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Author Topic: Got a situation involving communion...  (Read 1780 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 27, 2011, 12:52:21 AM »

So, remember, Im not Orthodox (though I want to be), and Im not even a catechumen yet.

I have a weekly Tuesday night "gig" with my band at a HUGE baptist church (tens of thousands) in my area.  I looked at tomorrows schedule and set list that was sent out and saw that they are having communion tomorrow.  This hasnt ever been a problem for me in the past because 1) baptist churches rarely take communion and 2) i just recently got serious about Orthodoxy.

My dilemma is that I typically wouldnt want to take it there, but I dont feel like it would go over well if I didnt.  I dont know what to do!  Im even in a position of leadership since I am in the band.  At an Orthodox or RC church, its normal, and rather common i guess for people to decline the elements, since people who arent part of the church arent allowed anyways.  Here, everyone is allowed as long as your a Christian.  I feel like it would raise some serious questions amongst people who are in charge of my paycheck if I didnt.  Also, it would raise some questions among people in my band, who doesnt really know about my interest in Orthodoxy.  (mainly because they are Protestant and know very little about Church history. I havent had the opportunity to really lay it out there...)

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, I dont want to say the name of the Church as I am trying to keep this post under the radar.  If you know where I am from, and have a guess at what church this is, please keep it to yourself.  Thanks!!!
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 01:03:02 AM »

I would just gently refuse with a shake of your head or something. If they insist at the moment, just say, "No thank you." If they ask later, you can tell them that your church doesn't permit you to receive communion unless it's at their church. I just pass the tray along if I happen to be attending a Protestant church for my friends.

Honestly, it's tough cookies for them. If you don't want to take it, you shouldn't have to. Paycheck be damned. It would be quite awful for them to hire you and then based on your faith, refuse to pay you or whatever. I don't think they would. Now, would it affect future opportunities for gigs at this church? Maybe. That's your choice.

You are not a catechumen yet, but let's just say that I don't look at it in technicalities. Are you trying to find ways to skirt the boundaries or do you feel in your heart that it's not right for you to partake of Communion there? Once you answer that, you'll know what to do.

For me, after witnessing Communion in the Orthodox Church, I am not remotely tempted to receive it anywhere else, anymore. We went to a Presbyterian service for some friends recently and I just felt sick, watching some 16 year old kid talk about inhaling and rolling the bread around our tongue. It's not even worth it. We put our heads down and quietly said, "No thank you," when it was offered to us, and they moved on. My friends didn't say a word about it. Then again, they know we are converting to the Greek Orthodox Church.

One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 01:03:51 AM by IsmiLiora » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 01:04:48 AM »

1) You are not affiliated with the Church
2) You work for this band
3) A requirement of that work seems to be to receive their communion.

Therefore, I say, do it.
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2011, 01:13:48 AM »

No, you mustn't take communion there.  If you are serious about Orthodoxy, don't do it. 
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 01:15:36 AM »

I would just gently refuse with a shake of your head or something. If they insist at the moment, just say, "No thank you." If they ask later, you can tell them that your church doesn't permit you to receive communion unless it's at their church. I just pass the tray along if I happen to be attending a Protestant church for my friends.

Honestly, it's tough cookies for them. If you don't want to take it, you shouldn't have to. Paycheck be damned. It would be quite awful for them to hire you and then based on your faith, refuse to pay you or whatever. I don't think they would. Now, would it affect future opportunities for gigs at this church? Maybe. That's your choice.

You are not a catechumen yet, but let's just say that I don't look at it in technicalities. Are you trying to find ways to skirt the boundaries or do you feel in your heart that it's not right for you to partake of Communion there? Once you answer that, you'll know what to do.

For me, after witnessing Communion in the Orthodox Church, I am not remotely tempted to receive it anywhere else, anymore. We went to a Presbyterian service for some friends recently and I just felt sick, watching some 16 year old kid talk about inhaling and rolling the bread around our tongue. It's not even worth it. We put our heads down and quietly said, "No thank you," when it was offered to us, and they moved on. My friends didn't say a word about it. Then again, they know we are converting to the Greek Orthodox Church.

One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!

yea its kind of a tough situation.  I dont think they would necessarily be mad... I just dont want to come across as "im too good for this."

However, I dont feel like I would come across that way if I was actually part of the Orthodox church.  In fact, if I was part of the church the I would be completely comfortable saying "Sorry, Im Orthodox." Then I would think theyd understand.

I might just have to see how it goes when we get there.  Who knows, maybe we will stay on stage while this happens and I wont even have to worry about it...
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 01:16:01 AM by Timon » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 01:19:07 AM »

1) You are not affiliated with the Church
2) You work for this band
3) A requirement of that work seems to be to receive their communion.

Therefore, I say, do it.

I guess its not part of my work requirement.  I really dont know how the format will be.  Will they pass trays or everyone walk to the front? Dont know. I have discussed, with my bandmates back when i considered myself protestant, the issues I have with some protestant churches not taking communion enough.  They know communion is very important to me, and I think more than anything Im not ready to explain everything to them.  
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 01:19:45 AM by Timon » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 01:26:51 AM »

I dont think they would necessarily be mad... I just dont want to come across as "im too good for this."
How old are you? You don't have to answer. I just want to give a little tough love here, and I mean this with the best of my heart.

If you feel in your heart that you want to be Orthodox and that they truly participate in the Communion, then don't receive. Simple as that. You're going to have a LOT of situations where you may need to say, no. If your parents aren't converting, you might need to explain why you keep eating shrimp at Friday night dinners. You may decide to pass on the pizza and eat salad, and someone is going to ask you to explain. (I know it doesn't sound significant, but I have actually had people ask me why I order vegan dishes, shrimp, or clams all the time if we are going out) You are going to have people ask you why you're performing in their church and what denomination you are. You're going to have friends ask why you can't drink at a certain time or where you're going on Friday night.

This is my second time converting (and hopefully the last), and the questions and the friendly and unfriendly observations of your practices don't stop coming. They will happen. In some cases, it will feel overwhelming.

It isn't about being "too good" for anything. It is about you NOT being a member of their church and having different beliefs and practices. They should be used to the idea that there are Christians out there who think differently. They probably have people who don't receive Communion for their own reasons.
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2011, 01:35:13 AM »

I dont think they would necessarily be mad... I just dont want to come across as "im too good for this."
How old are you? You don't have to answer. I just want to give a little tough love here, and I mean this with the best of my heart.

If you feel in your heart that you want to be Orthodox and that they truly participate in the Communion, then don't receive. Simple as that. You're going to have a LOT of situations where you may need to say, no. If your parents aren't converting, you might need to explain why you keep eating shrimp at Friday night dinners. You may decide to pass on the pizza and eat salad, and someone is going to ask you to explain. (I know it doesn't sound significant, but I have actually had people ask me why I order vegan dishes, shrimp, or clams all the time if we are going out) You are going to have people ask you why you're performing in their church and what denomination you are. You're going to have friends ask why you can't drink at a certain time or where you're going on Friday night.

This is my second time converting (and hopefully the last), and the questions and the friendly and unfriendly observations of your practices don't stop coming. They will happen. In some cases, it will feel overwhelming.

It isn't about being "too good" for anything. It is about you NOT being a member of their church and having different beliefs and practices. They should be used to the idea that there are Christians out there who think differently. They probably have people who don't receive Communion for their own reasons.

im 23 and married. not old, but i dont still eat dinner with my parents every night! Smiley

thanks for the advice though.  i honestly dont feel right about taking it there.  im sure i will find a way out of it.  ill just conveniently have to go to the bathroom or something.  when i first realized i wasnt in line with modern protestant, baptist style, teachings i began attending a couple different anglican churches.  i know the Orthodox still wouldnt recommend this, but id even feel more comfortable taking it in a high anglican church. (the one I attended pretty much wants to be Orthodox. really.)

the only thing i dont feel comfortable with is not taking communion for a long time.  i dont know when I am going to be able to really convert.  i make a living doing music with my band (including Sundays) and LOVE it, even if I dont agree with some of these churches teachings.  i know they are good people and I enjoy their friendship. 

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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 01:47:49 AM »

I dont think they would necessarily be mad... I just dont want to come across as "im too good for this."
How old are you? You don't have to answer. I just want to give a little tough love here, and I mean this with the best of my heart.

If you feel in your heart that you want to be Orthodox and that they truly participate in the Communion, then don't receive. Simple as that. You're going to have a LOT of situations where you may need to say, no. If your parents aren't converting, you might need to explain why you keep eating shrimp at Friday night dinners. You may decide to pass on the pizza and eat salad, and someone is going to ask you to explain. (I know it doesn't sound significant, but I have actually had people ask me why I order vegan dishes, shrimp, or clams all the time if we are going out) You are going to have people ask you why you're performing in their church and what denomination you are. You're going to have friends ask why you can't drink at a certain time or where you're going on Friday night.

This is my second time converting (and hopefully the last), and the questions and the friendly and unfriendly observations of your practices don't stop coming. They will happen. In some cases, it will feel overwhelming.

It isn't about being "too good" for anything. It is about you NOT being a member of their church and having different beliefs and practices. They should be used to the idea that there are Christians out there who think differently. They probably have people who don't receive Communion for their own reasons.

im 23 and married. not old, but i dont still eat dinner with my parents every night! Smiley

thanks for the advice though.  i honestly dont feel right about taking it there.  im sure i will find a way out of it.  ill just conveniently have to go to the bathroom or something.  when i first realized i wasnt in line with modern protestant, baptist style, teachings i began attending a couple different anglican churches.  i know the Orthodox still wouldnt recommend this, but id even feel more comfortable taking it in a high anglican church. (the one I attended pretty much wants to be Orthodox. really.)

the only thing i dont feel comfortable with is not taking communion for a long time.  i dont know when I am going to be able to really convert.  i make a living doing music with my band (including Sundays) and LOVE it, even if I dont agree with some of these churches teachings.  i know they are good people and I enjoy their friendship. 


seams like your going to have to make a choice soon you can't be luke warm and play orthodox at home and something else in public. I say this to you as I'm looking at myself in the mirror
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 02:20:50 AM »

So, remember, Im not Orthodox (though I want to be), and Im not even a catechumen yet.

I have a weekly Tuesday night "gig" with my band at a HUGE baptist church (tens of thousands) in my area.  I looked at tomorrows schedule and set list that was sent out and saw that they are having communion tomorrow.  This hasnt ever been a problem for me in the past because 1) baptist churches rarely take communion and 2) i just recently got serious about Orthodoxy.

My dilemma is that I typically wouldnt want to take it there, but I dont feel like it would go over well if I didnt.  I dont know what to do!  Im even in a position of leadership since I am in the band.  At an Orthodox or RC church, its normal, and rather common i guess for people to decline the elements, since people who arent part of the church arent allowed anyways.  Here, everyone is allowed as long as your a Christian.  I feel like it would raise some serious questions amongst people who are in charge of my paycheck if I didnt.  Also, it would raise some questions among people in my band, who doesnt really know about my interest in Orthodoxy.  (mainly because they are Protestant and know very little about Church history. I havent had the opportunity to really lay it out there...)

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, I dont want to say the name of the Church as I am trying to keep this post under the radar.  If you know where I am from, and have a guess at what church this is, please keep it to yourself.  Thanks!!!
You can't just... not get in line for it? People notice?
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2011, 02:21:04 AM »

I dont think they would necessarily be mad... I just dont want to come across as "im too good for this."
How old are you? You don't have to answer. I just want to give a little tough love here, and I mean this with the best of my heart.

If you feel in your heart that you want to be Orthodox and that they truly participate in the Communion, then don't receive. Simple as that. You're going to have a LOT of situations where you may need to say, no. If your parents aren't converting, you might need to explain why you keep eating shrimp at Friday night dinners. You may decide to pass on the pizza and eat salad, and someone is going to ask you to explain. (I know it doesn't sound significant, but I have actually had people ask me why I order vegan dishes, shrimp, or clams all the time if we are going out) You are going to have people ask you why you're performing in their church and what denomination you are. You're going to have friends ask why you can't drink at a certain time or where you're going on Friday night.

This is my second time converting (and hopefully the last), and the questions and the friendly and unfriendly observations of your practices don't stop coming. They will happen. In some cases, it will feel overwhelming.

It isn't about being "too good" for anything. It is about you NOT being a member of their church and having different beliefs and practices. They should be used to the idea that there are Christians out there who think differently. They probably have people who don't receive Communion for their own reasons.

im 23 and married. not old, but i dont still eat dinner with my parents every night! Smiley

thanks for the advice though.  i honestly dont feel right about taking it there.  im sure i will find a way out of it.  ill just conveniently have to go to the bathroom or something.  when i first realized i wasnt in line with modern protestant, baptist style, teachings i began attending a couple different anglican churches.  i know the Orthodox still wouldnt recommend this, but id even feel more comfortable taking it in a high anglican church. (the one I attended pretty much wants to be Orthodox. really.)

the only thing i dont feel comfortable with is not taking communion for a long time.  i dont know when I am going to be able to really convert.  i make a living doing music with my band (including Sundays) and LOVE it, even if I dont agree with some of these churches teachings.  i know they are good people and I enjoy their friendship. 


seams like your going to have to make a choice soon you can't be luke warm and play orthodox at home and something else in public. I say this to you as I'm looking at myself in the mirror

even the priest i met with told me not to quit the band because its what i love and its how i take care of my family. he was even glad that it was at least in a christian environment.  im still working out details. there are some churches that offer the liturgy daily i think...
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 02:22:39 AM »

So, remember, Im not Orthodox (though I want to be), and Im not even a catechumen yet.

I have a weekly Tuesday night "gig" with my band at a HUGE baptist church (tens of thousands) in my area.  I looked at tomorrows schedule and set list that was sent out and saw that they are having communion tomorrow.  This hasnt ever been a problem for me in the past because 1) baptist churches rarely take communion and 2) i just recently got serious about Orthodoxy.

My dilemma is that I typically wouldnt want to take it there, but I dont feel like it would go over well if I didnt.  I dont know what to do!  Im even in a position of leadership since I am in the band.  At an Orthodox or RC church, its normal, and rather common i guess for people to decline the elements, since people who arent part of the church arent allowed anyways.  Here, everyone is allowed as long as your a Christian.  I feel like it would raise some serious questions amongst people who are in charge of my paycheck if I didnt.  Also, it would raise some questions among people in my band, who doesnt really know about my interest in Orthodoxy.  (mainly because they are Protestant and know very little about Church history. I havent had the opportunity to really lay it out there...)

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, I dont want to say the name of the Church as I am trying to keep this post under the radar.  If you know where I am from, and have a guess at what church this is, please keep it to yourself.  Thanks!!!
You can't just... not get in line for it? People notice?

yea im gonna try and get out of it.  just wanted to see what the response would be!

*EDIT i think they may pass trays. and typically, when your in the band someone will bring a tray to you on stage... in front of everyone....
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 02:23:56 AM by Timon » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 04:09:52 AM »

Quote
One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!

Aye, this is both the easiest and most polite way out. "I'm not spiritually prepared to take communion today, but thank you" is not something that anyone is willing to argue with, no matter their denomination.
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2011, 04:45:05 AM »

Quote
One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!

Aye, this is both the easiest and most polite way out. "I'm not spiritually prepared to take communion today, but thank you" is not something that anyone is willing to argue with, no matter their denomination.
Unless they're the type to say: "Why not, brah? We're free in Christ to do all things, brah. 'All Scripture...', brah!"
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 04:46:23 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2011, 04:49:47 AM »

Quote
One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!

Aye, this is both the easiest and most polite way out. "I'm not spiritually prepared to take communion today, but thank you" is not something that anyone is willing to argue with, no matter their denomination.
Unless they're the type to say: "Why not, brah? We're free in Christ to do all things, brah. 'All Scripture...', brah!"
Tell me that's a direct quote.
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2011, 04:58:59 AM »

Quote
One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!

Aye, this is both the easiest and most polite way out. "I'm not spiritually prepared to take communion today, but thank you" is not something that anyone is willing to argue with, no matter their denomination.
Unless they're the type to say: "Why not, brah? We're free in Christ to do all things, brah. 'All Scripture...', brah!"
Tell me that's a direct quote.
I have some Emergent Hipster friends who do the "All Scripture..." thing around me as a joke.
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2011, 05:03:03 AM »

Quote
One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!

Aye, this is both the easiest and most polite way out. "I'm not spiritually prepared to take communion today, but thank you" is not something that anyone is willing to argue with, no matter their denomination.
Unless they're the type to say: "Why not, brah? We're free in Christ to do all things, brah. 'All Scripture...', brah!"

That's when you switch gears and tell them that you're pre/post/communion and that saltines and grape juice is too mainstream... brah.
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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2011, 06:36:11 AM »

No, you mustn't take communion there.  If you are serious about Orthodoxy, don't do it. 

I agree.  This is a matter of conviction too.  If you are truly convinced that the Eucharist is as it is understood in the Orthodox (Or RCC) church, then you should not participate in a Baptist style communion.  Many of us who are converts had a moment like this.  This is your chance to stand up for your faith (however tenuous it may be).  Remember, all the martyrs had to do was throw a little incense on the fire in front of an idol....they didn't actually have to *believe* it, they just had to pay lip service to the Roman Gods.... but they refused. 

I dont' think any of us are saying you have to go out of your way to explain yourself.  Just quietly and politely refuse.  If someone asks specifically why not tell them you've been having some questions about what communion is really supposed to be and you felt that, in good conscience, you should abstain until you've figured stuff out.

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« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2011, 06:52:45 AM »

Quote
One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!

Aye, this is both the easiest and most polite way out. "I'm not spiritually prepared to take communion today, but thank you" is not something that anyone is willing to argue with, no matter their denomination.
This is exactly my thinking as well.

Sound to me that this church is wanting you to stand up like the Pharisee and do alms in public. I don't understand why they would make this a public issue. If they're just "passing the tray along", then it's easy for you to do just that. I hope that's the case for you.

Let us know how it works out.
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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2011, 11:07:30 AM »

Thanks for the replies everyone.  And to clarify, these are great people with the best intentions.  I think the college ministry they have put together is a great thing.  I think more than anything, im creating imaginary scenarios in my head. im sure ill be fine!
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« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2011, 11:08:22 AM »

Quote
One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!

Aye, this is both the easiest and most polite way out. "I'm not spiritually prepared to take communion today, but thank you" is not something that anyone is willing to argue with, no matter their denomination.
Unless they're the type to say: "Why not, brah? We're free in Christ to do all things, brah. 'All Scripture...', brah!"

That's when you switch gears and tell them that you're pre/post/communion and that saltines and grape juice is too mainstream... brah.

hahaha! i know people like this too, brah....
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« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2011, 12:28:34 PM »

Wait till the whole worship aspect of what you are doing begins to get to you.

I used to play lead guitar in the praise band at our previous church when I started reading church history and Orthodoxy. Before service started while everyone else was drinking coffee, I'd be up front before the stage reciting the Nicene Creed and praying. More and more it just started to get to me. The last straw was some new lighting that was installed. A spot light suddenly shined on me during a guitar solo. I couldn't "worship" in this manner anymore.

I'm not Orthodox (yet)  Wink but became an Anglican. I'll be visiting a new OCA church plant for a vespers service in 2 weeks.
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« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2011, 12:39:31 PM »

Wait till the whole worship aspect of what you are doing begins to get to you.

I used to play lead guitar in the praise band at our previous church when I started reading church history and Orthodoxy. Before service started while everyone else was drinking coffee, I'd be up front before the stage reciting the Nicene Creed and praying. More and more it just started to get to me. The last straw was some new lighting that was installed. A spot light suddenly shined on me during a guitar solo. I couldn't "worship" in this manner anymore.

I'm not Orthodox (yet)  Wink but became an Anglican. I'll be visiting a new OCA church plant for a vespers service in 2 weeks.

Sometimes I feel the same way.  I dont necessarily play in a "praise band" but I do contract music work and travel with my band.  We do a lot of special events/youth camps where they hire us to lead worship for the week(end).  I primarily work with middle and high schoolers and I really do enjoy it!  When people use us, they usually want us to play some loud, hip rock n roll worship songs to make sure the kids have a good time and see that church can be fun, since some people who never been to church may just think its lame and boring. Then, they get serious when they head to their small groups and such.  Honestly, I feel like there may be a need for this among young people in our american culture.  People from other countries may not understand as well.  My fear is that in todays world, and i dont want this to sound offensive or rude, if we put a bunch of middle schoolers in the Divine Liturgy they would get bored out of their mind and hate church. (although I LOVE that type of church!!!) 

I would certainly never advocate for having cool hip music in place of the DL, but is it really that bad to play fun, upbeat worship songs for kids? Maybe this is just my Protestant-raised brain talking....

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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2011, 12:53:25 PM »

Quote
One thing: the pastor there told people not to partake if their spirit was not in the right place (or whatever), so I saw that as a potential out if you didn't want to make everyone uncomfortable. You WOULD be telling the truth in that case!

Aye, this is both the easiest and most polite way out. "I'm not spiritually prepared to take communion today, but thank you" is not something that anyone is willing to argue with, no matter their denomination.
Unless they're the type to say: "Why not, brah? We're free in Christ to do all things, brah. 'All Scripture...', brah!"

 laugh
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« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2011, 01:16:05 PM »

hi, timon, i understand this dilemma very well.
when i first realised i was becoming orthodox, i still took high anglican communion, and would have taken catholic too, if it was allowed.
i think the main thing that put me off in the other churches was the lack of respect for God (apparently someone on the net caricatures it as 'all mate-y God instead of almighty God') and the lack of time given to confession of sins and repentance before God during the service.
so, i think if the Holy Communion is very casual, it would be right for you to turn it down. you could be very honest and explain that actually Holy Communion is a very complex matter and after studying church history, you realise there are very many ways to do it, and until you have worked out what the right way is, you don't want to risk taking it in an unworthy manner. quoting the relevant parts of saint paul's letters to the corinthians should help here.

what made me sure that i couldn't take protestant and orthodox Communion at the same time (yes, it wasn't initially obvious to me, having been protestant for more than 20 years and simplifying it to 'if there's only one God then all the churches are equivalent'!) is that i saw in orthodoxy that spiritual authority is very important. if you can submit to your spiritual leaders, it is much easier to obey God, to stop being so proud, and to put other people first. so my spiritual leaders (the orthodox church fathers) were saying 'don't do it', so if i did it, i was disobeying God.
this bit doesn't apply to you, timon, so i don't think you need to stop taking Holy Communion if it's done properly. not yet anyway...
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« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2011, 01:37:39 PM »

So, remember, Im not Orthodox (though I want to be), and Im not even a catechumen yet.

I have a weekly Tuesday night "gig" with my band at a HUGE baptist church (tens of thousands) in my area.  I looked at tomorrows schedule and set list that was sent out and saw that they are having communion tomorrow.  This hasnt ever been a problem for me in the past because 1) baptist churches rarely take communion and 2) i just recently got serious about Orthodoxy.

My dilemma is that I typically wouldnt want to take it there, but I dont feel like it would go over well if I didnt.  I dont know what to do!  Im even in a position of leadership since I am in the band.  At an Orthodox or RC church, its normal, and rather common i guess for people to decline the elements, since people who arent part of the church arent allowed anyways.  Here, everyone is allowed as long as your a Christian.  I feel like it would raise some serious questions amongst people who are in charge of my paycheck if I didnt.  Also, it would raise some questions among people in my band, who doesnt really know about my interest in Orthodoxy.  (mainly because they are Protestant and know very little about Church history. I havent had the opportunity to really lay it out there...)

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, I dont want to say the name of the Church as I am trying to keep this post under the radar.  If you know where I am from, and have a guess at what church this is, please keep it to yourself.  Thanks!!!
Just my opinion, FWIW:

You say you're not even a catechumen yet. If so, then you are in no way under the Church's authority. If your conscience permits you to receive communion at a Baptist church, I would say go ahead and receive what they offer you. However, don't violate your conscience on this matter.

Someone, I believe IsmiLiora, mentioned something about fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays. I would advise you to not embrace this practice yet. Fasting is part of the ascetic struggle of the Orthodox Christian life and will expose you to demonic attacks you may not have experienced before, chief among these being the temptation to pride and boasting. If you're not yet participating in the fullness of the life of the Church--i.e., receiving Communion and the Sacraments in an Orthodox church, confessing your sins regularly to a priest, submitting to the pastoral counsel of a priest or spiritual father--you may not be properly equipped for the spiritual warfare that fasting is, and the demonic attacks you'll face may derail you from living the Christian life in any capacity.

Again, these are just my opinions. Do with them what you will.
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« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2011, 01:44:43 PM »

For the record, I was talking about if he would become a catechumen or join Orthodoxy, he would have to be prepared for those questions, using fasting as an example. I didn't tell him to start fasting.
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« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2011, 02:04:26 PM »

Wait till the whole worship aspect of what you are doing begins to get to you.

I used to play lead guitar in the praise band at our previous church when I started reading church history and Orthodoxy. Before service started while everyone else was drinking coffee, I'd be up front before the stage reciting the Nicene Creed and praying. More and more it just started to get to me. The last straw was some new lighting that was installed. A spot light suddenly shined on me during a guitar solo. I couldn't "worship" in this manner anymore.

I'm not Orthodox (yet)  Wink but became an Anglican. I'll be visiting a new OCA church plant for a vespers service in 2 weeks.

Sometimes I feel the same way.  I dont necessarily play in a "praise band" but I do contract music work and travel with my band.  We do a lot of special events/youth camps where they hire us to lead worship for the week(end).  I primarily work with middle and high schoolers and I really do enjoy it!  When people use us, they usually want us to play some loud, hip rock n roll worship songs to make sure the kids have a good time and see that church can be fun, since some people who never been to church may just think its lame and boring. Then, they get serious when they head to their small groups and such.  Honestly, I feel like there may be a need for this among young people in our american culture.  People from other countries may not understand as well.  My fear is that in todays world, and i dont want this to sound offensive or rude, if we put a bunch of middle schoolers in the Divine Liturgy they would get bored out of their mind and hate church. (although I LOVE that type of church!!!) 

I would certainly never advocate for having cool hip music in place of the DL, but is it really that bad to play fun, upbeat worship songs for kids? Maybe this is just my Protestant-raised brain talking....



I wasn't saying that what you are doing is bad. I'm just saying you may reach the point that you become conflicted about it.

I think with liturgy and middle schoolers it requires instruction. All my kids have known is rock-band church and while Anglican liturgy is not the Divine Liturgy I was expecting them to have a hard time with the change. They love it. For one they are not separated from us in their own jump around to kids rock worship music while the adults worship on their own. It does require instruction. Explaining the liturgy to them, what's happening and why. We do mix contemporary and traditional music. We are just very selective about what contemporary music we play.
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« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2011, 02:21:43 PM »

Got a little off topic above.

Regarding communion, ask yourself if you are in communion with these people? If yes then participate.

Course if you become Orthodox you would be prohibited.
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« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2011, 02:35:38 PM »

interesting, i fasted lent before becoming orthodox.
it wasn't a proper lent fast, with abstaining from eating and drinking till a certain time, but i cut out most animal products.
although i wasn't benefitting from the sacraments, i did have orthodox friends praying for me, and i think i wanted to show the people around me that it was not the end of the world, and i wouldn't suddenly become very thin, or a nun, or drop dead (all things people non-accustomed to orthodox fasting may fear!) i expect there was an element of pride involved, but it was more complicated than that.

i broke my fast at midnight, with my closest friend watching closely to see if i would gorge heavily (thus proving the fasting was not beneficial). i suppose becoming orthodox at that stage would have been too much of shock to too many people close to me, so i was trying to be as orthodox as possible, without actually joining the church. i smile now when i think that all i was looking forward to was a cup of milk, small steak and a glass of wine!
i didn't know then that the most wonderful part was the paschal liturgy with the beautiful Holy Communion.

as for music, i'm all for loud music at the right time, with the right theology.
in our church we have a hymn that is sung quite loudly in holy week:
http://tasbeha.org/media/index.php?st=Hymns%2FHoly_Week%2FElshahid_Abu_Fam%2Fcd1%2Ftrack5.251.mp3
saying, 'yours is the power, the glory, the blessing and the majesty...' and it is often sung quite fast. the 2 sides of the church take turns singing it and then we all join in at the end. there is a lot of repetition, so most people, kids and adults join in.

but what actually makes going to church exciting is the effect it has on your life, the ability to forgive and to love enemies and to know the love of God. i think kids generally need encouraging to share how God makes their lives different in a practical way (eg. i remember one 4 yr old from my protestant days, explaining how being a Christian meant not hitting his brother when he was being annoying!).
may God bless u all in your journey, take it at God's pace, and take many people with you.
 Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2011, 03:09:40 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So, remember, Im not Orthodox (though I want to be), and Im not even a catechumen yet.

I have a weekly Tuesday night "gig" with my band at a HUGE baptist church (tens of thousands) in my area.  I looked at tomorrows schedule and set list that was sent out and saw that they are having communion tomorrow.  This hasnt ever been a problem for me in the past because 1) baptist churches rarely take communion and 2) i just recently got serious about Orthodoxy.

My dilemma is that I typically wouldnt want to take it there, but I dont feel like it would go over well if I didnt.  I dont know what to do!  Im even in a position of leadership since I am in the band.  At an Orthodox or RC church, its normal, and rather common i guess for people to decline the elements, since people who arent part of the church arent allowed anyways.  Here, everyone is allowed as long as your a Christian.  I feel like it would raise some serious questions amongst people who are in charge of my paycheck if I didnt.  Also, it would raise some questions among people in my band, who doesnt really know about my interest in Orthodoxy.  (mainly because they are Protestant and know very little about Church history. I havent had the opportunity to really lay it out there...)

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, I dont want to say the name of the Church as I am trying to keep this post under the radar.  If you know where I am from, and have a guess at what church this is, please keep it to yourself.  Thanks!!!

This is God working through your situation to help you discover the core of Orthodox in your heart if such is to be.  You can fellowship with Baptists and Protestants, make music and attend festivals, but your only cheating them in the long run if you continue in a position of leadership, because while you may both agree mutually to be considered Christians, Orthodox and Protestants have radically different Mission Statements, and unfortunately you'll inevitably have to choose.  We all do one way or other.. 

You don't have to leave your community because of this, but you and they all will in time have to recognize this fact if you become Orthodox.  If you are not Orthodox, there is no problem with you participating with their "Memorial Supper" however, if your heart is pulling you away from that, then you already know the answers.  I support you in prayer wherever God leads you, I know how hard it is both to navigate your place in a new Orthodox community while maintaining your appropriate roles in your previous communities, work, social, religious, family etc etc.  God can bridge all gaps, but we have to work in synergy with Him, and we have to be honest with everyone including ourselves.

Also, God is in charge of your paycheck, but if part of your job is to perform religious services you are uncomfortable with, then perhaps its time to pray towards a career change Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2011, 04:04:31 PM »

When people use us, they usually want us to play some loud, hip rock n roll worship songs to make sure the kids have a good time and see that church can be fun, since some people who never been to church may just think its lame and boring. Then, they get serious when they head to their small groups and such.  Honestly, I feel like there may be a need for this among young people in our american culture.  People from other countries may not understand as well.  My fear is that in todays world, and i dont want this to sound offensive or rude, if we put a bunch of middle schoolers in the Divine Liturgy they would get bored out of their mind and hate church. (although I LOVE that type of church!!!) 

I would certainly never advocate for having cool hip music in place of the DL, but is it really that bad to play fun, upbeat worship songs for kids? Maybe this is just my Protestant-raised brain talking....

I had a couple of thoughts while reading this, such as why condescend to kids and assume that they are incapable of true worship? And, why is worship supposed to be loud and fun?
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« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2011, 07:38:56 PM »

When people use us, they usually want us to play some loud, hip rock n roll worship songs to make sure the kids have a good time and see that church can be fun, since some people who never been to church may just think its lame and boring. Then, they get serious when they head to their small groups and such.  Honestly, I feel like there may be a need for this among young people in our american culture.  People from other countries may not understand as well.  My fear is that in todays world, and i dont want this to sound offensive or rude, if we put a bunch of middle schoolers in the Divine Liturgy they would get bored out of their mind and hate church. (although I LOVE that type of church!!!) 

I would certainly never advocate for having cool hip music in place of the DL, but is it really that bad to play fun, upbeat worship songs for kids? Maybe this is just my Protestant-raised brain talking....

I had a couple of thoughts while reading this, such as why condescend to kids and assume that they are incapable of true worship? And, why is worship supposed to be loud and fun?

I converted when 3 of my kids were teens and one was 12.   Now, one has chosen not to become Orthodox, but the others definitely do "get" what worship is supposed to be. 

My teens have expressed discomfort when they go to Charismatic youth meetings with worship.  Their paraphrased response is: nice concert but it certainly isn't worship.  One has expressed that its "creepy".  But, she also says that if she'd invite her Prot. friends to our church they'd "freak out."   So I do agree that there needs to be a bit of searching for something more than your usual Weds. night concert in the fellowship hall.  I have encouraged my kids many times to invite their friends - especially the ones I think are looking for something, but I only receive rolley eyes from my kids.  Oh, I take that back.  My son did invite 2 Prot. friends to Pascha this last year.  They attend a very popular local Calvinist-Charismatic-mega church.  Ya know, they really haven't talked much since then.   Undecided  At least he tried...and who knows what might come of that little seed that was planted. 

 
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« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2011, 10:48:50 PM »

I think it is important to remember that when you are  a catechumen, you are a student PREPARING to become an Orthodox Christian. It is a time to practice the things that will be expected of you after you are baptized and chrismated. This would include fasting as you are able, observing the Eucharistic fast on Sunday, and abstiaining from "communion" ifyou are not able to commune. It is important to remember however that these are not required of you until you become Orthodox.

In Christ,
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« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2011, 11:42:35 PM »

Update:

So the situation couldnt have been any more awkward.  I found out that we were going to be on stage playing our instruments lightly while it was happening.  Thought i was off the hook....

Then, in our meeting before the service in the "green room" the college pastor had our own bread and juice for us to take.  He served it to everybody.  There were about 10 of us in this little room.  Only band mates and some people running sound/lights/etc.

I didnt know what to do or how i'd get out of it.  I truly did feel like i shouldnt take it there.  When he came to me, I just told him that I was going to have to decline.  Some people saw me, but i really didnt care.  Later, I told the guy that I wasnt trying to be a jerk and that I was just dealing with some certain issues and I didnt feel right about taking it.  He was COMPLETELY cool with it.  I actually feel bad for creating these imaginary scenarios in my head now.  These really are good folks, even if we do have some differences regarding church.

Now, I saw a lot of people responded.  There are a few id like to respond to i think, so ill do that now....
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« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2011, 11:46:27 PM »

hi, timon, i understand this dilemma very well.
when i first realised i was becoming orthodox, i still took high anglican communion, and would have taken catholic too, if it was allowed.
i think the main thing that put me off in the other churches was the lack of respect for God (apparently someone on the net caricatures it as 'all mate-y God instead of almighty God') and the lack of time given to confession of sins and repentance before God during the service.
so, i think if the Holy Communion is very casual, it would be right for you to turn it down. you could be very honest and explain that actually Holy Communion is a very complex matter and after studying church history, you realise there are very many ways to do it, and until you have worked out what the right way is, you don't want to risk taking it in an unworthy manner. quoting the relevant parts of saint paul's letters to the corinthians should help here.

what made me sure that i couldn't take protestant and orthodox Communion at the same time (yes, it wasn't initially obvious to me, having been protestant for more than 20 years and simplifying it to 'if there's only one God then all the churches are equivalent'!) is that i saw in orthodoxy that spiritual authority is very important. if you can submit to your spiritual leaders, it is much easier to obey God, to stop being so proud, and to put other people first. so my spiritual leaders (the orthodox church fathers) were saying 'don't do it', so if i did it, i was disobeying God.
this bit doesn't apply to you, timon, so i don't think you need to stop taking Holy Communion if it's done properly. not yet anyway...

im the same way.  in all honesty, and i know some people would still say not to do this, I do feel comfortable taking the Eucharist in a high anglican church.  I realize i wouldnt do this once i become a catechumen though.  The church I attend, i know their beliefs about the Eucharist and they do take it very serious. I wouldbt be surprised if they one day took steps to become an official Orthodox parish.  Half the people there want to be Orthodox! For now, I dont have a problem taking it there.  But in a more modern protestant setting, where we just use grape juice and bread from kroger (remember, wine is of the devil!!) i just couldnt do it.  Its just not the same.
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« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2011, 11:49:01 PM »

Quote

I had a couple of thoughts while reading this, such as why condescend to kids and assume that they are incapable of true worship? And, why is worship supposed to be loud and fun?

i guess it still comes down to what you believe is true worship.  i dont necessarily think worship should be limited to the DL.  I even believe I saw genuine worship tonight.  My prayer before I do these things is always that people would see through the instruments, stage, loud sound system and lights and truly encounter God.  I dont see why God cant be present in those places. 
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« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2011, 11:53:46 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So, remember, Im not Orthodox (though I want to be), and Im not even a catechumen yet.

I have a weekly Tuesday night "gig" with my band at a HUGE baptist church (tens of thousands) in my area.  I looked at tomorrows schedule and set list that was sent out and saw that they are having communion tomorrow.  This hasnt ever been a problem for me in the past because 1) baptist churches rarely take communion and 2) i just recently got serious about Orthodoxy.

My dilemma is that I typically wouldnt want to take it there, but I dont feel like it would go over well if I didnt.  I dont know what to do!  Im even in a position of leadership since I am in the band.  At an Orthodox or RC church, its normal, and rather common i guess for people to decline the elements, since people who arent part of the church arent allowed anyways.  Here, everyone is allowed as long as your a Christian.  I feel like it would raise some serious questions amongst people who are in charge of my paycheck if I didnt.  Also, it would raise some questions among people in my band, who doesnt really know about my interest in Orthodoxy.  (mainly because they are Protestant and know very little about Church history. I havent had the opportunity to really lay it out there...)

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, I dont want to say the name of the Church as I am trying to keep this post under the radar.  If you know where I am from, and have a guess at what church this is, please keep it to yourself.  Thanks!!!

This is God working through your situation to help you discover the core of Orthodox in your heart if such is to be.  You can fellowship with Baptists and Protestants, make music and attend festivals, but your only cheating them in the long run if you continue in a position of leadership, because while you may both agree mutually to be considered Christians, Orthodox and Protestants have radically different Mission Statements, and unfortunately you'll inevitably have to choose.  We all do one way or other.. 

You don't have to leave your community because of this, but you and they all will in time have to recognize this fact if you become Orthodox.  If you are not Orthodox, there is no problem with you participating with their "Memorial Supper" however, if your heart is pulling you away from that, then you already know the answers.  I support you in prayer wherever God leads you, I know how hard it is both to navigate your place in a new Orthodox community while maintaining your appropriate roles in your previous communities, work, social, religious, family etc etc.  God can bridge all gaps, but we have to work in synergy with Him, and we have to be honest with everyone including ourselves.

Also, God is in charge of your paycheck, but if part of your job is to perform religious services you are uncomfortable with, then perhaps its time to pray towards a career change Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

im generally not uncomfortable with the services.  I do see people who are growing in faith and, as a priest told me, if people seem to be genuinely growing closer to God then leave them alone even if its a protestant church.  He did say that he thinks they would be more complete if they were Orthodox!

As far as finding a new career, i cant even imagine.  I would be miserable.  I really do love what i do, and personally i dont have a problem with loud music at these special events and camps so i see no reason to stop.  And more importantly, i have seen many of lives changed and many kids make decisions to follow Christ at these events.  Of course, it has nothing to do with me but everything to do with God.  Im not one to judge their hearts and determine whether it was genuine or not just because it wasnt in an Orthodox setting.

But i do appreciate the input and i certainly didnt feel comfortable communing there... so i didnt.  it went over fine too!! Smiley
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« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2011, 12:01:56 AM »

Timon...so much around this!  We all want to share our thoughts!  What a truly great question you have asked!

One thing I do want to point out ...and this just my experience but others may have experienced it...
Once I did get serious the Holy Spirit had me just longing to partake of the Holy Mysteries...Communion..in the right or orthodox manner.  This became very powerful for me, leaving our chapel at the cry of 'catechumens depart' was very good for my journey and inquiry phase.  After the incident I wrote about earlier I stopped going to the RCC church and partaking in the Eucharist...because as Thomas  says...
I sort of wanted to really involve myself in Holy Orthodoxy.

I went back one time in April with my daughter...We went to the Cathedral in the nearest big city.  It was such a dry experience for me...all I could think of was why are there so many altar girls...I really missed the DL reverence, incense...and worshipfulness!  ( is that a word?)

you will find yourself not wanting to partake in this way with other denominations and I believe that The Lord will find ways to help you deal with the situations as they arise. Pray! I am proud of you for taking it so seriously.

Oh - Well done....I just saw that you got through it!!  Good for you Timon!
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« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2011, 01:09:33 AM »

Update:

So the situation couldnt have been any more awkward.  I found out that we were going to be on stage playing our instruments lightly while it was happening.  Thought i was off the hook....

Then, in our meeting before the service in the "green room" the college pastor had our own bread and juice for us to take.  He served it to everybody.  There were about 10 of us in this little room.  Only band mates and some people running sound/lights/etc.

I didnt know what to do or how i'd get out of it.  I truly did feel like i shouldnt take it there.  When he came to me, I just told him that I was going to have to decline.  Some people saw me, but i really didnt care.  Later, I told the guy that I wasnt trying to be a jerk and that I was just dealing with some certain issues and I didnt feel right about taking it.  He was COMPLETELY cool with it.  I actually feel bad for creating these imaginary scenarios in my head now.  These really are good folks, even if we do have some differences regarding church.
I've actually been in that situation, so I can relate. In May of 1999, I joined the concert band at my alma mater for a three-week tour of China, since the band director needed another trombonist. On the last night of our tour before we were to fly out of Hong Kong back to the States, the band had an impromptu communion service in the lobby of our hotel floor. Since I had already been chrismated by this time, I could do nothing but withdraw into the corner and refrain from participating in their service. I really hadn't adjusted well to the travel demands of the trip, so I often came across to the others as rather cantankerous and intransigent, which led the band chaplains to wonder if I had withdrawn from their communion service because I had something against someone in the band. They understood when I told them I withdrew only because my Orthodox faith tradition wouldn't allow me to receive communion with them. It was a rather awkward moment for all concerned, but I'm happy they understood my situation, just as I'm happy your band understood your decision.
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« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2011, 01:14:50 AM »

Update:

So the situation couldnt have been any more awkward.  I found out that we were going to be on stage playing our instruments lightly while it was happening.  Thought i was off the hook....

Then, in our meeting before the service in the "green room" the college pastor had our own bread and juice for us to take.  He served it to everybody.  There were about 10 of us in this little room.  Only band mates and some people running sound/lights/etc.

I didnt know what to do or how i'd get out of it.  I truly did feel like i shouldnt take it there.  When he came to me, I just told him that I was going to have to decline.  Some people saw me, but i really didnt care.  Later, I told the guy that I wasnt trying to be a jerk and that I was just dealing with some certain issues and I didnt feel right about taking it.  He was COMPLETELY cool with it.  I actually feel bad for creating these imaginary scenarios in my head now.  These really are good folks, even if we do have some differences regarding church.
I've actually been in that situation, so I can relate. In May of 1999, I joined the concert band at my alma mater for a three-week tour of China, since the band director needed another trombonist. On the last night of our tour before we were to fly out of Hong Kong back to the States, the band had an impromptu communion service in the lobby of our hotel floor. Since I had already been chrismated by this time, I could do nothing but withdraw into the corner and refrain from participating in their service. I really hadn't adjusted well to the travel demands of the trip, so I often came across to the others as rather cantankerous and intransigent, which led the band chaplains to wonder if I had withdrawn from their communion service because I had something against someone in the band. They understood when I told them I withdrew only because my Orthodox faith tradition wouldn't allow me to receive communion with them. It was a rather awkward moment for all concerned, but I'm happy they understood my situation, just as I'm happy your band understood your decision.

yup. very similar! although, a tour of China would be fun... our drummer has done it as he was in a well known band from the 90s...

anyways, im glad everyone was understanding.  i didnt really talk to my band about it, but im not sure they are going to ask. they may not have noticed or just dont care. they know my beliefs have gotten a little "weird" haha.
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« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2011, 07:05:48 AM »

Update:

....

I didnt know what to do or how i'd get out of it.  I truly did feel like i shouldnt take it there.  When he came to me, I just told him that I was going to have to decline.  Some people saw me, but i really didnt care.  Later, I told the guy that I wasnt trying to be a jerk and that I was just dealing with some certain issues and I didnt feel right about taking it.  He was COMPLETELY cool with it.  I actually feel bad for creating these imaginary scenarios in my head now.  These really are good folks, even if we do have some differences regarding church.

Thanks for the update. You handled the situation well. But your concerns were justified so there's no reason to feel bad about wondering how it would all play out. Good work. And thank God that you're working with reasonable people! You undoubtedly left a good impression on them too.
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« Reply #42 on: September 28, 2011, 10:10:22 AM »

Quote

I had a couple of thoughts while reading this, such as why condescend to kids and assume that they are incapable of true worship? And, why is worship supposed to be loud and fun?

i guess it still comes down to what you believe is true worship.  i dont necessarily think worship should be limited to the DL.  I even believe I saw genuine worship tonight.  My prayer before I do these things is always that people would see through the instruments, stage, loud sound system and lights and truly encounter God.   I dont see why God cant be present in those places. 

The bolded part is precisely the point - people have to get past all the noise, instruments, stage, lights and all the rest. They are a distraction. God is probably present in those places - the music is just too loud for anyone to hear Him!  Wink

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« Reply #43 on: September 28, 2011, 10:36:53 AM »

Quote

I had a couple of thoughts while reading this, such as why condescend to kids and assume that they are incapable of true worship? And, why is worship supposed to be loud and fun?

i guess it still comes down to what you believe is true worship.  i dont necessarily think worship should be limited to the DL.  I even believe I saw genuine worship tonight.  My prayer before I do these things is always that people would see through the instruments, stage, loud sound system and lights and truly encounter God.   I dont see why God cant be present in those places. 
The bolded part is precisely the point - people have to get past all the noise, instruments, stage, lights and all the rest. They are a distraction. God is probably present in those places - the music is just too loud for anyone to hear Him!  Wink
Timon, I think katherineofdixie is exactly correct here. Loud noises and bright lights in the face sounds more like the scenes in movies where they're trying to force a confession or just plain torture a person.

One of the things that I have appreciated about Orthodoxy is that we are clear that God does indeed reach us through the physical world. That's why we make such a big deal out of icons, architecture, the Sacraments, etc.
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« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2011, 01:45:24 PM »

Quote

I had a couple of thoughts while reading this, such as why condescend to kids and assume that they are incapable of true worship? And, why is worship supposed to be loud and fun?

i guess it still comes down to what you believe is true worship.  i dont necessarily think worship should be limited to the DL.  I even believe I saw genuine worship tonight.  My prayer before I do these things is always that people would see through the instruments, stage, loud sound system and lights and truly encounter God.   I dont see why God cant be present in those places. 
The bolded part is precisely the point - people have to get past all the noise, instruments, stage, lights and all the rest. They are a distraction. God is probably present in those places - the music is just too loud for anyone to hear Him!  Wink
Timon, I think katherineofdixie is exactly correct here. Loud noises and bright lights in the face sounds more like the scenes in movies where they're trying to force a confession or just plain torture a person.

One of the things that I have appreciated about Orthodoxy is that we are clear that God does indeed reach us through the physical world. That's why we make such a big deal out of icons, architecture, the Sacraments, etc.

i agree with you guys. but at the same time, this baptist church of tens of thousands of people isnt just going to change its ways.  at the end of the day, i believe people still worshipped. with these people who have no knowledge of Orthodoxy, im not sure how effective it would be to just have a liturgical service out of nowhere. ive certainly had all of the concerns youve mentioned for a while now. but like i said, ive seen worship in these environments, and i love the opportunity to be apart of it. i realize it may sound contradictory to my interest in Orthodoxy, but thats part of the dilemma im in.  i just dont think i could, or would necessarily need to, walk away from what i love doing even if i became Orthodox.  i would even argue that God has blessed me with the opportunity to travel and lead worship for young people, and even provide for my family in the process...

hope im not completely wrong here...

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