I really appreciate everyone’s kind words and assistance on helping my faith journey.
Here is what I worry about: when the school year starts, I will need to choose an Orthodox Church to attend (the current parish I attend now is too far from my school and I live on campus).
Here are four Orthodox parishes nearby my college:
Greek Orthodox Church of Assumption (GOA) http://www.kimisis.org/
This is the closest Orthodox Church nearby my College with only 10 minutes’ drive. However, the asking of monetary support is sort of demanding to me. If I am not wrong, the parish website says you would have to make a pledge with a minimum in order to participate most of programs. I wouldn’t be able make that much of monetary support since I am a student.
There are also two quite polemic reviews on Google that quite trouble me. One review states that people in this parish
party in the church all night; the other one defends the parish and says that all Christian congregations need funding to support the activities.
Saint John’s Greek Orthodox Church (GOA)http://www.stjohnsbluepoint.org/index.html
Father John Kefalas, the residing priest of the parish fell asleep in the Lord in April (May his memory be eternal).
The parish requires approximately 25 minutes of driving. It might be a little smaller than Assumption, which is nice to me since I cannot really interact with people in large environment. Nevertheless, I am a bit of worry since I do not know which priest currently take care the faithful. As a seeker of Orthodoxy, I really need good pastoral guidance to be received into Church.
Saint Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church (OCA)http://www.standrewsoca.org
This parish requires half hour of driving. As a potential convert, this is probably most friendly website I have observed so far. The only thing I worry about is that the liturgy is entirely in English. Since next year I will take Greek classes, I feel a Greek parish would be better.
Saint Paraskevi’s Greek Orthodox Church (GOA) http://www.stparaskevi.org/
This parish also requires half hour of driving. It’s a little bit far away from my residence, but anything else works out great. I am not very sure about the stewardship/membership thing, but I feel Saint Paraskevi might be a good parish to attend since I saw last names like Chin on the parish council list, which suggesting that there might be Asians in the parish (this is quite encouraging to me and I am an Asian).
There is also a monastery nearby my College:
Holy Cross Monastery (ROCOR) http://www.taphos.org/
I have never visited an Orthodox monastery before. Does a monastery allow lay people to communion in a regular basis? What are the differences between an Orthodox parish and an Orthodox monastery?
Forgive me that I should not judge individual parish, but I feel the need to attend Sunday service in a parish environment that I am comfortable with during school session. I would prefer a GOA parish, a small/convert friendly one if possible. I would like to help the parish, but currently won’t be able to help Church much financially except giving physical help and cleaning duty.
This previous post I made sort of explaining my background:
“Greek parishes? Friendly?”http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,44931.0.html
I also know it is very hard to give advice on this kind of issue and I might need to figure out by myself, but I would humbly pay attention to everyone’s advice.
Another issue I would like to bring up:
My school has an Orthodox Christian fellowship, but is not affiliated with Orthodox Church in America (OCA), if I am not wrong. Most of members and guest speakers are Oriental Orthodox not Eastern Orthodox. One member emailed me and told me that the fellowship is for both Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox. Should I attend this fellowship?
Thanks all for willingness to share opinions and help me on my faith journey. Thank you.