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Author Topic: Strongly drawn to orthodoxy. Advice would be appreciated.  (Read 1121 times) Average Rating: 0
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WanderingPilgrim
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« on: February 21, 2012, 11:30:55 PM »

Hello all,

I have been drawn to holy orthodoxy for the past 3 years and am thinking of taking the plunge and begin attending as an inquirer regularly, with the hopes of converting, and finally finding what I have been searching for. I'd like to share a little background about myself and maybe some of you fine folks can give me advice on proceeding.

-30 years old.
-grew up in a mix of Assemblies of God and pentecostal churches. Baptized in trinitarian form.
-been going through a spiritually dark and soul searching time for quite awhile.
-family is nominally christian, mom is the most serious about it.
-Have been to half a dozen divine liturgiesr including pascha before I moved about a year ago. Parish was OCA.
-Have read Metropolitan KALLISTOS books, becoming orthodox and some early church fathers. Also listen to ancient faith radio regularly.
-Married(sacramentally) to a wonderful, devout  Roman Catholic. She is spiritually inspiring.  She is very supportive since I told her of my draw to Orthodoxy, even said she suspected for awhile. Also wanted to attend with me to support me.
- there are 2 parishes, each about 30 minutes from my house, one is antiochian the other is OCA.

So. Thats the readers digest version. I'd love any advice you folks could give.

Thanks in advance.

P.s. please forgive grammar or spelling this was done on my iPad.
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Seraphim98
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 11:38:26 PM »

Why not pray about it with your wife, visit both parishes over the course of a month or so and get a feel for the people, priest, and parish life there, pray some more, if there's a particular saint you feel drawn too, ask for their prayers, then pick a priest to deepen your conversation with.  Then whichever one the Lord shows you is where you should be, go there and approach the priest about becoming a catechumen. May the thrice blessed and all Holy Trinity prosper your journey.
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2012, 12:20:04 AM »

First, welcome to the forum. Second, man does your story remind me of my own.  Smiley They are both good churches, the Antiochian church we go to even has an OCA priest who attends there as his home parish and backs up the Antiochian priest. Seraphim's advice is very good, be surrendered to God and He will guide you to the best place for you. Enjoy your journey.
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2012, 09:57:29 AM »

Hello and welcome!  angel I also think you should visit both parishes. Best of luck.  angel
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2012, 10:55:50 AM »

What are you waiting for???!!!! Wink

But seriously, if you feel drawn to Orthodoxy, the only way to find out is to immerse yourself in the life of the Church, attend as many services and activities as you can. I too was hesitant at first - principally because I had a sneaking suspicions that if Orthodoxy was the Truth, if it was indeed the One True Holy and Apostolic Church, then my life was going to change. A lot.

(p.s. I was right!)
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2012, 11:10:43 AM »

Welcome, WanderingPilgrim! 

I can't add anything as far as advice is concerned. 

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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 02:26:34 AM »

May God grant you many blessings in your journey.

My only two cents (and that may be overstating it) is that Orthodoxy is more of a marathon than a sprint.   You'll get a lot of different opinions on this board regarding how often to attend, how and when to partake of the Eucharist, proper dress, etc.   Your Parish Priest is the best source.   Build your self slowly and purposely in the Faith.  Ask your Priest to pair you up with someone.  And, remember you are not going to be just part of the Orthodox Faith, but you'll be part of a community of fellow believers.  Be sure you feel comfortable with them, whether they are Antiochian or OCA.   Your comfort level and relationships with your fellow parishioners often plays a very vital role in your ability to sustain your Faith, because we need each other.  None of us alone are strong enough run the race alone.
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 11:02:37 PM »

Welcome to the forum.

I really cannot add much beyond what others have already stated, but if this is where you feel that God has lead you, don't give it any more thought and go to one of the churches.  Do so this weekend.  You might want to find out if either church has a Vespers where you can get a "feel" for how Orthodox worship sounds.  You cannot be Orthodox from reading books. I've read a lot of constitutional Law books but I'm no constitutional lawyer...not by a long shot.

Good luck.
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 11:43:01 AM »

What are you waiting for???!!!! Wink

But seriously, if you feel drawn to Orthodoxy, the only way to find out is to immerse yourself in the life of the Church, attend as many services and activities as you can. I too was hesitant at first - principally because I had a sneaking suspicions that if Orthodoxy was the Truth, if it was indeed the One True Holy and Apostolic Church, then my life was going to change. A lot.

(p.s. I was right!)
This.

Also — and this is something I think every potential convert should ask themselves — what is it about Orthodoxy that you are drawn to? Acknowledging a starting point goes a long way to figuring out what it is you want and how you are going to get there.
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 12:00:08 PM »

Welcome Pilgrim! May the Lord guide you and your wife in your spiritual journey. I see that you have already tested the waters by attending a number of Divine Liturgies in the past. May I suggest that you now try to wade a bit further by attending Saturday night vespers, as well as weekday Lenten services?

Speaking of Lent, this coming Saturday evening we will have Forgiveness Vespers, a most meaningful and moving service that kicks off Great Lent but happens only once a year. BTW, if you have attended Protestant revivals in the past, our Lenten services are similar in their intensity and emphasis on repentance but will be drastically different in form and much richer in theological content. The coming week, in particular, will be chuck full of them, similar to Holy Week that precedes Pascha. Finally, have you read Great Lent by Father Alexander Schmemann? IMHO, this is the best book in English on the subject and, even though it is not Orthodoxy 101, I have a feeling that you may benefit from.
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WanderingPilgrim
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2012, 09:01:08 PM »

Hello,

I just wanted to thank all of you for your input. I finally got past the anxiety and went to the local OCA church for a Vespers service with my wife, I loved, she loved it, it was a win all around. I meet 2 of the 6 priests that serve the parish and I am leaving my home shortly to attend Vespers again and have a meeting with the head priest after Vespers. Thanks again to all.
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 09:33:20 PM »

Wonderful news, WanderingPilgrim!  I'm very glad that you and your family had such a positive experience. 

Glory to God!
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 10:01:59 PM »

What kinda church can afford six priests?!?!?!?!  Shocked Shocked Shocked
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2012, 10:59:01 PM »

Glad to hear it went well. God be praised.
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 12:37:01 AM »

What kinda church can afford six priests?!?!?!?!  Shocked Shocked Shocked

One with four thousand people?  This really is a good question, I've never heard of a parish with so many priests.
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2012, 12:03:14 AM »

My only advice is to make sure that your pursuit of Orthodoxy is done in order to more fully pursue Christ Hmself. I came to Orthodoxy in order to ensure that I was able to be correct, and to know that I could find the correct answer when I needed one. I soon learned how wrong I was for making that my pursuit.
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2012, 04:08:51 AM »

It looks to me as though you're persuing an appropriate path to Orthodoxy.  Pick whichever of the two parishes that you are near which you like best; both are Holy Orthodox Churches; and follow the guidance of the parish priest. Your post demonstrates a maturity beyond your years.

My prayers and best wishes for your entry into Holy Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2012, 04:37:36 AM »

What kinda church can afford six priests?!?!?!?!  Shocked Shocked Shocked

One with four thousand people?  This really is a good question, I've never heard of a parish with so many priests.
A monastery?
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2012, 05:53:22 AM »

Quote
Man does your story remind me of my own. 
+1.  Comparing...

 -30 years old.
     33 when I found Orthodoxy
-grew up in a mix of Assemblies of God and pentecostal churches. Baptized in trinitarian form.
     Grew up Southern Baptist
-been going through a spiritually dark and soul searching time for quite awhile.
     Never dark, I don't think, but I spent many years searching.
-family is nominally christian, mom is the most serious about it.
     Family strongly Christian, but not Orthodox.
-Have been to half a dozen divine liturgiesr including pascha...
     That's about how many I'd attended when I knew it was right.
-Have read Metropolitan KALLISTOS books, becoming orthodox and some early church fathers. Also listen to ancient faith radio regularly.
     Same, though I didn't find AFR until years later.
-Married(sacramentally) to a wonderful, devout  Roman Catholic. She is spiritually inspiring.  She is very supportive since I told her of my draw to Orthodoxy, even said she suspected for awhile. Also wanted to attend with me to support me.
     Wife grew up in communist eastern Europe, outside the Church.  We found Orthodoxy together.
- there are 2 parishes, each about 30 minutes from my house, one is antiochian the other is OCA.
     One was Antiochian, one was Greek, though both were ~10 minutes away.

Today, I can't imagine not being Orthodox.
 May you enjoy and be blessed in your quest.
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2012, 06:11:40 AM »

What kinda church can afford six priests?!?!?!?!  Shocked Shocked Shocked

One with four thousand people?  This really is a good question, I've never heard of a parish with so many priests.

I think mine has 4-5-6 priests.. It is a big Church a cathedral with room for thousands.
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