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Author Topic: Predominate Orthodox Church in America  (Read 4705 times) Average Rating: 0
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Kerdy
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« on: July 14, 2012, 02:10:53 PM »

With all of the questions arising in the thread about the OCA, what do you all think is the predominate Orthodox Church (i.e., Greek, Antiochian, ROCOR, etc.) in the United States?

Please understand I am not asking for bragging or bloviating purposes, this is a serious inquiry.  I know the Russians were the first missionaries in North America, I know the Greeks seem to have the largest and best organized group, but if we broke it down to the most basic essence of who rightfully is the predominate  in the USA, who would that be?

I could be very wrong, but I would think it would be ROCOR from what I have read.
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 02:12:57 PM »

I don't know what the criteria would be for determining this...  Huh   Most seem to have strengths and weaknesses.
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 02:30:46 PM »

Size & Organization: The Greek Orthodox Church in America
Missionary Work: The Orthodox Church in America & the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

The GOA has bigger parishes  with more members, but lower average attendance.
The Antiochian & especially the OCA has more parishes with fewer members, but higher average attendance.
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 11:28:35 PM »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought that the OCA originally came out of the Russian Orthodox Church.
So on my first instinct I would say ROCOR. (If what I said is correct)

The thing is though, there are all kinds of groups in OCA churches wherever you live.  I've seen OCA churches where 50-75% were greeks, and OCA where 50-75% were Russians. 

or...

They could just go join in under HOTCA.  Smiley  Now that would be very interesting.
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2012, 04:01:07 PM »

Greeks outnumber everybody else by any metric. They have more, bigger parishes, more people on the lists, more people in church on any given Sunday, more money, etc.
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2012, 04:02:41 PM »

Greeks outnumber everybody else by any metric. They have more, bigger parishes, more people on the lists, more people in church on any given Sunday, more money, etc.

However, they do have a lower average attendance.

Also, what is their missionary work inside the United States like?
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2012, 04:03:32 PM »

Greeks outnumber everybody else by any metric. They have more, bigger parishes, more people on the lists, more people in church on any given Sunday, more money, etc.

But do they have more theological-chutzpah?
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2012, 04:40:01 PM »

In terms of financial strength and numbers? The Greeks.
In terms of evangelization? The Antiochians.
In terms of awesomeness? ACROD!! Cheesy
And, of course, ROCOR has some of the best beards.
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2012, 05:12:11 PM »

In terms of awesomeness? ACROD!! Cheesy

What is the metric for awesomeness?
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2012, 05:38:59 PM »

In terms of awesomeness? ACROD!! Cheesy

What is the metric for awesomeness?

Pierogies and quality thereof  Wink however, I honestly just have a deep affection for the Ruthenian chant melodies and love the people and priests I've met in ACROD parishes. The Carpatho-Russian melody for "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" is especially wonderful.

Kerdy: What do you mean by "rightfully" predominate and what leads you to opine that ROCOR deserves such a title?
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2012, 05:50:38 PM »

In terms of awesomeness? ACROD!! Cheesy

What is the metric for awesomeness?

Pierogies and quality thereof  Wink however, I honestly just have a deep affection for the Ruthenian chant melodies and love the people and priests I've met in ACROD parishes. The Carpatho-Russian melody for "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" is especially wonderful.

Kerdy: What do you mean by "rightfully" predominate and what leads you to opine that ROCOR deserves such a title?

I do not know who, if anyone, deserves the position.  I am only curious due to my lack of knowledge about all of the different jurisdictions.  My inquiry comes from the thread about the OCA and talks of who would be consolidated into an "American Orthodox Church" if everyone got together and decided to consolidate.  There really is no goal with my question other than to become more educated from those who know more than I do.  I picked ROCOR based on the first missionaries were Russian and ROCOR seems to be the official Russian link in America.  I had never heard of ACROD until I joined this site.  I had no idea there were more than a couple of jurisdictions.
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2012, 05:51:02 PM »

Greeks outnumber everybody else by any metric. They have more, bigger parishes, more people on the lists, more people in church on any given Sunday, more money, etc.

However, they do have a lower average attendance.

Also, what is their missionary work inside the United States like?

A lower percentage of members attend on any given week, but the absolute numbers are still higher.

Regarding missionary work: perception is one thing, hard numbers another. The GOA has chrismated more converts in the last 30 years than the entire membership of the OCA, cradle and convert combined. Biggest surprise I had when looking at the actual sacramental records.
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 07:53:43 PM »

Greeks outnumber everybody else by any metric. They have more, bigger parishes, more people on the lists, more people in church on any given Sunday, more money, etc.

However, they do have a lower average attendance.

Also, what is their missionary work inside the United States like?

A lower percentage of members attend on any given week, but the absolute numbers are still higher.

Regarding missionary work: perception is one thing, hard numbers another. The GOA has chrismated more converts in the last 30 years than the entire membership of the OCA, cradle and convert combined. Biggest surprise I had when looking at the actual sacramental records.

What about evangelism of its own? I assume (though we don't know) that the ranking above includes most jurisdictions, because from what I've heard, the GOA has been losing it's young people, more-so than the other jurisdictions. They may not necessarily leave because they are unhappy, but leave because they marry Protestants or Roman Catholics (rather than the opposite occurring).

I think there are something like 3 million Greek-Americans. The GOA has 476,900 members (with only 107,400 being regular attendees, about 23%).
Of course, there are also around 3 million Russian-Americans and you could argue that ROCOR, OCA & ACROD haven't done a better job with only 123,067 members (47,687 of which are regular attendees, about 40%).

I guess this actually leads to question the study in the Christian News section. We may have a good retention rate because those 3 million Greek-Americans & 3 million Russian-Americans may still consider themselves Orthodox Christians, even if they aren't technically in good standing with the church.

Unquestionably the GOA is the predominant Orthodox jurisdiction in the United States. But I think each jurisdiction can and should learn from one another. The GOA should look to ACROD, OCA & the Antiochians for getting their faithful to regularly attend church. While the other jurisdictions could also try to improve regular attendance. They can all learn from each other to improve their missionary work in the country.
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2012, 10:38:25 PM »

See what a dynamic witness Orthodoxy could make in North America if we brought all these elements together into a single administratively unified church!  Pray for the success of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North America!
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2012, 11:17:56 PM »

Greeks outnumber everybody else by any metric. They have more, bigger parishes, more people on the lists, more people in church on any given Sunday, more money, etc.

However, they do have a lower average attendance.

Also, what is their missionary work inside the United States like?
More converts than anybody else. More monasteries, more new monasteries, than anybody else. "Lower average attendance" - okay, sure, they keep more people on the lists than anybody else. But the people that do come far outnumber the others. maybe the denominator is inflated.

If you complain about how many people of Greek descent are there vs how many are on the lists vs how many attend, let me just say that the Christian Russians are far worse.
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2012, 12:26:35 AM »

Greeks outnumber everybody else by any metric. They have more, bigger parishes, more people on the lists, more people in church on any given Sunday, more money, etc.

However, they do have a lower average attendance.

Also, what is their missionary work inside the United States like?
More converts than anybody else. More monasteries, more new monasteries, than anybody else. "Lower average attendance" - okay, sure, they keep more people on the lists than anybody else. But the people that do come far outnumber the others. maybe the denominator is inflated.

If you complain about how many people of Greek descent are there vs how many are on the lists vs how many attend, let me just say that the Christian Russians are far worse.

Actually the GOA & OCA have the same number of monasteries (20) in the United States. The OCA also has more parishes (551) than the GOA (525).

Ordered by number of adherents:
1. GOA: 476,878 (107,289 regularly attend, 22.5%)
2. OCA: 84,928 (33,797 regularly attend, 39.8%)
3. AOCA: 74,527 (27,256 regularly attend, 36.6%)
4. Serbian: 68,760 (15,331 regularly attend, 22.3%)
5. ROCOR: 27,677 (8,954 regularly attend, 32.4%)
6. Ukrainian (EP): 22,362 (6,857 regularly attend, 30.7%)
7. MP: 12,377 (1,952 regularly attend, 15.8%)
8. Romanian: 11,203 (2,158 regularly attend, 19.3%)
9. ACROD: 10,457 (4,936 regularly attend, 47.2%)
10. Bulgarian: 2,212 (989 regularly attend, 44.7%)
11. Georgian: 920 (345 regularly attend, 37.5%)
12. Albanian: 700 (185 regularly attend, 26.4%)
Total: 793,001 (210,049 regularly attend, 26.5%) adherents

By number of parishes:
1. OCA: 551
2. GOA: 525
3. AOCA: 247
4. ROCOR: 136
5. Serbian: 123
6. Ukrainian (EP): 101
7. ACROD: 79
8. Romanian: 31
9. MP: 30
10. Bulgarian: 20
11. Georgian: 6
12. Albanian: 2
Total: 1,851 parishes

By number of monasteries:
1a. GOA: 20
1b. OCA: 20
2. Serbian: 12
3. ROCOR: 10
4a. AOCA: 2
4b. MP: 2
4c. Bulgarian: 2
5a. Romanian: 1
5b. Georgian: 1
Total: 70 monasteries

Data from: Krindatch, Alexei. Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2011. 143.

By number of Bishops:
1. GOA: 14
2. OCA: 11
3. AOCA: 9
4. ROCOR: 8
5. Serbian: 3
6a. Bulgaria: 2
6b. Ukrainian (EP): 2
7a. Romania: 1
7b. Albanian: 1
7c. MP: 1
7d. Georgia: 1
Total: 53 bishops

from: http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/bishops

By total number of U.S. counties with at least 1 parish:
1. GOA: 361
2. OCA: 308
3. AOCA: 199
4. ROCOR: 118
5. Serbian: 95
6. Ukrainian (EP): 76
7. ACROD: 57
8. Romanian: 27
9. MP: 26
10. Bulgarian: 19
11. Georgia: 7
12. Albanian: 2

From: Krindatch, Alexei. Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2011. ix.

U.S. Military Chaplains:
U.S. Army + Reserve & Ntl. Guard (Active Duty): 14
U.S. Navy (Active Duty): 11
U.S. Air Force + Reserve (Active Duty): 6
Total: 31 active duty Military Chaplains

from: http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/military-chaplains

U.S. States with the most Orthodox Christians:
1. California
2. New York
3. Illinois
4. New Jersey
5. Massachusetts
6. Pennsylvania
7. Florida
8. Ohio
9. Michigan
10. Texas
11. Maryland
12. Indiana
13. Connecticut
14. Virginia
15. New Mexico
16. Washington
17. North Carolina
18. Georgia
19. Alaska
20. Wisconsin

From: Krindatch, Alexei. Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2011. 29.
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« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2012, 01:00:21 AM »

On unfortunate statistic for the GOA is that apparently 65% of marriages within the GOA are "mixed", which means one spouse is not Orthodox.
From: Krindatch, Alexei. Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2011. 57.

This could be a possible reason for some of it's youth being lost. Without an emphasis on the importance of Orthodox identity and staying Orthodox, it is probably much more likely that the children of these mixed marriages may be lost and leave the church.

The one thing the GOA could learn from the other jurisdictions is to handle these marriages with care and to emphasize the need to assimilate the spouses into the church and requiring their children be raised as Orthodox and teach their children to marry other Orthodox or at least try to lead their spouse to the church.

There isn't really any reason to sugar-coat it, because if we really do want jurisdictional unity and a better American Orthodox Church, every single jurisdiction needs to address its own problems and learn from the other jurisdictions on to better conduct itself. We have to struggle to either eliminate these problems before unity occurs, or at the very least, make an effort to accept that the new, unified church, will be strong enough to tackle our many problems.

As for evangelism:
In the mid-1960s, 15% of OCA members were converts. Today, 51% of OCA members are converts (including 5 bishops).
Today, about 29% of GOA members are converts. (no earlier data to compare with)
In the mid-1960s, the AOCA had about 65 parishes, today it has 249.

From: Krindatch, Alexei. Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2011.
and: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-10-23-orthodox-christians_N.htm
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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2012, 06:34:08 AM »

Hmmm, I'm fairly certain the Orthodox Church in America is. The ROC gave them autocephaly legitimately, that should be good enough. The squabble with the Ecumenical Patriarch is purely political, he doesn't want to lose such a large number of his "flock" (As well as the power that goes with it). I respect the Ecumenical Patriarch's position and him personally, but I think know he is wrong to try to oust the OCA. The OCA should be the unchallenged organization in the Americas.
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« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2012, 07:59:40 AM »

So there are about as many GOA converts regularly attending church as there are OCA members regularly attending church...
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« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2012, 10:02:58 AM »

Quote
The squabble with the Ecumenical Patriarch is purely political, he doesn't want to lose such a large number of his "flock" (As well as the power that goes with it). I respect the Ecumenical Patriarch's position and him personally, but I think know he is wrong to try to oust the OCA. The OCA should be the unchallenged organization in the Americas
I dont think the EP is trying to oust the OCA. Its not like he has excommunicated them as schismatics or anything. however, I do agree that it is nothing more than a political thing.

PP
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« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2012, 03:08:06 PM »

That is a tough one. The OCA and Antiochian Churches definitely seem the most contemporary or 'Americanized' like they fit in with the American culture the greatest, however, they also have their weaknesses. The Greeks on the other hand are the largest group here, making up like 50% of American Orthodox Christians, but, I'm not too sure how much the Moscow Patriarchate would like the Greeks becoming the pre-dominant Church in an area that is pretty much considered more his territory. Lastly, the Russians definitely have been here the longest and are therefore probably entitled to being like the main American Orthodox Church, however, Russian Churches are REALLY un-Americanized and mostly composed of immigrants from what I hear and are a bit weary of strangers. All in all, I think that it will either come down to the OCA, Greeks or Antiochians.
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« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2012, 03:43:58 PM »

That is a tough one. The OCA and Antiochian Churches definitely seem the most contemporary or 'Americanized' like they fit in with the American culture the greatest, however, they also have their weaknesses. The Greeks on the other hand are the largest group here, making up like 50% of American Orthodox Christians, but, I'm not too sure how much the Moscow Patriarchate would like the Greeks becoming the pre-dominant Church in an area that is pretty much considered more his territory. Lastly, the Russians definitely have been here the longest and are therefore probably entitled to being like the main American Orthodox Church, however, Russian Churches are REALLY un-Americanized and mostly composed of immigrants from what I hear and are a bit weary of strangers. All in all, I think that it will either come down to the OCA, Greeks or Antiochians.

Actually the Russians really haven't been in America the longest, the Greeks - I believe - have.  The Russians certainly were in North America first, because of Alaska, but Alaska was not part of the United States until 1867.  The first Greek parish in the United States was established in New Orleans in 1864, and continues today as Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2012, 01:26:04 AM »

Quote
The squabble with the Ecumenical Patriarch is purely political, he doesn't want to lose such a large number of his "flock" (As well as the power that goes with it). I respect the Ecumenical Patriarch's position and him personally, but I think know he is wrong to try to oust the OCA. The OCA should be the unchallenged organization in the Americas
I dont think the EP is trying to oust the OCA. Its not like he has excommunicated them as schismatics or anything. however, I do agree that it is nothing more than a political thing.

PP

Oust is probably the wrong term. I can't think of the correct word. Like he doesn't accept them as legitimate I guess?
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« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2012, 01:26:04 AM »

That is a tough one. The OCA and Antiochian Churches definitely seem the most contemporary or 'Americanized' like they fit in with the American culture the greatest, however, they also have their weaknesses. The Greeks on the other hand are the largest group here, making up like 50% of American Orthodox Christians, but, I'm not too sure how much the Moscow Patriarchate would like the Greeks becoming the pre-dominant Church in an area that is pretty much considered more his territory. Lastly, the Russians definitely have been here the longest and are therefore probably entitled to being like the main American Orthodox Church, however, Russian Churches are REALLY un-Americanized and mostly composed of immigrants from what I hear and are a bit weary of strangers. All in all, I think that it will either come down to the OCA, Greeks or Antiochians.

Actually the Russians really haven't been in America the longest, the Greeks - I believe - have.  The Russians certainly were in North America first, because of Alaska, but Alaska was not part of the United States until 1867.  The first Greek parish in the United States was established in New Orleans in 1864, and continues today as Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Random note, but that's the church I am getting married at.  Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2012, 01:26:04 AM »

That is a tough one. The OCA and Antiochian Churches definitely seem the most contemporary or 'Americanized' like they fit in with the American culture the greatest, however, they also have their weaknesses. The Greeks on the other hand are the largest group here, making up like 50% of American Orthodox Christians, but, I'm not too sure how much the Moscow Patriarchate would like the Greeks becoming the pre-dominant Church in an area that is pretty much considered more his territory. Lastly, the Russians definitely have been here the longest and are therefore probably entitled to being like the main American Orthodox Church, however, Russian Churches are REALLY un-Americanized and mostly composed of immigrants from what I hear and are a bit weary of strangers. All in all, I think that it will either come down to the OCA, Greeks or Antiochians.

You talk about the Russians being un-American, but the Greeks are the last group ever to change their culture for where they are. Whether in the USA, Norway, or wherever, they always speak liturgy in Greek, and carry their very Greek culture without adding the local customs. I've been told by many a Greek that Orthodoxy isn't for my people. I'm not hating on the Greeks, but if you are going to call the Russians out, you must know the Greeks are MUCH worse about including other cultures.
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« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2012, 01:00:22 AM »

My OCA Church is comprised of a mix of ethnic groups: 

    approximately 40% Greek (mostly foreign born)
                        30% Russian (all American born)
                        20% Middle Eastern and Romanian (mostly foreign born)
                        10% Convert (including our priest)
 
All of these groups are included in the parish officers and alter servers, although not by design.  While the liturgy is mostly in English, we do incorporate a small amount of Greek, Russian, Arabic, and Romanian  language into the services.

I grew up in an ethnic (Greek) church, and my perception at this particular church was that many, if not the majority, saw church more as a Greek thing, and less as a religious thing.  (Of course, perceptions are not always accurate.) 

My dream is of a pan-ethnic American Orthodox Church, where each parish can adjust the language(s) of their services to address the needs of their congregation.
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« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2012, 02:43:11 AM »

For some reason that is a perception on this forum, that GOAA churches are culturally oriented.  At 59 years old, I've lived through witnessing some ethnicity, but growth in the faith was always the overwhelming dominant thrust of the parish's ministry.  The culture came up on Greek Independence Day, and sometimes "Ochi" Day, October 28th, (when Greece pushed the Fascist Italians back out of Greece into Albania).  Keep in mind there has been very limited Greek immigration since the 1970's.  I see only a little culture anymore in the GOAA parishes, at least in my experience, in the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, (Northeast and Central Ohio, Pennsylvania except Greater Philadelphia, and West Virginia).  Probably New York, New Jersey, and Chicago retain more cultural attachment these days (Canada and Australia too, I'm sure), but really, I don't see this Greekness that you assert.  We do have a Greek School and allow them to offer a Christmas play in church, most of it in Greek, following the Liturgy, and the Sunday School does one too, in English; likewise a 10 minute Greek Independence Day program is allowed after church.  No other mention of ethnicity, none, all year long; just worship and living the life of the Orthodox Church through the church calendar.  We have a Greek dance group among our youth that dances at our annual Grecian Festival, which is more of a fund raiser, than a cultural event and includes instructional church tours (many of which I conduct).  I find GOAA priests dedicated, devout churchman, wholly dedicated to the Christ-centered priestly ministry exclusively.  Our year round Sunday Liturgy is 90% in the English language of the priest's parts, though the choir chants almost all of the a major hymns in Greek still, but it's more because they haven't taken the time to learn them in English yet. We have much more English, probably 80% overall, in the Summer months when we have chanters and congregational participation.  My priest always looks over the congregation to decide how much of which language we will emphasize, but I recall a funeral when he was new to our parish, I am the chanter and went into the Sanctuary to whisper to him he might want to do a little more Greek, but he replied, "They have to understand this is the way we execute the services at St. ____."  Our Liturgical Assistant Priest is an American convert, St. Vladimir Seminary graduate, affiliated with the Antiochian Archdiocese, with a limited knowledge of Greek.

And frankly, retention of cultural activities comes from primarily American born, often 2nd generation parents of the youth, who want the kids to learn the culture, there isn't another venue for that even though we have Greek fraternal organizations.  I was looking over our 70+ youth in the dance groups and I'll bet the majority of them are 25% Greek.  It is not the Parish Council or the Priests, and not our Metropolitan, promoting ethnicity in the churches. 

During his archepiscopal tenure, 1996-'99, Archbishop Spyridon of America reported that 30% of the GOAA parishes didn't have Greek Schools.

The other GOAA parishes in my area are similar with their expression of Greek ethnicity.  Out of 6 parishes in the area, 1 has always been the more ethnically oriented parish.  It's the intercity "mother church," the ethnic orientation keeps its membership numbers up, because no one lives near it anymore.  That church, in the past decade, has declined in membership (They're transferring to our churches in the suburbs.)  The current priest assigned there is American born, and his Greek is not perfect.  When he was assigned, the Metropolitan had their parish council come to Pittsburgh to meet, to tell them the parish had to move more toward English in the Divine Services because their youth were now in their 30's and they are American born, primarily,  (They have youth too, who are the children of yesterday's youth.)

Anyway, these discussions about the "Greekness" of the GOAA parishes annoy me because they ignore the massive decline in cultural association in the parishes over the past 30 years that I've witnessed, and ignore the Orthodox spirituality which overwhelmingly dominates the life of the parishes.  I can recall parish bulletins that were half in English.  Today, there is not a word of Greek in our parish publications.

If this is not your experience with a GOAA parish, I'd like to see from where it is that you are seeing all this cultural orientation.
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« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2012, 05:54:13 AM »

That is a tough one. The OCA and Antiochian Churches definitely seem the most contemporary or 'Americanized' like they fit in with the American culture the greatest, however, they also have their weaknesses. The Greeks on the other hand are the largest group here, making up like 50% of American Orthodox Christians, but, I'm not too sure how much the Moscow Patriarchate would like the Greeks becoming the pre-dominant Church in an area that is pretty much considered more his territory. Lastly, the Russians definitely have been here the longest and are therefore probably entitled to being like the main American Orthodox Church, however, Russian Churches are REALLY un-Americanized and mostly composed of immigrants from what I hear and are a bit weary of strangers. All in all, I think that it will either come down to the OCA, Greeks or Antiochians.

You talk about the Russians being un-American, but the Greeks are the last group ever to change their culture for where they are. Whether in the USA, Norway, or wherever, they always speak liturgy in Greek, and carry their very Greek culture without adding the local customs. I've been told by many a Greek that Orthodoxy isn't for my people. I'm not hating on the Greeks, but if you are going to call the Russians out, you must know the Greeks are MUCH worse about including other cultures.

I would not doubt your observations, but I do know that my observations of the Greeks has been different. From what I have noticed, most Greeks actually seem really liberal things and are always looking for a way to 'Americanize' Greek culture or adopt practices that are more common in America and instill them into their Churches--sometimes to the point where I find it a bad thing, like including pews in their Churches or having Bible studies like Protestants. The Russians on the other hand, while extremely friendly and courteous once you get to know them, seem to care much more about culture and tradition than the Greeks do, at least in my experience. Then again, keep in mind the demograph. Most Russians I have been around are elderly 1st generation immigrants whereas most Greeks I have seen were at least 2nd generation immigrants.
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« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2012, 05:58:36 AM »

Bible studies a bad thing?
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« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2012, 05:59:38 AM »

If this is not your experience with a GOAA parish, I'd like to see from where it is that you are seeing all this cultural orientation.

2 Greek priests told me "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians, it is for Greeks, Arabs, and Slavs.". I had to seek out the OCA and Russians, because the Greeks only want culturally/ethnically Greek people at their churches.

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.
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« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2012, 06:00:13 AM »

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.

You can't force people to like you or talk to you.
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« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2012, 06:47:08 AM »

Bible studies a bad thing?

That is an excellent question.  I have never known an Orthodox priest (at least any of the several that I have been under) that didn't encourage us to read the Scriptures, and bible studies would certainly be Orthodox.  If nothing else, it gives the priest a chance to make sure that we know the Orthodox interpretation of the Scriptures instead of thinking that we are to go by our own interpretations.  I know that my current priest is always encouraging me to read and study the Scriptures.  I am looking forward to him getting some classes going.  I am also looking forward to learning more about the teachings of his spiritual father for his first 5 years as an Orthodox Christian, Elder Sophrony.
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« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2012, 06:54:38 AM »

If this is not your experience with a GOAA parish, I'd like to see from where it is that you are seeing all this cultural orientation.

2 Greek priests told me "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians, it is for Greeks, Arabs, and Slavs.". I had to seek out the OCA and Russians, because the Greeks only want culturally/ethnically Greek people at their churches.

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.

WHERE IS THIS "GREEK PARISH [WHERE] EVERYONE SPEAKS GREEK TO EACHOTHER (sic) AND [EXCLUDES] YOU AND ANYOTHER (sic) NON-GREEK PERSON?"
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« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2012, 08:16:33 AM »


I don't know.  All the Greek parishes I have visited were not like that.  They were just fine.  I actually enjoyed visiting them.

I have never felt "unwanted" in any of the Orthodox churches I visited, including:  Greek, Russian, Serbian, Antiochian, Albanian, OCA, Bulgarian, Romanian, etc.

Actually, the OCA tried too hard to make me welcome, making me feel uncomfortable.  I didn't come looking for all that much attention.

...and I am amazed to learn there are only two Albanian parishes, and I've been to one.  They are very friendly, and have hosted our "Pan-Orthodox" St. Nicholas event for the past 3 years.

Here, where I live, there are a lot of Romanian parishes, followed by Serbs, Greeks, Antiochian and then everyone else with one parish.

The Greeks and Antiochians have the most money, and the most faithful, and do the most in the community, because they can.  They don't just build churches, they build "complexes", with huge churches, halls, schools, lecture areas, etc.  It's great!  The Antiochian priest told me they have over 600 members on the books, and each Sunday they have well over 200 in attendance.  Wow!!!!

The most "faithful" and pious people I have encountered were actually the Romanians.  I've never seen anyone pray like them.  I didn't understand a single word, but, nonetheless, it was an edifying experience.



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« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2012, 09:07:53 AM »

That is a tough one. The OCA and Antiochian Churches definitely seem the most contemporary or 'Americanized' like they fit in with the American culture the greatest, however, they also have their weaknesses. The Greeks on the other hand are the largest group here, making up like 50% of American Orthodox Christians, but, I'm not too sure how much the Moscow Patriarchate would like the Greeks becoming the pre-dominant Church in an area that is pretty much considered more his territory. Lastly, the Russians definitely have been here the longest and are therefore probably entitled to being like the main American Orthodox Church, however, Russian Churches are REALLY un-Americanized and mostly composed of immigrants from what I hear and are a bit weary of strangers. All in all, I think that it will either come down to the OCA, Greeks or Antiochians.

I think that many folks here have the idea that if an administratively united Church of America comes about, it will happen by folding all churches into an existing dominant one. Dominance has been mostly defined as (a) OCA is already autocephalous and thus dominant; or (b) GOA is by far the most numerous and thus dominant. I do not think that it is going to work that way.

First, the autocephaly granted to the OCA was always understood by the OCA itself to be provisional; to be sacrificed when a truly united and autocephalous Church in America is established. OCA's autocephaly cannot be given up for an administratively united but autonomous church under another (foreign) local church. When that new autocephalous church comes about, all of the Orthodox churches in the States would belong to it, with only representational churches belonging to foreign patriarchates. Any other church that does not belong to the new autocephalous church would be uncanonical and schismatic. So, we do have a very difficult task ahead and perhaps an impossible one. In the mean time. the thing to do is to maintain cordial relations with each and perhaps intensify joint endeavors under the auspieces of the Assembly of Bishops.

Second, there are slight differences, not only between juruisdictions, but also between dioceses/parishes of a jurisdiction. Some folks, to include myself, think this to be a good thing. Other people are more inclined to stress standardization. However, some people are too focused on these differences. And when that happens, the "us vs them" phenomenon kicks in, causing all kinds of unwanted and unnecessary problems.

In any case, over the passage of time, we will see the emergence of a distintinctly American church--just as we had the rise of distinct Bulgarian, Serrbina, Romanian, Ukrainian, Carpathorissian, and Russian churches. Indeed, the range of Orthodox "flavors" in the Orthodox ice cream shop will be even greater when the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox finally reunite. The point is that, all the flavors are essentially the same thing and we do need the Orthodox Church of the United States to be Orthodoxy's big tent.
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« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2012, 09:13:25 AM »



As a Swede (Svenska) and Orthodox I guess I am a pioneer of sorts?


Intersting enough, the Scandinavians inhabited what is now northwestern Russia at least thats what Ive been told.
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« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2012, 09:40:46 AM »

I've only once visited an EP parish (for vespers) with my family.

Before the service I approached two young guys who happened to speak English and they told me when the vespers start etc. Secondly we were approached by a deacon who gave us a detailed tour on the church (and realised we have some common friends). Finally we were blessed by the local bishop.

No, I can't say it was not welcoming enough. For me maybe to much.
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« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2012, 10:10:13 AM »

And frankly, retention of cultural activities comes from primarily American born, often 2nd generation parents of the youth, who want the kids to learn the culture, there isn't another venue for that even though we have Greek fraternal organizations...It is not the Parish Council or the Priests, and not our Metropolitan, promoting ethnicity in the churches. 

Agreed. I see the Greeks getting a bad rap often, and I don't want to diss anyone's experience, but this has definitely not been mine. The first Divine Liturgy I attended was at a Greek Orthodox parish, and I was perfectly able to follow along and even participate, because most of the service was in English. If there was Greek, it was repeated in English. The people couldn't have been nicer or more welcoming. They all greeted us after Liturgy, invited us to stay for coffee hour and Sunday School, and to a midweek Bible study. Several members stayed for over an hour afterward to answer our questions.
I have heard a GOA priest say to his congregation that if they were looking to the Church to teach their children the language and culture, they were bound to be disapointed, because that is not the Church's business.
I have also heard a GOA Metropolitan (Greek-born) say that if people want to have an ethnic social club, they should feel free to do so. But don't call it a Church.
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« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2012, 10:24:51 AM »

And frankly, retention of cultural activities comes from primarily American born, often 2nd generation parents of the youth, who want the kids to learn the culture, there isn't another venue for that even though we have Greek fraternal organizations...It is not the Parish Council or the Priests, and not our Metropolitan, promoting ethnicity in the churches. 

Agreed. I see the Greeks getting a bad rap often, and I don't want to diss anyone's experience, but this has definitely not been mine. The first Divine Liturgy I attended was at a Greek Orthodox parish, and I was perfectly able to follow along and even participate, because most of the service was in English. If there was Greek, it was repeated in English. The people couldn't have been nicer or more welcoming. They all greeted us after Liturgy, invited us to stay for coffee hour and Sunday School, and to a midweek Bible study. Several members stayed for over an hour afterward to answer our questions.
I have heard a GOA priest say to his congregation that if they were looking to the Church to teach their children the language and culture, they were bound to be disapointed, because that is not the Church's business.
I have also heard a GOA Metropolitan (Greek-born) say that if people want to have an ethnic social club, they should feel free to do so. But don't call it a Church.

This is very reassuring and moving in the right direction.
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« Reply #39 on: July 18, 2012, 10:35:15 AM »

For some reason that is a perception on this forum, that GOAA churches are culturally oriented.  At 59 years old, I've lived through witnessing some ethnicity, but growth in the faith was always the overwhelming dominant thrust of the parish's ministry.  The culture came up on Greek Independence Day, and sometimes "Ochi" Day, October 28th, (when Greece pushed the Fascist Italians back out of Greece into Albania).  Keep in mind there has been very limited Greek immigration since the 1970's.  I see only a little culture anymore in the GOAA parishes, at least in my experience, in the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, (Northeast and Central Ohio, Pennsylvania except Greater Philadelphia, and West Virginia).  Probably New York, New Jersey, and Chicago retain more cultural attachment these days (Canada and Australia too, I'm sure), but really, I don't see this Greekness that you assert.  We do have a Greek School and allow them to offer a Christmas play in church, most of it in Greek, following the Liturgy, and the Sunday School does one too, in English; likewise a 10 minute Greek Independence Day program is allowed after church.  No other mention of ethnicity, none, all year long; just worship and living the life of the Orthodox Church through the church calendar.  We have a Greek dance group among our youth that dances at our annual Grecian Festival, which is more of a fund raiser, than a cultural event and includes instructional church tours (many of which I conduct).  I find GOAA priests dedicated, devout churchman, wholly dedicated to the Christ-centered priestly ministry exclusively.  Our year round Sunday Liturgy is 90% in the English language of the priest's parts, though the choir chants almost all of the a major hymns in Greek still, but it's more because they haven't taken the time to learn them in English yet. We have much more English, probably 80% overall, in the Summer months when we have chanters and congregational participation.  My priest always looks over the congregation to decide how much of which language we will emphasize, but I recall a funeral when he was new to our parish, I am the chanter and went into the Sanctuary to whisper to him he might want to do a little more Greek, but he replied, "They have to understand this is the way we execute the services at St. ____."  Our Liturgical Assistant Priest is an American convert, St. Vladimir Seminary graduate, affiliated with the Antiochian Archdiocese, with a limited knowledge of Greek.

And frankly, retention of cultural activities comes from primarily American born, often 2nd generation parents of the youth, who want the kids to learn the culture, there isn't another venue for that even though we have Greek fraternal organizations.  I was looking over our 70+ youth in the dance groups and I'll bet the majority of them are 25% Greek.  It is not the Parish Council or the Priests, and not our Metropolitan, promoting ethnicity in the churches. 

During his archepiscopal tenure, 1996-'99, Archbishop Spyridon of America reported that 30% of the GOAA parishes didn't have Greek Schools.

The other GOAA parishes in my area are similar with their expression of Greek ethnicity.  Out of 6 parishes in the area, 1 has always been the more ethnically oriented parish.  It's the intercity "mother church," the ethnic orientation keeps its membership numbers up, because no one lives near it anymore.  That church, in the past decade, has declined in membership (They're transferring to our churches in the suburbs.)  The current priest assigned there is American born, and his Greek is not perfect.  When he was assigned, the Metropolitan had their parish council come to Pittsburgh to meet, to tell them the parish had to move more toward English in the Divine Services because their youth were now in their 30's and they are American born, primarily,  (They have youth too, who are the children of yesterday's youth.)

Anyway, these discussions about the "Greekness" of the GOAA parishes annoy me because they ignore the massive decline in cultural association in the parishes over the past 30 years that I've witnessed, and ignore the Orthodox spirituality which overwhelmingly dominates the life of the parishes.  I can recall parish bulletins that were half in English.  Today, there is not a word of Greek in our parish publications.

If this is not your experience with a GOAA parish, I'd like to see from where it is that you are seeing all this cultural orientation.

I am the same age and I would agree with much of what Basil said. One thing that is often lost in this whole thing and which may account for some of the perceived differences among us is that the OCA was not really founded by ethnic Russians. Its roots in the Metropolia come from the same regions of Europe where the ACROD and UOC's founders came from - the lands of the Austro-Hungarians, the Poles and the western reaches of the Tsarist empire. This is important to note because while what became the Metropolia was initially funded in large part by the Russian government prior to 1917 and the more prominent clergy and hierarchs were largely ethnic Russians who emigrated after 1918, such was not the case on the parish level for either the laity or the local clergy. As people grew into the second and third generations, they understood that while they were called 'Russians', they were really never Russian. Different native languages, different foods, different folk customs etc... Also, at the height of the cold war, being called Russian was not a good thing in America. Hence there was a desire to become more clearly American. American patriotic events were prominent in both the ACROD and the Metropolia. There was nothing like the Greek Independence Day of the old country to celebrate - excepting that the Ukrainians had such a day to commemorate - short lived as its independence was following the collapse of Imperial Russia..... Those who came to self-identify here as Ukrainian, or who had such an identity in the old country are more like the Greeks in terms on honoring and holding on to their image of the old world ways - festivals, dancers etc...

But under these cultural veneers we are the same Orthodox Christians.

Look it up. http://www.squidoo.com/rusyns The Rusyns and Lemkos were the people without a nation in Europe to fully relate to, hence today both the OCA and ACROD are far less nationalistic than the other churches. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing as I see it as I don't see the establishment of one administrative entity as a magic elixir to cure all of our ills. But enough of the banging on the Greeks already.

One more thing - the people within both the OCA and ACROD have shown a willingness to accept Bishops from outside of their ancestral heritage - something none of our sister jurisdictions have shown to be case, perhaps that will come in time.
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« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2012, 10:36:22 AM »

That is a tough one. The OCA and Antiochian Churches definitely seem the most contemporary or 'Americanized' like they fit in with the American culture the greatest, however, they also have their weaknesses. The Greeks on the other hand are the largest group here, making up like 50% of American Orthodox Christians, but, I'm not too sure how much the Moscow Patriarchate would like the Greeks becoming the pre-dominant Church in an area that is pretty much considered more his territory. Lastly, the Russians definitely have been here the longest and are therefore probably entitled to being like the main American Orthodox Church, however, Russian Churches are REALLY un-Americanized and mostly composed of immigrants from what I hear and are a bit weary of strangers. All in all, I think that it will either come down to the OCA, Greeks or Antiochians.

I think that many folks here have the idea that if an administratively united Church of America comes about, it will happen by folding all churches into an existing dominant one. Dominance has been mostly defined as (a) OCA is already autocephalous and thus dominant; or (b) GOA is by far the most numerous and thus dominant. I do not think that it is going to work that way.

First, the autocephaly granted to the OCA was always understood by the OCA itself to be provisional; to be sacrificed when a truly united and autocephalous Church in America is established. OCA's autocephaly cannot be given up for an administratively united but autonomous church under another (foreign) local church. When that new autocephalous church comes about, all of the Orthodox churches in the States would belong to it, with only representational churches belonging to foreign patriarchates. Any other church that does not belong to the new autocephalous church would be uncanonical and schismatic. So, we do have a very difficult task ahead and perhaps an impossible one. In the mean time. the thing to do is to maintain cordial relations with each and perhaps intensify joint endeavors under the auspieces of the Assembly of Bishops.

Second, there are slight differences, not only between juruisdictions, but also between dioceses/parishes of a jurisdiction. Some folks, to include myself, think this to be a good thing. Other people are more inclined to stress standardization. However, some people are too focused on these differences. And when that happens, the "us vs them" phenomenon kicks in, causing all kinds of unwanted and unnecessary problems.

In any case, over the passage of time, we will see the emergence of a distintinctly American church--just as we had the rise of distinct Bulgarian, Serrbina, Romanian, Ukrainian, Carpathorissian, and Russian churches. Indeed, the range of Orthodox "flavors" in the Orthodox ice cream shop will be even greater when the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox finally reunite. The point is that, all the flavors are essentially the same thing and we do need the Orthodox Church of the United States to be Orthodoxy's big tent.

Amen. Amen. Amen.
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« Reply #41 on: July 18, 2012, 10:51:30 AM »

I'm so happy to see that many of you do not have the "GOAA churches are Greek social clubs" bias.

(PARTIAL) REPLY TO REPLY NO. 33

Liza, There are only two (maybe 3) Albanian parishes under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I don't know how many they have, but there are quite a few more in an Albanian Archdiocese that is within the OCA.
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« Reply #42 on: July 18, 2012, 11:14:12 AM »


I see.

I have a number of Romanian parishes here.  A few of them are under the OCA.

I've always wondered about that.
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« Reply #43 on: July 18, 2012, 11:23:53 AM »

I'm so happy to see that many of you do not have the "GOAA churches are Greek social clubs" bias.

(PARTIAL) REPLY TO REPLY NO. 33

Liza, There are only two (maybe 3) Albanian parishes under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I don't know how many they have, but there are quite a few more in an Albanian Archdiocese that is within the OCA.

In my post, I spoke of MY experience growing up in One Particular GOA church.  I NEVER said that my experience was typical.  I even allowed that I might have been mistaken in my perceptions.  Would you prefer that I LIE about MY experiences so as not to offend your Greek sensibilities? 

BTW, I am not a self-loathing Greek, but I am an American before I am a Greek, and I am an Orthodox Christian before I am an American (a fact which irks some of the Greeks to whom this has been told).
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« Reply #44 on: July 18, 2012, 11:33:44 AM »

That is a tough one. The OCA and Antiochian Churches definitely seem the most contemporary or 'Americanized' like they fit in with the American culture the greatest, however, they also have their weaknesses. The Greeks on the other hand are the largest group here, making up like 50% of American Orthodox Christians, but, I'm not too sure how much the Moscow Patriarchate would like the Greeks becoming the pre-dominant Church in an area that is pretty much considered more his territory. Lastly, the Russians definitely have been here the longest and are therefore probably entitled to being like the main American Orthodox Church, however, Russian Churches are REALLY un-Americanized and mostly composed of immigrants from what I hear and are a bit weary of strangers. All in all, I think that it will either come down to the OCA, Greeks or Antiochians.

I think that many folks here have the idea that if an administratively united Church of America comes about, it will happen by folding all churches into an existing dominant one. Dominance has been mostly defined as (a) OCA is already autocephalous and thus dominant; or (b) GOA is by far the most numerous and thus dominant. I do not think that it is going to work that way.

First, the autocephaly granted to the OCA was always understood by the OCA itself to be provisional; to be sacrificed when a truly united and autocephalous Church in America is established. OCA's autocephaly cannot be given up for an administratively united but autonomous church under another (foreign) local church. When that new autocephalous church comes about, all of the Orthodox churches in the States would belong to it, with only representational churches belonging to foreign patriarchates. Any other church that does not belong to the new autocephalous church would be uncanonical and schismatic. So, we do have a very difficult task ahead and perhaps an impossible one. In the mean time. the thing to do is to maintain cordial relations with each and perhaps intensify joint endeavors under the auspieces of the Assembly of Bishops.

Second, there are slight differences, not only between juruisdictions, but also between dioceses/parishes of a jurisdiction. Some folks, to include myself, think this to be a good thing. Other people are more inclined to stress standardization. However, some people are too focused on these differences. And when that happens, the "us vs them" phenomenon kicks in, causing all kinds of unwanted and unnecessary problems.

In any case, over the passage of time, we will see the emergence of a distintinctly American church--just as we had the rise of distinct Bulgarian, Serrbina, Romanian, Ukrainian, Carpathorissian, and Russian churches. Indeed, the range of Orthodox "flavors" in the Orthodox ice cream shop will be even greater when the Oriental Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox finally reunite. The point is that, all the flavors are essentially the same thing and we do need the Orthodox Church of the United States to be Orthodoxy's big tent.

I agree than if/when all the Orthodox Christians in America are united, then they must form a new American Orthodox Church;  let each parish determine the language(s) and customs per the needs of the congregants.  As I stated in my original post, at my pan-ethnic church, languages other than English have been added or deleted to/from the services depending upon the needs of the parishioners.  Where I live, there is a large hispanic population, and if we are ever successful in attracting some into our church, then we'll be adding Spanish.
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« Reply #45 on: July 18, 2012, 12:53:24 PM »

Quote
I agree than if/when all the Orthodox Christians in America are united, then they must form a new American Orthodox Church;  let each parish determine the language(s) and customs per the needs of the congregants.  As I stated in my original post, at my pan-ethnic church, languages other than English have been added or deleted to/from the services depending upon the needs of the parishioners.  Where I live, there is a large hispanic population, and if we are ever successful in attracting some into our church, then we'll be adding Spanish
I personally dont think we will ever have a church structure like the other jurisdictions. There is simply too much money, too much property, and too much investment to simply walk away from. Nobody, not the EP, MP, Antioch, or anyone else will do that.

I'm beginning the think that American Orthodoxy will look more like a corporate body of sorts.

PP
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« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2012, 01:06:38 PM »

Besides the EP (and they have many other income sources too) no other OC depends on their American dependencies. Quite the other way around. Especially not Moscow.
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« Reply #47 on: July 18, 2012, 01:34:58 PM »

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.

You can't force people to like you or talk to you.

I sait it isn't just me, they do it to every Greek person.

Michal, sometimes you really annoy me with that thing you do.
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« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2012, 01:34:58 PM »

I've only once visited an EP parish (for vespers) with my family.

Before the service I approached two young guys who happened to speak English and they told me when the vespers start etc. Secondly we were approached by a deacon who gave us a detailed tour on the church (and realised we have some common friends). Finally we were blessed by the local bishop.

No, I can't say it was not welcoming enough. For me maybe to much.

Does that somehow negate my experience?
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« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2012, 01:34:58 PM »

If this is not your experience with a GOAA parish, I'd like to see from where it is that you are seeing all this cultural orientation.

2 Greek priests told me "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians, it is for Greeks, Arabs, and Slavs.". I had to seek out the OCA and Russians, because the Greeks only want culturally/ethnically Greek people at their churches.

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.

WHERE IS THIS "GREEK PARISH [WHERE] EVERYONE SPEAKS GREEK TO EACHOTHER (sic) AND [EXCLUDES] YOU AND ANYOTHER (sic) NON-GREEK PERSON?"

Trondheim, Norway; Baton Rouge, La; Pensacola, Fl; London, UK; Wellington, NZ
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« Reply #50 on: July 18, 2012, 01:34:58 PM »



As a Swede (Svenska) and Orthodox I guess I am a pioneer of sorts?


Intersting enough, the Scandinavians inhabited what is now northwestern Russia at least thats what Ive been told.

What part of Sweden?

And yes, the Rus tribe.
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« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2012, 01:45:20 PM »

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.

You can't force people to like you or talk to you.

I sait it isn't just me, they do it to every Greek person.

Michal, sometimes you really annoy me with that thing you do.

I really don't understand why the fact you can't make friendships easily is related to that parish.
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« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2012, 01:58:36 PM »

Quote
I agree than if/when all the Orthodox Christians in America are united, then they must form a new American Orthodox Church;  let each parish determine the language(s) and customs per the needs of the congregants.  As I stated in my original post, at my pan-ethnic church, languages other than English have been added or deleted to/from the services depending upon the needs of the parishioners.  Where I live, there is a large hispanic population, and if we are ever successful in attracting some into our church, then we'll be adding Spanish
I personally dont think we will ever have a church structure like the other jurisdictions. There is simply too much money, too much property, and too much investment to simply walk away from. Nobody, not the EP, MP, Antioch, or anyone else will do that.

I'm beginning the think that American Orthodoxy will look more like a corporate body of sorts.

PP

See, I don't really understand this sort of attitude.

If people took a little time to read more into the Assembly, to listen to the interviews with each bishop:
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/thearena/

As well as if more read about the decree from Chambesy, they would understand that this has been mandated. Membership in the Assembly is not optional, it is required. Also, it has been required by our mother churches that we come up with a plan for jurisdictional unity by the time of the Pan-Orthodox Council. It isn't that we "should" have a plan, or that they just would like us to have a plan, it is that we absolutely have to have a plan. This is the same for every other part of the world in the same situation (like South & Central America, Western Europe, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa).

This isn't like Ligonier or SCOBA, where they want to do this voluntarily and nothing has to get done. This is not an option for our Bishops, it is something that has to be done, or I'm sure we could expect a form of discipline like excommunication for not doing it.
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« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2012, 02:12:04 PM »

On the subject of ethnicity and ethnic identity in American Orthodoxy:

"The common stereotype is that the Orthodox Churches in the USA are “ethnic” Churches of certain
immigrant communities. The study shows that this not the case anymore. Nine out of ten parishioners in both
GOA and OCA are American-born. Further, today, more than one-quarter (29%) of the GOA and a majority
of OCA (51%) members are converts to Orthodoxy – persons born and raised either Protestants or Roman
Catholics."
http://www.orthodoxinstitute.org/files/PressReleaseShort1.pdf

When asked: "“How well does the statement ‘Our parish has a strong ethnic heritage that we are trying to preserve’ describe your parish?”"
59% of GOA parishioners answered true, 22% of OCA parishioners answered true
31% of GOA parishioners answered somewhat true, 37% of OCA parishioners answered somewhat true
10% of GOA parishioners answered not true, 41% of OCA parishioners answered not true
http://www.orthodoxinstitute.org/files/Brochuretogether.pdf

Yet at the same time, when asked about how well the following issues applied to their parish, GOA & OCA parishioners answered thus...

"Our parish is open to social, ethnic, cultural diversity"
63% GOA parishioners answered quite well, 70% OCA parishioners answered quite well

"New people are easily incorporated into our parish"
64% GOA parishioners answered quite well, 52% of OCA parishioners answered quite well

"Our parish has strong ethnic heritage"
59% GOA parishioners answered quite well, 22% of OCA parishioners answered quite well

"Local community is well informed about our parish"
39% of GOA parishioners answered quite well, 19% of OCA parishioners answered quite well

"% of parishioners who said that the issue of "ethnic" versus "American" parishes is VERY IMPORTANT to be openly discussed in the Church"
45% of GOA parishioners answered very important, 40% of OCA parishioners answered very important

http://www.orthodoxinstitute.org/files/OrthChurchFullReport.pdf
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« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2012, 02:34:00 PM »

Quote
I agree than if/when all the Orthodox Christians in America are united, then they must form a new American Orthodox Church;  let each parish determine the language(s) and customs per the needs of the congregants.  As I stated in my original post, at my pan-ethnic church, languages other than English have been added or deleted to/from the services depending upon the needs of the parishioners.  Where I live, there is a large hispanic population, and if we are ever successful in attracting some into our church, then we'll be adding Spanish
I personally dont think we will ever have a church structure like the other jurisdictions. There is simply too much money, too much property, and too much investment to simply walk away from. Nobody, not the EP, MP, Antioch, or anyone else will do that.

I'm beginning the think that American Orthodoxy will look more like a corporate body of sorts.

PP

See, I don't really understand this sort of attitude.

If people took a little time to read more into the Assembly, to listen to the interviews with each bishop:
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/thearena/

As well as if more read about the decree from Chambesy, they would understand that this has been mandated. Membership in the Assembly is not optional, it is required. Also, it has been required by our mother churches that we come up with a plan for jurisdictional unity by the time of the Pan-Orthodox Council. It isn't that we "should" have a plan, or that they just would like us to have a plan, it is that we absolutely have to have a plan. This is the same for every other part of the world in the same situation (like South & Central America, Western Europe, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa).

This isn't like Ligonier or SCOBA, where they want to do this voluntarily and nothing has to get done. This is not an option for our Bishops, it is something that has to be done, or I'm sure we could expect a form of discipline like excommunication for not doing it.

I interpreted Primuspilus' remark differently. I thought "looking like a corporate body" meant that we could be a collection of divisions, like General Motors used to be. Let the folks select the flavor they want; don't force it down their throats.

Give you an example: Austin, Texas. There was but one Orthodox Church when I arrived there in 1977; Saint Elias of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese (AOCA), a pan-Orthodox parish that had been founded in the 1930s by Lebanese and Syrian immigrants. Out of this church came five churches: one Greek, two AOCA, one Serbian, and one Romanian (mission still meeting at St Elias). There are also additional Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches in the metro area. As far as I can tell, all the clergy and congregants are happy that there are more churches rather than less. For one thing, it gives folks a choice and for another the increased number itself is an outreach tool. The Austin experience is similar to the well known business phenomenon: when two same businesses are located near each other, instead of splitting the customers, they each get more than they had originally.

I think that this approach can work for the foreseeable future and, as long as there is no push to force everybody to standardize 100%, I think you will have a natural growth of a distinct indigenous American church, which will be yet another flavor among many. I find that prospect thrilling: who likes to go to an ice cream shop that has only chocolate, vanilla and strawberry only?
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« Reply #55 on: July 18, 2012, 03:10:14 PM »

Quote
I agree than if/when all the Orthodox Christians in America are united, then they must form a new American Orthodox Church;  let each parish determine the language(s) and customs per the needs of the congregants.  As I stated in my original post, at my pan-ethnic church, languages other than English have been added or deleted to/from the services depending upon the needs of the parishioners.  Where I live, there is a large hispanic population, and if we are ever successful in attracting some into our church, then we'll be adding Spanish
I personally dont think we will ever have a church structure like the other jurisdictions. There is simply too much money, too much property, and too much investment to simply walk away from. Nobody, not the EP, MP, Antioch, or anyone else will do that.

I'm beginning the think that American Orthodoxy will look more like a corporate body of sorts.

PP

See, I don't really understand this sort of attitude.

If people took a little time to read more into the Assembly, to listen to the interviews with each bishop:
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/thearena/

As well as if more read about the decree from Chambesy, they would understand that this has been mandated. Membership in the Assembly is not optional, it is required. Also, it has been required by our mother churches that we come up with a plan for jurisdictional unity by the time of the Pan-Orthodox Council. It isn't that we "should" have a plan, or that they just would like us to have a plan, it is that we absolutely have to have a plan. This is the same for every other part of the world in the same situation (like South & Central America, Western Europe, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa).

This isn't like Ligonier or SCOBA, where they want to do this voluntarily and nothing has to get done. This is not an option for our Bishops, it is something that has to be done, or I'm sure we could expect a form of discipline like excommunication for not doing it.

I interpreted Primuspilus' remark differently. I thought "looking like a corporate body" meant that we could be a collection of divisions, like General Motors used to be. Let the folks select the flavor they want; don't force it down their throats.

Give you an example: Austin, Texas. There was but one Orthodox Church when I arrived there in 1977; Saint Elias of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese (AOCA), a pan-Orthodox parish that had been founded in the 1930s by Lebanese and Syrian immigrants. Out of this church came five churches: one Greek, two AOCA, one Serbian, and one Romanian (mission still meeting at St Elias). There are also additional Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches in the metro area. As far as I can tell, all the clergy and congregants are happy that there are more churches rather than less. For one thing, it gives folks a choice and for another the increased number itself is an outreach tool. The Austin experience is similar to the well known business phenomenon: when two same businesses are located near each other, instead of splitting the customers, they each get more than they had originally.

I think that this approach can work for the foreseeable future and, as long as there is no push to force everybody to standardize 100%, I think you will have a natural growth of a distinct indigenous American church, which will be yet another flavor among many. I find that prospect thrilling: who likes to go to an ice cream shop that has only chocolate, vanilla and strawberry only?

I see I misread what he was saying now that I go back and read it.

However I think I still disagree with what he was saying. Phyletism is a heresy and whatever our final structure is, there cannot be a difference between our churches. Parishes could and should be able to keep certain aspects of their liturgical traditions. However the parishes located in the same region should be under the same Bishop. A parish, if it were Antiochian before, would simply become Orthodox and while it may be a little more Byzantine in liturgical "flavor" and use some Arabic, there should be nothing separating it from the others.

Take Kansas City for example. We have two Greek parishes, St. Dionysios and Annuncation. We also have three Serbian parishes: St. George, St. Mary of Egypt & St. Michaels. Two OCA parishes: St. James (currently with St. Michaels) and Holy Trinity. One ROCOR: Holy Protection. One Antiochian: St. Basil.

All of these parishes meet together for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and the events or mission-work from each parish is promoted in the other parishes (both in announcements and bulletins). While relations haven't always been perfect, I think they've been pretty good the last few years. OCA priests help at St. Mary's and St. Michael's Serbian Churches. An OCA priest was also temporarily given to Annunciation Greek Church after it's last parish reposed and they waited for a new Priest from Denver.

Once jurisdictional unity is reached, each one of these parishes should have their designations dropped. So instead of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church and St. George Serbian Orthodox Church. They would simply be St. Dionysios Orthodox Church, Annunciation Orthodox Church, St. George Orthodox Church. They could retain the liturgical traditions unique to each one's background (like Byzantine or Russian/Slavic) and can use the languages respective to their own tradition. But other than that, I don't think we should give any parish any room to separate themselves from the others.

In the past, America had parishes that were multi-ethnic, Greek and Russian, Russian and Lebanese, or such... Eventually these split into their own unique parishes. This was simply wrong to do, because as Orthodox, our church is not based on ethnic identity and in fact, such is the heresy of phyletism. But God always uses the sins of men to bring about the salvation of others. In this case, while it was sinful for us to split along ethnic lines, it (as you say) gives us more parishes.

In the future, parishes should not be created based on ethnic identity, but simply to spread the gospel. They should be created as missionary work or be placed were Orthodox Christians have no parish.

Orthodoxy isn't the rest of Christianity, we aren't cafeteria Christianity. Our unique situation currently of being able to "pick and choose" is not the Orthodox way. Laity belong to the diocese, and are free to attend any parish. But traditionally, you attend the parish which is closest to you, not the parish that has your unique ethnic identity. It is also wrong to leave a parish simply because you are upset at people within that parish, upset at the Priest, or simply don't like how they do things. That is not Orthodoxy.

We should not have separate Bishops or Diocese for each unique ethnicity. If you read about Constantinople 1872, it was precisely this that was condemned as phyletism.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 03:15:23 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: July 18, 2012, 03:17:10 PM »

Take Kansas City for example. We have two Greek parishes, St. Dionysios and Annuncation. We also have three Serbian parishes: St. George, St. Mary of Egypt & St. Michaels. Two OCA parishes: St. James (currently with St. Michaels) and Holy Trinity. One ROCOR: Holy Protection. One Antiochian: St. Basil.

All of these parishes meet together for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and the events or mission-work from each parish is promoted in the other parishes (both in announcements and bulletins). While relations haven't always been perfect, I think they've been pretty good the last few years. OCA priests help at St. Mary's and St. Michael's Serbian Churches. An OCA priest was also temporarily given to Annunciation Greek Church after it's last parish reposed and they waited for a new Priest from Denver.

That is a lot of churches in the local area, which is great!  Our church is Greek but our priest is on loan from the OCA.  They are trying to make it long term, but that is up to the Bishops.
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« Reply #57 on: July 18, 2012, 03:23:38 PM »

Take Kansas City for example. We have two Greek parishes, St. Dionysios and Annuncation. We also have three Serbian parishes: St. George, St. Mary of Egypt & St. Michaels. Two OCA parishes: St. James (currently with St. Michaels) and Holy Trinity. One ROCOR: Holy Protection. One Antiochian: St. Basil.

All of these parishes meet together for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and the events or mission-work from each parish is promoted in the other parishes (both in announcements and bulletins). While relations haven't always been perfect, I think they've been pretty good the last few years. OCA priests help at St. Mary's and St. Michael's Serbian Churches. An OCA priest was also temporarily given to Annunciation Greek Church after it's last parish reposed and they waited for a new Priest from Denver.

That is a lot of churches in the local area, which is great!  Our church is Greek but our priest is on loan from the OCA.  They are trying to make it long term, but that is up to the Bishops.

Yeah, right now (I think I mentioned this) there were three OCA Priests which alternate each Sunday at St Michael's Serbian/St. James OCA. Occasionally a Serbian Priest comes from St. Louis to serve at the parish.

Also as I had mentioned, the OCA Parish (Holy Trinity) gave one of its Priests to one of the Greek parishes (Annunciation) until it received a new priest. I think the parish does do the Liturgy in English with parts in Greek, but the Priest given to the Greek Parish actually grew up in the Greek Archdiocese and so he knew it in Greek anyway.

I can't remember which Bishop it was, but in an interview with Fr. Josiah Trenham about the Assembly, this Bishop said that he believes that when unity is achieved, that Holy Cross Seminary should teach the Slavic style with some Church Slavonic in addition to the Byzantine, Greek & Arabic. Also that St. Vladimirs and Tikhon's Seminaries should teach the Byzantine style with some Greek & Arabic as well as the Slavic style. He basically said that our Priests (and I guess our Deacons as well) should be taught the multiple traditions and at least dabble in the various languages so that they are better prepared to be sent to any parish in the United States regardless of its background.

I've only been to five of those parishes in KC: Holy Trinity, St. George, St Michael's, St. James & St. Basil's. But all of them felt really welcoming, and I would eventually like to go to the other parishes.

It is quite interesting though, because we also have two Oriental Orthodox Churches: Debre Sahel Medhani Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and St. Mark's Coptic Church. We also have one Eastern Rite Catholic parish: St. Luke's Byzantine Catholic Church. Plus we have one group that has their own parish and "monastery" but are simply a schismatic group.

I was amazed at how much we really have here in KC despite not being that large of a city. (compared to other bigger cities with less parishes)
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 03:29:44 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #58 on: July 18, 2012, 03:58:57 PM »

As well as if more read about the decree from Chambesy, they would understand that this has been mandated. Membership in the Assembly is not optional, it is required. Also, it has been required by our mother churches that we come up with a plan for jurisdictional unity by the time of the Pan-Orthodox Council. It isn't that we "should" have a plan, or that they just would like us to have a plan, it is that we absolutely have to have a plan. This is the same for every other part of the world in the same situation (like South & Central America, Western Europe, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa).

Not Africa or Asia.
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« Reply #59 on: July 18, 2012, 04:05:53 PM »

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.

You can't force people to like you or talk to you.

I sait it isn't just me, they do it to every Greek person.

Michal, sometimes you really annoy me with that thing you do.

I really don't understand why the fact you can't make friendships easily is related to that parish.

There you go again, insulting me again. Okay, I am perfectly fine at making friends, I am a people person. Those Greeks don't just ignore me, but EVERY non-Greek person there. So obviously it isn't me. I recommend you recognize that and post somethig that makes sense, or shut up with the ad hominems.
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« Reply #60 on: July 18, 2012, 04:05:53 PM »

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.

You can't force people to like you or talk to you.

I sait it isn't just me, they do it to every Greek person.

Michal, sometimes you really annoy me with that thing you do.

I really don't understand why the fact you can't make friendships easily is related to that parish.

If you need to learn how to speak/understand English, they have a thread for that here.
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« Reply #61 on: July 18, 2012, 04:07:09 PM »

There you go again, insulting me again. Okay, I am perfectly fine at making friends, I am a people person. Those Greeks don't just ignore me, but EVERY non-Greek person there. So obviously it isn't me. I recommend you recognize that and post somethig that makes sense, or shut up with the ad hominems.

OK, they ignore. So what?
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« Reply #62 on: July 18, 2012, 04:25:28 PM »

I assume the sort of thing I am seeing on this thread is one of the reasons it is such a slow process to merge all the different jurisdictions in America.
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« Reply #63 on: July 18, 2012, 04:50:46 PM »

There you go again, insulting me again. Okay, I am perfectly fine at making friends, I am a people person. Those Greeks don't just ignore me, but EVERY non-Greek person there. So obviously it isn't me. I recommend you recognize that and post somethig that makes sense, or shut up with the ad hominems.

OK, they ignore. So what?

They were rude an un-inviting for every one that wasn't of their ethnic group. Must I say the word?

I'm sure most aren't that way, but it seems to be that way in nearly every Greek parish I visit.
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« Reply #64 on: July 18, 2012, 04:51:44 PM »

They were rude because they told you to leave or they did not expand the red carpet for you?
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« Reply #65 on: July 18, 2012, 04:56:54 PM »

Well since this is still going on I'm going to put my 2 cents in, which is not meant to validate or invalidate anything said by anyone else, it's just my rather limited experience. I've only been to one liturgy at a Greek Church, in addition to staying at a Greek Monastery for a weekend (and visiting another Greek monastery, but only for a couple hours). At the Church I felt out of place, but that probably had more to do with my awkwardness and social anxiety (it was the biggest Orthodox Church I'd been in, stuff was in Greek, I hardly knew anyone, etc.)  At the monastery I felt very welcomed, though. The monk who I spent most of the time with learning how they went about things was very nice, and we talked about a number of different subjects. (Admittedly, that he had been an Antiochian before becoming a monk, and that I was an Antiochian at the time, may have had some very minor impact.) I did not feel excluded because I wasn't Greek/Serbian/Russian/etc.
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« Reply #66 on: July 18, 2012, 05:31:17 PM »

I am sure there are churches everywhere which display ethnic resistance, but I do not believe that is common place.  I have heard Russian churches are more resistant to non-members than Greeks, but have no firsthand experience to reference.

 I would never be considered Greek, but my church welcomed me openly and are wonderful people.  If I do not fit in, it is a result of my actions, not theirs.  Every time I see them, they smile and speak to me, even outside church.  My first few visits, it was all I could do to keep from being pulled into a conversation during coffee hour.  Admittedly, we are more Pan-Orthodox, but still under Greek jurisdiction and predominately Greek in membership.

 I even learned one of the members is relatives to the owners of some restaurants in my hometown several hours and a state away.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my church.
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« Reply #67 on: July 18, 2012, 06:56:59 PM »

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.

Since most first-generation, let alone 2nd-3rd, Greek-Americans barely speak any Greek, and you said they all spoke Greek to each other, they must be immigrants.  Maybe they don't speak English?

Is it a large church?  It seems to me in smaller churches it's usually a lot easier to get to know people.
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« Reply #68 on: July 18, 2012, 07:37:48 PM »

I'm so happy to see that many of you do not have the "GOAA churches are Greek social clubs" bias.

(PARTIAL) REPLY TO REPLY NO. 33

Liza, There are only two (maybe 3) Albanian parishes under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  I don't know how many they have, but there are quite a few more in an Albanian Archdiocese that is within the OCA.

In my post, I spoke of MY experience growing up in One Particular GOA church.  I NEVER said that my experience was typical.  I even allowed that I might have been mistaken in my perceptions.  Would you prefer that I LIE about MY experiences so as not to offend your Greek sensibilities? 

BTW, I am not a self-loathing Greek, but I am an American before I am a Greek, and I am an Orthodox Christian before I am an American (a fact which irks some of the Greeks to whom this has been told).

Do you think I criticized you or your post for some reason in my Reply No. 41?  In no way did I intend to criticize you.  I do not understand why you wrote this post, would you mind elaborating?

I am also in full agreement with you as to your patriotic and religious priorities.
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« Reply #69 on: July 18, 2012, 11:04:45 PM »

Basil, I quoted the wrong post in my reply; this was the post I intended to respond to:

For some reason that is a perception on this forum, that GOAA churches are culturally oriented.  At 59 years old, I've lived through witnessing some ethnicity, but growth in the faith was always the overwhelming dominant thrust of the parish's ministry.  The culture came up on Greek Independence Day, and sometimes "Ochi" Day, October 28th, (when Greece pushed the Fascist Italians back out of Greece into Albania).  Keep in mind there has been very limited Greek immigration since the 1970's.  I see only a little culture anymore in the GOAA parishes, at least in my experience, in the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, (Northeast and Central Ohio, Pennsylvania except Greater Philadelphia, and West Virginia).  Probably New York, New Jersey, and Chicago retain more cultural attachment these days (Canada and Australia too, I'm sure), but really, I don't see this Greekness that you assert.  We do have a Greek School and allow them to offer a Christmas play in church, most of it in Greek, following the Liturgy, and the Sunday School does one too, in English; likewise a 10 minute Greek Independence Day program is allowed after church.  No other mention of ethnicity, none, all year long; just worship and living the life of the Orthodox Church through the church calendar.  We have a Greek dance group among our youth that dances at our annual Grecian Festival, which is more of a fund raiser, than a cultural event and includes instructional church tours (many of which I conduct).  I find GOAA priests dedicated, devout churchman, wholly dedicated to the Christ-centered priestly ministry exclusively.  Our year round Sunday Liturgy is 90% in the English language of the priest's parts, though the choir chants almost all of the a major hymns in Greek still, but it's more because they haven't taken the time to learn them in English yet. We have much more English, probably 80% overall, in the Summer months when we have chanters and congregational participation.  My priest always looks over the congregation to decide how much of which language we will emphasize, but I recall a funeral when he was new to our parish, I am the chanter and went into the Sanctuary to whisper to him he might want to do a little more Greek, but he replied, "They have to understand this is the way we execute the services at St. ____."  Our Liturgical Assistant Priest is an American convert, St. Vladimir Seminary graduate, affiliated with the Antiochian Archdiocese, with a limited knowledge of Greek.

And frankly, retention of cultural activities comes from primarily American born, often 2nd generation parents of the youth, who want the kids to learn the culture, there isn't another venue for that even though we have Greek fraternal organizations.  I was looking over our 70+ youth in the dance groups and I'll bet the majority of them are 25% Greek.  It is not the Parish Council or the Priests, and not our Metropolitan, promoting ethnicity in the churches. 

During his archepiscopal tenure, 1996-'99, Archbishop Spyridon of America reported that 30% of the GOAA parishes didn't have Greek Schools.

The other GOAA parishes in my area are similar with their expression of Greek ethnicity.  Out of 6 parishes in the area, 1 has always been the more ethnically oriented parish.  It's the intercity "mother church," the ethnic orientation keeps its membership numbers up, because no one lives near it anymore.  That church, in the past decade, has declined in membership (They're transferring to our churches in the suburbs.)  The current priest assigned there is American born, and his Greek is not perfect.  When he was assigned, the Metropolitan had their parish council come to Pittsburgh to meet, to tell them the parish had to move more toward English in the Divine Services because their youth were now in their 30's and they are American born, primarily,  (They have youth too, who are the children of yesterday's youth.)

Anyway, these discussions about the "Greekness" of the GOAA parishes annoy me because they ignore the massive decline in cultural association in the parishes over the past 30 years that I've witnessed, and ignore the Orthodox spirituality which overwhelmingly dominates the life of the parishes.  I can recall parish bulletins that were half in English.  Today, there is not a word of Greek in our parish publications.

If this is not your experience with a GOAA parish, I'd like to see from where it is that you are seeing all this cultural orientation.

I guess I was replying to your being annoyed with certain posters and I assumed you were referring to my previous post.  Whether you were or were not referring to my post, I think my reply was a bit stronger than it should have been, and I apologize for doing so (my Greek temper, you know). 
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« Reply #70 on: July 19, 2012, 12:30:13 AM »

They were rude because they told you to leave or they did not expand the red carpet for you?

Because they told me their church was for Greeks.
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« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2012, 12:30:56 AM »

Well Bigsinner, I had to go back and check, and to be honest, I was reacting to your other post and a few others.  But, no, I would not expect you to lie, but I felt compelled to present my experience.  I'd be interested to know where that GOAA parish is.  As I noted, I don't see what you experienced in the GOAA.  I'd almost want to report that parish to the Archbishop or if it is in Pennsylvania, I would want Metropolitan Savas to know, I'm so disturbed that such behavior exists today, but no, I wouldn't do that, unless you would not mind--send me a Personal Message if you like.  Also, I'm quite surprised by the percentage of Greeks in your OCA parish, especially from where you seem to be, there should be GOAA parishes around there; (nothing against the OCA, thank God they are there for the Greek-American's).  Are the GOAA parishes around there like the parish you described, or is there a particular problem with the GOAA parishes in the area?

Greeks are temperamental?  Ha, (just kidding).  Remember Fr. Alexander Schmemmen's comment, (paraphrased), "God proved He had a sense of humor when He gave the perfect faith to people like us."
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« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2012, 02:48:31 AM »

Not to mention all the times I go to a Greek parish and everyone speaks Greek to eachother and exclude me and anyother non-Greek person.

Since most first-generation, let alone 2nd-3rd, Greek-Americans barely speak any Greek, and you said they all spoke Greek to each other, they must be immigrants.  Maybe they don't speak English?

Is it a large church?  It seems to me in smaller churches it's usually a lot easier to get to know people.

I don't know, some of the ones at the Greek church by me go to my university, so they must know English atleast as well as I do. Plus, it isn't just in America, as I said Norway had that problem as well.

This particular one is small actually. But I have faced worse at bigger churches.
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« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2012, 06:27:38 AM »

Because they told me their church was for Greeks.

Ever been to a Norwegian church outside of Norway? Try the one in London and see how much English is spoken. People are friendly and welcoming, but they will not suddenly switch to English when conversing with one another just because a non-Norwegian walked in, nor will they make any apologies for the fact that the church is there first and foremost to serve the Norwegian community.

I am very happy that in my 8 years in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese here, my experience does not match yours in any way.

Plus, it isn't just in America, as I said Norway had that problem as well.

English is a world language and useful to learn. Norwegian is pretty much a waste of time if you're not planning to settle permanently, which most Greek immigrants there probably aren't. Even when I attended the Orthodox church in Oslo which has a Norwegian priest, I had to use English and some Arabic to talk to the parishioners during coffee hour.
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« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2012, 07:15:12 AM »

I am Greek and I find puzzling that many outsiders are in such a rush to excuse the behaviour of the Greeks.

They are, in fact, quite often parochial and insular, arrogant (without warrant), unsmiling, rude and pushy. The lack of individual differences amongst them also suggests that they are put together on some sort of assembly line somewhere.

Can't speak for Norwegians, but I do know their food sucks.
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« Reply #75 on: July 19, 2012, 07:18:40 AM »

Take Kansas City for example. We have two Greek parishes, St. Dionysios and Annuncation. We also have three Serbian parishes: St. George, St. Mary of Egypt & St. Michaels. Two OCA parishes: St. James (currently with St. Michaels) and Holy Trinity. One ROCOR: Holy Protection. One Antiochian: St. Basil.

All of these parishes meet together for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, and the events or mission-work from each parish is promoted in the other parishes (both in announcements and bulletins). While relations haven't always been perfect, I think they've been pretty good the last few years. OCA priests help at St. Mary's and St. Michael's Serbian Churches. An OCA priest was also temporarily given to Annunciation Greek Church after it's last parish reposed and they waited for a new Priest from Denver.

That is a lot of churches in the local area, which is great!  Our church is Greek but our priest is on loan from the OCA.  They are trying to make it long term, but that is up to the Bishops.

Lawl, last time we tried that, the poor man got death-threats.

It was completely shameful, and unfortunate in that he had much better elocution than his predecessor (in Greek, even).
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« Reply #76 on: July 19, 2012, 07:21:32 AM »

I did not feel excluded because I wasn't Greek/Serbian/Russian/etc.

The rank-and-file Greeks don't feel any kinship with Russians, Serbs, Bulgarians, &c.

There are two types of people to them: Greeks and non-Greeks. Other species of Orthodox Christian are still non-Greeks.

The headaches my family suffered when one of my cousins decided to marry a Serb ...
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« Reply #77 on: July 19, 2012, 07:45:15 AM »

I have not been a member of a Greek church since 1983 (in the Deep South). I did experience just a bit of prejudice, but nothing like what Celticfan and Akimoro relate. From the reaction of Basil and the testimony of others, it seems to me that the Greeks in the GOA are a different kind than those abroad. And, that is a good thing.
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« Reply #78 on: July 19, 2012, 08:06:54 AM »

I have not been a member of a Greek church since 1983 (in the Deep South). I did experience just a bit of prejudice, but nothing like what Celticfan and Akimoro relate. From the reaction of Basil and the testimony of others, it seems to me that the Greeks in the GOA are a different kind than those abroad. And, that is a good thing.

Indeed -- more power to them!
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« Reply #79 on: July 19, 2012, 09:26:17 AM »

Can't speak for Norwegians, but I do know their food sucks.

No one in Norway actually eats lutefisk. Don't believe what the Minnesotans tell you :p
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« Reply #80 on: July 19, 2012, 10:18:16 AM »

2 Greek priests told me "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians, it is for Greeks, Arabs, and Slavs.".

Well yeah! You can't have just anyone becoming Orthodox, right?

Seriously, though, I've noticed that Orthodox never seem to tire of saying that Eastern Catholics should "come on home" etc, and yet Latin Catholics (which is to say, about 98% of Catholics) seem quite invisible to you guys. The "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians" thing doesn't seem any more surprising than that.
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« Reply #81 on: July 19, 2012, 10:18:35 AM »

In terms of awesomeness? ACROD!! Cheesy

What is the metric for awesomeness?

The units are "megafonzies". I don't know if that's metric or not.
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« Reply #82 on: July 19, 2012, 10:21:00 AM »

2 Greek priests told me "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians, it is for Greeks, Arabs, and Slavs.".

Well yeah! You can't have just anyone becoming Orthodox, right?

Seriously, though, I've noticed that Orthodox never seem to tire of saying that Eastern Catholics should "come on home" etc, and yet Latin Catholics (which is to say, about 98% of Catholics) seem quite invisible to you guys. The "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians" thing doesn't seem any more surprising than that.

Dear Latin Catholic

Come on home!

In Christ

Justin

 Grin
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« Reply #83 on: July 19, 2012, 10:27:11 AM »

Well Bigsinner, I had to go back and check, and to be honest, I was reacting to your other post and a few others.  But, no, I would not expect you to lie, but I felt compelled to present my experience.  I'd be interested to know where that GOAA parish is.  As I noted, I don't see what you experienced in the GOAA.  I'd almost want to report that parish to the Archbishop or if it is in Pennsylvania, I would want Metropolitan Savas to know, I'm so disturbed that such behavior exists today, but no, I wouldn't do that, unless you would not mind--send me a Personal Message if you like.  Also, I'm quite surprised by the percentage of Greeks in your OCA parish, especially from where you seem to be, there should be GOAA parishes around there; (nothing against the OCA, thank God they are there for the Greek-American's).  Are the GOAA parishes around there like the parish you described, or is there a particular problem with the GOAA parishes in the area?

Greeks are temperamental?  Ha, (just kidding).  Remember Fr. Alexander Schmemmen's comment, (paraphrased), "God proved He had a sense of humor when He gave the perfect faith to people like us."

Basil, the GOA parish I described was the one I attended in my youth (I'm 51 now and don't live near that church anymore).  On two occasions I recently (within the past 5 years) attended that church during holy week for holy unction (it's very close to my work, and during the week easier to attend). I was embarrassed by the level of talking during the service.  Now by talking, I don't mean a few words here or there, but multiple sustained conversations.  It sounded like a kafeneion in Greece.  Even though this church has a microphone for the priest, I had difficulty hearing him.  None of the parishioners tried to shush them.  The priest actually stopped the service twice to admonish the parishioners to pipe down, but to no avail ( well, the talking dropped to a murmur for about 15 seconds and them resumed as before).  What else should I assume but that socializing is the number one priority with these parishioners.  

As to my current situation, the closest 2 GOA parishes are about 45-55 minutes away, whereas the closest non-Greek churches are 5, 6, 20, and 30 minutes away.  I am only a little familiar with the two GOA parishes, but I do not see an advantage to traveling the extra distance.  In my mind, Orthodox is Orthodox.  As to the OCA church I attend, I felt welcome here the first time I visited and the parishioners are like family to me.

Talking about the percentage of Greeks in my parish, if all of the regular Orthodox church attending Greeks within a 20 minute radius of my church attended their local Orthodox church, our Sunday attendance would more than double.  I must stress, most of these Greeks were active members of this church before the GOA church was built 45 minutes away.  

edited to add:  I do realize that holy week attendees do not necessarily represent the regular attendees;  however I saw and heard none of the regulars trying to quiet them down.  Only one person voiced a shhh, and that was a visitor (me).  police
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« Reply #84 on: July 19, 2012, 10:36:15 AM »

This is just me, of course, but I kind of think that other peoples' behavior in church, rude or otherwise, is none of my beeswax.
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« Reply #85 on: July 19, 2012, 10:45:07 AM »

This is just me, of course, but I kind of think that other peoples' behavior in church, rude or otherwise, is none of my beeswax.
I would disagree. It is your business if others are being unnecessarily disruptive. I believe your right to worship in peace (ring any bells?) trumps whatever excuse they have for sustained conversation. That being said, in the example given by Bigsinner, I think the priest could/should have taken a firmer position - perhaps even bluntly asking them to leave the nave. Might that task - i.e. crowd control, which really is what it is - fall within the duties of the doorkeepers? But I guess that would mean we would have to have doorkeepers in the first place  Cheesy.
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« Reply #86 on: July 19, 2012, 10:48:04 AM »

2 Greek priests told me "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians, it is for Greeks, Arabs, and Slavs.".

Well yeah! You can't have just anyone becoming Orthodox, right?

Seriously, though, I've noticed that Orthodox never seem to tire of saying that Eastern Catholics should "come on home" etc, and yet Latin Catholics (which is to say, about 98% of Catholics) seem quite invisible to you guys. The "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians" thing doesn't seem any more surprising than that.

Dear Latin Catholic

Come on home!

In Christ

Justin

 Grin

See now, was that so hard?   laugh
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« Reply #87 on: July 19, 2012, 10:55:23 AM »

This is just me, of course, but I kind of think that other peoples' behavior in church, rude or otherwise, is none of my beeswax.
I would disagree. It is your business if others are being unnecessarily disruptive. I believe your right to worship in peace (ring any bells?) trumps whatever excuse they have for sustained conversation. That being said, in the example given by Bigsinner, I think the priest could/should have taken a firmer position - perhaps even bluntly asking them to leave the nave. Might that task - i.e. crowd control, which really is what it is - fall within the duties of the doorkeepers? But I guess that would mean we would have to have doorkeepers in the first place  Cheesy.

I disagree. Obviously.  Grin
No one has either officially or unofficially appointed me Chief Sssher in Charge. If someone is being that disruptive, even to the point of ignoring the priest, my glaring at them or even telling them to pipe down will have absolutely no effect, but will distract me and my fellow worshippers even more.
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« Reply #88 on: July 19, 2012, 10:56:50 AM »

I had a young Serbian kid tell me several weeks ago that he'd never met an "American Orthodox" before. He'd met Russians, Greeks and such... I wanted to shake him and tell him that he IS "American Orthodox", he ethnically may be Serbian, but he was born, baptized and raised here.

Yet over in Greece, I would have Greeks ask if I were from Russia (as to why I was in church and couldn't speak Greek) and I would say no, America and while they would be surprised, they seemed actually happy rather than skeptical.

I think there are a lot of people out there who may be somewhat ethnically oriented towards the faith, they grow up in countries where that is all that there is. They regard all other Orthodox as their brothers & sisters and are happy to welcome you.

In fact, it seemed to me that the Orthodox in Greece that I met who regularly attended church and who were very dedicated to the faith actually didn't have serious issues and actually were very happy to welcome me. To see converts usually brought a smile to their face because they don't really see that even though they know we exist.

If we go into a church, especially an ethnic one, expecting all the people to be perfect, we make a big mistake and set ourselves up for disappointment. I'm sure for newer converts or inquirers, this is a big turnoff, but for me, I simply ignore it or try to reason with them as to why Orthodoxy is for everyone.

Some Greeks may say to new members, "why don't you try that Russian Church across town?" even while their Priest welcomes you. This could be the first step, not in you turning around to walk out, but in helping them to grow in their faith and expand their knowledge of the faith.

I'm sure many of these people see what we see, and see many people falling to Americanization and assimilating. Some may be legitimately scared of losing their unique heritage and culture. We must try to respect this, while nothing excuses the heresy of phyletism, there may be a reason why they feel the way that they do. It is okay for them to want to preserve their culture, and converts don't necessarily have to threaten that culture. It takes time, understanding and education about the faith. Orthodoxy isn't Hellenism (or any other ethnic flavor), but members can have love for their ethnic heritage and still be Orthodox. There may be a few bad eggs out there, but we cannot just run away whenever we see them.

(and I say all of this while wearing a "got ouzo?" shirt, while I'm not Greek, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy aspects of their culture,  Grin)
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« Reply #89 on: July 19, 2012, 11:04:36 AM »

This is just me, of course, but I kind of think that other peoples' behavior in church, rude or otherwise, is none of my beeswax.

Katherine, I agree with your position most of the time.  Talking here or there doesn't bother me; children being children doesn't bother me either.  When the occasional cell phone goes off (I recently saw a woman sit on her purse to muffle the sound, rather than take the phone out to shut it off because that would be louder and more disruptive) I feel sorry for the embarrassed parishioner, while quickly checking my own phone to make sure it's turned off (I sometimes forget).  On the other hand, if/when the talking prevents me from hearing the electrically amplified priest during the service, then I am being deprived of my participation.  As I am sure you know, we are to participate in the service, not relegate it to the role of background music at a party.  

edited to emphasize, it's not others' lack of participation in the service that I have a problem with, but the prevention of my participation
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« Reply #90 on: July 19, 2012, 11:08:33 AM »

Some Greeks may say to new members, "why don't you try that Russian Church across town?" even while their Priest welcomes you.

Or they may mean it because that church has services in English or a lot of converts. The sweet Greek Orthodox lady whose husband eventually became my husband's godfather suggested that we attend the OCA church, after we had been to their GOA parish. She said that she knew Greeks can sometimes be hard to take (! Grin) but she had met a some of the OCA people at a pan-Orthodox picnic, and there were a lot of converts. She thought that it would help us to meet people who had been down that road before us.
I didn't take her to mean that she didn't want us in her parish!
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« Reply #91 on: July 19, 2012, 11:19:12 AM »

2 Greek priests told me "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians, it is for Greeks, Arabs, and Slavs.".

Well yeah! You can't have just anyone becoming Orthodox, right?

Seriously, though, I've noticed that Orthodox never seem to tire of saying that Eastern Catholics should "come on home" etc, and yet Latin Catholics (which is to say, about 98% of Catholics) seem quite invisible to you guys. The "Orthodoxy is not for Scandinavians" thing doesn't seem any more surprising than that.

Dear Latin Catholic

Come on home!

In Christ

Justin

 Grin


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« Reply #92 on: July 19, 2012, 11:20:54 AM »

This is just me, of course, but I kind of think that other peoples' behavior in church, rude or otherwise, is none of my beeswax.

edited to emphasize, it's not others' lack of participation in the service that I have a problem with, but the prevention of my participation

I am with you on this.
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« Reply #93 on: July 19, 2012, 11:30:44 AM »


We have one parishioner who is VERY adamant on silence in church. 

He is soooooo against any noise in the church, that it's almost annoying.  I was once walking out to purchase a candle for my niece, when an elderly man grabbed my elbow and was asking me something.  This other man kept shooting darts at me....when it wasn't my fault....I could hardly ignore the old man.

At Vespers, we are lucky if we get 5 people to come.  One Saturday, a family showed up - mom, dad, and their kids.  One child was a toddler, and half way through began crying.  Mind you the church is almost empty.  The only people in the nave are me, my mom, that family and the "man".  The other guy is going nuts.  He's rolling his eyes.  He's sighing loudly.  He's shifting his weight from one foot to the other....  The dad takes the little girl and starts on a walk around the church to distract her....he goes up to the candles, to the icons....but, the child is still whimpering.  Probably sleepy.  The man can't stand it any longer....and marches over to the mother and loudly tells her to take the child OUT!...as he points to the door.  :-(

We had never saw that family in our church before.....and we never saw them after.

I had no problem hearing the priest, nor the hymns....what distracted me most, was the agitated man and his actions.

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« Reply #94 on: July 19, 2012, 11:40:38 AM »

Some Greeks may say to new members, "why don't you try that Russian Church across town?" even while their Priest welcomes you.

Or they may mean it because that church has services in English or a lot of converts. The sweet Greek Orthodox lady whose husband eventually became my husband's godfather suggested that we attend the OCA church, after we had been to their GOA parish. She said that she knew Greeks can sometimes be hard to take (! Grin) but she had met a some of the OCA people at a pan-Orthodox picnic, and there were a lot of converts. She thought that it would help us to meet people who had been down that road before us.
I didn't take her to mean that she didn't want us in her parish!

In a Greek parish I occasionally — only very occasionally —attend, the first time we went several parishioners greeted us quite warmly (most of them greeted us, actually – it’s quite small). At the coffee hour, one of the more social members came over and told us about the parish, and then proceeded to tell us of several people who had converted in the church and then gone to other jurisdictions; she understood, she said, because of the language issue.

She was also very determined to ensure we knew we were welcome to come back any time.
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« Reply #95 on: July 19, 2012, 11:53:14 AM »

I am Greek

That's something new for me.

I had a young Serbian kid tell me several weeks ago that he'd never met an "American Orthodox" before. He'd met Russians, Greeks and such... I wanted to shake him and tell him that he IS "American Orthodox", he ethnically may be Serbian, but he was born, baptized and raised here.

Thanks God his guardian angel protected him from being abused by you.
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« Reply #96 on: July 19, 2012, 12:01:40 PM »


We have one parishioner who is VERY adamant on silence in church. 

He is soooooo against any noise in the church, that it's almost annoying.  I was once walking out to purchase a candle for my niece, when an elderly man grabbed my elbow and was asking me something.  This other man kept shooting darts at me....when it wasn't my fault....I could hardly ignore the old man.

At Vespers, we are lucky if we get 5 people to come.  One Saturday, a family showed up - mom, dad, and their kids.  One child was a toddler, and half way through began crying.  Mind you the church is almost empty.  The only people in the nave are me, my mom, that family and the "man".  The other guy is going nuts.  He's rolling his eyes.  He's sighing loudly.  He's shifting his weight from one foot to the other....  The dad takes the little girl and starts on a walk around the church to distract her....he goes up to the candles, to the icons....but, the child is still whimpering.  Probably sleepy.  The man can't stand it any longer....and marches over to the mother and loudly tells her to take the child OUT!...as he points to the door.  :-(

We had never saw that family in our church before.....and we never saw them after.

I had no problem hearing the priest, nor the hymns....what distracted me most, was the agitated man and his actions.



Liza, I think we are much closer on this issue than you may realize.  Let me be clear about this:  I am not now, nor have I ever been that "agitated man" to which you are referring.  Cheesy   If I were there at vespers, you would have seen me as sympathetic towards the parents, rather than the opposite.  BTW, with one exception, our Vespers attendance is also in single digits.

Finally, on another point, I notice that you had no problem hearing/participating in the service (outside of the clearly non-charitable attitude of that "man").   This tells me that any occurrences never truly rose to the level of preventing your worshiping.  My post was not about random "distractions", but rather about sustained preventable noise which rose to (and stayed at) the level to overcome the electrically amplified priest.  I expect (or, at least, hope) that what I experienced is rather exceptional and outside of the experiences of you and most participants on this forum.   

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« Reply #97 on: July 19, 2012, 12:07:16 PM »


Oh, I agree with you, wholeheartedly.  There MUST be some respect when in church.  It's not a social gathering.  I didn't mean to suggest you were like the "agitated" man.  Smiley

...and I have HEARD that cacophony of noise, as well!  At my church it usually happens at the dismissal...when folks are marching forward to kiss the cross.  Sometimes, it's unbearable.  I understand service is technically "over"....however, we are still in the church.  Keep the outside voices for the outside.  Smiley
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« Reply #98 on: July 19, 2012, 01:41:49 PM »

I am Greek

That's something new for me.

I had a young Serbian kid tell me several weeks ago that he'd never met an "American Orthodox" before. He'd met Russians, Greeks and such... I wanted to shake him and tell him that he IS "American Orthodox", he ethnically may be Serbian, but he was born, baptized and raised here.

Thanks God his guardian angel protected him from being abused by you.

I don't see how that constitutes abuse, especially when it was a light hearted, friendly conversation. Also when I say kid, we were only separated by 10 years.

I'm a person that doesn't believe in divisions like African American, Greek American, Russian American etc... You are an American citizen, you may be ethnically Greek or Serbian and God bless your background but American isn't a racial division and these divisions date from a time of real ethnic divisions and ghettos in our country.

I like to direct people to a statement by Morgan Freeman when asked why he doesn't want an African American (or black history) month. I'm away from the computer so I can't link it right now.
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« Reply #99 on: July 19, 2012, 01:50:02 PM »

If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.
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« Reply #100 on: July 19, 2012, 01:50:33 PM »

Devon, I think this is the one to which you were referring:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeixtYS-P3s
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« Reply #101 on: July 19, 2012, 02:17:16 PM »

If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.

As I Said though, American isnt a racial definition, it is a nationality a citizenship.

Look at the Byzantines, they were ethnically Greek but considered and called themselves Romans. You can be a Greek ethnically, but you are an American.

When we have a unified church in America, they won't be Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox, they will be American Orthodox. You can be an American of Greek descent.

The kid I'm talking about doesn't speak a word of Serbian, was born raised and educated here and doesn't even have an accent. He is an American Orthodox Christian of Serbian descent.
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« Reply #102 on: July 19, 2012, 02:21:00 PM »

Why can't he be a Serbian living in the USA? Why does that bother you? Why do you want to force him to become American?
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« Reply #103 on: July 19, 2012, 02:48:01 PM »

If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.

You are taking Devin the wrong way. There are many idioms in the States and he just used one to give more oomph to his statement. He did not mean that he would actually assault the kid.
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« Reply #104 on: July 19, 2012, 02:53:10 PM »

Why can't he be a Serbian living in the USA? Why does that bother you? Why do you want to force him to become American?

Well he is an American citizen.

Being an American doesn't mean that you should assimilate and eat fatty foods at McDonalds, shop at Wal-Mart, watch American Football and forget all your ethnic heritage.

It's about combating phyletism, xenophobia and racism.

When I see a person of Mexican descent who is an American citizen, I dont think "oh that's a Mexican", I think "how wonderful it is that we Americans can be so diverse and accept so many cultures and still consider ourselves Americans".

If you look at the studies done by Alexei Krindatch, the American situation is nothing like over in Europe. It is nothing like what I experienced in Greece either. There is no official American language and no American race or color. If you are an American citizen, you're an American no matter your language or race.

I have lived with three foreign exchange students and every one of them could be an American and you wouldn't know the difference until they showed you their license or passport, that is what is great about our nation.

You don't just toss out your heritage for our modern "typical" American way of life (nor should they) but also one should not seek to segregate themselves from others based on their heritage.
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« Reply #105 on: July 19, 2012, 02:59:41 PM »

If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.

You are taking Devin the wrong way. There are many idioms in the States and he just used one to give more oomph to his statement. He did not mean that he would actually assault the kid.
Yes, I apologize if it appeared like a threatening or violent statement, it was just an exaggerated idiom and the image I has was more of a friendly one.
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« Reply #106 on: July 19, 2012, 03:04:30 PM »

Why can't he be a Serbian living in the USA? Why does that bother you? Why do you want to force him to become American?

Well he is an American citizen.

Can't Serbians be American citizens?

If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.

You are taking Devin the wrong way. There are many idioms in the States and he just used one to give more oomph to his statement. He did not mean that he would actually assault the kid.

I understood him well. Adult chauvinists telling children that they must become Americans are bad enough.
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« Reply #107 on: July 19, 2012, 03:13:37 PM »

Can't speak for Norwegians, but I do know their food sucks.

No one in Norway actually eats lutefisk. Don't believe what the Minnesotans tell you :p

Don't really like it, but forced to because it is Christmas food. Meatcakes, Meatballs, Braised Fish, and Mutten Stew are delicious, and everyone loves the desserts!

I'm hungry now...
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« Reply #108 on: July 19, 2012, 03:13:37 PM »

Quote
If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.

Why can't he be a Serbian living in the USA? Why does that bother you? Why do you want to force him to become American?

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN. DUH, just like you are Polish, get over it.
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« Reply #109 on: July 19, 2012, 03:13:37 PM »

I am Greek

That's something new for me.

I had a young Serbian kid tell me several weeks ago that he'd never met an "American Orthodox" before. He'd met Russians, Greeks and such... I wanted to shake him and tell him that he IS "American Orthodox", he ethnically may be Serbian, but he was born, baptized and raised here.

Thanks God his guardian angel protected him from being abused by you.

I don't see how that constitutes abuse, especially when it was a light hearted, friendly conversation. Also when I say kid, we were only separated by 10 years.

I'm a person that doesn't believe in divisions like African American, Greek American, Russian American etc... You are an American citizen, you may be ethnically Greek or Serbian and God bless your background but American isn't a racial division and these divisions date from a time of real ethnic divisions and ghettos in our country.

I like to direct people to a statement by Morgan Freeman when asked why he doesn't want an African American (or black history) month. I'm away from the computer so I can't link it right now.

Because Michal likes to think he's a god on this forum, and I think he takes an opposite side just to shake people up
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« Reply #110 on: July 19, 2012, 03:15:00 PM »

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN. DUH, just like you are Polish, get over it.

At least you don't force him to wear armbands with some fancy pictures (yet).
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« Reply #111 on: July 19, 2012, 03:21:15 PM »

Why can't he be a Serbian living in the USA? Why does that bother you? Why do you want to force him to become American?

Well he is an American citizen.

Can't Serbians be American citizens?

If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.

You are taking Devin the wrong way. There are many idioms in the States and he just used one to give more oomph to his statement. He did not mean that he would actually assault the kid.

I understood him well. Adult chauvinists telling children that they must become Americans are bad enough.

What I'm saying is the Serbian Kid I was speaking about is already an American citizen. There isn't a reason to divide or distinguish between a Serbian American and an Anglo American or a Russian American and a Greek American. He and I are both simply Americans. He has Serbian ancestry, I have English, Scottish, Irish, Native American and Dutch ancestry. Yet both of us are simply Americans. That doesn't mean he has to "assimilate" and forget his Serbian background, in fact he can still retain it all and be simply an American.

Quote
If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.

Why can't he be a Serbian living in the USA? Why does that bother you? Why do you want to force him to become American?

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN. DUH, just like you are Polish, get over it.

I disagree celtic, I think the United States is different than most of Europe in that aspect. If my German friend moved to France and became a French citizen, I don't think that necessarily makes him French. Over there in Europe, nationality is more closely tied to ethnicity whether for good or for bad.
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« Reply #112 on: July 19, 2012, 03:23:24 PM »

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN.

Of course people who live in US must obey US laws and all but why an Earth people should base their identities on political entities?
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« Reply #113 on: July 19, 2012, 03:24:17 PM »

What I'm saying is the Serbian Kid I was speaking about is already an American citizen. There isn't a reason to divide or distinguish between a Serbian American and an Anglo American or a Russian American and a Greek American. He and I are both simply Americans. He has Serbian ancestry, I have English, Scottish, Irish, Native American and Dutch ancestry. Yet both of us are simply Americans. That doesn't mean he has to "assimilate" and forget his Serbian background, in fact he can still retain it all and be simply an American.

But why? Why do you think he has to abandon his heritage and became "American"? Why can't he be a Serbian with American citizenship? Why do you interfere in his self-awareness?
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« Reply #114 on: July 19, 2012, 03:28:29 PM »

I am Greek

That's something new for me.

I had a young Serbian kid tell me several weeks ago that he'd never met an "American Orthodox" before. He'd met Russians, Greeks and such... I wanted to shake him and tell him that he IS "American Orthodox", he ethnically may be Serbian, but he was born, baptized and raised here.

Thanks God his guardian angel protected him from being abused by you.

I don't see how that constitutes abuse, especially when it was a light hearted, friendly conversation. Also when I say kid, we were only separated by 10 years.

I'm a person that doesn't believe in divisions like African American, Greek American, Russian American etc... You are an American citizen, you may be ethnically Greek or Serbian and God bless your background but American isn't a racial division and these divisions date from a time of real ethnic divisions and ghettos in our country.

I like to direct people to a statement by Morgan Freeman when asked why he doesn't want an African American (or black history) month. I'm away from the computer so I can't link it right now.

Because Michal likes to think he's a god on this forum, and I think he takes an opposite side just to shake people up

What you said about Michal being Polish, apparently because he lives in what is now drawn as Poland on the map and getting over it is offensive and ignorant. I want to reiterate what Second Chance said, before you apply American thinking and suggest to Michal that he is a Pole, you ought to learn -and accept a bit about European history. For example, few if any citizens of Her Majesty, Elizabeth II's Kingdom of Great Britain would self identify as being UK. They are Welsh, Scots, British etc... Likewise in country after country. Call a Slovak living in Prague a Czech, a Hungarian living in Uzhorod a Ukrainian, a Pole living in Medzilaborce a Slovak or call a Ukrainian a Russian because he lives in the Russian Federation and you will get punched in the face or at the very least provoke an argument - depending on where you are and what time of day it is!

You are right though that someone living in the United States whose family has been here for generations ought not to identify themselves first as an Italian, a German or a Serbian - or whatever. But that is not the case in Europe. I have no issue though with a person self-identifying themselves as being an Italian American, a German American etc.... or an American of Serbian, Greek etc... background.

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« Reply #115 on: July 19, 2012, 03:29:35 PM »

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN.

Of course people who live in US must obey US laws and all but why an Earth people should base their identities on political entities?

You could ask why should have the "Byzantines" of Greek descent called themselves Romans? (and that is how they identified themselves for well over 1,000 years)
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« Reply #116 on: July 19, 2012, 03:30:22 PM »

You are right though that someone living in the United States whose family has been here for generations ought not to identify themselves first as an Italian, a German or a Serbian - or whatever. But that is not the case in Europe.

What is the difference?
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« Reply #117 on: July 19, 2012, 03:32:11 PM »

What I'm saying is the Serbian Kid I was speaking about is already an American citizen. There isn't a reason to divide or distinguish between a Serbian American and an Anglo American or a Russian American and a Greek American. He and I are both simply Americans. He has Serbian ancestry, I have English, Scottish, Irish, Native American and Dutch ancestry. Yet both of us are simply Americans. That doesn't mean he has to "assimilate" and forget his Serbian background, in fact he can still retain it all and be simply an American.

But why? Why do you think he has to abandon his heritage and became "American"? Why can't he be a Serbian with American citizenship? Why do you interfere in his self-awareness?

Michal, I said the exact opposite, I said he should not abandon his heritage. You can be an American and still retain your heritage.

I'm saying that segregating and differentiating yourself from other American citizens (who are equal with you in every way) based on your ethnicity is basically just xenophobia, racism and segregation. When this is applied to to the church, it then becomes heresy, phyletism.
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« Reply #118 on: July 19, 2012, 03:35:25 PM »

I'm saying that segregating and differentiating yourself from other American citizens (who are equal with you in every way) based on your ethnicity is basically just xenophobia, racism and segregation. When this is applied to to the church, it then becomes heresy, phyletism.

I'm saying that forcing veryone to become Americans is just xenophobia, racism, oppression of the weaker and disregard the rights of minorities. When this is applied to to the church, it then becomes heresy, phyletism.
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« Reply #119 on: July 19, 2012, 03:37:39 PM »

I'm saying that segregating and differentiating yourself from other American citizens (who are equal with you in every way) based on your ethnicity is basically just xenophobia, racism and segregation. When this is applied to to the church, it then becomes heresy, phyletism.

I'm saying that forcing veryone to become Americans is just xenophobia, racism, oppression of the weaker and disregard the rights of minorities. When this is applied to to the church, it then becomes heresy, phyletism.

How am I forcing everyone to "become" Americans? As I said, he is an American citizen, therefore he, by definition, is American.

You cannot separate yourself from other people based on your race or ethnicity. As I said, American is not a race, nor is it an ethnicity.

The 14th Amendment: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
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« Reply #120 on: July 19, 2012, 03:37:45 PM »

You are right though that someone living in the United States whose family has been here for generations ought not to identify themselves first as an Italian, a German or a Serbian - or whatever. But that is not the case in Europe.

What is the difference?

It has much to do with American history, political and economic domination of the the United States, first by Great Britain from the 17th through the end of the 18th centuries and then by their descendants for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries and the history of American immigration patterns. We love to argue about what is meant by being 'American' and, frankly, we can't really agree on much - except in vague, almost emotional terms.

It is said that we are a 'melting pot' and like a vegetable stew, one often can't agree on the predominate flavor - is it a unique blend or should (or does) one vegetable remain with a stronger flavor. In other words, being American is subjective - unlike an objective identifier like being a Pole, a Slovak, an Italian or a Ukrainian or whatever....
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« Reply #121 on: July 19, 2012, 03:40:21 PM »

As I said, he is an American citizen, therefore he, by definition, is American.

That's where I do not see logical continuity.

Quote
As I said, American is not a race, nor is it an ethnicity.

So what it is? Religion?
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« Reply #122 on: July 19, 2012, 03:44:11 PM »

You are right though that someone living in the United States whose family has been here for generations ought not to identify themselves first as an Italian, a German or a Serbian - or whatever. But that is not the case in Europe.

What is the difference?

It has much to do with American history, political and economic domination of the the United States, first by Great Britain from the 17th through the end of the 18th centuries and then by their descendants for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries and the history of American immigration patterns. We love to argue about what is meant by being 'American' and, frankly, we can't really agree on much - except in vague, almost emotional terms.

I keep going back to this example...

Sure, originally Roman denoted a specific ethnicity of people who were from a city called Roma. But with the Roman Empire, the definition of what it is to be "Roman" changed. St. Paul was a Roman, though he was of Jewish ethnicity. Same for many of the Roman Emperors later on whose base was Constantinople, they were Roman citizens though many were of Greek ethnicity. It didn't matter that they were of Greek ethnicity and that they spoke Greek, they still called themselves Romans.

The United States borrowed so many concepts from the ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans. This idea of citizenship and being "American" despite whatever ethnicity you are is something that we borrowed from the ancient Romans.
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« Reply #123 on: July 19, 2012, 03:44:44 PM »

You could ask why should have the "Byzantines" of Greek descent called themselves Romans? (and that is how they identified themselves for well over 1,000 years)

I'm having a hunch that back in the days being a citizen of Roman empire wasn't the same thing as modern Nationalist identities based on modern Nation-states.
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« Reply #124 on: July 19, 2012, 03:51:35 PM »

You could ask why should have the "Byzantines" of Greek descent called themselves Romans? (and that is how they identified themselves for well over 1,000 years)

I'm having a hunch that back in the days being a citizen of Roman empire wasn't the same thing as modern Nationalist identities based on modern Nation-states.

I think some of the inspiration for our nation's concept came from ancient Rome. Our founding fathers were greatly inspired by the ancient Greeks & Romans. Whether or not they were completely accurate in their assumptions about those ancient peoples is another discussion. That is one of the many reasons why our civic architecture looked like it did, and why our statues are often sculpted in Roman-esque style (like Washington as a Roman), or why our art was often painted with people in Roman-like clothing in Roman settings.
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« Reply #125 on: July 19, 2012, 03:54:39 PM »

<facepalm>

Are there any records of St. Paul praying to Roman gods? Taking part in Roman state celebrations? Attending circuses, gladiators' fights, charriot races?
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« Reply #126 on: July 19, 2012, 03:57:03 PM »

As I said, he is an American citizen, therefore he, by definition, is American.

I agree that American citizens are Americans, but I would like to point out that that doesn't mean it's wrong for them to call themselves Serbians, Greeks, Germans, etc.

I understood him well. Adult chauvinists telling children that they must become Americans are bad enough.

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« Reply #127 on: July 19, 2012, 04:00:08 PM »

I'm afraid you've lost me here, Michał. What are you referring to?

I had a young Serbian kid tell me several weeks ago that he'd never met an "American Orthodox" before. He'd met Russians, Greeks and such... I wanted to shake him and tell him that he IS "American Orthodox", he ethnically may be Serbian, but he was born, baptized and raised here.
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« Reply #128 on: July 19, 2012, 04:01:21 PM »

Quote
As I said, American is not a race, nor is it an ethnicity.

So what it is? Religion?

In a way. The dream of America as an idea, or ideal, the melting pot, the new start, the chance to re-invent yourself in a new world can be something like a civil religion. In this dream, which is part of the American culture, more or less, people choose to be Americans, hopefully without abandoning their ethnic heritage.
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« Reply #129 on: July 19, 2012, 04:02:36 PM »

Why do you persecute those who do not want to choose to become Americans?
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« Reply #130 on: July 19, 2012, 04:04:25 PM »

Why do you persecute those who do not want to choose to become Americans?

Huh?

Well, if they don't want to choose to become Americans, as we say in the South, Delta is ready when they are.
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« Reply #131 on: July 19, 2012, 04:13:45 PM »

<facepalm>

Are there any records of St. Paul praying to Roman gods? Taking part in Roman state celebrations? Attending circuses, gladiators' fights, charriot races?

Why would being a Roman citizen mean he would automatically pray to their gods, celebrate in pagan festivals and such?

Why does being an American citizen have to mean that you would be (going off stereotypes) overweight, a Protestant fundamentalist, watch Nascar & American football, eat at McDonalds daily and sit in front of a TV all day?

I know a man, a Greek man, who was born in Greece, but is an American citizen and is very proud of the fact that he is an American and calls himself an American. He celebrates both Greek independence and American independence. He embraces fully his Greek heritage (even beginning a Greek society in his city) but also completely embraces being an American and loves the fact that he can be an American of Greek descent and be considered the same as everyone else and enjoy his own culture while he also can freely enjoy the culture of others around him. He rejects the materialism and consumerism of our culture, but embraces our ideals. You can speak with him and understand that he believes that America owes a lot to Greece because of our ideals and concepts. When he and his society decided to celebrate oxi day, he invited everyone whether Greek or not, especially other Orthodox Christians.

I have two American friends, one from a Anglo/Celtic ancestry and the other of Russian ancestry (I think she is a new citizen, or is trying to become one). They also have a child together who was born here (and therefore is an American citizen). At their wedding they played both Russian music and Irish music. Yet both of them are Americans and don't separate themselves from each other or from others.

America is a melting pot, we are the largest experiment in diversity and equality ever attempted in a secular manner.

As a good explanation, here is the wikipedia entry for "Americans":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans
"Americans, or American people, are the citizens of the United States of America. The country is home to people of different national origins. As a result, Americans do not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship. With the exception of the Native American population, nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the past five centuries."
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« Reply #132 on: July 19, 2012, 04:14:56 PM »

Why do you persecute those who do not want to choose to become Americans?

Huh?

Well, if they don't want to choose to become Americans, as we say in the South, Delta is ready when they are.

Or they can stay as non-citizens. This is what ambassadors and their families are. This is what many people are who want to come here for a better life and send money to support their families back home. I don't knock them for not being Americans, that is their choice.
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« Reply #133 on: July 19, 2012, 04:20:43 PM »

Why do you persecute those who do not want to choose to become Americans?

Huh?

Well, if they don't want to choose to become Americans, as we say in the South, Delta is ready when they are.
What do you mean by "become Americans"? Do you mean acquire citizenship? take on certain cultural characteristics? but even that one is dicey - do you mean talk like a Texan or New Englander? go surfing in Hawaii or canoeing in Minnesota?

Please note - I'm not at all arguing with you - just trying to show how complicated this can be.

We Canadians deal with the same issues - and our situation may be even more complex given the mix, certainly not the blend, of French and English here. Yet, as with you, there's some sort of indefinable quality that "we" understand that somehow excludes "others".

I can see that someone from Europe in particular where citizenship, ethnicity, and culture pretty much overlap (obvious exceptions).
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« Reply #134 on: July 19, 2012, 04:24:52 PM »

So being American is only associated with the passport?
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« Reply #135 on: July 19, 2012, 04:47:33 PM »

So being American is only associated with the passport?

No.  Many Americans do not have passports.  To a great extent it has to do with an attitude of identification with America (meaning the United States of America) as one's home, one's culture, one's citizenship.  Some of this is very difficult to define concisely, and as was said previously, has nothing to do with ethnicity.
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« Reply #136 on: July 19, 2012, 04:53:50 PM »

How culture is not related to ethnicity?
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« Reply #137 on: July 19, 2012, 05:00:21 PM »

How culture is not related to ethnicity?

It is to a certain extent, but this is the distinctive American experience. There is also an overarching "American" culture. For example, you will see a group of second generation [insert immigrant group or ethnicity here]teenagers who are more "American" than they are [original ethnic group].
My American-born Greek friends complain that when they go to Greece they are treated like Americans!
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« Reply #138 on: July 19, 2012, 05:02:59 PM »

How culture is not related to ethnicity?

J Michael is spot on with this.  There are pockets of authentic ethnic culture throughout the U.S., often in cities or suburban enclaves.  There is also a decent amount of faux-ethnic culture, with families trying to re-establish ethnic ties.  But by in large, a lot of 'American culture' is not tied directly to ethnicity.

Edit: By the way, Michal, your current avatar is pure class. Love it!   
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« Reply #139 on: July 19, 2012, 05:06:47 PM »

So being American is only associated with the passport?

As I quoted from the Wikipedia article:
"Americans, or American people, are the citizens of the United States of America. The country is home to people of different national origins. As a result, Americans do not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship. With the exception of the Native American population, nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the past five centuries."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans

Take from it what you want I guess...
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« Reply #140 on: July 19, 2012, 07:08:43 PM »

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN. DUH, just like you are Polish, get over it.

At least you don't force him to wear armbands with some fancy pictures (yet).

That's a huge, and ridiculous jump. That's like: "I don't like stars -> You hate Jews."
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« Reply #141 on: July 19, 2012, 07:08:43 PM »

Why can't he be a Serbian living in the USA? Why does that bother you? Why do you want to force him to become American?

Well he is an American citizen.

Can't Serbians be American citizens?

If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.

You are taking Devin the wrong way. There are many idioms in the States and he just used one to give more oomph to his statement. He did not mean that he would actually assault the kid.

I understood him well. Adult chauvinists telling children that they must become Americans are bad enough.

What I'm saying is the Serbian Kid I was speaking about is already an American citizen. There isn't a reason to divide or distinguish between a Serbian American and an Anglo American or a Russian American and a Greek American. He and I are both simply Americans. He has Serbian ancestry, I have English, Scottish, Irish, Native American and Dutch ancestry. Yet both of us are simply Americans. That doesn't mean he has to "assimilate" and forget his Serbian background, in fact he can still retain it all and be simply an American.

Quote
If a 20+ man approached my kid and told him he must be a Pole, I would punch that chauvinist straight in his face.

Why can't he be a Serbian living in the USA? Why does that bother you? Why do you want to force him to become American?

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN. DUH, just like you are Polish, get over it.

I disagree celtic, I think the United States is different than most of Europe in that aspect. If my German friend moved to France and became a French citizen, I don't think that necessarily makes him French. Over there in Europe, nationality is more closely tied to ethnicity whether for good or for bad.

No, not at all. If your parents are from Ghana, and you are born and raised Norwegian, you are an African-ethnic Norwegian. If your parents are Serbs and you are born and raised in the US, you are Serbian-ethnic American.
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« Reply #142 on: July 19, 2012, 07:08:43 PM »

So being American is only associated with the passport?

I don't have US passport or citizenship, and I consider myself part American.
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« Reply #143 on: July 19, 2012, 07:08:43 PM »

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN.

Of course people who live in US must obey US laws and all but why an Earth people should base their identities on political entities?

Because you'd be lieing to yourself if you grew up in a country and denied being part of it.
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« Reply #144 on: July 19, 2012, 08:29:16 PM »

This is just me, of course, but I kind of think that other peoples' behavior in church, rude or otherwise, is none of my beeswax.

True in theory, difficult to put into practice when you are literally being physically shoved while in line to commune.
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« Reply #145 on: July 19, 2012, 08:31:27 PM »

I am Greek

That's something new for me.

Of the self-loathing variety, Michal. <3
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« Reply #146 on: July 19, 2012, 09:03:12 PM »

Quote
(and I say all of this while wearing a "got ouzo?" shirt, while I'm not Greek, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy aspects of their culture,  Grin)
I doubt that is part of the Greek culture Huh Shocked Roll Eyes
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« Reply #147 on: July 20, 2012, 11:27:54 AM »

This is just me, of course, but I kind of think that other peoples' behavior in church, rude or otherwise, is none of my beeswax.

True in theory, difficult to put into practice when you are literally being physically shoved while in line to commune.

See, this is where I derive great pleasure from bowing to the shover, and saying quietly, "would you like to go ahead of me?" It doesn't faze them a bit, of course, I feel better!  Grin
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« Reply #148 on: July 21, 2012, 10:58:38 PM »

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN.

Of course people who live in US must obey US laws and all but why an Earth people should base their identities on political entities?

Because you'd be lieing to yourself if you grew up in a country and denied being part of it.

Being part of something is not the same as identifying as something.  Smiley
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« Reply #149 on: July 22, 2012, 12:26:30 PM »

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN.

Of course people who live in US must obey US laws and all but why an Earth people should base their identities on political entities?

Because you'd be lieing to yourself if you grew up in a country and denied being part of it.

Being part of something is not the same as identifying as something.  Smiley

Mayhaps not, but if you grew up in the states as a Serb, you should call yourself Serbian-American atleast. Because you are an ethnic Serb raised in America.
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« Reply #150 on: July 22, 2012, 03:35:19 PM »

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN.

Of course people who live in US must obey US laws and all but why an Earth people should base their identities on political entities?

Because you'd be lieing to yourself if you grew up in a country and denied being part of it.

Being part of something is not the same as identifying as something.  Smiley

Mayhaps not, but if you grew up in the states as a Serb, you should call yourself Serbian-American atleast. Because you are an ethnic Serb raised in America.

I think that Celtic is quite right. Besides, it would be exceedingly odd (unusual) to have lived in America all your life without some kind of "Americanism" rubbing off on you. Hence, Serbian-American, which may seem strange in other, more homogeneous countries but in this one, thank God, you are not forced to change your ethnicity. Indeed, there are quite a few scholars of all disciplines who believe that there is no such thing as American ethnicity but there is a more diffuse, harder to pinpoint, American identity, which over-arches ethic identities without subsuming them. In this situation, there is no question that the individual ethnicity and the American identity influence and change each other to some degree. Thus, one can speak of oneself as Irish-, Italian-, German-, etc,. and Serbian-American.
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« Reply #151 on: July 22, 2012, 04:01:32 PM »

Why do you refuse people to choose fr themselves whoever they'd like to be?
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« Reply #152 on: July 22, 2012, 04:27:48 PM »

Why do you refuse people to choose fr themselves whoever they'd like to be?

I do not think that any red-blooded American would ever do that. You are simply misinterpreting what Celticfan1888 and others have been saying. Folks can choose whatever they would like but that does not immunize them from criticism. It seems to me that you are saying that folks can do whatever what they want and be free of any criticism.
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« Reply #153 on: July 22, 2012, 05:44:16 PM »

If you live in a country, you must follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines of being there, or you have the right to leave. If he is born in America, he is an AMERICAN.

Of course people who live in US must obey US laws and all but why an Earth people should base their identities on political entities?

Because you'd be lieing to yourself if you grew up in a country and denied being part of it.

Being part of something is not the same as identifying as something.  Smiley

Mayhaps not, but if you grew up in the states as a Serb, you should call yourself Serbian-American atleast. Because you are an ethnic Serb raised in America.

I think there lies the heart of misunderstanding in this. It could be that European national identities tend to be a lot more exclusive than the American ones so maybe from Serbian/European perspective there is no such thing as "Serbian-American". There is only "Serbian" or "American". It's a topic of another discussion whether US or European discourse is more correct one but anyway IMHO the could be a difference between US and European perspective.
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« Reply #154 on: July 22, 2012, 07:03:38 PM »

Why do you refuse people to choose fr themselves whoever they'd like to be?

Because sometimes people want to be something they are not.  Men deciding they want to be women, etc.  Reality must be maintained.  I remember some time ago there was a fellow who believed he was Napoleon, but he wasn’t.  I don’t see it so much as a refusal, rather more a balancing of reality.

But, in truth, if it doesn't hurt anyone, to include the person, I see no serious problems with it.
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« Reply #155 on: July 22, 2012, 07:05:14 PM »

I’m a Scottish-Irish-English-Norwegian-Swedish-Native American.  Did I win anything?

In all seriousness, when I hear _____-American it’s like nails on a chalk board.  Unless a person was born in another country and then became an American citizen, it’s an inaccurate title.  If born in America, you are American.  If you live in America, but are not a citizen, you are whatever country citizen you came from.  If you were born somewhere else and became an American citizen, then the title would fit.  

I laugh when I explain to people Charlize Theron is African and Aboriginals are not African-American, and then see a perplexed look on their face.  Ethnicity and Nationality are no longer intertwined, especially after so many centuries of interracial/intercultural mingling.  

Please do not misunderstand.  I have no problem (not that it would make any difference Smiley )when using these things as a way to identify oneself, as you see Scottish is first on my list after finding out my Great-Grandmother belonged a Sept of the Clan MacLean, thus I barely qualify for membership.  Its heritage, but it’s an inward (I think) identity, not an outward.

Just my two cents.
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« Reply #156 on: July 22, 2012, 10:59:31 PM »

I’m a Scottish-Irish-English-Norwegian-Swedish-Native American.  Did I win anything?

In all seriousness, when I hear _____-American it’s like nails on a chalk board.  Unless a person was born in another country and then became an American citizen, it’s an inaccurate title.  If born in America, you are American.  If you live in America, but are not a citizen, you are whatever country citizen you came from.  If you were born somewhere else and became an American citizen, then the title would fit.  

I laugh when I explain to people Charlize Theron is African and Aboriginals are not African-American, and then see a perplexed look on their face.  Ethnicity and Nationality are no longer intertwined, especially after so many centuries of interracial/intercultural mingling.  

Please do not misunderstand.  I have no problem (not that it would make any difference Smiley )when using these things as a way to identify oneself, as you see Scottish is first on my list after finding out my Great-Grandmother belonged a Sept of the Clan MacLean, thus I barely qualify for membership.  Its heritage, but it’s an inward (I think) identity, not an outward.

Just my two cents.

So I don't have the right to call myself part American despite living here?
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« Reply #157 on: July 23, 2012, 10:32:10 AM »

I’m a Scottish-Irish-English-Norwegian-Swedish-Native American.  Did I win anything?

In all seriousness, when I hear _____-American it’s like nails on a chalk board.  Unless a person was born in another country and then became an American citizen, it’s an inaccurate title.  If born in America, you are American.  If you live in America, but are not a citizen, you are whatever country citizen you came from.  If you were born somewhere else and became an American citizen, then the title would fit.  

I laugh when I explain to people Charlize Theron is African and Aboriginals are not African-American, and then see a perplexed look on their face.  Ethnicity and Nationality are no longer intertwined, especially after so many centuries of interracial/intercultural mingling.  

Please do not misunderstand.  I have no problem (not that it would make any difference Smiley )when using these things as a way to identify oneself, as you see Scottish is first on my list after finding out my Great-Grandmother belonged a Sept of the Clan MacLean, thus I barely qualify for membership.  Its heritage, but it’s an inward (I think) identity, not an outward.

Just my two cents.

So I don't have the right to call myself part American despite living here?

What does "part American" *mean*?

In America, freedom of speech is guaranteed by our constitution.  You may *call* yourself anything you like, but that doesn't necessarily make it true.
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« Reply #158 on: July 23, 2012, 12:15:38 PM »

I’m a Scottish-Irish-English-Norwegian-Swedish-Native American.  Did I win anything?

In all seriousness, when I hear _____-American it’s like nails on a chalk board.  Unless a person was born in another country and then became an American citizen, it’s an inaccurate title.  If born in America, you are American.  If you live in America, but are not a citizen, you are whatever country citizen you came from.  If you were born somewhere else and became an American citizen, then the title would fit.  

I laugh when I explain to people Charlize Theron is African and Aboriginals are not African-American, and then see a perplexed look on their face.  Ethnicity and Nationality are no longer intertwined, especially after so many centuries of interracial/intercultural mingling.  

Please do not misunderstand.  I have no problem (not that it would make any difference Smiley )when using these things as a way to identify oneself, as you see Scottish is first on my list after finding out my Great-Grandmother belonged a Sept of the Clan MacLean, thus I barely qualify for membership.  Its heritage, but it’s an inward (I think) identity, not an outward.

Just my two cents.

So I don't have the right to call myself part American despite living here?
Sure you can, if you want.  But if I moved and lived in Scotland the rest of my life, I would still be American unless I became a British subject.
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« Reply #159 on: July 23, 2012, 12:23:05 PM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.
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« Reply #160 on: July 23, 2012, 12:30:05 PM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.

Tell that to Belgians, Cypriots, Swisses...
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« Reply #161 on: July 23, 2012, 03:08:04 PM »

I mean in an American context.
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« Reply #162 on: July 23, 2012, 03:25:33 PM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.

Tell that to Belgians, Cypriots, Swisses...

There are not Belgian, Cyprtiot, or Swiss languages. Duh.
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« Reply #163 on: July 23, 2012, 03:25:33 PM »

I’m a Scottish-Irish-English-Norwegian-Swedish-Native American.  Did I win anything?

In all seriousness, when I hear _____-American it’s like nails on a chalk board.  Unless a person was born in another country and then became an American citizen, it’s an inaccurate title.  If born in America, you are American.  If you live in America, but are not a citizen, you are whatever country citizen you came from.  If you were born somewhere else and became an American citizen, then the title would fit.  

I laugh when I explain to people Charlize Theron is African and Aboriginals are not African-American, and then see a perplexed look on their face.  Ethnicity and Nationality are no longer intertwined, especially after so many centuries of interracial/intercultural mingling.  

Please do not misunderstand.  I have no problem (not that it would make any difference Smiley )when using these things as a way to identify oneself, as you see Scottish is first on my list after finding out my Great-Grandmother belonged a Sept of the Clan MacLean, thus I barely qualify for membership.  Its heritage, but it’s an inward (I think) identity, not an outward.

Just my two cents.

So I don't have the right to call myself part American despite living here?
Sure you can, if you want.  But if I moved and lived in Scotland the rest of my life, I would still be American unless I became a British subject.

Well I never denied being Norse, I am and I am proud of it. But I am just as much American living here for the past 10 years (since I was 12).

You told me because I am not a citizen, I am not American, your words. lol
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« Reply #164 on: July 23, 2012, 03:25:33 PM »

I’m a Scottish-Irish-English-Norwegian-Swedish-Native American.  Did I win anything?

In all seriousness, when I hear _____-American it’s like nails on a chalk board.  Unless a person was born in another country and then became an American citizen, it’s an inaccurate title.  If born in America, you are American.  If you live in America, but are not a citizen, you are whatever country citizen you came from.  If you were born somewhere else and became an American citizen, then the title would fit.  

I laugh when I explain to people Charlize Theron is African and Aboriginals are not African-American, and then see a perplexed look on their face.  Ethnicity and Nationality are no longer intertwined, especially after so many centuries of interracial/intercultural mingling.  

Please do not misunderstand.  I have no problem (not that it would make any difference Smiley )when using these things as a way to identify oneself, as you see Scottish is first on my list after finding out my Great-Grandmother belonged a Sept of the Clan MacLean, thus I barely qualify for membership.  Its heritage, but it’s an inward (I think) identity, not an outward.

Just my two cents.

So I don't have the right to call myself part American despite living here?

What does "part American" *mean*?

In America, freedom of speech is guaranteed by our constitution.  You may *call* yourself anything you like, but that doesn't necessarily make it true.

I've spent half my life here... So Norse-American makes sense...
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« Reply #165 on: July 23, 2012, 03:26:18 PM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.

Tell that to Belgians, Cypriots, Swisses...

There are not Belgian, Cyprtiot, or Swiss languages. Duh.

There is no American language too.
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« Reply #166 on: July 23, 2012, 03:29:01 PM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.

Tell that to Belgians, Cypriots, Swisses...

There are not Belgian, Cyprtiot, or Swiss languages. Duh.

There is no American language too.
Not anymore.  It used to be English.
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« Reply #167 on: July 23, 2012, 05:12:10 PM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.

Tell that to Belgians, Cypriots, Swisses...

There are not Belgian, Cyprtiot, or Swiss languages. Duh.

There is no American language too.

Americans speak English; Belgians speak German, French, or Dutch; and Swiss speak Italian, German, or Spanish. Those are their languages.
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« Reply #168 on: July 23, 2012, 07:31:12 PM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.

Tell that to Belgians, Cypriots, Swisses...

Cypriots who identify as such are pretty bizarre, in my opinion.
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« Reply #169 on: July 23, 2012, 08:49:33 PM »

The OCA should be the unchallenged organization in the Americas.



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« Reply #170 on: July 23, 2012, 09:06:04 PM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.

Tell that to Belgians, Cypriots, Swisses...

Do Austrians speak Austrianeese?
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« Reply #171 on: July 23, 2012, 09:14:53 PM »

The OCA should be the unchallenged organization in the Americas.





Welcome back!
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« Reply #172 on: July 23, 2012, 09:18:06 PM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.

Could you live with the following revision?

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you may be a hyphenated American and you aren't only [fill in the blanks].
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« Reply #173 on: July 23, 2012, 09:36:36 PM »

Perhaps it's time to rename this thread. Or split it.
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« Reply #174 on: July 23, 2012, 10:44:29 PM »

Agreed. I see the Greeks getting a bad rap often, and I don't want to diss anyone's experience, but this has definitely not been mine. The first Divine Liturgy I attended was at a Greek Orthodox parish..


Like you, the first Divine Liturgy I ever attended was at a Greek parish; and although I am a member of an OCA parish I still love to attend that Greek parish on a fairly regular basis. I would point out that this parish is heavily ethnic in it's makeup and never once have I felt unwelcome. In fact if not for the courtesy of a nice lady who saw me looking lost in the parking lot the very first time I went there and invited me to sit with her and her family during the liturgy I may not be Orthodox today. It was an experience of hospitality that I remember to this day, especially when I see a new person at my parish looking lost...... Wink
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« Reply #175 on: July 24, 2012, 01:08:08 AM »

Perhaps it's time to rename this thread. Or split it.

I concur
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« Reply #176 on: July 24, 2012, 10:57:06 AM »

If you don't speak the language of whatever ethnicity you identify with, then you are just an American and you aren't [fill in the blanks] in any meaningful sense.

Tell that to Belgians, Cypriots, Swisses...

There are not Belgian, Cyprtiot, or Swiss languages. Duh.

There is no American language too.

Wrong--just ask the English.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 11:02:49 AM by J Michael » Logged

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« Reply #177 on: July 24, 2012, 11:01:35 AM »

In the last neighborhood I lived in, if I walked around, there were signs in English, Spanish, and Arabic. In my current neighborhood, it's English, Spanish, and Polish. Other neighborhoods, other languages. I suppose English and Spanish were the common denominators throughout.
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