Author Topic: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...  (Read 2010 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline charis

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« on: October 01, 2011, 07:39:01 PM »
Greetings all!

I have recently whole-heartedly come to realize the truth of the Orthodox Church but still have yet to attend a Divine Liturgy. I have attended a Vespers service at a local Serbian Orthodox church nearby and loved it. Best part is it is only an EASY one hour walk from my home (I cannot drive as I have epilepsy and my family also does not drive.)

My problem... There is an Greek Orthodox church about 6 miles away (vs the Serbian which is only 2 miles) and I would need to take public transportation to or walk for 3 hours there. Not happening. I do indeed know that the Serbian is just as valid and Orthodox as the Greek and I can go to either. And with my transportation issue, it would seem logical to go to the Serbian church. HOWEVER beyond rationality and keeping in mind I loved my one experience with the Serbian church, I feel drawn to the Greek. More of an issue to get there but it feels like the one I should go too. And from what I know, both the Serbian and Greek would not have any language barriers as the services in both are completely in English with the majority of members being English speaking. Therefore I cannot use that as a deciding factor.

Also my preference for the Greek is not ethnically based as I am mixed black/caucasian with American heritage for quite a few generations. So ethnicity is no issue.

Now if you are wondering what my dillema is, it boils down to what would you do in my position? Just go to the Serbian church being closer and in walking distance? Or rely on public transportation to go the Greek church farther away? Again, I know this is an odd dilemma and most would not understand what the issue for me is. I just can't understand why I feel I should prefer the Greek church when they teach the same and ultimately ARE the same.

I hope I am making sense to someone and possibly get some advice. BTW, I have talked with the priest at both churches by phone and email and they are very friendly. Also those two churches are the only Orthodox churches within 40 miles of me. So those are my only options, although I am glad they are my only options.  ;)

Please help and thank you in advance!
"As in Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive."
1 Cor. 15:22 - E.O.B.

Offline William

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,360
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 07:44:22 PM »
Any particular reason you can nail down as to why you're drawn to the Greek parish?
Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

Offline Maria

  • Boldly Proclaiming True Orthodox Christianity
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,023
  • O most Holy Theotokos, save us.
    • Saint Euphrosynos Cafe Discussion Forum
  • Faith: TrueGenuine Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOC under Archbishop Stephanos
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2011, 07:52:26 PM »
Although I love the Serbian people, and have visited the Serbian Orthodox Church several times and dearly loved the services there, I could not become a member because some members smoke outside while the Divine Liturgy is going on. The smoke enters then enters the church whenever someone opens the door. As I come down with serious asthma attacks when exposed to tobacco smoke, I cannot go there anymore. The Priest faces a dilemma, and he told me that he cannot discourage people from smoking or they would not come to church at all. Many of his parishioners smoke. In fact, he told me that it is a common joke that the men who smoke outside take their wives to church so that the wives can pray for the husbands inside the church. That is true. :) The men will be saved by the prayers of their wives.

I have not yet encountered a Greek Orthodox Church where people smoke immediately outside the doors to the Church.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 07:56:01 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,656
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 07:53:51 PM »
If I were you, I'd contact the Greek parish and tell them what you've told us and see if they can give you a ride to services. Try the services there for a while and see how you like them. You certainly don't have to make the decision right away.

May God bless you  :)!
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,656
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 07:55:16 PM »
Although I love the Serbian people, and have visited the Serbian Orthodox Church several times and dearly loved the services there, I could not become a member because some members smoke outside while the Divine Liturgy is going on. The smoke enters then enters the church whenever someone opens the door. As I come down with serious asthma attacks when exposed to tobacco smoke, I cannot go there anymore. The Priest faces a dilemma, and he told me that he cannot discourage people from smoking or they would not come to church at all. Many of his parishioners smoke.
Is this true of a lot of Serbian parishes?
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Maria

  • Boldly Proclaiming True Orthodox Christianity
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,023
  • O most Holy Theotokos, save us.
    • Saint Euphrosynos Cafe Discussion Forum
  • Faith: TrueGenuine Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOC under Archbishop Stephanos
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2011, 07:57:47 PM »
Although I love the Serbian people, and have visited the Serbian Orthodox Church several times and dearly loved the services there, I could not become a member because some members smoke outside while the Divine Liturgy is going on. The smoke enters then enters the church whenever someone opens the door. As I come down with serious asthma attacks when exposed to tobacco smoke, I cannot go there anymore. The Priest faces a dilemma, and he told me that he cannot discourage people from smoking or they would not come to church at all. Many of his parishioners smoke.
Is this true of a lot of Serbian parishes?

I do not know. Here in Los Angeles, it is certainly true, but many of the smokers are from the old country and they became addicted to tobacco when living under the Soviet yoke. It was a hellish experience. Smoking was one way of escaping reality.

I would suggest that the OP visit both churches SEVERAL times before making a commitment to either parish.
Personally, I found the Serbian people to be wonderful.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 08:01:10 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline Russell

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 173
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 07:59:50 PM »
We started with the closest.

After our first Divine Liturgy we decided to stay.

Mathe 24:36

Offline charis

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 08:04:50 PM »
Any particular reason you can nail down as to why you're drawn to the Greek parish?

Absolutely not. I wish I could say yes. As I said, it is not rational. I told my fiance about this (who herself is non-Christian) and she joked saying perhaps I am being spiritually moved to to attend the Greek church. Without wanting to sound sensational I am almost willing to believe that. But on the other hand, I cannot come to completely believe that for the reasons stated in my post. You see my confusion? If... and this is a big if... I am supposed to go to the Greek one, I will but the Serbian is so much closer.

And Maria, as for the issue of smokers at the Serbian church, as I said, I have only been to the Vespers service so I do not know if that would be an issue. However I could see how that could be a major turn-off for you. I will likely attend both several times as you suggest but just was hoping to get to the one where I "belong"... I hope.

Russell, I am glad you had the good fortune to find your home at the closest. Perhaps when I go to the Divine Liturgy at the Serbian church I will want to stay as well.  :-)

Volnutt, your idea is a very good one. The only reason I have not asked for a ride is because they have not gotten to know me much and I didn't want to impose in such a way. It feels uncomfortable to ask. No reason I can't, I just didn't want to appear rude. I will likely take your advice though.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 08:05:44 PM by charis »
"As in Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive."
1 Cor. 15:22 - E.O.B.

Offline charis

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2011, 08:07:53 PM »
BTW, you guys are awesome! I did not expect such immediate responses. Thank you all so much!!!
"As in Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive."
1 Cor. 15:22 - E.O.B.

Offline William

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,360
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2011, 08:38:21 PM »
Huh, that's odd. Personally, I'd be thrilled if there was a parish of the Slavic tradition near me as I prefer certain aspects of Slavic praxis (All-night vigils, baptizing most converts, etc). Though my current parish has some practices I like: one really awesome thing about the praxis of the Antiochian tradition is that they feast for the ENTIRETY of the Paschal season and not just Bright Weak (meaning no fasting, even Wednesdays and Fridays, for seven weeks).  :)

Anyway, both churches presumably have catholicity. Maybe you should consider checking whether both parishes are canonical? That's the only real reason why you'd be better off not going to the Serbian parish that I can think of. Otherwise, your being drawn to the Greek parish for no obvious reason is arbitrary and is imposing a transportation difficulty on you. I'd disregard it and enjoy the Serbian parish.
Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,656
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2011, 08:43:14 PM »
Any particular reason you can nail down as to why you're drawn to the Greek parish?

Absolutely not. I wish I could say yes. As I said, it is not rational. I told my fiance about this (who herself is non-Christian) and she joked saying perhaps I am being spiritually moved to to attend the Greek church. Without wanting to sound sensational I am almost willing to believe that. But on the other hand, I cannot come to completely believe that for the reasons stated in my post. You see my confusion? If... and this is a big if... I am supposed to go to the Greek one, I will but the Serbian is so much closer.

And Maria, as for the issue of smokers at the Serbian church, as I said, I have only been to the Vespers service so I do not know if that would be an issue. However I could see how that could be a major turn-off for you. I will likely attend both several times as you suggest but just was hoping to get to the one where I "belong"... I hope.

Russell, I am glad you had the good fortune to find your home at the closest. Perhaps when I go to the Divine Liturgy at the Serbian church I will want to stay as well.  :-)

Volnutt, your idea is a very good one. The only reason I have not asked for a ride is because they have not gotten to know me much and I didn't want to impose in such a way. It feels uncomfortable to ask. No reason I can't, I just didn't want to appear rude. I will likely take your advice though.
I know how you feel about not wanting to seem rude. If you explain, I'm sure they'll understand though :).
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline LizaSymonenko

  • Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hoplitarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 15,714
    • St.Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2011, 08:48:47 PM »
I have been to both Greek and Serbian, and loved them both!

I would agree that Slavic flavor of the Serbian Church appealed a bit more to me (only because that is what I grew up with), however, I found the Greek to be just as fulfilling.

Neither church had smokers anywhere that I could see (or smell).  I am thinking having smokers just outside the main doors is not a common occurrence.

Charis, I suggest you bite the bullet, get on a bus and go try the Greek Church.  It seems you are drawn to it for some reason.  Perhaps, once you have experienced it, the novelty will wear off and you will be just as happy in the Serbian Church.

They truly are one and the same Church.

May the Lord help you on your journey!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 08:49:31 PM by LizaSymonenko »
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline charis

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2011, 09:03:08 PM »
Volnutt, you are probably correct that they will understand. I have some bus money and what I intend to do is go to the Greek parish tomorrow and perhaps as LizaSymonenko said the "novelty" will wear off and I will be just as happy at the Serbian parish. And assuming that would be the case it would be a non-issue and taking William's advice, I could just simply discard this feeling as it is true that I am imposing an apparently unnecessary transportation issue onto myself.

I really do appreciate all the input. Thank you all.
"As in Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive."
1 Cor. 15:22 - E.O.B.

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,656
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2011, 09:48:45 PM »
You're welcome  :)
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline orthonorm

  • BANNED for rules violations
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,715
  • Ad Aluminum!
  • Faith: DSM 5
  • Jurisdiction: Apostle to the Church of ASD
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2011, 09:52:15 PM »
Although I love the Serbian people, and have visited the Serbian Orthodox Church several times and dearly loved the services there, I could not become a member because some members smoke outside while the Divine Liturgy is going on. The smoke enters then enters the church whenever someone opens the door. As I come down with serious asthma attacks when exposed to tobacco smoke, I cannot go there anymore. The Priest faces a dilemma, and he told me that he cannot discourage people from smoking or they would not come to church at all. Many of his parishioners smoke. In fact, he told me that it is a common joke that the men who smoke outside take their wives to church so that the wives can pray for the husbands inside the church. That is true. :) The men will be saved by the prayers of their wives.

I have not yet encountered a Greek Orthodox Church where people smoke immediately outside the doors to the Church.

Weird. Smoke does nil to my asthma. But the incense plays a number on it.

Maybe not weird since my asthma is basically of the allergic kind and the kind certain athletes are more likely to get: exercise induced.


Offline orthonorm

  • BANNED for rules violations
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,715
  • Ad Aluminum!
  • Faith: DSM 5
  • Jurisdiction: Apostle to the Church of ASD
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2011, 09:54:20 PM »
Serbs for the win!

Srsly. I love Serbians. Can't help it.

Check out both. Great advice above.

Offline Maria

  • Boldly Proclaiming True Orthodox Christianity
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,023
  • O most Holy Theotokos, save us.
    • Saint Euphrosynos Cafe Discussion Forum
  • Faith: TrueGenuine Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: GOC under Archbishop Stephanos
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2011, 10:52:54 PM »
Although I love the Serbian people, and have visited the Serbian Orthodox Church several times and dearly loved the services there, I could not become a member because some members smoke outside while the Divine Liturgy is going on. The smoke enters then enters the church whenever someone opens the door. As I come down with serious asthma attacks when exposed to tobacco smoke, I cannot go there anymore. The Priest faces a dilemma, and he told me that he cannot discourage people from smoking or they would not come to church at all. Many of his parishioners smoke. In fact, he told me that it is a common joke that the men who smoke outside take their wives to church so that the wives can pray for the husbands inside the church. That is true. :) The men will be saved by the prayers of their wives.

I have not yet encountered a Greek Orthodox Church where people smoke immediately outside the doors to the Church.

Weird. Smoke does nil to my asthma. But the incense plays a number on it.

Maybe not weird since my asthma is basically of the allergic kind and the kind certain athletes are more likely to get: exercise induced.



Smoke can kill me due to my allergies. I have been hospitalized for asthma and hives.

Some incense flavors like Rose can cause serious allergic headaches and even asthma.

In spite of this fact, I love the Serbian spirit and her people.

Oh, an interesting fact. When I have attended the Divine Liturgy in Serbian parishes, I have heard Greek, Slavonic, Serbian, and English. They are really polyglots.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 10:56:40 PM by Maria »
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline NicholasMyra

  • Antivoluntarist evangelist
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,797
    • Hyperdox Herman
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Partially-overlapping
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2011, 01:07:13 AM »
Any particular reason you can nail down as to why you're drawn to the Greek parish?

Absolutely not. I wish I could say yes. As I said, it is not rational. I told my fiance about this (who herself is non-Christian) and she joked saying perhaps I am being spiritually moved to to attend the Greek church. Without wanting to sound sensational I am almost willing to believe that. But on the other hand, I cannot come to completely believe that for the reasons stated in my post. You see my confusion? If... and this is a big if... I am supposed to go to the Greek one, I will but the Serbian is so much closer.

Serbia was part of the Byzantine Empire, which was very Hellenistic. It also received generations of Greek cultural oppression under the Phanariotes (Turk-appointed Greek Aristocrats and their culture) during the Turkish oppression of Europe.

So you might see more Greek-ish stuff there than you expect.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 01:07:51 AM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Strategos
  • ******************
  • Posts: 41,470
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2011, 01:47:49 AM »
Greetings all!

I have recently whole-heartedly come to realize the truth of the Orthodox Church but still have yet to attend a Divine Liturgy. I have attended a Vespers service at a local Serbian Orthodox church nearby and loved it. Best part is it is only an EASY one hour walk from my home (I cannot drive as I have epilepsy and my family also does not drive.)

My problem... There is an Greek Orthodox church about 6 miles away (vs the Serbian which is only 2 miles) and I would need to take public transportation to or walk for 3 hours there. Not happening. I do indeed know that the Serbian is just as valid and Orthodox as the Greek and I can go to either. And with my transportation issue, it would seem logical to go to the Serbian church. HOWEVER beyond rationality and keeping in mind I loved my one experience with the Serbian church, I feel drawn to the Greek. More of an issue to get there but it feels like the one I should go too. And from what I know, both the Serbian and Greek would not have any language barriers as the services in both are completely in English with the majority of members being English speaking. Therefore I cannot use that as a deciding factor.

Also my preference for the Greek is not ethnically based as I am mixed black/caucasian with American heritage for quite a few generations. So ethnicity is no issue.

Now if you are wondering what my dillema is, it boils down to what would you do in my position? Just go to the Serbian church being closer and in walking distance? Or rely on public transportation to go the Greek church farther away? Again, I know this is an odd dilemma and most would not understand what the issue for me is. I just can't understand why I feel I should prefer the Greek church when they teach the same and ultimately ARE the same.

I hope I am making sense to someone and possibly get some advice. BTW, I have talked with the priest at both churches by phone and email and they are very friendly. Also those two churches are the only Orthodox churches within 40 miles of me. So those are my only options, although I am glad they are my only options.  ;)

Please help and thank you in advance!

Praise God you have any option, let alone two.  Many come to Orthodoxy, and no a Church to be found for hours away.

(btw, I was just in DeKalb, a small town in IL (people might remember it for the Northern Illinois U shooting), and was thrilled to stumble across a Greek Church).

If you feel drawn to the Greek Church, go there. Why not?  Baklava is made from Iran to Serbia, but it differs from place to place although it is all baklava.  Nothing wrong with having a preference.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

  • Site Supporter
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,449
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2011, 01:57:40 AM »
If I were you, I'd contact the Greek parish and tell them what you've told us and see if they can give you a ride to services. Try the services there for a while and see how you like them. You certainly don't have to make the decision right away.

May God bless you  :)!

This is a good idea!  Most parishes, I imagine, are like my own.  If you called Father and told him you didn't have a ride, he would come pick you up before you had the chance to hang up the phone!

Offline akimori makoto

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,125
  • No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2011, 02:30:15 AM »
Any particular reason you can nail down as to why you're drawn to the Greek parish?

Absolutely not. I wish I could say yes. As I said, it is not rational. I told my fiance about this (who herself is non-Christian) and she joked saying perhaps I am being spiritually moved to to attend the Greek church. Without wanting to sound sensational I am almost willing to believe that. But on the other hand, I cannot come to completely believe that for the reasons stated in my post. You see my confusion? If... and this is a big if... I am supposed to go to the Greek one, I will but the Serbian is so much closer.

Serbia was part of the Byzantine Empire, which was very Hellenistic. It also received generations of Greek cultural oppression under the Phanariotes (Turk-appointed Greek Aristocrats and their culture) during the Turkish oppression of Europe.

So you might see more Greek-ish stuff there than you expect.

They have better phelonia, for one.
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline charis

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2011, 04:40:47 PM »
Well I attended the Greek Orthodox church and I am glad I did! I met a few people who had a similar religious background as myself which is an extremely uncommon one in Oregon where I live. Plus a few of the members are epileptic (like me) and understand my situation and I relate to them very well. Plus one of them live a few blocks from me and has offered to give me rides to and from. I was made to feel very welcome and have NEVER been so warmly received by any church in the past as I was today.

I mentioned in my original post I felt like I should be going to the Greek Orthodox church vs the Serbian. Although, they are both Orthodox and valid, I think I am going to trust that feeling and praise God he led me to the right church. Mind you, I will reiterate... I have nothing against the Serbian and was treated kindly there. But I believe the Greek church is my new home.

Thank you all again for your input/advice.

God bless you all.
"As in Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive."
1 Cor. 15:22 - E.O.B.

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,656
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2011, 08:52:57 PM »
I'm so glad you had a good experience!  ;D
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 08:53:09 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Kasatkin fan

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 636
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2011, 09:44:11 PM »
Sounds like what I experienced. Didn't drive, couldn't get drives, trying to decide between two churchs, one (OCA) I could walk to, and one (Greek) I had to take a bus.

The attraction to the Green church was based on cultural interest, but it is a very Greek parish, so I ended up with the OCA parish where I felt more comfortable. Ultimately it is making sure you feel comfortable, and picking a parish. You shouldn't be switching after you've committed to joining the Church, but until you have committed, as you point out, they teach the same thing so it isn't a big deal.

Offline Timon

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,818
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2011, 10:18:27 PM »
Well I attended the Greek Orthodox church and I am glad I did! I met a few people who had a similar religious background as myself which is an extremely uncommon one in Oregon where I live. Plus a few of the members are epileptic (like me) and understand my situation and I relate to them very well. Plus one of them live a few blocks from me and has offered to give me rides to and from. I was made to feel very welcome and have NEVER been so warmly received by any church in the past as I was today.

I mentioned in my original post I felt like I should be going to the Greek Orthodox church vs the Serbian. Although, they are both Orthodox and valid, I think I am going to trust that feeling and praise God he led me to the right church. Mind you, I will reiterate... I have nothing against the Serbian and was treated kindly there. But I believe the Greek church is my new home.

Thank you all again for your input/advice.

God bless you all.

Ive also been checking out the Greek church.  Mainly because theres a couple close by.  I love it so far!
Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

BLOG

Offline PrincessMommy

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 734
  • OCA
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2011, 10:24:00 PM »
Although I love the Serbian people, and have visited the Serbian Orthodox Church several times and dearly loved the services there, I could not become a member because some members smoke outside while the Divine Liturgy is going on. The smoke enters then enters the church whenever someone opens the door. As I come down with serious asthma attacks when exposed to tobacco smoke, I cannot go there anymore. The Priest faces a dilemma, and he told me that he cannot discourage people from smoking or they would not come to church at all. Many of his parishioners smoke.
Is this true of a lot of Serbian parishes?

I've only been to one Serbian service and it was true.

Offline Jason.Wike

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,046
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2011, 10:50:34 PM »
See if anyone drives past your home on their way to both churches and ask if they could help drive you, and experience both before you decide.

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,656
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2011, 10:57:05 PM »
See if anyone drives past your home on their way to both churches and ask if they could help drive you, and experience both before you decide.
He already has.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline peteprint

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 706
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2011, 11:11:52 PM »
If I were you, I'd contact the Greek parish and tell them what you've told us and see if they can give you a ride to services. Try the services there for a while and see how you like them. You certainly don't have to make the decision right away.

May God bless you  :)!

This is a good idea!  Most parishes, I imagine, are like my own.  If you called Father and told him you didn't have a ride, he would come pick you up before you had the chance to hang up the phone!

That was never my experience, sad to say.  Years ago, when I contacted a Russian parish in town by phone, I was told that I might be happier looking elsewhere since the parish was heavily ethnic and I "might not feel at home".

At a later date, I made an appointment to meet with the Greek priest at the main Greek parish; when I arrived (by bus), I was unable to locate the door to the parish office, (the church was locked), and finally returned home and called the church (I had no cell phone), explained the situation to the secretary (the priest was not available to talk) and tried to schedule another meeting.  My later emails to the priest went unanswered.

I am fortunate that the priest at my Serbian parish welcomed me with open arms and is very accepting of converts.  He is a wonderful priest and I am blessed to have found this parish.  It seemed that some of the other parishes in town had no interest if I wanted to become Orthodox or not.

Offline peteprint

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 706
Re: A New Believer Who Has Two Options, One Too Many...
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2011, 11:13:29 PM »
P.S.

The only time anyone ran over to pick me up before I could hang-up the phone was when I called the Marine Corps recruiter in 1978.  He came right over to sign me up!

Also, we did have a problem with people smoking outside the main door (mostly young women).  Father removed the ash trays that previously were right outside the door.

For the OP, I would suggest you go to the Greek parish if you feel drawn to it.  Maybe you will find a home there, or maybe, at some point in the future, you will decide to return to the Serbian.  It is still the same Orthodox Church.  Don't sweat it.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 11:24:21 PM by peteprint »