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Author Topic: Talking with your former priest/pastor about Orthodoxy  (Read 1283 times) Average Rating: 0
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NightOwl
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« on: December 23, 2012, 02:00:18 AM »

I'm wondering if I should meet with the pastor at the church I grew up in to tell him about my planned conversion to Orthodoxy. I'd been assuming my family would let him know but apparently they haven't. I'd much appreciate any advice or insight you guys have to offer!
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 02:16:36 AM »

Join Orthodoxy then just send him a vague email telling him of your conversion and never speak to him again. Chances are that your former Pastor or Priest is going to try to talk you out of it, and seeing that you probably already have enough on your mind since you are about to convert, you don't need that extra stress.
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 02:21:53 AM »

I'm wondering if I should meet with the pastor at the church I grew up in to tell him about my planned conversion to Orthodoxy. I'd been assuming my family would let him know but apparently they haven't. I'd much appreciate any advice or insight you guys have to offer!

Why do you feel you should?  Are you still in regular attendance?  If not, I see no reason to feel obligated.
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 04:18:14 AM »

Humbly and very honestly, my advice is: do not. Listen to God, trust in God and keep on doing what you do now.
I made that mistake, but the reaction that was recieved made me just realize that this is what I had to do.

Pray and keep walking the path. Have been there, so have a slight idea what this is about.
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 07:14:06 AM »

I advised a former pastor of my conversion and he wrote a lovely letter "transferring" my membership from his church to the Orthodox Church telling the priest about myself and the family --- what we did in the previous church (Sunday School Teachers, church activity, service to the church, etc.) It was a bit confusing to theOrthodox Priest but it did tell him alot about our family and help him to know us better.


« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 07:15:46 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 07:17:50 AM »

I advised a former pastor of my conversion and he wrote a lovely letter "transferring" my membership from his church to the Orthodox Church telling the priest about myself and the family --- what we did in the previous church (Sunday School Teachers, church activity, service to the church, etc.) It was a bit confusing to theOrthodox Priest but it did tell him alot about our family and help him to know us better.



Good for him!!! That's how it should go. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 09:28:06 AM »

If you still keep in touch with him, why not?

All depends on the relation with your former priest/pastor and also his attitude to Orthodoxy.

My former priest, Roman Catholic, is also my very good friend to this day and, what's more, he has some Orthodox Christians in his family, so I had been talking with him about my potential conversion into Orthodoxy even a few year before it and never had told me "Don't do this", only "I don't know, what's better for you. Bot you can't live in kind of schizophrenia, by practising in 2 churches" (he rather couldn't say directly to me "Convert!", so he said it between the lines), and when I finally decided, in some way he was relieved.

But I've heard also some stories, that former priests were dissuading from conversion into Orthodoxy or even made fuss
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 12:02:25 PM »

I still see him on occasion when I visit home. I saw him at a Christmas party last night and had to sidestep around the topic. So I probably should tell him something, but I'm debating between phone/email/face to face. On the one hand I've known him for a long time, on the other he's an extremely liberal Protestant and I don't think I agree with him on nearly anything theological or philosophical.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 12:28:50 PM by NightOwl » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 12:37:11 PM »

If you have a relationship with him, if he expects to know from you, then you should tell him. If you want to tell him about Orthodoxy in case he might want to know about it himself, then you could tell him. Otherwise, you don't really have to answer before anybody about your personal relationship with God. Either if you have to tell him, or you don't, don't stress about it. Just say the truth, or don't bother.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 12:37:44 PM by IoanC » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 02:46:25 PM »

When it comes to people that you see often, there comes a point where you just can't avoid talking about it. But when it comes to those whom we rarely see, telling them about our conversions aren't always necessary. If you don't see this former pastor often, and if you feel the need to tell him about it, it may be more beneficial to you if you wait until you have actually joined the church. That may give you more strength for the conversation, and it may be less likely that he will try to talk you out of it, since you would have already fully joined.
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 05:37:29 PM »

I'm wondering if I should meet with the pastor at the church I grew up in to tell him about my planned conversion to Orthodoxy. I'd been assuming my family would let him know but apparently they haven't. I'd much appreciate any advice or insight you guys have to offer!

Good question. (I won't answer it myself, as I'm an inquirer, and I assume you're addressing to posters who are Orthodox or at least catechumens.)

I advised a former pastor of my conversion and he wrote a lovely letter "transferring" my membership from his church to the Orthodox Church telling the priest about myself and the family --- what we did in the previous church (Sunday School Teachers, church activity, service to the church, etc.) It was a bit confusing to theOrthodox Priest but it did tell him alot about our family and help him to know us better.

What did you convert from?
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 05:54:52 PM »

....he's an extremely liberal Protestant....
then perhaps he would be happy with your conversion.
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 09:05:28 PM »

I'm wondering if I should meet with the pastor at the church I grew up in to tell him about my planned conversion to Orthodoxy. I'd been assuming my family would let him know but apparently they haven't. I'd much appreciate any advice or insight you guys have to offer!

I never had the need to tell our Catholic parish priest that I'd become Orthodox. Unless you're his personal friend, there's really no need to tell him so.
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 11:40:54 PM »

At this point I'm sort of wondering why the seminary/education system was literally in the way.
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 11:43:34 PM »

I'm wondering if I should meet with the pastor at the church I grew up in to tell him about my planned conversion to Orthodoxy. I'd been assuming my family would let him know but apparently they haven't. I'd much appreciate any advice or insight you guys have to offer!

I once thought going to a priest and talking to him was the springboard platform into the religious life.
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Peter J
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 12:22:22 AM »

At this point I'm sort of wondering why the seminary/education system was literally in the way.

Poor city planning?
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2013, 12:25:55 AM »

At this point I'm sort of wondering why the seminary/education system was literally in the way.

Please, go on...
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2013, 01:26:05 AM »

I still don't know how to go about this, but we're proceeding with going to the Orthodox parish starting this weekend
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 04:09:13 AM »

I advised a former pastor of my conversion and he wrote a lovely letter "transferring" my membership from his church to the Orthodox Church telling the priest about myself and the family --- what we did in the previous church (Sunday School Teachers, church activity, service to the church, etc.) It was a bit confusing to theOrthodox Priest but it did tell him alot about our family and help him to know us better.
That is weird but sweet.
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« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 04:21:28 PM »

I'm wondering if I should meet with the pastor at the church I grew up in to tell him about my planned conversion to Orthodoxy. I'd been assuming my family would let him know but apparently they haven't. I'd much appreciate any advice or insight you guys have to offer!

Good question. (I won't answer it myself, as I'm an inquirer, and I assume you're addressing to posters who are Orthodox or at least catechumens.)

I advised a former pastor of my conversion and he wrote a lovely letter "transferring" my membership from his church to the Orthodox Church telling the priest about myself and the family --- what we did in the previous church (Sunday School Teachers, church activity, service to the church, etc.) It was a bit confusing to theOrthodox Priest but it did tell him alot about our family and help him to know us better.

What did you convert from?

I left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mortmon) and returned to the church of my family the Episcopal Church before  becoming an Orthodox Christian 24 years ago. It was the Episcopal Priest who "transferred"  my membership and sent the letter to my Orthodox Priest.
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2013, 09:25:53 AM »

At this point I'm sort of wondering why the seminary/education system was literally in the way.

Poor city planning?

I always forget that OCnet is to humor what a black hole is to, you know, other stuff.
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2013, 09:26:47 AM »

I still don't know how to go about this, but we're proceeding with going to the Orthodox parish starting this weekend

I'm surprised nobody has responded to this post (not me personally, as I'm an inquirer and this is the convert forum).
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2013, 10:41:23 AM »

I still don't know how to go about this, but we're proceeding with going to the Orthodox parish starting this weekend

I'm surprised nobody has responded to this post (not me personally, as I'm an inquirer and this is the convert forum).

I believe the reason there has been no response is that the poster is doing what we recommend they do---go to a local Orthodox parish. Face to face interaction with a parish priest, deacon, and laity far exceeds any information or experience they will have through the internet, as the poster already indicates that s/he is within the OCA jurisdiction s/e is doing what they need to do.

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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2013, 11:39:27 AM »

I'm surprised nobody has responded to this post (not me personally, as I'm an inquirer and this is the convert forum).
I believe the reason there has been no response is that the poster is doing what we recommend they do
I'm not sure I follow you. "Respond" doesn't necessarily mean "respond in a negative way".
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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2013, 12:27:32 PM »

I'm surprised nobody has responded to this post (not me personally, as I'm an inquirer and this is the convert forum).
I believe the reason there has been no response is that the poster is doing what we recommend they do
I'm not sure I follow you. "Respond" doesn't necessarily mean "respond in a negative way".

Exactly. Many choose not to respond when the right course is chosen.
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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2013, 12:44:17 PM »

OIC
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« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2013, 01:44:58 PM »

I haven't posted just because I don't really have anything insightful to say. I told my pastor when I was leaving, and he said I'd be back. He thought that the Orthodox Church was basically Anti-Christ-lite... sort of a less evil version of Catholicism or something, and he thought no sincere and intelligent seeker could stick with it for long. Well anyway, so I didn't really get much out of the conversation, and I'm sure he didn't either. It was probably fairly awkward for him--I mean, what was he supposed to say exactly? That's all I got.  angel
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« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2013, 03:59:32 PM »

choy, i pray it goes well this weekend, spend time praying in the church and remember it's unlikely all your questions will be answered in one visit! but hang around after church and i expect many of them will be.
 Smiley
(i have decided to spend less time on line, so am a bit slow with replies...)
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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2013, 03:36:35 AM »

choy, i pray it goes well this weekend, spend time praying in the church and remember it's unlikely all your questions will be answered in one visit! but hang around after church and i expect many of them will be.
 Smiley
(i have decided to spend less time on line, so am a bit slow with replies...)
 Smiley

Thanks.  This is actually, I don't know, 5th or 6th for me, and third for the rest of my family. I've met with the priest on 3 separate occasions, and another occasion we invited him to our home so my wife can also ask questions.
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« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2013, 03:11:05 AM »

WOW!!!  This is super hard!!!  But I have gotten through it.
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« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2013, 09:18:20 AM »

WOW!!!  This is super hard!!!  But I have gotten through it.
Tell.
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« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2013, 09:58:51 AM »

Join Orthodoxy then just send him a vague email telling him of your conversion and never speak to him again. Chances are that your former Pastor or Priest is going to try to talk you out of it, and seeing that you probably already have enough on your mind since you are about to convert, you don't need that extra stress.

My former Pastor and a dozen other friends of mine from the baptist church came to my Baptism.  I guess it would depend on how close you are to your former pastor.
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« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2013, 10:53:14 AM »

I'm wondering if I should meet with the pastor at the church I grew up in to tell him about my planned conversion to Orthodoxy. I'd been assuming my family would let him know but apparently they haven't. I'd much appreciate any advice or insight you guys have to offer!

I wouldn't feel like you have to.  If you had a positive relationship with the pastor and feel like it would genuinely want to know about your experience, awesome!  However, if you don't have much of a personal relationship and feel they would challenge your decision . . . in this case I would say and do nothing.  I'm at a point where I've been inquiring, thinking, reading long enough that orthodoxy is always on my mind but in the context of the evangelical church - I have decided the best course of action is to say nothing unless asked and then only answer the question.   
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« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2013, 11:20:38 AM »

My former Pastor and a dozen other friends of mine from the baptist church came to my Baptism. 

I guess that makes sense. Given how Baptists view authority, some kind of "no-fault divorce" attitude toward conversion (the very thing that I find, in general, so repulsive) would actually make certain amount of sense. I guess the only real question for them would be, "Is the church you're going to at least as good as the one you're leaving?"
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« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2013, 11:25:52 AM »

Going through this process can be difficult for many. There are many times like in these days when I go through a lot of emotions in my catechumenate that I do miss my old priest, but knowing that this was the right decision, my advice is: do talk your priest and let him know, but..do most of all listen to your heart.
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« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2013, 12:51:50 PM »

WOW!!!  This is super hard!!!  But I have gotten through it.
Tell.

I beat around the bush quite a bit  laugh but eventually I went through it.  There is many things to say but I focused on the biggest issue my family had, that is the struggle with an ethnic church.  He was understanding, I kept reminding me that I have nothing against Ukrainians and I fully understand why culture and faith goes hand in hand.  But we just cannot fit ourselves to it.
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