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Offline Deborah

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Hi,

This is a question that's been playing on my mind for a while, and I'd love to know other inquirers' and converts' experience (only as much as you are comfortable sharing):

1. At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell other people (e.g. wider family, friends, your old church) beyond your immediate family/household?

2. What sort of reactions did you get?

I've been inquiring into Orthodoxy for a few months now and only have a couple of books, some internet reading and a couple of DLs under my belt.  I haven't told anyone else in my family, friends or current church yet.  I'll probably hold off until I know a little more about the faith, or am at the point I can't continue worshipping/receiving communion in my home church in good faith.

Thanks
Deborah
Live in South/East Auckland, Franklin or North Waikato regions of New Zealand? Interested in Orthodoxy? Need transport to an Orthodox Church? Want to meet others? Please send me a PM :)

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Offline biro

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 10:58:59 AM »
Right after I came back from my first day in church.
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 11:08:53 AM »
As soon as I realized I was on the path.  My wife thought I had lost my mind and was joining a cult.

Offline dllwatkins

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 02:11:11 PM »
I was in a rabidly "Charismatic" atmosphere so I really couldn't have a discussion with anyone.  I came back from the UK realizing Christianity is so much older than Azusa Street, but nobody in my church would find that bit of information relevant.

Offline JamesR

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 02:33:31 PM »
The moment I left Protestantism. I told my mom that I was going to be converting to some older form of Christianity; either Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 02:47:48 PM »
Until I was comfortable with it myself and started seriously considering conversion. Several months after I had been a regular attendee. My parents aren't religious, so it didn't really bother them. Had a lot of good discussions with friends, some of whom are now in the process of converting themselves.

I have an uncle that's a low-church Protestant minister. He was unsure for awhile, until we got to talk. It still makes him uncomfortable, but now he's at least convinced that I'm still a Christian and that traditional forms of Christianity are a positive thing...which is a big step forward, since a lot of his Christian formation was from an anti-Catholic background.
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Offline mabsoota

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2012, 06:24:19 AM »
i actually thought the churches were all basically the same, so that joining several would be ok!
after 3 years of enquiry, i realised i was missing something by not taking holy communion, so started to head towards orthodoxy.
by then my friends and family had guessed something was 'up' as i had kept most of them updated.

Offline jmbejdl

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2012, 07:57:16 AM »
I told my brother fairly early on - not sure exactly when but it was over 10 years ago after all. My wife (my fiancee at the start but we were married before I was Chrismated) is cradle Orthodox anyway so there really was nothing much to say. My mother I didn't tell until long after I was Chrismated and I believe it may have actually only have come out after she criticised us (publicly and during the actual service!) for having our son baptised Orthodox. I knew that her reaction would be bad, and it was, and I thought that staying quiet about it would be easier. Looking back on it I should have told her straight away and maybe that way we could have worked out things earlier, but maybe not. I think it took a good 7 or 8 years before she stopped criticising Orthodoxy at every other opportunity and even now I get the impression that her attitude hasn't changed, she's just learned to reign it in around me.

James
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Offline alanscott

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2012, 10:24:13 AM »
Good day Deborah!

I'm not sure weather you welcome my reply or not as I have no intentions of converting, yet, I have no intentions of not converting either. I'm not sure I'm even an ‘inquirer’ per say to Orthodoxy. I simply see myself as a repenting sinner and fool seeking Truth. I believe I have found such in Orthodoxy and hold a profound reverence and respect toward the Orthodox Church. Where this leads I will follow and some how I know in my heart God will guide me in His time and in His way as I believe He has done thus far. 

With that said I don’t hold or recognize any stigmas toward Orthodoxy that may exist. I see my journey as one toward Christ our Lord. I will speak of my faith to anyone that will listen and reference Orthodoxy without thought or concern. I speak of Truth and Understanding I have found in Orthodoxy to immediate family, extended family, Church, and friends. Sadly, many friends could care less to listen and I’m afraid we just don’t spend as much time together any more. He does warn us we will have to leave much behind I guess.

As far as reactions? Keep in mind I pray at a Wesleyan Church so it’s a little different as John Wesley himself held a profound belief in the Orthodoxy. It would be difficult for anyone to discredit Orthodoxy without discrediting (in small part) the very doctrine our Church is founded upon. I have had a couple of ‘strange’ looks but to be honest I think it was as much out of ignorance as any negativity. My Pastor encourages me to learn and grow. Yes, he points me more toward Wesley but also realizes it is difficult to study Wesley without mentioning Orthodoxy, Church Fathers, and Patristic writings. My immediate family: My daughter (20yrs) has begun to make visits to the Orthodox Churches in her area. She also seems to be seeking God without stigmas but with an open heart and mind. My wife is by my side in our journey though she was raised Baptist so more conflicts surface for her both due to Orthodoxy and Wesleyan theology.  She’s working through that just fine though!  Her family I’m guessing might have some raised eye brows but nothing mentioned to my knowledge. My mom was at one point a Church of God once saved always saved woman. I speak to her of my journey, what I am learning, and she herself has now listened to Orthodox sermons on line and I even found a John Wesley sermon she printed out laying on her table. ;) Others like extended family; well, I did hear my aunt say ‘Orthodox? Wow, they are a little too hard core!’ I just smiled.

If I have a point to offer in my reply it is that I am in my infancy spiritual speaking. Should I not share what I am learning without concern of reproach? You have found Truth in Orthodoxy glory to God. The fruits of the Spirit in you will be seen by others. Should they not know where that seed came from?

There will be some that criticize us in His name. That's on them not us.

Well, now in addition to the others you have the opinion of a fool!  ;)
 
God bless you in your journey!
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Offline PrincessMommy

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2012, 10:43:02 AM »
Hi,

This is a question that's been playing on my mind for a while, and I'd love to know other inquirers' and converts' experience (only as much as you are comfortable sharing):

1. At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell other people (e.g. wider family, friends, your old church) beyond your immediate family/household?

2. What sort of reactions did you get?

I've been inquiring into Orthodoxy for a few months now and only have a couple of books, some internet reading and a couple of DLs under my belt.  I haven't told anyone else in my family, friends or current church yet.  I'll probably hold off until I know a little more about the faith, or am at the point I can't continue worshipping/receiving communion in my home church in good faith.

Thanks
Deborah

Certain people knew sooner.  I talked with my previous pastor before I met with the priest.  I thought he should be aware of what was going on.  I *assumed* he'd tell his wife (who I was friendly with), but he didn't.  It caused some hurt feelings.  I didn't reallly talk about it with many people from my previous church mainly because I didn't want to look like I was sheep stealing.  I was never THAT close to anyone at the church anyway.  We'd only been there 4 yrs. 

My sis and her husband knew very soon on because he was helpful in my learning about church history and Church Father's.  They were supportive.

I can't really remember with other family members.  I know my dh's sister wanted me to keep trying Lutheranism since "We believe in the Real Presence" too.  It was hard to explain that it was more than that.  But, there was never any hard pressure to stay Protestant from any family/friends. 

Oh! I just remembered.  I did have one close Prot. friend.  She would call me EVERY Sunday afternoon and ask me, "how was church?"   She IS one of those bull-dog type Protestants who won't let go in an argument.  Since we had left the same church about 5yrs previous she had NEVER done anything like that.  It was way too obvious.  I just brushed her off by telling her what Bible verses we read and how much I loved that was sing the Psalms every Sunday :)  She really didn't argue with me, but I always felt she was looking for a chance to do so. 


Offline Rdunbar123

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 04:58:39 PM »
I told my wife and family(we were and she still is RC) I was interested in Orthodoxy about a year before I took my first inquiry class. Funny thing is I had an hour in the Adoration Chapel at my RC church for about 20 yrs and started reading about Orthodoxy there. I feel like I didnt leave the RC church as much as it had left me after VII(my wife converted to RC in 1978 so she still doesnt completely understand what I am talking about) I started my search looking for  an alternative to RCC, but ended up switching because I came to love Orthodoxy. Started my inquiry at a Greek Orthodox church in Sept of 2010. I was recieved into Orthodoxy in Dec of 2011.  My wife still hasn't followed, but I expect it is as much to do with the 40 mile one way trip to my church(my RC parish was 4 miles), she has been very supportive, cooks special for me for fast days. The only negative comments have been"why didnt you know about this from the beginning." The Orthodox church is a very well kept secret.

Offline wayseer

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2012, 08:12:44 AM »
Hi,

This is a question that's been playing on my mind for a while, and I'd love to know other inquirers' and converts' experience (only as much as you are comfortable sharing):

1. At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell other people (e.g. wider family, friends, your old church) beyond your immediate family/household?

2. What sort of reactions did you get?

I've been inquiring into Orthodoxy for a few months now and only have a couple of books, some internet reading and a couple of DLs under my belt.  I haven't told anyone else in my family, friends or current church yet.  I'll probably hold off until I know a little more about the faith, or am at the point I can't continue worshipping/receiving communion in my home church in good faith.

Thanks
Deborah
Hi Deborah,

I have found engaging with Orthodoxy really stressful.  Apart from the internal conflict - am I doing the right thing - I know that if I eventually become Orthodox I will loose my previous Anglican friends - they just would not understanding.  Apart from one or two, I know I could never adequately explain why I choose Orthodoxy. 

I have told my closest friends, they number less than the fingers on one hand, and they support me while not following me. 

But the time is fast approaching where I will have to inform my local priest.  I have been avoiding making that contact for some time now.  What makes my situation somewhat different is that the nearest Orthodox church is over 3 hours away making a total of 6 hours for the return trip just to attend DL. 

There is no easy answers here I'm afraid - and God seems strangely silent on the matter.
Not all those who wander are lost.

Offline JoeS2

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2012, 09:34:51 AM »
I told my family about my conversion and the only thing they were worried about and that was: "Are you still Catholic".  Of course was my reply and that ended any further discussion on the subject.

Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2012, 01:17:58 PM »
Hello Deborah,

I had told my wife what  I was exploring before I even knew that what I was exploring was Orthodoxy. So she was there throughout the process in which I explored via the internet and reading church fathers, etc. It was in fact, at her suggestion, that we first attended a Divine Liturgy. Throughout that process nearly a year in length I keep myself from expressing any affirmative statement that I was converting until the end, saying I wanted to be sure my wife would be on board before I finalized any decision. Looking back though, I probably knew where I needed to go within the first couple of months. This as all my prayers thereafter that 'God would guide me and open doors that needed to be opened and close doors that needed to be closed' were tinged the hope that this would lead me further into Orthodoxy. I'm :D happy to say that it has. We're now six months into attending our Orthodox church consistently and only, with another three months before that of attending there every other week on Saturday evenings before we left our former church.

I made a decision early on to not tell anyone, other than my wife, what I was looking at until my mind was made up. This went to both sides of the equation, I have an uncle who's a retired Orthodox priest, but the rest of my family and friends were firmly Protestant and my wife's family Protestant and Roman Catholic. The idea was that I wanted to explore these things on my own without anyone trying to influence me one way or the other.

This may have been my biggest mistake in the process, though its hard to say because it didn't go the other way. I feel that in doing this I betrayed the trust of my friends and my Pastor. I was myself a Licensed Minister and my Pastor was my accountability partner and also a friend we would do some holidays together and he and h is family had done work on our house. So, he was right to point out his shock, when he found out a year after the fact and only when my mind was made up what I was doing. His reaction was not the best at all points including his hasty, he only had one week, analysis of the Orthodox church. But, I did my best to indicated that our leaving was not about being negative about him or our church and he did permit us to come a last time to give a public goodbye. Also, I'm happy to say I've kept in some touch with his family via facebook, and shared congratulations with them on various family events. More, I did run in to him in person the other day and gave him a hug, which he reciprocated and had a good, though brief chat.

Family, I told in different stages owing largely to the desire on my part to inject some theater into the process. The reaction has been good but then my uncles conversion had paved the way. He himself, by the way, was predictably delighted yet shocked. Part of the conversation went "No way", "way", "no way", "way..." :laugh:

Friends, some know some don't, with no significant reasons for delay just kind of a when we see them and/or the topic comes up kind of thing.

My wife's family mostly still doesn't know and when she tells them will be up to her.

God bless you on your journey.
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Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2012, 02:22:13 PM »
My wife forced the issue, but after that whenever it came up.

After we moved the opportunity presented itself enough times, as one of the questions Christians in the southern US always ask after you move is, "So, where are you going to church now?"
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Offline mabsoota

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2012, 05:47:23 PM »
oh, yes, the moving house issue!
well, i had told friends i was going to the orthodox church, and at the previous house move, when i told friends i had found a good church, they still seemed surprised (after 3 years of being orthodox) to hear that it was another coptic church.
like as if orthodoxy was just a fad and i would soon be back attending a 'proper' (protestant) church.
i suppose it was because at first i would still visit protestant churches (with another family member), so i suppose they assumed the occasional attendance at the protestant church was the one that counted. sadly, it has affected the amount of times one of my friends calls me (rarely these days), though i suppose the increased distance was another factor.

maximum bob, i agree with you, it's best to tell important people early on, so they realise u have nothing to hide. but i am glad u still have good contact with your friend. keep it up.

wayseer, similarly, i think you should bring it up with your priest soon.
i was attending a (very) small village anglican church when i became orthodox, and was quite involved in church life, living just down the road.
they already knew i was 'weird' as i often used to attend the catholic service that took place just before the anglican one in the same church building. at this time i was looking closely at the catholic church to see if it was the one i should join. it would have been an easier option (in terms of numbers of churches around, thus less distance to travel), but i was put off by the lack of fasting and a couple of doctrinal issues. i had a good relationship with the catechist in the catholic church, though and we learnt a lot about each other's church in the time i was there.

the concept of attending more than one type of church was completely shocking for both the catholics and the anglicans, and eventually they asked me if i was catholic or anglican. they were a bit confused to hear that i was heading in the orthodox direction.
but the anglican priest had actually been to egypt and had some experience of orthodoxy there, so once i found that out (i was surprised), we had plenty of very interesting conversations.

so i think we should be open whenever we can (if not about to be sacked, beheaded etc.) so that our friends will feel more respected.
there will be opposition, but God can guide us to have the best response, full of grace.

Offline Desiring_unity

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2012, 11:37:47 PM »
My husband actually had me tell my three closest friends because he was tired of covering for me when people called/asked where I was.  After that, it didn't really go public until I posted a picture of us becoming catechumens.  We've had mixed reactions.  From full support to a three page letter telling me that I was disobeying God, my husband, and the authority placed over me by the "church".  It hasn't been easy but it HAS been the right choice.

eta: I should add that although my husband was not on board at all to begin with, he became a catechuman along with me and our three daughters the same day and while we haven't been baptised yet, he is getting closer every day. 
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 11:41:08 PM by Desiring_unity »
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Offline Shiny

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2012, 11:40:08 PM »
I don't even remember. Actually I had my sister come with me to my first parish visit, but on an inquiry level I think it was a few months before telling someone.

The biggest mistake I ever made was giving my parents a copy of "Becoming Orthodox" by Fr. Gilquist. I could of handled the exposure to Orthodoxy much more differently.
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Offline Deborah

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2012, 07:44:42 AM »
Hey Biro, Kerdy, dllwatkins, JamesR, Benjamin the Red, mabsoota, jmbejdl, alanscott, PrincessMommy, Rdunbar123, wayseer, JoeS2, Maximum Bob, Agabus, Desiring_Unity, Achronos - thanks so much for your replies!  Your different experiences and perspectives are very helpful and have given me much food for thought.

Good day Deborah!

I'm not sure weather you welcome my reply or not as I have no intentions of converting, yet, I have no intentions of not converting either. I'm not sure I'm even an ‘inquirer’ per say to Orthodoxy. I simply see myself as a repenting sinner and fool seeking Truth. I believe I have found such in Orthodoxy and hold a profound reverence and respect toward the Orthodox Church. Where this leads I will follow and some how I know in my heart God will guide me in His time and in His way as I believe He has done thus far. 

With that said I don’t hold or recognize any stigmas toward Orthodoxy that may exist. I see my journey as one toward Christ our Lord. I will speak of my faith to anyone that will listen and reference Orthodoxy without thought or concern. I speak of Truth and Understanding I have found in Orthodoxy to immediate family, extended family, Church, and friends. Sadly, many friends could care less to listen and I’m afraid we just don’t spend as much time together any more. He does warn us we will have to leave much behind I guess.

As far as reactions? Keep in mind I pray at a Wesleyan Church so it’s a little different as John Wesley himself held a profound belief in the Orthodoxy. It would be difficult for anyone to discredit Orthodoxy without discrediting (in small part) the very doctrine our Church is founded upon. I have had a couple of ‘strange’ looks but to be honest I think it was as much out of ignorance as any negativity. My Pastor encourages me to learn and grow. Yes, he points me more toward Wesley but also realizes it is difficult to study Wesley without mentioning Orthodoxy, Church Fathers, and Patristic writings. My immediate family: My daughter (20yrs) has begun to make visits to the Orthodox Churches in her area. She also seems to be seeking God without stigmas but with an open heart and mind. My wife is by my side in our journey though she was raised Baptist so more conflicts surface for her both due to Orthodoxy and Wesleyan theology.  She’s working through that just fine though!  Her family I’m guessing might have some raised eye brows but nothing mentioned to my knowledge. My mom was at one point a Church of God once saved always saved woman. I speak to her of my journey, what I am learning, and she herself has now listened to Orthodox sermons on line and I even found a John Wesley sermon she printed out laying on her table. ;) Others like extended family; well, I did hear my aunt say ‘Orthodox? Wow, they are a little too hard core!’ I just smiled.

If I have a point to offer in my reply it is that I am in my infancy spiritual speaking. Should I not share what I am learning without concern of reproach? You have found Truth in Orthodoxy glory to God. The fruits of the Spirit in you will be seen by others. Should they not know where that seed came from?

There will be some that criticize us in His name. That's on them not us.

Well, now in addition to the others you have the opinion of a fool!  ;)
 
God bless you in your journey!

Alanscott, thank you for your gentle but straight-speaking post.  Ugh - a bit hard to take in places on first reading, but welcome and necessary in that it brought to light some hidden motivations for holding off telling anyone.  Fear of man, of what others might think.  I know very little about Orthodoxy, and worried I might make a hatchet job of explaining the basics, not yet being able to provide evidence from the bible or wider Tradition very well.  Not really being able to put into words the heartfelt joy and truth I've found in Orthodoxy so far.  How I'd cope against attacks on what might be seen as "doctrinal errors", or efforts to steer me back to "biblically correct" beliefs.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Your attitude, your focus, is a more healthy one, that honours  both God and His creation.  I don't consider you a "fool" in any way but for Christ, and I'm honoured to share this journey with you on OC.net. :)

Hi Deborah,

I have found engaging with Orthodoxy really stressful.  Apart from the internal conflict - am I doing the right thing - I know that if I eventually become Orthodox I will loose my previous Anglican friends - they just would not understanding.  Apart from one or two, I know I could never adequately explain why I choose Orthodoxy. 

I have told my closest friends, they number less than the fingers on one hand, and they support me while not following me. 

But the time is fast approaching where I will have to inform my local priest.  I have been avoiding making that contact for some time now.  What makes my situation somewhat different is that the nearest Orthodox church is over 3 hours away making a total of 6 hours for the return trip just to attend DL. 

There is no easy answers here I'm afraid - and God seems strangely silent on the matter.

wayseer, thanks for your frank post.  I can identify with some of your points - internal conflict, not being able to explain easily, difficulties caused by church distance.  I'm glad your friends are supportive of your journey to Orthodoxy.  I hope the conversation with your priest goes well, and that it helps resolves any issues and provides clarity.  God bless you on your path.

Hello Deborah,

I had told my wife what  I was exploring before I even knew that what I was exploring was Orthodoxy. So she was there throughout the process in which I explored via the internet and reading church fathers, etc. It was in fact, at her suggestion, that we first attended a Divine Liturgy. Throughout that process nearly a year in length I keep myself from expressing any affirmative statement that I was converting until the end, saying I wanted to be sure my wife would be on board before I finalized any decision. Looking back though, I probably knew where I needed to go within the first couple of months. This as all my prayers thereafter that 'God would guide me and open doors that needed to be opened and close doors that needed to be closed' were tinged the hope that this would lead me further into Orthodoxy. I'm :D happy to say that it has. We're now six months into attending our Orthodox church consistently and only, with another three months before that of attending there every other week on Saturday evenings before we left our former church.

I made a decision early on to not tell anyone, other than my wife, what I was looking at until my mind was made up. This went to both sides of the equation, I have an uncle who's a retired Orthodox priest, but the rest of my family and friends were firmly Protestant and my wife's family Protestant and Roman Catholic. The idea was that I wanted to explore these things on my own without anyone trying to influence me one way or the other.

This may have been my biggest mistake in the process, though its hard to say because it didn't go the other way. I feel that in doing this I betrayed the trust of my friends and my Pastor. I was myself a Licensed Minister and my Pastor was my accountability partner and also a friend we would do some holidays together and he and h is family had done work on our house. So, he was right to point out his shock, when he found out a year after the fact and only when my mind was made up what I was doing. His reaction was not the best at all points including his hasty, he only had one week, analysis of the Orthodox church. But, I did my best to indicated that our leaving was not about being negative about him or our church and he did permit us to come a last time to give a public goodbye. Also, I'm happy to say I've kept in some touch with his family via facebook, and shared congratulations with them on various family events. More, I did run in to him in person the other day and gave him a hug, which he reciprocated and had a good, though brief chat.

Family, I told in different stages owing largely to the desire on my part to inject some theater into the process. The reaction has been good but then my uncles conversion had paved the way. He himself, by the way, was predictably delighted yet shocked. Part of the conversation went "No way", "way", "no way", "way..." :laugh:

Friends, some know some don't, with no significant reasons for delay just kind of a when we see them and/or the topic comes up kind of thing.

My wife's family mostly still doesn't know and when she tells them will be up to her.

God bless you on your journey.

Maximum Bob, I had to laugh when I read your post! :D I've barely taken enough steps to bend grass blades in terms of knowledge or book reading, but was absolutely convinced that Orthodoxy was "it" after attending my first DL.  My prayers and hopes are along the same lines :laugh:

Not wanting to be influenced by others is one of my reasons for holding off telling people as well.  Your post, along with a few others, has convinced me that it's better to tell people earlier rather than later.  It's not fair to land it on people just before making the move, it is a betrayal of sorts.  It's not giving people fair credit...some may question or ridicule our decision, or pull away...but those people may have done so regardless at what point we tell them.  Some may not know of, much less about, Orthodoxy.  Some may want to know more.  Should we not share this treasure that we have found?

It's time for me to start sharing, even if only with very close friends and family at this point.  I want and need to be honest and open.  I'm tired of living a double life.

Thanks again and hugs to all,

Deborah
Live in South/East Auckland, Franklin or North Waikato regions of New Zealand? Interested in Orthodoxy? Need transport to an Orthodox Church? Want to meet others? Please send me a PM :)

"You have made us for yourself, Lord; and our hearts are restless until they rest in You" - St. Augustine (my patron saint)

Offline Tommelomsky

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2012, 07:12:27 PM »
From the beginning stage as i used to be a volunteer in a catholic parish. That is now like almost a half year ago. Some has been supportive and other not. My family does not care too much about it and that is just fine with me. My friends are kind of lukewarm about it (but that was expected).

It is a journey and i love it so far. Began my catechumenate last friday. Pray, trust in God and let time work while studying, attending liturgy and learn the smaller and bigger bits and pieces that my new life has to offer. A fellow orthodox (ROCOR) told me that this will be much like taking ground level school over again. :)
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Offline yas

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2015, 06:34:25 PM »
I find this post intriguing and possibly helpful to others so even tho it is two years old, I am going to post and bump it up!

For me, the first time I went to an Orthodox Church, I knew it was my path. My husband was raised in a non-denominational evangelical church but his family was very close to Mennonite. Simplicity is key to his family. So I knew that if I tried to pull him to an Orthodox church he might be confused by the beautiful icons.

But after about a month I found a church that I started to attend regularly. I told my husband that I was converting and he just said okay and he doesn't ever ask questions. I told one of my good friends about converting and they were supportive so I started to just talk about it if someone asked. BUT...I have yet to really sit down and tell my in-laws. I have said it three times to my mother-in-law now and didn't get a reaction so she is either okay with it or has no clue what I am talking about.  ;)

I also just bought my first icon and I plan to show it to my husband tonight to see how he reacts. I feel like this entire thing is a process where you reveal bits and pieces to people slowly. For example, I have spoken to my husband about icons before, but bringing one into the house may be another story!

Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2015, 10:24:22 PM »
Welcome yas, I wish you well with your husband.  Slow and easy is definitely the way. And definitely pray over it.

Lord, have mercy on yas and her husband.
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

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Offline underzealousconvert94

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2015, 12:49:32 AM »
I was up front with my parents from the beginning, but when it came to telling more distant relatives and friends, I waited until I was sure that I had found the truth.
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Offline Minnesotan

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2015, 02:43:43 AM »
I've decided I'll probably not go public until I've actually witnessed the Divine Liturgy in action several times. Saying "Oh, I read about this church on the Internet and I think it's the best one and we should start going there now!" is not going to sound very persuasive at all.

The reason why I haven't visited yet doesn't have to do with transportation, since I can ride buses. It's mostly scheduling (my work schedule is irregular and on days when nearby churches are having non-Sunday liturgies, I always have to work. Also my workplace is understaffed right now so I'm having to work more hours than usual). There've been like 6 or 7 times when I almost went, even setting my alarm and planning the bus route out the night before, but I ended up oversleeping, or else I did wake up and I felt so unbelievably groggy that it wouldn't have been safe for me to walk all the way to the bus stop. Besides, I doubt you can really appreciate the beauty of anything when you're three-quarters asleep. I even missed a chance to go to a Sunday liturgy when my parents were out of state, for this reason.

Once I do witness several liturgies (I'd like to start by seeing one Antiochian and one Coptic, at a bare minimum) that's when I'm planning on going public. I'll tell my parents the truth, which is that reading about the ongoing persecution of the oldest Christian communities abroad made me curious about what their worship is actually like, so I went on my own to check it out. Then I'd offer to bring them along.

I'll also write an open letter to my parents' (evangelical) church describing "what I saw", and I'd especially emphasize the following things which hit close to home:

  • Children, as well as people with disabilities, are excluded from Protestant worship because they can't sit still, or because they can't comprehend the sermon. Thus they are excluded from Communion as well. This blatantly contradicts Jesus' own words (Matthew 19:14). In Orthodox worship, you don't have to sit still, and in churches with no pews, everyone is walking around and pacing the floor, so small children, people with Asperger's Syndrome (like me), or people with ADD/ADHD would all feel perfectly at home there for once in our lives. It'd be a "safe space", in a world where people like me often feel out of place. It's not a lecture-hall atmosphere so "focusing" and "paying attention" aren't such a big issue. This is very poignant for me, and I think that if I had been raised Orthodox then at least my Sunday mornings would have been a lot better and I wouldn't have struggled so much with feeling like I didn't fit in in this world. One thing I appreciate about my parents' church is that they do care about people with disabilities, in that they have a "disability ministry" and an active outreach to that community, which includes driving them to church. However, I feel that people with disabilities would be better served by being integrated into the mainstream worship (which is possible in Orthodox worship, not so much in the half-lecture-hall, half-rock-concert style of Protestant service), rather than being shunted off into their own separate classrooms as is currently the case. Integration, not segregation!
  • Orthodoxy may be "High-Church" but not in the formalistic sense of Western churches bearing that description. The (at least partial) lack of pews and the fact that people are walking around, praying, engaging in private devotions, etc., gives the whole thing a kind of spontaneity and liveliness while at the same time maintaining the liturgical tradition. It's not an either-or, and Protestants who are averse to liturgy because they're worried it'll "quench the free move of the Spirit" will be pleasantly surprised.
  • Of course, I'll mention the ongoing persecutions because they're timely and relevant, and such persecution is what Middle Eastern Christians have always experienced, yet they have still maintained the same ancient worship after 2,000 years, which leaves a modern American like me in awe.
  • I'll point out that I've tried reading the Bible and especially the New Testament through Orthodox eyes and it makes far more sense to me in that way, rather than interpreted through the prism of evangelicalism, in which certain verses have to be read in a very "forced" way in order to get them to fit. Since evangelicals by definition are constantly striving to be more Biblical, I'd argue that the only way to consistently achieve and fulfill that quest is to actually be received into communion with the ancient Church, rather than trying to re-construct the Biblical faith from scratch.
  • My parents' church is big into contemporary worship/CCM, which was originally well-intentioned, in that it was an attempt to escape from the clichéd and cheesy "revival hymns" that characterized so much of "old-fashioned" American Protestantism. I can certainly empathize with the Jesus Freak kids in the 60s who got tired of singing stuff like this* and wanted to worship in a way that felt more authentic to them. Unfortunately, CCM quickly became every bit as clichéd and cheesy, because it was every bit as trend-driven as its predecessor. There seems to be an endless cycle where each generation has its own trends, they become stale and the next generation rebels against them, starting a new trend. But Christianity ought to bring generations together, not drive them apart. The only way out of this endless cycle is to stop trying to be "trendy" in worship. The liturgy is timeless, and that's real authenticity for you.

I'd suggest that my parents' church should at least familiarize themselves with what liturgical worship is like, and at least consider the option of pursuing communion with one of the ancient churches. Ultimately the choice will remain up to them. But at least I'd like them to know where I'm coming from and why I was leaving (at least temporarily -- if they end up feeling the same way I do and decide to enter communion, then I'll certainly go back).



*The family singing that song are Independent Fundamental Baptist missionaries to Ukraine. My heart aches for the people over there who got brainwashed by this kind of stuff.

Offline SehnsuchtSojourner

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2015, 03:03:05 AM »
I'm typically super open with my family -- and community -- about my thoughts, so I tended to live update them along the way (even though I'm still not a catechumen... yet...). I also tend to live update my social media pages with my thoughts, so people were beginning to see my drift -- along with a few existential crises along the way (oi, that was fun XP).

For the most part, my family's been open. My mom's very much an ecumenist, and fine with my going so long as I'm following Christ. My dad thinks this is a phase, and vehemently protests different aspects of Orthodoxy (as he does with most things outside his framework, which is primarily influenced by the Wesleyan Church), but harbors no bitterness toward me. I hope he understands that I sense I can't be Protestant anymore (oops), but he may not understand that until I've walked this path for a while.

Offline mabsoota

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2015, 02:52:47 PM »
may God guide all 4 of you and may you soon be orthodox like maximum bob (whose story is a big encouragement to me).

minnesotan, i totally understand what you mean about church being a 'safe space',
it is so nice to have permission to sit / stand / kneel / venerate icons etc. and it gives people lots of things to focus on
when their mind drifts off. much nicer than the lecture type church experience where you have to sit still.
 :D

so please make sure you sleep enough so you can get up with the alarm clock next time!
 ;)

Offline SehnsuchtSojourner

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2015, 04:55:42 PM »
@mabsoota -- thanks so much :)

The reason why I haven't visited yet doesn't have to do with transportation, since I can ride buses. It's mostly scheduling (my work schedule is irregular and on days when nearby churches are having non-Sunday liturgies, I always have to work. Also my workplace is understaffed right now so I'm having to work more hours than usual). There've been like 6 or 7 times when I almost went, even setting my alarm and planning the bus route out the night before, but I ended up oversleeping, or else I did wake up and I felt so unbelievably groggy that it wouldn't have been safe for me to walk all the way to the bus stop. Besides, I doubt you can really appreciate the beauty of anything when you're three-quarters asleep. I even missed a chance to go to a Sunday liturgy when my parents were out of state, for this reason.

I know that feel :P I missed divine liturgy this morning unfortunately due to some awful sleep scheduling :( One thing I'd recommend: pray. The first time someone told me about Orthodoxy, they warned me that I may encounter some resistance (read: spiritual warfare). Obviously, there is not a demon under every missed bus ( or IS there?! :o ;) ), but it is something to keep in mind, recognizing that the enemy of our souls does *not* want us to be healed.

EDIT: Oh goodness, @Minnesotan, that song... I'd prefer they spread this instead... (yeah, I'm a product of the hardcore side of CCM :P I sense I'll maintain some respect for the scene, but there's so much to be had in Orthodoxy... here's to finding a metal version of Jonathan Jackson?)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 05:14:34 PM by SehnsuchtSojourner »

Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: At what point in your journey to Orthodoxy did you tell others?
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2015, 01:16:25 AM »
may God guide all 4 of you and may you soon be orthodox like maximum bob (whose story is a big encouragement to me).

minnesotan, i totally understand what you mean about church being a 'safe space',
it is so nice to have permission to sit / stand / kneel / venerate icons etc. and it gives people lots of things to focus on
when their mind drifts off. much nicer than the lecture type church experience where you have to sit still.
 :D

so please make sure you sleep enough so you can get up with the alarm clock next time!
 ;)
Thanks mabsoota. You've been an inspiration to me too.

To finish the story I started above, as mabsoota indicated, we are Orthodox now. We did ultimately tell my wife's family and they were okay with it too. My mother-in-laws comment was "get those babies baptized". On the down side she waited so long to get the details about the date to them that by the time she did so they had already planned a baby shower for her sister for the same day. Moral of the story I guess is say some thing sooner rather than later. It was still a good day though.  ;D
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 01:17:51 AM by Maximum Bob »
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.