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Author Topic: Previous priest/pastor say when you expressed interest into Orthodoxy?  (Read 3684 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 25, 2011, 10:18:55 PM »

I plan to meet with our RC priest in the next week or two and one of the things I will pass onto him is my desire for becoming Orthodox.  Although it will be my interest and not my family.  I'm wondering what he will say.  He is a very educated man and I wonder if he will start quizing me about my knowledge, be supportive or something else? What's been your experience with this?
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2011, 11:02:07 PM »

Honestly?

My RC confessor told me that I was going to go to hell for becoming a Melkite Catholic. I told them that Melkites were Catholics, but he said, "No, they are orthodox."

Then three years later, when I decided to convert to Orthodoxy, my biritual priest in the Catholic Church told me, "Your soul is in danger as you have committed the sin of apostasy." My Melkite priest was very upset and said that I was a scandal.

However, another Melkite Priest told me, "Prepare a way for me to become an Orthodox Christian. God grant you many years."
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2011, 11:17:38 PM »

my previous pastor (LCMS) was theologically liberal and ecumenically minded.  He expressed some mild concern about my husband (not interested in Orthodoxy) and family (6 kids) but basically he gave me his blessing.

I think it depends on the personality of your pastor.  I know that one of my previous pastors would have tried to talk (argue) me out of it and given me the Protestant line about submitting to my husband, yada, yada, yada.  Of course, this would have neglected the fact that my husband told me to give it a go.  But, this pastor's personality is more confrontational and he tends to take a "holier than thou" attitude with those who theologically disagree with him.  He was also my pastor for 13 years so he might have had a stronger sense of responsibility to my spiritual walk too.  My LCMS pastor had known that I was looking at Orthodoxy before we started going to the parish.  So it wasn't like it came out of left field.
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2011, 11:50:11 PM »

Honestly?

My RC confessor told me that I was going to go to hell for becoming a Melkite Catholic. I told them that Melkites were Catholics, but he said, "No, they are orthodox."

Then three years later, when I decided to convert to Orthodoxy, my biritual priest in the Catholic Church told me, "Your soul is in danger as you have committed the sin of apostasy." My Melkite priest was very upset and said that I was a scandal.

However, another Melkite Priest told me, "Prepare a way for me to become an Orthodox Christian. God grant you many years."

Makes me wonder how many catholics believe in extra Ecclesiam nulla salus
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 12:33:03 AM »

My Protestant (Wesleyan holiness/Church of God) pastor was sure I'd return to his church. After all, for him Orthodoxy was the child of Satan, and no sincere Christian could stay in such a dead, mary-worshipping, tradition-of-men church for long. My wife, on the other hand, was told that she was hellbound for switching from traditional Catholicism (SSPX) to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 01:04:15 AM »

My Protestant (Wesleyan holiness/Church of God) pastor was sure I'd return to his church. After all, for him Orthodoxy was the child of Satan, and no sincere Christian could stay in such a dead, mary-worshipping, tradition-of-men church for long. My wife, on the other hand, was told that she was hellbound for switching from traditional Catholicism (SSPX) to Orthodoxy.

So, I am not the only one who was considered hellbound for heading East.
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 01:05:05 AM »

My Protestant (Wesleyan holiness/Church of God) pastor was sure I'd return to his church. After all, for him Orthodoxy was the child of Satan, and no sincere Christian could stay in such a dead, mary-worshipping, tradition-of-men church for long. My wife, on the other hand, was told that she was hellbound for switching from traditional Catholicism (SSPX) to Orthodoxy.

Wow.
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 01:15:27 AM »

The two pastors at the last church I was a part of were kind of split on it.  One was a little dismissive, saying "So you are a neo-platonist now?" while the other pastor had some great advice.  Here is part of an email he sent me:

"I would recommend reading through the gospels of Luke and John and the the book of Acts with as fresh an eye as you can (with the help of the Holy Spirit). I believe you will know what you should do when you are finished.

The only reason to join the Orthodox Church is if it can help you become a better disciple of Jesus Christ, seek the Kingdom of God, and bring the Kingdom of God so that His will may be done on earth as it is in heaven."
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2011, 01:45:09 AM »

I was drifting away from Christianity on the whole when I found Orthodoxy, and had been for a couple years, due to serious cognitive and moral dissonance relating to the evangelical subculture I grew up in, so there weren't really any pastors around to caution me off and/or pronounce damnation.

However, I did have a professor or two at my non-denominational Christian university strongly advise me not to pursue Orthodoxy, usually with a somewhat condescending tone that said something like "this is a silly college-identity phase and you seem like you're just in it for the aesthetics".
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 01:59:08 AM »

My wife, on the other hand, was told that she was hellbound for switching from traditional Catholicism (SSPX) to Orthodoxy.
Yep, that sounds about right.

However, another Melkite Priest told me, "Prepare a way for me to become an Orthodox Christian. God grant you many years."
Wow.
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2011, 07:03:54 AM »

The two pastors at the last church I was a part of were kind of split on it.  One was a little dismissive, saying "So you are a neo-platonist now?" while the other pastor had some great advice.  Here is part of an email he sent me:

"I would recommend reading through the gospels of Luke and John and the the book of Acts with as fresh an eye as you can (with the help of the Holy Spirit). I believe you will know what you should do when you are finished.

The only reason to join the Orthodox Church is if it can help you become a better disciple of Jesus Christ, seek the Kingdom of God, and bring the Kingdom of God so that His will may be done on earth as it is in heaven."

I just looked at this again and the "I believe you will know what you should do..." could be taken a couple of different ways without the context of the rest of the email.  This pastor did say that he didn't know enough about Eastern Orthodoxy to offer any solid opinion of his own.
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2011, 07:33:05 AM »

The two pastors at the last church I was a part of were kind of split on it.  One was a little dismissive, saying "So you are a neo-platonist now?"

What denomination was that? Sounds like this guy did know something about Orthodoxy. Weird.
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2011, 09:04:17 AM »

The two pastors at the last church I was a part of were kind of split on it.  One was a little dismissive, saying "So you are a neo-platonist now?"

What denomination was that? Sounds like this guy did know something about Orthodoxy. Weird.

Isn't that a common Calvinist criticism of Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2011, 09:41:14 AM »

The two pastors at the last church I was a part of were kind of split on it.  One was a little dismissive, saying "So you are a neo-platonist now?"

What denomination was that? Sounds like this guy did know something about Orthodoxy. Weird.

Isn't that a common Calvinist criticism of Orthodoxy?

Just one of the more reasonable ones I've heard.
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2011, 10:18:27 AM »

The two pastors at the last church I was a part of were kind of split on it.  One was a little dismissive, saying "So you are a neo-platonist now?"

What denomination was that? Sounds like this guy did know something about Orthodoxy. Weird.

Isn't that a common Calvinist criticism of Orthodoxy?

Just one of the more reasonable ones I've heard.

To judge its reasonableness, I'd have to hear more. In my experience, this criticism is often leveled at Orthodoxy by persons who have little true insight into Eastern theology or Neoplatonism.
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2011, 10:40:46 AM »

I plan to meet with our RC priest in the next week or two and one of the things I will pass onto him is my desire for becoming Orthodox.  Although it will be my interest and not my family.  I'm wondering what he will say.  He is a very educated man and I wonder if he will start quizing me about my knowledge, be supportive or something else? What's been your experience with this?

I never talked to anyone from the church I was attending before attending the one I'm at now. I had just helped with the Christmas program and the choir director was looking to start a praise band for the church and I just dropped off the face of the planet. I just didn't know what to say or how to say it, so I just left. I've personally talked to one person from there since then and explained what happened, she was very nice and forgiving (the way I went about it was pretty rude) and was glad that I am still in the service of Christ.
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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2011, 10:51:42 AM »

I just kind of dropped out, too. I mean, I honestly didn't know what to say to my pastor. At the last church, we had some serious issues because he had not treated my friend very well, and our last conversation, while not openly hostile, was not a good one. I thought that saying, "I'm leaving to join another denomination," would just be another slap in the face. And so, I faded out quietly. I sometimes wonder if that was the right decision.

Friends who were at that church said, "Oh, really?" and asked a little bit about it when I told them about Orthodoxy. But that's about it. No approval or disapproval. I know what that means!

ETA: One of them became hyper-defensive and started talking about how it wasn't necessary to join denominations, but he never criticized Orthodoxy directly. That's the kind of church I came from -- proud to be isolated from the Body of Christ.
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2011, 11:30:34 AM »

I never discussed it with them.

My wife was friends with the pastor's wife (they were teenagers together), and she talked about it with her briefly one day. The conversation more or less ended when the pastor's wife told her they had a mutual friend who had started looking at Church history and then he "lost all the joy in his faith."

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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2011, 11:51:14 AM »

When I converted, I wrote a short letter to the church explaining my decision and requested my membership papers, which they sent me a few weeks later. That was all the contact I had with them. I had never really melded with the church though, and didn't have any real friends there, despite attending for over 5 years. It was a painless transition.

A year later my parents ran into my childhood pastor, and in the course of the conversation my conversion came up. He was genuinely interested, and had been studying the Septuagint at the time, and wanted to talk to me about it. Unfortunately my attempts to get in touch with him never panned out. He is truly one of the most compassionate people I have ever known, and I am sure he would be happy for me, even if he did not accept the Church's theology in its own right.
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« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2011, 11:53:16 AM »

I just kind of dropped out, too. I mean, I honestly didn't know what to say to my pastor. At the last church, we had some serious issues because he had not treated my friend very well, and our last conversation, while not openly hostile, was not a good one. I thought that saying, "I'm leaving to join another denomination," would just be another slap in the face. And so, I faded out quietly. I sometimes wonder if that was the right decision.

Friends who were at that church said, "Oh, really?" and asked a little bit about it when I told them about Orthodoxy. But that's about it. No approval or disapproval. I know what that means!

ETA: One of them became hyper-defensive and started talking about how it wasn't necessary to join denominations, but he never criticized Orthodoxy directly. That's the kind of church I came from -- proud to be isolated from the Body of Christ.

I rather wished I'd said more to more people.  With most people, including family, I just tried to ride under the radar since I'm normally non-confrontational.  But, my pastor never said why I was leaving the church to anyone (including his wife)....and from what I heard, there were some who wondered what they'd done.  I feel bad about that.  I did have a phone conversation with pastor's wife.  It went as well as can be expected.  And I did continue to go to their ladies book club for about a year.... but no one ever, ever asked me about Orthodoxy or anything.  Too polite, I guess.

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« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2011, 06:55:53 PM »

I never told them.
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« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2011, 07:41:17 PM »

The two pastors at the last church I was a part of were kind of split on it.  One was a little dismissive, saying "So you are a neo-platonist now?"

What denomination was that? Sounds like this guy did know something about Orthodoxy. Weird.

Isn't that a common Calvinist criticism of Orthodoxy?

Just one of the more reasonable ones I've heard.

To judge its reasonableness, I'd have to hear more. In my experience, this criticism is often leveled at Orthodoxy by persons who have little true insight into Eastern theology or Neoplatonism.

Both pastors came out of Stone-Campbellite churches, but I suppose this church was something along the lines of emergent.  Maybe?  I don't know.  We kind of cherry picked from traditions, using a fair bit from the Book of Common Prayer and there was a social justice element.  The pastor that made the comment about neoplatonism certainly isn't Calvinist.  To be honest, I don't know what neoplatonism even is.  I just knew his statement was a bit of a parting shot.
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« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2011, 08:02:37 PM »

i am so glad to see people r interested in orthodox church...

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« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2011, 11:50:00 PM »

At the beginning of Lent this year...I went to confession (RCC) to confess that I had not been attending church regularly, and of course was missing the Eucharist by not attending.  The Priest was not one I knew well and he certainly did not know me or my history.. Never the less....he was very visibly upset with me -when-during the course of the conversation I explained that I was inquiring into Holy Orthodoxy.  He emphatically stated that it was not OK  to inquire into it.  He gave me a penance of one Holy rosary. 

I actually loved to pray the rosary...so ths seemed a very uncaring response to me.  I would have liked or him to offer to setup a time to talk further....(I did recognize that my timing might not have been the best...this is a pretty big thing to talk about right before the Saturday mass, which was when I went....)
But he did not offer, in fact he seemed almost angry with me.  It was very uncomfortable.

The next day...I went to Divine Liturgy and told my Orthodox Priest about this  His response was so different and so caring....I kept attending Vespers and DL and inquiring...and here I am!  Orthodox confession is just how I always imagined confession should be.....what a beautiful experience... 

Praise to our Lord Jesus Christ and Blessings to all those Orthodox Priests out there who are caring for us.

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« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2011, 11:14:06 AM »

To be honest, I don't know what neoplatonism even is.

Neither do many who bandy about the term.
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« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2011, 02:50:55 PM »

To be honest, I don't know what neoplatonism even is.

Neither do many who bandy about the term.

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/orth_plato.aspx
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« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2011, 12:38:39 PM »

My (WELS) pastor at the time said "well, these things sometimes happen, and I rejoice that you have found a Church home you are comfortable with."

My former (LCMS) pastor and good friend said "whoa!  Lower the sights, take your finger off the trigger!  Think about what you are doing!"

And then we had a long, long, long series of conversations about our conversion and what we were doing and why.  He eventually accepted it, graciously (he was gracious the whole time, just alarmed).  He still disagrees with our choice, but respectfully and I think he understands we are better off even though he firmly believes we have embraced certain errors. 
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« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2011, 04:41:22 PM »

Ours was unhappy as were the people we "left behind". We did not make a fuss or issue of it as felt it would not be right to cause any added disruption over our departure. (It is still Christ's church, even though, we felt, in error.) We've kept in contact with friends there who show a surprising lack of curiosity about Orthodoxy!
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« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2011, 07:40:22 PM »

We actually didn't speak with our pastor when we made the final move.  I did speak to his wife however, and she only showed sadness over us not being at the same church anymore.  She even invited us to speak at "sharing" time about our leaving.   Shocked  Our pastor did know that I was researching Orthodoxy though so I'm sure when she told him, it wasn't a big surprise.  When I initially began researching, it was in fact to disprove it to a friend who was converting.  My pastor encouraged me then to, "Look beyond my borders with caution."  He also claimed that Orthodoxy was just another flavor of Christians who happened to like the "smells and bells" and claimed that all churches are in some error so what mattered most was to find a good community and stick with them as long as we could see Jesus there.  He's a former RC and in his own way was trying to guilt me into staying.
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« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2011, 07:45:07 PM »

We actually didn't speak with our pastor when we made the final move.  I did speak to his wife however, and she only showed sadness over us not being at the same church anymore.  She even invited us to speak at "sharing" time about our leaving.   Shocked  Our pastor did know that I was researching Orthodoxy though so I'm sure when she told him, it wasn't a big surprise.  When I initially began researching, it was in fact to disprove it to a friend who was converting.  My pastor encouraged me then to, "Look beyond my borders with caution."  He also claimed that Orthodoxy was just another flavor of Christians who happened to like the "smells and bells" and claimed that all churches are in some error so what mattered most was to find a good community and stick with them as long as we could see Jesus there.  He's a former RC and in his own way was trying to guilt me into staying.

Wow.  While I would have been very intimidated to talk with my church about decision to leave the church for Orthodox.....I'd LOVE to have a chance to do it now.
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« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2011, 08:15:07 PM »

We actually didn't speak with our pastor when we made the final move.  I did speak to his wife however, and she only showed sadness over us not being at the same church anymore.  She even invited us to speak at "sharing" time about our leaving.   Shocked  Our pastor did know that I was researching Orthodoxy though so I'm sure when she told him, it wasn't a big surprise.  When I initially began researching, it was in fact to disprove it to a friend who was converting.  My pastor encouraged me then to, "Look beyond my borders with caution."  He also claimed that Orthodoxy was just another flavor of Christians who happened to like the "smells and bells" and claimed that all churches are in some error so what mattered most was to find a good community and stick with them as long as we could see Jesus there.  He's a former RC and in his own way was trying to guilt me into staying.

Wow.  While I would have been very intimidated to talk with my church about decision to leave the church for Orthodox.....I'd LOVE to have a chance to do it now.

I'm the talker between dh and I but I still couldn't have shared in THAT format.  Several friends asked us why we hadn't been there in a while so I shared with them.  They were very nice about it but were also very "relative" about it as well...you know, "we're all good, doesn't matter where we are..."

I did have a friend who wrote me a LONG letter telling me I wasn't submitting to God, to my dh (dh is WITH me), or to the authority placed over me.  She also used the reformation bible to quote verses to chastise me about the unity of Christians.  And this was when I was still just inquiring.  We're becoming catechumens next weekend.  I have no clue how she's going to react to that!  If anyone reads this in the next hour, please pray for me.  I'm headed out to dinner with my closest friend and she's wondering what in the world would stop me from running the half marathon that I am signed up for next weekend... 
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« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2011, 08:39:51 PM »

/\ /\  seeing this and praying for you.
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« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2011, 09:04:18 PM »

Praying for you too, Desiring_Unity. Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2011, 01:28:44 AM »

Thank you so much for the prayers, ladies!  What a wonderful meeting, Glory to God!  I have felt a closeness growing with Saint Photini and because I needed prayer for boldness in love, in addition to praying the Trisagion prayers, I asked St. Photini for prayer as well, while driving to dinner.  The meeting went so well!  I couldn't have asked for better! 
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« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2011, 06:04:34 AM »

That's wonderful.  Thanks for the followup. 
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« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2011, 08:04:52 AM »

Thank you so much for the prayers, ladies!  What a wonderful meeting, Glory to God!  I have felt a closeness growing with Saint Photini and because I needed prayer for boldness in love, in addition to praying the Trisagion prayers, I asked St. Photini for prayer as well, while driving to dinner.  The meeting went so well!  I couldn't have asked for better! 
Glory to God! Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2011, 09:46:45 AM »

My RC priest thought it was cool and was very excited at first. He even went so far as to say that he wished he could convert, too. When I told him 6 months later I was a catechumen, he accused me of being impulsive and ignorant. Cheesy oh well. Can't please everyone. Grin

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« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2011, 10:17:42 AM »

THis is the one thing about my conversion I am not looking forward to. Before I can bé able to become orthodox I will have to resign my membership of the lutheran church which means that I will approach our priest and tell him that I wish to leave the danish church. I am probably the only one in my town(at my age) who actually believe in God and he know that. I hope that he is not getting dissapointed. 
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« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2011, 10:33:33 AM »

THis is the one thing about my conversion I am not looking forward to. Before I can bé able to become orthodox I will have to resign my membership of the lutheran church which means that I will approach our priest and tell him that I wish to leave the danish church. I am probably the only one in my town(at my age) who actually believe in God and he know that. I hope that he is not getting dissapointed. 

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It this still compulsory in Denmark? In Finland people can resign from the State churches just by few clicks in internet.
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« Reply #39 on: October 10, 2011, 11:15:55 AM »

THis is the one thing about my conversion I am not looking forward to. Before I can bé able to become orthodox I will have to resign my membership of the lutheran church which means that I will approach our priest and tell him that I wish to leave the danish church. I am probably the only one in my town(at my age) who actually believe in God and he know that. I hope that he is not getting dissapointed. 

 Shocked

It this still compulsory in Denmark? In Finland people can resign from the State churches just by few clicks in internet.

How to resign from the church:
 1) A member of the church may terminate his membership by writing a notification to the church book leading priest in the parish where the member resides. If that member residing abroad, the notification of withdrawal is sent to the vicar of the parish in that country where the member has his last known residence.

 2) Membership will be terminated if a member joins another church or otherwise, for example by letting himself be re-baptized, stands outside the church

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« Reply #40 on: October 10, 2011, 11:30:33 AM »

Thanks for sharing all the stories.  I've recently has some serious family stuff arise so I'm having to postpone my with visit with the priest for a small time. 
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« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2011, 12:21:04 PM »



How to resign from the church:
 1) A member of the church may terminate his membership by writing a notification to the church book leading priest in the parish where the member resides. If that member residing abroad, the notification of withdrawal is sent to the vicar of the parish in that country where the member has his last known residence.

 2) Membership will be terminated if a member joins another church or otherwise, for example by letting himself be re-baptized, stands outside the church


Sounds like #2 is the simplest. Join the Orthodox Church and then advise your now-former church of what you have done. That's how it worked for me with my former denomination.
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« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2011, 02:16:45 PM »



How to resign from the church:
 1) A member of the church may terminate his membership by writing a notification to the church book leading priest in the parish where the member resides. If that member residing abroad, the notification of withdrawal is sent to the vicar of the parish in that country where the member has his last known residence.

 2) Membership will be terminated if a member joins another church or otherwise, for example by letting himself be re-baptized, stands outside the church


Sounds like #2 is the simplest. Join the Orthodox Church and then advise your now-former church of what you have done. That's how it worked for me with my former denomination.
Sounds like a good idea.  Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2011, 02:39:01 PM »

My old pastor found out that I had started going to a "Greek Orthodox Church" and when he asked me about it and I confirmed that it was true, he said: "Well, I bet you like the liturgy a lot more than this sappy stuff." He was referring to the sentimental, acoustic guitar led praise session that had just gone on that reminded me a lot of a Dashboard Confessional concert.
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« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2011, 02:48:50 PM »

My pastor I had as a child died about fifteen years ago.

But I am such a catch that even though I wasn't Christian since the age of 12ish, my pastor's son who is now the pastor of that parish I was in wouldn't release my Baptismal certificate.

It was all kittens and buttons till he ostensibly did an internet search on where I was going now. The only thing worse than Satan in my parish as a child was the Pope, who knows how the new pastor parsed Orthodoxy.

My certificate was basically ready to go with lotsa: glad you are finally going back to church talk. Then many months of backs and forths with no release of Baptismal certificate.

I am just that darn lovable.



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