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Author Topic: So I went to an Orthodox Church for the first time...  (Read 1753 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesRottnek
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I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« on: May 06, 2011, 03:56:40 AM »

Yesterday (Thursday, the 5th) I visited an Orthodox Church for the first time.  Not during a liturgy or anything, but to speak with Father John Peck, the founder of JourneytoOrthodoxy.com (who I am lucky enough to have be the Priest in Prescott).  The Church, even though small, is extremely beautiful (not in the way the Hagia Sophia was, but in a simple way).  Father John was an incredible person to talk to, and seems to be both fairly pius and very intelligent, which is always a good combination in a Priest (at least, I think it is).  Tomorrow I'm going to be attending my first liturgy, since the Church has one on Fridays and I have to be back in Prescott anyways.

I really want to thank everyone on OC.net for the intelligent posts I've read that helped me be convinced of Orthodoxy, and also for the stories of those who have joined in the past, which gave me some courage from the fear I had about going to an Orthodox Church, by myself, for the first time ever.  I also want to thank all of you who prayed that I will be able to find a way to the Orthodox Church regularly, because I was able to get into Prescott yesterday, and got to meet with Father John in person.  I am going to be in Prescott tomorrow, and will get to experience my first Divine Liturgy.  And, I am about 90% certain I will be able to attend the new member's class on Saturday.  As well, I am about 90% certain I will be going to the Church next Sunday for Divine Liturgy as well.

So far, it seems the prayers of the faithful on OC.net are working (oh, and at least one of my family members is starting to ask questions about Orthodoxy, because they really are interested; hopefully this is a good sign of things to come). 
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Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 06:23:58 AM »

Glory to God!  angel Stay with it.

I think you will love the liturgy.  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 09:32:52 AM »


Thanks be to God!  Glad to hear you are on your way home!  Wink
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2011, 10:44:53 AM »

Praise God!
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JamesRottnek
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 07:37:02 PM »

Thank you all.  Today I went to the Divine Liturgy, with a great deal of nervousness - never before having been to a liturgical Church service.  I got there about 40 minutes early and so got to talk to the Reader, and Father Bill who celebrated today (the Church I am hoping to become a regular at is blessed to have two priests) for a while before the service started.  It wound up, at first, being just me and then part way through two other people showed up.  I had been kind of worried about whether or not I would get anything out of the liturgy (given that Orthodox ought to go frequently), but I am pleased to report I found it exceptionally moving, and it really put a sense of peace in me, the kind of peace that brings with it a still joy.  Not long after I left the Church I began to feel a great desire to go back, and can't wait for next week when I am almost certainly attending on a Sunday (when there are normally about 130 people, I am told).
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I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

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Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 09:19:24 PM »

Thanks be to God.  angel
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 09:49:19 PM »

Glory to God!
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2011, 12:43:03 AM »

Glory to God.
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2011, 03:08:05 AM »

This is wonderful to hear.  Praise God!
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2011, 03:55:31 AM »

Thanks for sharing JamesRottnek.   Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2011, 09:46:25 AM »

Welcome James to the Convert Issues forum. I hope you will ind your time spent here helpful as you enter the inquiery of the Orthodox Church.

Thomas
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JamesRottnek
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2011, 02:52:20 PM »

Thank you all again
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Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2011, 04:11:36 PM »

a sense of peace in me, the kind of peace that brings with it a still joy. 

When I first attended the Divine Liturgy, I sorta/kinda expected some great mystical experience. What I felt, instead, was like what you describe - I felt "at home," and peaceful and (oddly enough) satisfied.
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JamesRottnek
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2011, 05:14:51 PM »

I expected almost the exact opposite of you, I had a terrible fear that I would hate going to a liturgy, would be bored, would want to leave, etc.  But yeah, that feeling of satisfaction is something truely incredible.
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I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2011, 08:11:56 PM »

Just wanted to update this.  I have now been to a total of two Friday liturgies, and three Sunday ones.  I have experienced no less fulfillment out of these other services than I did out of the first one, and have found both of our priests to be truely remarkable people.  This in addition to all of the wonderful parishioners.  All of them, young and old, convert and cradle, have been very welcoming to me - so welcoming I even was, um, invited to help rearrange our garage to receive supplies in anticipation of the gyro booth this weekend. 

Oh, and yesterday I was honored to meet Hieromonk Joseph, who was visiting one of our priests and helped serve the liturgy.  I wasn't quite sure what it would be like to meet the man after I found out he was a monk, because I really hadn't an idea what to make of a monk (that is, I had no clue as to whether they might fit the secular stereotype of a monk or if they might actually be interesting and holy people at the same time).  His sermon on love and unity was truely great (and he seemed to be very in contrast to the somewhat common stereotype of monks as anti-marriage in some way) and he seemed to be a remarkable person to talk to, after the liturgy.
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The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2011, 08:25:15 PM »

Glad that you are enjoying it so far - sounds like you had some great experiences!  Smiley

Haha, the people would meet my husband, look him up and down, and say, "Nice to meet you. So, are you helping us set up this weekend?" During our first Liturgy, the yiayias pulled him from the pew (we were closest to the exit) and made him help them set up for coffee hour. He was thoroughly confused. I didn't see him for 20 minutes, and I had no idea what was going on.

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JamesRottnek
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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2011, 08:57:57 PM »

Oh goodness, that would have traumatized me I think, lol.  I have definitely had great experiences so far, and look forward to more to come.
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The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
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« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2011, 10:16:41 PM »

Glad you're having wonderful experiences thus far; I've only been attending an Orthodox church for a short while myself as well. It truly is great.

I expected almost the exact opposite of you, I had a terrible fear that I would hate going to a liturgy, would be bored, would want to leave, etc.  But yeah, that feeling of satisfaction is something truely incredible.

I must admit this is what I was afraid of at first as well, though I hoped for some kind of change in me that would go "click." While I did have a sense of awe and wonderment at the service (as well as a great amount of culture shock!), I didn't have an "I'm home" experience or feeling. Rather it's been a transition to home - each Liturgy I attend I feel closer to home as my understanding and appreciation of every part of the Liturgy deepens. It is an amazing thing, and I'm glad your time so far has been great.
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JamesRottnek
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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2011, 10:34:53 PM »

I think that is one thing about Orthodoxy that is truely great, if people are open to it, they start to be conformed to it - you are an example of that, if you are starting to feel more and more at home at each Liturgy.  We've all got something or another we have to come to terms with in some way, and thankfully Orthodoxy makes that easy (no doubt because God is helping move us closer to Him if we desire it).

Thank you for your well wishes, and I hope that you continue towards Orthodoxy as well.
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I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
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