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Author Topic: Church/jurisdiction loyalty  (Read 1038 times) Average Rating: 0
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kassi_w
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« on: January 11, 2011, 08:41:36 AM »

Christ is risen!

Greetings everyone Smiley

I'm intending to convert to Orthodox when my priest gives permission God-willing. I've been attending Vespers and Liturgy since last October and I've been beginning to make a home in my local (English-speaking) parish mission.

Now my husband and I are about to move 2 hours drive away. I would be willing to make the trip back each week, however the place we are moving to has a Monastery about 15 minutes drive away and other Orthodox churches that are about half-an-hour away. The problem is that they are different jurisdictions. The parish that I have started connecting with is Antiochian, whereas the Monastery is Serbian and the other churches are Greek.  I've also started to feel very connected to my priest and the local parish, so I feel like I would be disloyal worshipping at a different church.

What to do?  Is it permissible to continue on the conversion track with my current priest and parish mission, but not attending quite as regularly now eg. once a month and then for the other weeks attend the Serbian or Greek churches for Divine Liturgy?  Or should I be really shifting into the closest parish, even though it is a different jurisdiction?

I do plan to discuss this with my priest, but I wanted to get a general feel for whether one/other answers is totally un/acceptable.

Any advice?
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Kassi
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Gorazd
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 09:30:35 AM »

Your loyalty should be to Christ, and to his body, the Orthodox Church (which includes all canonical jurisdictions).

As for your conversion process, that is something which really depends on the individual case and should be discussed with your priest.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011, 09:37:26 AM »

Christ is risen!

Greetings everyone Smiley

I'm intending to convert to Orthodox when my priest gives permission God-willing. I've been attending Vespers and Liturgy since last October and I've been beginning to make a home in my local (English-speaking) parish mission.

Now my husband and I are about to move 2 hours drive away. I would be willing to make the trip back each week, however the place we are moving to has a Monastery about 15 minutes drive away and other Orthodox churches that are about half-an-hour away. The problem is that they are different jurisdictions. The parish that I have started connecting with is Antiochian, whereas the Monastery is Serbian and the other churches are Greek.  I've also started to feel very connected to my priest and the local parish, so I feel like I would be disloyal worshipping at a different church.

Well, I can't speak to your feelings, but in fact your priest and local parish's loyalty is to the Orthodox Church, so as long as you are worshippig at a different Orthodox Church, there is no disloyalty in fact.

Quote
What to do?  Is it permissible to continue on the conversion track with my current priest and parish mission, but not attending quite as regularly now eg. once a month and then for the other weeks attend the Serbian or Greek churches for Divine Liturgy?

This is not a question of loyalty per se, but the fact is that since your current priest knows you best,  he should know better how to handle your transition.  If, for instance, the Serbian and Greek Churches celebrate services in Serbian and Greek, and you don't speak Serbian and Greek, and the priest knows that will impede your progress, he might want you back in his parish more often, but if it will not affect your journey into Orthodoxy, he might be fine with once a month (and contact via, say, email).  Again, its a question of what you need now, not a question of loyalty.

Quote
Or should I be really shifting into the closest parish, even though it is a different jurisdiction?

The problem of shifting is sort of like switching colleges before graduation.  You should at the very least visits the local parishes. Sort of like visiiting relatives.

Quote
I do plan to discuss this with my priest, but I wanted to get a general feel for whether one/other answers is totally un/acceptable.

It is totally acceptable either way, following your priest's advice.
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2011, 02:05:25 PM »

I agree with what ialmisry said completely.  The only thing that I would add is this; the beauty of Orthodoxy is its diversity.  My wife and I attend different parishes, and I don't believe that either of us are disloyal one way or the other.  The Church is like a hospital for the soul.  As long as the Church is Orthodox, it should not matter which one you attend - as long as it is good for your soul and helping you on your path to Salvation.  I struggled with the issue of my wife and I attending different Churches, but found peace in the knowledge that we do not visit the doctors or dentists, either.  I don't have "women issues" and she does not have diabetes.  Why would we visit the same doctors?  Likewise with the Soul.  She does not have the same needs as I do, and vice versa.  Loyalty should not play a part in this.
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kijabeboy03
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 02:35:31 PM »

I struggle with this too! My situation has been complicated by multiple moves over the last three plus years, so I still feel part of my parish in Michigan even though I haven't lived in the state for a while now since it was the last place I was at for more than a few months. Since more moves may come, for the time being I'm still a member of my parish in Michigan while I attend Orthodox churches near me in Oregon. That may not be the way things are supposed to be done, but until I'm firmly planted somewhere it's too much work to switch father confessors every time I move as that would mean changing spiritual direction every four to six months...
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 03:07:52 PM »

I struggle with this too! My situation has been complicated by multiple moves over the last three plus years, so I still feel part of my parish in Michigan even though I haven't lived in the state for a while now since it was the last place I was at for more than a few months. Since more moves may come, for the time being I'm still a member of my parish in Michigan while I attend Orthodox churches near me in Oregon. That may not be the way things are supposed to be done, but until I'm firmly planted somewhere it's too much work to switch father confessors every time I move as that would mean changing spiritual direction every four to six months...

I can relate... I've been Orthodox for less than three years, and due to relocating several times, have attended 7 or 8 different parishes, in 5 different jurisdictions, in 4 different provinces in 2 different countries!
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kijabeboy03
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2011, 03:22:49 PM »

Nice! For me it's been...four countries, three states, seven jurisdictions (two schismatic due to geographical/transport issues), and eleven parishes. I'm hoping where I'm at will be home for a few months at least :-), but we'll see! lol
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"This is the Apostolic Faith, the Orthodox Faith, and the Faith of the Fathers. Having this wonderful treasure, let us preserve it, let us keep it, and let us also use it in such a way that this treasure becomes the victory of Christ in us and in His Church." ~ St. Severus of Antioch ~
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2011, 03:31:12 PM »

For us it has been two jurisdictions.  I started my catecuman in one jurisdiction but was baptised in a different jurisdiction during a return trip to my wife's home town for our church wedding and now we are back to the church I started my catecuman in. 
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redwood81
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2011, 01:25:47 AM »

there is no orthodox church in my community i giues im it bnut io cant really convert if there is no clergy around to do such things if i wasnt so poor i would just move somewhere but lifes not that simple i suppose but on the subject at hand you should stick with the priest that knows you untill you make the ransition not that i have any business giving advise........... GOB BLESSS THOUGH
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kassi_w
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2011, 09:24:09 AM »

Thank you everyone, your replies have been most helpful. I am not that fussed about jurisdiction, so I do understand the loyalty is to Christ and His Orthodox Church. At a more practical level though, I think I am feeling a sense of wanting to put down roots and give back to the local parish as they have given so much to me in friendship and welcome.
Much to think about!
But I did want to say thank you all kindly for your time and replies.
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Thomas
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2011, 10:48:57 AM »

As long as one is attending an Orthodox Church that is in communion with your home jurisdiction, you should have no problems. AS ALWAYS discuss this with your current pastor and spiritual father before executing any plans. When transferring from one parish to another get a letter from your parish priest stating you are a member in good standing and in full communion, it will greatly ease your transfer to another parish.Remember, as a non-monastic you can not be a member of the monastery church, only a pilgrim, your membership should always be attached to a parish.

Thomas
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2011, 02:33:16 PM »

there is no orthodox church in my community i giues im it bnut io cant really convert if there is no clergy around to do such things if i wasnt so poor i would just move somewhere but lifes not that simple i suppose but on the subject at hand you should stick with the priest that knows you untill you make the ransition not that i have any business giving advise........... GOB BLESSS THOUGH

Hi Fisherman

There is a retired Greek Orthodox protopresbyter that lives in Crescent City. I believe he gets a ride to attend St. Innocent Orthodox Church (OCA) in Eureka on Sundays. Under these circumstances, it makes sense to make an appointment with Fr. Laurence Cleenewerck in Eureka. I recommend calling, (707) 443-2099, since your typing skills may leave the recipient somewhat confused.

See also:
http://www.orthodox-church.info/eureka/asp/contact.asp

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ndigila
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 05:25:51 PM »

Nice! For me it's been...four countries,

Does one of those countries include Kenya?  (Just curious. Your username hints at it).
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