:43:30 PM »

Names removed because of poster's request. Please contact her via PM if you want to get to know them - Michał Kalina.

Yeah, it doesn't ring a bell. I'm only a catechumen, so the only way I would've recognized them is if I had heard someone else talk about them. Oh, well. Still, that was an unexpected treat!

Of course, you're all welcome to come and visit us at St. Athanasius anytime.  Wink
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 11:51:20 PM »

I am intimately familiar with parts of Southern California, primarily the county of Los Angeles.  In LA there are tons of English-speaking services.  Private message me if you are interested in more info.  As far as Orthodox friendly states, I have no clue, as I don't have a family.  I heard PA is nice. :-)
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2010, 09:29:24 AM »

I have always considered western Pennsylvania, particularly metro Pittsburgh, to be one of the great places to live if you are Orthodox given the diverse demographics and the highly visible presence of Orthodox Christians in the region -both in an urban and nearby rural/suburban setting. There are many universities and related research institutes, both public and corporate in the area and housing is relatively affordable. Of course, you would have to put up with an awful baseball team and the insufferable Steelers fans, but....
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010, 11:24:36 AM »

Anywhere but Turkey... Cry
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2010, 02:03:31 PM »

In an Orthodox country.
I would pick a Mediterranean one, like Greece or Cyprus.
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 08:38:27 PM »

I have always considered western Pennsylvania, particularly metro Pittsburgh, to be one of the great places to live if you are Orthodox given the diverse demographics and the highly visible presence of Orthodox Christians in the region -both in an urban and nearby rural/suburban setting. There are many universities and related research institutes, both public and corporate in the area and housing is relatively affordable. Of course, you would have to put up with an awful baseball team and the insufferable Steelers fans, but....


I agree with this completely. Huge presence of Orthodoxy in Pennsylvania, I'd love to move back.
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2010, 09:12:56 PM »

I would say that Alaska is likely the most family friendly place for Orthodox Christians. If we could move our little family of 6 anywhere, it would be there. I must say that our parish up here in Brier WA is very family friendly too. But the Puget Sound is not the most budget friendly place to live.
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2010, 01:24:36 PM »

Well, this probably isn't going to work for you at all but Nikolaevsk on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska sounds pretty cool to me. Grin

But I think they might be Old Believers.
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2010, 01:46:58 AM »

In an Orthodox country.
I would pick a Mediterranean one, like Greece or Cyprus.

Russia?
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2010, 01:51:06 AM »

Move to Australia.

We have Universal Healthcare!  Grin

Many Orthodox parishes here including some that speak English. In melbourne Anyways.

All our television and Movies are Americans, so you won't miss that.

We have a better climate, Less population, Stronger economy, more Employment, We speak English, Our Hollwood Actors are better, our Evil Capitalists own American companies like Fox news.  It's all good!
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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2010, 02:14:35 AM »

I would say that Alaska is likely the most family friendly place for Orthodox Christians. If we could move our little family of 6 anywhere, it would be there. I must say that our parish up here in Brier WA is very family friendly too. But the Puget Sound is not the most budget friendly place to live.

I'm not Orthodox (yet?) but Alaska, even Anchorage, is indeed a wonderful place to raise a family. My husband and I are from Eastern PA and NYC respectively and can no longer imagine trying to raise kids there.
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« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2010, 11:15:53 AM »

I gave this some more thought and the old adage, 'home is where the heart is' came to mind. If you are at peace where you live and you have a good parish family of Orthodox Christians to worship with and share experiences and fellowship, that is the best place for you to live - regardless of the size of that parish. I have learned that it is surely true, that the grass is not always greener on the other side of a fence. Good luck to you and your family!
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2011, 04:02:39 PM »

Mom of Two,

Portland Oregon has many Orthodox churches, some even rurally and others with a 30 min. drive. Almost all of them are convert dominant churches with many children. (I've been to five different churches up here, and have friends in many of the other churches.) I live south of there by 2 hrs. and there are 4 within an 1/20 min. of each other. Oregon is growing in Orthodox numbers and the rent/mortgage prices are very low. Education is very high, most schools meet or exceed the state and national average. I have kids too, so this is important to me.

But in these times, everyone is suffering financially. Oregon has a very high unemployment, but one of the highest min. wages. Depending on what your husband does, is where the meat of the answer lies.

God bless you in finding the right home. I moved from So. Cal. to Oregon and have never wanted to move back! Small towns and small cities is where its at! Plus I can't get enough of the trees up here!

If it sounds appealing and you want more info you can PM me. If we get to know eachother a little better and you'd like to check it out, we might even work something out, to show you around.

In Christ - SG+
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 05:01:17 PM »

I am completely, totally, and in all other ways biased, having spent almost all my life in South-Central/South-Western Pennsylvania. Having said that... South Western Pennsylvania* is the place to be! We have Orthodox Churches by the thousands (ok, hundreds)! We have the best dang football and hockey teams in the country**, and maybe some day we'll even get a professional baseball team! Anyway, lots of choices when it comes to Orthodoxy around these parts, parish/jurisdiction wise.



* And about 100 miles in any direction from Pittsburgh, as long as you don't go too far into evil Ohio. If you do go to Ohio, stick by the border, in case you have to flee to PA for safety. Also remember this indubitable truth: the closer you are to Cleveland, the closer you are to harm. West Virginia is ok, Western Maryland is ok as well, as long as you are still within the 100 mile radius. Grin

** I just had to say that to maintain our image as "insufferable Steeler fans"  Tongue
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2011, 05:21:32 PM »

I would also consider Paris, France.

Great city and great Orthodox tradition (St. Sergius and St. Denys Theological Institutes, beautiful Orthodox churches like Cathédrale Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky de Paris on Rue Daru and other). That, of course, if you like Europe and if you can afford to live in big European cities, which may be somewhat expensive.
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« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2011, 04:58:56 PM »

I am completely, totally, and in all other ways biased, having spent almost all my life in South-Central/South-Western Pennsylvania. Having said that... South Western Pennsylvania* is the place to be! We have Orthodox Churches by the thousands (ok, hundreds)! We have the best dang football and hockey teams in the country**, and maybe some day we'll even get a professional baseball team! Anyway, lots of choices when it comes to Orthodoxy around these parts, parish/jurisdiction wise.



* And about 100 miles in any direction from Pittsburgh, as long as you don't go too far into evil Ohio. If you do go to Ohio, stick by the border, in case you have to flee to PA for safety. Also remember this indubitable truth: the closer you are to Cleveland, the closer you are to harm. West Virginia is ok, Western Maryland is ok as well, as long as you are still within the 100 mile radius. Grin

** I just had to say that to maintain our image as "insufferable Steeler fans"  Tongue

As a saddened NY Giants fan, I reluctantly must agree with you about western PA. But , if I lived there I still would root for my teams - dangerous as that might be. Besides, the Rooneys and Maras go way back so we can't be all bad! Good luck anyway!
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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2011, 05:53:08 PM »

There are many places that combine a vibrant Orthodox community and good economic health. Texas and Florida are he two states that are doing best economically so far (probably because they do not have state income taxes). In Texas, I would recommend the Austin area, which has many churches, all of which were seeded one way or the other by St Elias Antiochian Church in downtown Austin. As for the best Orthodox child-friendly community, that would be Eagle River, Alaska (suburb of Anchorage) where the local Antiochian Church, St John's Cathedral. has a ton of resources. See http://www.stjohnalaska.org/. If you don't mind humidity and love the ethos of a mission church, I would also recommend Columbia, Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina, each blessed by small but Spirit-filled and growing church. If you are curious, please visit http://holyapostles.org/wordpress/, http://www.stjohnoftheladder.org/index.htm, and http://www.ocacharleston.org/.
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2011, 06:21:37 PM »

Any church in the Deep South is going to be full of children, but the churches are few and far between.
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2011, 07:25:49 PM »

Why does this discussion sound a bit like an antithesis to the end of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," when they're trying to figure out what kind of toon the Judge was; "not a rabbit," "not a mouse," "not a little wooden boy,"... "PA is the best," "AK is the best," "OR is the best"... Wink

(It would be great if I then said, "You should all know that NE Ohio is the best!")
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2011, 11:15:20 PM »

Why does this discussion sound a bit like an antithesis to the end of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," when they're trying to figure out what kind of toon the Judge was; "not a rabbit," "not a mouse," "not a little wooden boy,"... "PA is the best," "AK is the best," "OR is the best"... Wink

(It would be great if I then said, "You should all know that NE Ohio is the best!")

Father is right. I will restate my earlier post," 'home is where the heart is' ...... If you are at peace where you live and you have a good parish family of Orthodox Christians to worship with and share experiences and fellowship, that is the best place for you to live - regardless of the size of that parish. I have learned that it is surely true, that the grass is not always greener on the other side of a fence."
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« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2011, 12:31:45 AM »

Why does this discussion sound a bit like an antithesis to the end of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," when they're trying to figure out what kind of toon the Judge was; "not a rabbit," "not a mouse," "not a little wooden boy,"... "PA is the best," "AK is the best," "OR is the best"... Wink

(It would be great if I then said, "You should all know that NE Ohio is the best!")

And yet, parenthetical remark or not, you also did. Speaking of toons,there is a character who would have said "but you did, you did!" In any case, there is nothing wrong in a bit of local/ethnic/national pride.  Smiley

Father George, please accept my sincerest wishes and prayers for a healthy, safe and blessed 2011 for you and your family, and your parish, which is indeed in NE Ohio (that is in and around Akron, the once Rubber Capital of the World but now the proud home of the All-American Soapbox Derby, and one the world's leading centers in polymer chemistry).
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« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2011, 03:39:13 PM »

Texas is pretty rough for Orthodoxy.  There are some churches around the larger metro areas that are moderately sized.
Texas is extremely protestant.
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« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2011, 11:40:00 AM »

can i be a bit controversial and suggest anywhere where there is persecution?
that causes us to turn to God and is a great example for our children.
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« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2011, 08:28:30 AM »

CHRIST IS RISEN !

Have you ever thought about the possibilites on why do you find yourself specifically in that spot and not in any other?  Its not easy, but we should build our churches in the place where we are now, and by building church I mean not the "edification" but the Body of Christ.

Sa7 mabsoota... I agree with you.

Marco.
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« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2011, 03:07:24 AM »

What about in Britain??? Where is a good area to live in Britain if you're Orthodox.... i mean, outside of London where its busy and the air is rank. Are there any Brits even on here? Orthodoxy seems to be rli big in the states, it's small over here.
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« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2011, 12:32:25 PM »

What about in Britain??? Where is a good area to live in Britain if you're Orthodox.... i mean, outside of London where its busy and the air is rank. Are there any Brits even on here? Orthodoxy seems to be rli big in the states, it's small over here.

There are a few British people here. Depending on what you're looking for simply living within reasonable travelling distance of London can be very good, you have a great selection of churches and at least one, the Antiochian Orthodox in St Botolph's, Bishopsgate, have all their services in English.  Apart from that Edinburgh is pretty good, it has 20+ nationalities in the congregation, five clergy and most of the services are in English with bits of Greek, Slavonic and Romanian.

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« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2011, 01:11:08 PM »

Moscow  Grin
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« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2011, 04:21:30 AM »

In an Orthodox country.
I would pick a Mediterranean one, like Greece or Cyprus.

Why not Constantinople!
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« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2011, 05:48:55 AM »

In an Orthodox country.
I would pick a Mediterranean one, like Greece or Cyprus.

Why not Constantinople!

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« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2011, 05:49:52 AM »

poppy, hi, i am in britain.
you can find lots of churches on the british orthodox website.
also there are churches from the russian orthodox and greek orthodox that are reaching out to the locals by having services in english. i have been to saint botolph's antiochian orthodox church, i have a great friend there.
there are lots of coptic churches, and some of them (!) are having more and more english in the liturgy.
we are working in the rest...

but i would like to refer you to my previous post, don't look for too much comfort, church history shows us it is not great for spiritual growth  Wink
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« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2011, 06:16:40 AM »

cheers mabsoota. Yeah i am near St Elias Greek church and also St Nicholas the Wonderworkers Russian church but i like the Russian one better they don't kiss the bible ....whats up with that!!?? lolOl But i want to move somewhere and be near a good one so i can pick and choose where i go. I have a year in France soon and then when i come back i can live where i like in Britain.

I learned that lesson a while ago about comfort. I didnt learn it spiritually because i wasn't interested in spiritual things then but i learned it from just growing as a person. The things you grow up and have to get through make you decide on a whole bunch of things you wouldn't have decided on if you hadn't gone through that stuff. So..... its not just a spiritual thing. I just think it makes you strong.
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« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2011, 07:33:19 AM »

Move to Australia.

We have Universal Healthcare!  Grin

Many Orthodox parishes here including some that speak English. In melbourne Anyways.

All our television and Movies are Americans, so you won't miss that.

We have a better climate, Less population, Stronger economy, more Employment, We speak English, Our Hollwood Actors are better, our Evil Capitalists own American companies like Fox news.  It's all good!

And what crime must I commit to be sent to your island of degenerants nowadays?
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« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2011, 04:32:50 PM »

haha... move to England and bring some of your church ppl with you then you can start a new church here ....we have free healthcare too!!!! but for how long i dont know lolOl
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« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2011, 11:34:45 AM »

Chicago. We have 70+ Orthodox Churches in the Chicago Metro Area along with bishops from all of the Jurisdictions except Antiochian.

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« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2011, 11:51:51 AM »

I've always wanted to live hands down, no questions in Alaska. My dad was a military kid and lived right at the base of Mt. McKinley. He told me stories of delivering newspapers and coming across moose and what not. Plus I'm a big camper/outdoors dude and Denver is getting a little crowded these days. Though I'll always be a CO native.


EDIT: Just wanted to add I realize you can't live technically at the base of the mountain, thats just how my dad tells it Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2011, 01:54:08 PM »

Currently our family lives in Southern California. Our church is very sweet, but small. Our children are the only children that attend. Our church is looking into purchasing a new building which offers more parking and which might allow our parish to grow. We cannot grow in our current location as we literally have only 16 parking spaces available and no off site parking. The other parishes in the area speak languages other than English for their services.

I would like to move out of the area some day, particularly if our parish doesn't move. Where are some of the best places in the country for Orthodox families to live? Are there any states doing well under the economic crises? My husband is very nervous about the economic climate and worried about finding a job anywhere else as he's employed right now and our mortgage is affordable so he doesn't even want to consider moving right now. But we both dream of living in a more rural area in which we could have a property with a little more space...either in California, or possibly, possibly elsewhere.

Our children aren't getting any younger, and we have this dream for them to have a smaller town life...but we need to pay the bills and the mortgage! Any opinions out there?

Atlanta.

Hands down.

The Orthodox community is large, the community is warm, welcoming, and spiritually charged. All of the parishes in the area (there's about 12) work together regardless of ethnic or cultural ties.

I've never seen anything like it; I miss it terribly.
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« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2011, 05:42:01 AM »

To supplement Fr. George's earlier posts, Greater Cleveland, Ohio has a comparatively high concentration of Eastern Orthodox Christians.  Nearly all of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops ecclesiastical jurisdictions are represented among 23 or so parishes, whose priests are members of the Greater Cleveland Council of Orthodox Clergy, see "OrthodoxCleveland.us".  The larger jurisdictions have multiple parishes in the area.  Parishes include those whose services are all conducted in the mother language of their jurisdiction, all English, and variations in between.  Parishes are large, medium and small sizes.  Separated Old Calendar jurisdictions are minimally represented.  The Orthodox population is concentrated in the West and Southwest parts of the area.

The region is family friendly.  There are large representations of the various ethnic groups of Eastern Europe, plus high concentrations of Italians and Irish.  Roman Catholicism is the dominant religious denomination, and many Protestants and Jews are well represented, along with a small Moslem population.

However, the region is economically depressed, having been a classic "rust belt" town, it has been in population and economic decline for over 30 years.

Politically, Democrats are the majority political party, and these Democrats are of the traditional variety, old time Truman and JFK supporters, not so much associated with the current prevailing philosophy of the Democrat party's dominant liberal philosophy.  It's a "Big Union" town too, which largely accounts for the economic decline.  Yet, due to the size of the County, Republicans in the area are the largest concentration of Republicans of any of the other 87 counties in the state.  There are small Tea Party chapters too.

Government provides numerous services, compared with many other regions; taxes are moderate comparatively, but are comprehensive, including all types, income, state and local; property taxes, numerous county levies; and a 7.75% retail sales tax.

There is a very vibrant health care industry and internationally recognized health care quality.

The Cleveland Orchestra, the art and history museums, are among the finest nationally.  

And there are major sports teams, The MLB American League's first place Cleveland Indians, NBA basketball's Cavaliers, and the Cleveland Browns NFL franchise.

Despite popular perception, the climate is moderate from April through October, but the Winter's are rough, cold and snowy.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 05:55:33 AM by Basil 320 » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2011, 09:03:21 AM »

I have always considered western Pennsylvania, particularly metro Pittsburgh, to be one of the great places to live if you are Orthodox given the diverse demographics and the highly visible presence of Orthodox Christians in the region -both in an urban and nearby rural/suburban setting. There are many universities and related research institutes, both public and corporate in the area and housing is relatively affordable. Of course, you would have to put up with an awful baseball team and the insufferable Steelers fans, but....


I agree with this completely. Huge presence of Orthodoxy in Pennsylvania, I'd love to move back.

I'm very fortunate in that I am a native Pennsylvanian, and only left for 4 years. There are SO MANY Orthodox churches here that it is mind-blowing! In Philly alone there are tons of Orthodox churches of varying ethnicities, I'm having cultural overload going to a different one each week!

Eventually we hope to relocate to western PA which is where my husband's family is from.
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« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2011, 01:19:35 PM »

I'll throw my 2cents in!  We live in central Washington state and love it here.  Our community has a population of about 18,000, with half of that being students at the state university that we have right in town (which provides lots of cultural and educational opportunities).  We are located in a beautiful green valley about two hours east of Seattle, over the Cascade mountains.  Our city has a long, interesting rural history, and because of our location (at the crossroads of two highways intersecting the state north/south and east/west) and the university, we also have some nice community amenities and festivals as well.  

As for Orthodoxy, we have an Antiochian mission here that until about a month ago had 40 or so in attendance on Sundays.  We had visiting priests nearly every Sunday, from the parish that's located about 45 minutes to the south.  A month ago, we received our own priest, who transferred here from Alaska along with about 20 of his parishioners.  So, boom, just like that, we're outgrowing the room we've been meeting in (we purchased a house on 2.5 acres a year ago and have been meeting in the living room-turned-nave; we're currently converting the garage to a larger chapel, with plans to build a church when the time comes).   We have a full schedule of services now that Fr. Paul has arrived -- we went from two Vespers and the Divine Liturgy each week, to almost daily Orthros and Vespers, a paraklesis on Friday nights, an akathist on Saturday mornings and Divine Liturgy on Sundays.

There are parishioners of all ages, mostly converts but some cradle Orthodox as well. There are 20 or so kids under the age of 18. There's a pretty even mix of homeschooling and non-homeschooling families.  When your kids get to high school age, we have a great option here, in conjunction with the university, called Running Start.  High school juniors and seniors can take college level courses for dual credit -- at NO cost.  That's two years of college, free!  Our oldest son is starting Running Start this fall. 

Oh, we also have a Greek Orthodox monastery just under two hours to the south, and a Russian monastery about 2.5-3 hours to the west.  

The cost of living here is much lower than in the Seattle area, and just like nearly everywhere, we're affected a bit by the economy.  My husband was laid off from his job two years ago (making cabinetry) and hasn't been able to secure employment since -- although he makes enough money to pay the bills with handyman and landscaping work, so isn't always looking for work either. Some people who live here commute to the Seattle area, and the city to the south (where the other parish that I mentioned is located) has a population of about 85,000, so there are more jobs, there, too. 

If you want more information, PM me.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 01:24:46 PM by Thankful » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2011, 09:37:18 AM »

My grandmother, God grant her peace, was fond of saying, "there are no happy places, only happy people."

My two cents.

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