I've been noticing interesting experiences with my friends who want to visit church with me. It's not that I have all that many friends who want to come, so when one expresses interest its pretty exciting. However, I have often found there are more hurdles just to get them to church once they're open to attending in the first place.
Here's been my experience:
1. the first year I was Orthodox my mother-in-law (MIL) said she wanted to come to a Paschal service with me. I explained that it ran until the wee hours of the morning. She was completely fine with it- as she's a night owl. We made plans to have her spend the rest of the night at our house after the service. On Palm Sunday she fell down the front porch steps at my SILs house, broke her back and was hospitalized and in recovery for the rest of the year.
2. A good friend said she wanted to visit an Orthodox church "just to see what its like." She also decided that a Paschal service would be cool. She never showed up. When I talked with her a few days later she said she got the worst cold she'd ever had in her life and was laid up for nearly a week. She did finally visit about a year later.
3. Recently, a Catholic friend has shown interest in Orthodoxy after reading "Facing East". We've been trying to connect to go to vespers for a few months...it still hasn't happen. Finally a few weeks ago she said she wanted to come with me to my parish this Sat. evening . We set plans and times etc. She emailed me yesterday. She was in a "freak" accident on the slopes last week and is bedridden for the next week or so.
Does anyone else have this kind of track record with getting friends to visit church with them? I *never* encountered this with any of my other church traditions. I'm beginning to be afraid to ask friends/family to come and see because it may be too dangerous!