Thecla, where and how in your story did/does Orthodoxy come into the picture?
I suppose like most serious Anglicans I’m a Latin who wants to be a Greek. If I hadn’t gone into philosophy I would have gone for patristics. I’m also a Byzantine history buff (and a citizen of Byzantium Novum). Right now I’m working (again) on Greek so I can do more on the Greek Fathers of the Church. But this is just what I do for my job—and what got me interested. I’m mentioning it because you asked. I don’t think it serves the Church in any way or that it’s something I have to offer.
I’m interested in Orthodoxy because I am sick of frustration, sick of biting the bullet, sick of fighting. With rare exceptions I’ve discovered when traveling, there isn’t an Episcopal church I can enter without having my teeth set on edge. The whole aim of lots of these churches seems to be to make church less churchy, to eliminate any sense of the holy, and to see to it that the numinous is strictly rationed and restricted to 5 minutes around Communion.
I tried to get involved, tried to get a voice, to get it across that people don’t want or need this. People are looking for “spirituality” but the church is giving them a boring social event. Of course not all people are after that, but those who are wander aimlessly, sheep without a shepherd, poking around into eastern religions or New Age crap, because the church has failed them.
Sometimes, because like most serious Anglicans I am deeply romantic about Greek Christianity, I think: let me just go where I can connect with the liturgy, where I won’t be endlessly angry and frustrated, where I can just be religious. Let me forget about the collapse of Christianity in Europe and the coming collapse in the US (yes, I have the statistics) and just cultivate my garden.
Well I appreciate all the comments. It’s easy enough to learn about history and doctrine, but not so easy to get a sense of how things are on the ground. The range of comments has given me some notion of the diversity of opinion, but also of the preponderance of opinion. I don’t know how representative a sample this is but I confess I’m somewhat unnerved. I’m burnt out with the Episcopal Church and I don’t want to get into a situation where I have to cope with more anger and frustration.
I will certainly read and think about these issues further. Thank you all for your comments.