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Author Topic: The Death of the Ukrainian Orthodox/Ukrainian Catholic Community in Canada?  (Read 3741 times) Average Rating: 0
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choy
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« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2013, 06:53:34 PM »

Have you ever been at a post-church luncheon where you say "Hello!" to someone, and they mumble, "Uhhh," to you, and then turn to someone else and start talking in a language you can't speak, for ten minutes? And they never so much at look at you again, even though you are two feet away?

Have you ever been to a church where your only friends are five elderly women on the staff?

Have you ever been to a church where you have been asked, repeatedly since you got there three years ago, why you don't go to the church down the road, because "they speak English there"?

Do you get forgotten by name, again and again, by someone with whom you have attended the same Bible class for four months?

I have. I've about had it up to here with the notion that everything is a happy wonderland and there aren't problems, or, that the only way around these issues is to tell the nekulturny pasty-faced converts to stop complaining. After all, the duty of the Orthodox Church is to make sure that it is always new-immigrants-only, no one should ever have to learn anything, and by golly no two different groups should have to work together.

Wait a second. Aren't we all one human race?

This is starting to remind me of the stories of how my grandparents on Mom's side didn't want my Mom and Dad to get married, because good Lord, Dad was Irish (Mom's Italian) and you know what they say about them!

Well, on Saturday, it'll be my Mom and Dad's 44th anniversary. So, who knows?

Yes, we are all strangers somewhere. And we should allow one another to enjoy our cultures. The trouble comes if you try to build a wall around it.

My great-grandparents went through some horrible things when they got off the boat. They didn't do it for nothing.

It is not 1908 anymore.

A lot of people has been asking me if I was going to become a priest.  At first I thought it was God calling.  Later on I realize that to some the only reason why a non-Ukrainian would be going to their church was because he wanted to become a priest.
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« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2013, 07:22:14 PM »

Have you ever been at a post-church luncheon where you say "Hello!" to someone, and they mumble, "Uhhh," to you, and then turn to someone else and start talking in a language you can't speak, for ten minutes? And they never so much at look at you again, even though you are two feet away?

Have you ever been to a church where your only friends are five elderly women on the staff?

Have you ever been to a church where you have been asked, repeatedly since you got there three years ago, why you don't go to the church down the road, because "they speak English there"?

Do you get forgotten by name, again and again, by someone with whom you have attended the same Bible class for four months?



Yes, yes, and yes!  But, that's not because I was of a different ethnicity because of them....it just because.  This has happened to me among people of my own ethnicity, as well.

This has nothing to do with a parish's ethnicity, but, with the people involved in each situation.

Not everyone, everywhere is going to love every other person.  That's just the way it is.

It used to really bother me, but, I'm quickly getting used to not having everyone like me.  It's their choice....and their loss.  Wink 

Seriously, don't let it get to you.  It happens to everyone.

I know that I am on edge when I visit another parish...even English speakers.....because I'm not one of their "family"...and because I am soooo stressed, I often see negative reactions, when the people never really meant them to be that way.  Just because someone didn't answer, or wave back to me, doesn't mean they hate me, forgot who I am, or are angry with me....it just means they are preoccupied and I am not the center of their universe at that moment.

Instead of getting upset, just smile the wider and try again.

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choy
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« Reply #47 on: February 06, 2013, 07:26:16 PM »

Have you ever been at a post-church luncheon where you say "Hello!" to someone, and they mumble, "Uhhh," to you, and then turn to someone else and start talking in a language you can't speak, for ten minutes? And they never so much at look at you again, even though you are two feet away?

Have you ever been to a church where your only friends are five elderly women on the staff?

Have you ever been to a church where you have been asked, repeatedly since you got there three years ago, why you don't go to the church down the road, because "they speak English there"?

Do you get forgotten by name, again and again, by someone with whom you have attended the same Bible class for four months?



Yes, yes, and yes!  But, that's not because I was of a different ethnicity because of them....it just because.  This has happened to me among people of my own ethnicity, as well.

This has nothing to do with a parish's ethnicity, but, with the people involved in each situation.

Not everyone, everywhere is going to love every other person.  That's just the way it is.

It used to really bother me, but, I'm quickly getting used to not having everyone like me.  It's their choice....and their loss.  Wink 

Seriously, don't let it get to you.  It happens to everyone.

I know that I am on edge when I visit another parish...even English speakers.....because I'm not one of their "family"...and because I am soooo stressed, I often see negative reactions, when the people never really meant them to be that way.  Just because someone didn't answer, or wave back to me, doesn't mean they hate me, forgot who I am, or are angry with me....it just means they are preoccupied and I am not the center of their universe at that moment.

Instead of getting upset, just smile the wider and try again.



The differences are magnified by the ethnic divide.  Every Filipino I have worked with here in Canada there is always that "brotherhood" between us that we're not really great friends (some of them do become close friends of mine) but that there is that connection that is not present with the other people at work who are non-Filipinos.  So if you are in church and people aren't talking to you and they are talking in their own language and doing their own cultural thing, it's a bigger deal than if someone who is of the same culture is ignoring you.
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« Reply #48 on: February 06, 2013, 07:28:42 PM »

I'm sorry. I get very hot under the collar. A lot.

I don't know what to say. There are some very good people there, and some, I don't know...

And of course, I'm an imperfect bag of wind too. So, what do I know?

All I know is, it's sad that people get divided and argue so much. Everyone struggles with sin. Shame on me for not being able to have sympathy for others.

I just don't know. It's been lonely.

Again, I'll shut up, it's about time for me to book that boat back home and hope my great-grandparents can forgive me. I don't belong. Maybe, no one does.
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« Reply #49 on: February 06, 2013, 07:32:18 PM »

This is true....however, there's a Romanian Cathedral just down the road from my parish.  I go to their events all the time.  

I don't speak Romanian...not a word....and I had that clammy palm, stressful experience of being in unfamiliar territory....but, eventually....I broke the ice barrier....and have become close friends with many people of that parish, their priest, and even got the honor of getting a blessing from their bishop.

You have to put yourself out there....swallow your pride, or inhibition, or whatever it is that is holding you back...and just keep chiseling away....IF you want to have relations with the other people.

Same is true in the Serbian church, near my home....Don't speak a word of it.  People even dress different than those at my parish.  I was certain they were all staring at me, and I felt uncomfortable the whole Liturgy....after a few visits....they all smile warmly when I show up, we shake hands....and speak in broken English with each other.  

You have to show a genuine interest in them....

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« Reply #50 on: February 06, 2013, 07:33:15 PM »


Again, I'll shut up, it's about time for me to book that boat back home and hope my great-grandparents can forgive me. I don't belong. Maybe, no one does.

Killarney looks like a lovely place to call home.
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« Reply #51 on: February 06, 2013, 07:47:06 PM »

Have you ever been at a post-church luncheon where you say "Hello!" to someone, and they mumble, "Uhhh," to you, and then turn to someone else and start talking in a language you can't speak, for ten minutes? And they never so much at look at you again, even though you are two feet away?

When I was at school, I went to the nearest Greek Orthodox church two or three times.  No one ever talked to me during coffee hour.  I may have been upset for a few minutes until I realized that I was just passing through.  Still in college, on Easter, I was riding my bike in a suburb when I smelled lamb and heard Greek music.  I wanted to find that location and my shyness prevented me from doing so.

Have you ever been to a church where your only friends are five elderly women on the staff?

No.

Have you ever been to a church where you have been asked, repeatedly since you got there three years ago, why you don't go to the church down the road, because "they speak English there"?

I tried to join the Hellenic Students Association at the college I was attending.  There were 6 people in the room, including me.  In Greek, they said 5 people were present.  I figured that I was the odd man out and I walked out.  I didn't miss them.
 
Do you get forgotten by name, again and again, by someone with whom you have attended the same Bible class for four months?

Some people are bad with names.

I have. I've about had it up to here with the notion that everything is a happy wonderland and there aren't problems, or, that the only way around these issues is to tell the nekulturny pasty-faced converts to stop complaining. After all, the duty of the Orthodox Church is to make sure that it is always new-immigrants-only, no one should ever have to learn anything, and by golly no two different groups should have to work together.

Wait a second. Aren't we all one human race?

We are and some people are ignorant of that fact.

This is starting to remind me of the stories of how my grandparents on Mom's side didn't want my Mom and Dad to get married, because good Lord, Dad was Irish (Mom's Italian) and you know what they say about them!

Well, on Saturday, it'll be my Mom and Dad's 44th anniversary. So, who knows?

Many Years!!

Yes, we are all strangers somewhere. And we should allow one another to enjoy our cultures. The trouble comes if you try to build a wall around it.

My great-grandparents went through some horrible things when they got off the boat. They didn't do it for nothing.

It is not 1908 anymore.

You can't teach new ideas to those stuck in their old ways.  You have to improvise and assert yourself without your temper getting the best of you when things don't go as planned.  In college, I was just passing through and had no contact with the Greek-American community.  Perhaps people in your Greek Orthodox church view you in the same way - just passing through.  You have to convince them that you're serious about the faith independent of the culture.  As in Liza's examples, the community will warm to you once you assert yourself appropriately unless the damage is already done.    Huh Smiley  Huh
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« Reply #52 on: February 06, 2013, 07:48:54 PM »

I've been to two or three services a week for three years. Yes, I was serious. When was that door ever going to open?

But I guess I've repeated myself enough. Sorry.
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« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2013, 04:12:36 AM »

I was replying to your observation, that eventually families lose their attachment to their heritage and simply become American, Canadian, etc.

Closing yourselves in ghettos won't stop that. It may can give a dozen of years but nothing more.

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At present, there are way too many individuals who still speak their native languages, and wish to hold on to their roots, to make this so simple, and cut and dry.

Everyone will have died out in 20 years.

I'm not saying it's a good thing. I only say you need to find solutions that actually work to stop it.

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The U.S. is a bit different than most Orthodox nations, in that it is the home for peoples from all over the world, with varied ethnicities, cultures, languages, etc.  Most people have come and built churches relying on the support of their various Patriarchs, to which they feel a connection.

American exceptionalism again...

Churches of Romania, Poland, Czech Lands and Slovakia also have multiple calendars, liturgical traditions, and customs. They magically manage to do it despite being united. Are you saying Americans are too dumb for that?

Have you ever been at a post-church luncheon where you say "Hello!" to someone, and they mumble, "Uhhh," to you, and then turn to someone else and start talking in a language you can't speak, for ten minutes? And they never so much at look at you again, even though you are two feet away?

First world Orthodox problems.

Didn't your parent teach you it's impolite to interrupt a talk between others?

And why should they speak English anyway? To make you eavesdrop easier?

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Do you get forgotten by name, again and again, by someone with whom you have attended the same Bible class for four months?

That might have been me. I have a problem with rememberring names.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 04:12:59 AM by Michał Kalina » Logged
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« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2013, 04:34:26 AM »

American exceptionalism again...

Churches of Romania, Poland, Czech Lands and Slovakia also have multiple calendars, liturgical traditions, and customs. They magically manage to do it despite being united. Are you saying Americans are too dumb for that?

It's not about being dumb.  At least in those countries you mentioned, there is a place for the people who are the majority culture/ethnicity of the land to go to.  Most Americans (even Canadians) won't be able to find an Orthodox parish they can relate to in their own city.  Its easy to be Ukrainian if you're not in Ukrainian but you are in Ukraine.  In my case, I am an immigrant in Canada and I go to a Church filled by other immigrants of a different culture.  Their culture is neither my culture or the culture of the land where I am in right now.  So there is a total disconnect.  My current Orthodox parish at least is ethnic neutral.  We have Russians, Greeks, Romanians, etc., then there are the WASP converts.  We all come together as Canadians.  At least we all can identify in some way as being Canadian, that is where we live.  As immigrants we absorb the local culture to a certain extent.  That doesn't happen in a Ukrainian parish.  Why would I pretend to be Ukrainian?  I have totally no connection with their culture.
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« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2013, 09:59:45 AM »

As much as I cherish the time honored traditions of my heritage, I know that in the western hemisphere, the handwriting is on the wall. We have to address the reality of where we are today.I was looking through my photo files the other day and I was struck by the impact of demographics and economics over the past fifteen years on my parish. We still count over 500 souls but....median age makes the future look very different than the past. The other local Slavic parishes here face the same trends. This pattern repeats itself in countless communities. At a nearby parish it seems there are more readers, subdeacons and assorted clerical or monastic wannabes on a Sunday than families and children. We have been so wrapped up in culture for decades that when kids or families relocate they fall away when they "can't find a church like home." This is heard even when a church from the same jurisdiction is nearby, let alone an Orthodox parish from another diocese!  This refrain resonates regardless of ethnicity among most parish priests - just ask your pastor!  In my home parish the number of non English speakers is zero and those who can still speak "po nasemu" fluently, if at all, can be counted on one hand! This is not unique. The local Ukrainian churches still have Ukrainian school and dance class but most of the kids are evangelical immigrants who are there for culture not faith. I wish things were as they were when I was younger but wishing won't make it so. All of us have to find the way to address these challenges lest we find ourselves in history's dustbin.
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« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2013, 10:20:04 AM »

Michal, all I wanted to do was make friends and say something interesting to them. I know not everybody speaks English and maybe I was a stranger to them. I just wanted to get to know people.

I was lonely. I'm sorry.
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« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2013, 10:29:55 AM »

Michal, all I wanted to do was make friends and say something interesting to them. I know not everybody speaks English and maybe I was a stranger to them. I just wanted to get to know people.

I was lonely. I'm sorry.

Some people come to church to pray not to make friends.
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« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2013, 10:34:03 AM »

Michal, all I wanted to do was make friends and say something interesting to them. I know not everybody speaks English and maybe I was a stranger to them. I just wanted to get to know people.

I was lonely. I'm sorry.

Some people come to church to pray not to make friends.

This wasn't in the church. It took place in the events hall, after the liturgy. It was coffee and snack time.

I admit I have a lot to learn, though.
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« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2013, 10:37:56 AM »

Michal, all I wanted to do was make friends and say something interesting to them. I know not everybody speaks English and maybe I was a stranger to them. I just wanted to get to know people.

I was lonely. I'm sorry.

Some people come to church to pray not to make friends.

The value of fellowship ought not to be discounted. We are not all hermetically inclined.
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« Reply #60 on: February 07, 2013, 10:49:11 AM »

Michal, all I wanted to do was make friends and say something interesting to them. I know not everybody speaks English and maybe I was a stranger to them. I just wanted to get to know people.

I was lonely. I'm sorry.

Some people come to church to pray not to make friends.

The value of fellowship ought not to be discounted. We are not all hermetically inclined.

Does that mean American converts should force Protestant parish behavoiur model on people who are not used to it and have no desire for it?
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« Reply #61 on: February 07, 2013, 11:01:03 AM »


No, it does not.

However, most people can sympathize with Biro's plight, as they've been shunned at least once in their life and were left feeling awkward about it.

Besides, her trying to make "friends" is hardly shoving Protestant behavior on anyone.  Orthodox folks also make friends.
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« Reply #62 on: February 07, 2013, 11:03:39 AM »

Michal, all I wanted to do was make friends and say something interesting to them. I know not everybody speaks English and maybe I was a stranger to them. I just wanted to get to know people.

I was lonely. I'm sorry.

Some people come to church to pray not to make friends.

The value of fellowship ought not to be discounted. We are not all hermetically inclined.

Does that mean American converts should force Protestant parish behavoiur model on people who are not used to it and have no desire for it?

1. I've never been a Protestant. Irrelevant, anyway.

2. Has it officially been declared a heresy for people to say Hi to each other at coffee time?

Yipes. Sad
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« Reply #63 on: February 07, 2013, 11:09:42 AM »

Michal, all I wanted to do was make friends and say something interesting to them. I know not everybody speaks English and maybe I was a stranger to them. I just wanted to get to know people.

I was lonely. I'm sorry.

Some people come to church to pray not to make friends.

The value of fellowship ought not to be discounted. We are not all hermetically inclined.

Does that mean American converts should force Protestant parish behavoiur model on people who are not used to it and have no desire for it?

What? Being friendly and polite is "Protestant parish behavior"? Seriously?
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« Reply #64 on: February 07, 2013, 11:14:20 AM »


No, it does not.

However, most people can sympathize with Biro's plight, as they've been shunned at least once in their life and were left feeling awkward about it.

Besides, her trying to make "friends" is hardly shoving Protestant behavior on anyone.  Orthodox folks also make friends.

Let's start from a scratch:

Outside USA there is almost no such thing as "coffee hour". People come to church, pray, and leave. For many of them concept of social gatherings in a church is sacrilegious. Imagine, they come to the country where dominant religious tradition treat  churches as not only places for worship but also as community halls, entertainment centers, pubs, and whatever.

Can't you realise how awkwardly they feel? Do you really have to magnify that awkwardness? Do you really have to impose on them that always-happy American mentality? Imagine, in the "old country" there is not normal to make "friends" with everyone, to behave like Stepford wives.

Why do you behave so selfishly? "I'm lonely", "No one makes friends with me", "I'm being ignored", "They do not talk in English", "They do not behave like me"... Deal with it or join some support group where you will be able to whine with people with similar "problems".

Maybe the reason you can't make friends lies in you, not in the "others".
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« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2013, 11:30:18 AM »

Jeez, you sound like a jerk.

Go ahead, bring out the yellow dot. I'm ready.
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« Reply #66 on: February 07, 2013, 11:32:44 AM »


No, it does not.

However, most people can sympathize with Biro's plight, as they've been shunned at least once in their life and were left feeling awkward about it.

Besides, her trying to make "friends" is hardly shoving Protestant behavior on anyone.  Orthodox folks also make friends.

Let's start from a scratch:

Outside USA there is almost no such thing as "coffee hour". People come to church, pray, and leave. For many of them concept of social gatherings in a church is sacrilegious. Imagine, they come to the country where dominant religious tradition treat  churches as not only places for worship but also as community halls, entertainment centers, pubs, and whatever.

Kind of like how the first Christians would get together and have the agape meal after worshipping?  How dare they?! IS OUTRAGE!

Quote
Can't you realise how awkwardly they feel? Do you really have to magnify that awkwardness? Do you really have to impose on them that always-happy American mentality? Imagine, in the "old country" there is not normal to make "friends" with everyone, to behave like Stepford wives.

Now this I can get behind, but the way you're expressing this is making you sound like a jerk.

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Why do you behave so selfishly? "I'm lonely", "No one makes friends with me", "I'm being ignored", "They do not talk in English", "They do not behave like me"... Deal with it or join some support group where you will be able to whine with people with similar "problems".

Okay, I take that back.  You do sound like a jerk.
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« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2013, 11:38:35 AM »


While folks "back home" might not congregate in the church hall for coffee and donuts,why are you stating that they don't make friends?

The older ladies arrive at church way before the doors are even open.  They sit on the grassy knolls, rest and catch up with their babushka friends, until the clergy arrive to open the doors.  

Besides, even so, this doesn't hold true in this particular case, as the people are gathered in the church hall after Liturgy and talking with each other.  It's not likes she's grabbing them and holding them from leaving.  They are already there....and she wants to make friends.

On the other hand.....I had no idea that "back home" folks simply rushed home after Liturgy....and that as you said, sticking around was almost sacrilegious.  Why is that?

I'm truly curious....because at my church it was really, really hard to get the new immigrants to come downstairs and join us for lunch.  They would all simply walk out and then congregate in the parking lot and talk with each other.  We thought the "new" immigrants simply didn't want anything to do with the "old" immigrants.  So, I find this rather interesting.  Most come and join the rest for lunch now, but, it took literally months of continuous smiles and invitations to join us, before they did.  Now they are regulars!

Why would it be considered sacrilegious?


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« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2013, 11:43:20 AM »

Michal, all I wanted to do was make friends and say something interesting to them. I know not everybody speaks English and maybe I was a stranger to them. I just wanted to get to know people.

I was lonely. I'm sorry.

Some people come to church to pray not to make friends.

The value of fellowship ought not to be discounted. We are not all hermetically inclined.

Does that mean American converts should force Protestant parish behavoiur model on people who are not used to it and have no desire for it?

? Fellowship, community, fraternal organizations etc have been essential in the creation and maintenance of Orthodox communities in America for well over a century. What do you mean? That model has nothing to do with converts.
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« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2013, 11:48:51 AM »

The older ladies arrive at church way before the doors are even open.  They sit on the grassy knolls, rest and catch up with their babushka friends, until the clergy arrive to open the doors.

With people that already are their friends.

Quote
I'm truly curious....because at my church it was really, really hard to get the new immigrants to come downstairs and join us for lunch.  They would all simply walk out and then congregate in the parking lot and talk with each other.  We thought the "new" immigrants simply didn't want anything to do with the "old" immigrants.  So, I find this rather interesting.  Most come and join the rest for lunch now, but, it took literally months of continuous smiles and invitations to join us, before they did.  Now they are regulars!

Why don't you eat insects? You don't have such tradition.

I also think it'd be quite difficult to organise such events for parishes with several k (or even more) of parishioners.

The conclusion is that despite your embroidered shirts, funny food, and folk songs you are Americanised already and your attitutude is American deeply to bones. So what's the deal with the OP?

Quote
Why would it be considered sacrilegious?

"Church is for prayer, not for fun".

? Fellowship, community, fraternal organizations etc have been essential in the creation and maintenance of Orthodox communities in America for well over a century. What do you mean? That model has nothing to do with converts.

Orthodox communities or national communities?

Yet in a wide range they are absent in the "old country". What do you think the reason is?
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« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2013, 11:55:36 AM »

Michal, all I wanted to do was make friends and say something interesting to them. I know not everybody speaks English and maybe I was a stranger to them. I just wanted to get to know people.

I was lonely. I'm sorry.

Some people come to church to pray not to make friends.

Isn't that counter to the point of the gathering?
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« Reply #71 on: February 07, 2013, 12:00:58 PM »

The older ladies arrive at church way before the doors are even open.  They sit on the grassy knolls, rest and catch up with their babushka friends, until the clergy arrive to open the doors.

With people that already are their friends.


I'll bet they weren't friends from birth...and at some point one or the other had to take the step to reach out and get acquainted.  


Quote
I'm truly curious....because at my church it was really, really hard to get the new immigrants to come downstairs and join us for lunch.  They would all simply walk out and then congregate in the parking lot and talk with each other.  We thought the "new" immigrants simply didn't want anything to do with the "old" immigrants.  So, I find this rather interesting.  Most come and join the rest for lunch now, but, it took literally months of continuous smiles and invitations to join us, before they did.  Now they are regulars!

Why don't you eat insects? You don't have such tradition.


WHAT?!?  Why don't YOU eat insects!  

We have a tradition of eating rather tasty food....and we invite others to join us.


I also think it'd be quite difficult to organise such events for parishes with several k (or even more) of parishioners.


This may be difficult if you have thousands of people.....however, lets get real....most parishes in the U.S. DON'T have a thousand people in attendance on any given Sunday....so, that's really not a hurdle.  

We may have hundreds....and that's really NOT that difficult to organize.


The conclusion is that despite your embroidered shirts, funny food, and folk songs you are Americanised already and your attitutude is American deeply to bones. So what's the deal with the OP?


Why so offensive?  Believe it or not, Ukrainian don't wear embroidered shirts every day....not even on Sundays.

Funny food?  I believe that what you eat, is very similar to what Ukrainians eat.  So, I hope you enjoy the funny food.

What's the deal with the OP?  Be more specific, please.


Quote
Why would it be considered sacrilegious?

"Church is for prayer, not for fun".


It's not fun.  It's food.  People have to eat.  Do you eat alone, locked up in your room?  Or do you eat with your family?  The parish is a family.  We started the lunch after services, because many folks were old, widows, widowers, singles, etc....and had nobody to go home to.  So, this was our little attempt at bringing some joy and camaraderie into their lives.  After all, we are all family.

Besides, this directly correlates with "church".  Most people prepare for Holy Communion, and as such haven't eaten for a while.  Old folks, diabetics, etc....need food.  Why send them home on an empty stomach?


? Fellowship, community, fraternal organizations etc have been essential in the creation and maintenance of Orthodox communities in America for well over a century. What do you mean? That model has nothing to do with converts.

Orthodox communities or national communities?

Yet in a wide range they are absent in the "old country". What do you think the reason is?

They are both national, and Orthodox.  The food served is usually ethnic, but, the people eating are simply Orthodox.  Many non-Ukrainian come to our church and thoroughly enjoy spending time with us....eating our funny food.

You tell me why this doesn't happen in your "old country".  Perhaps they are all anti-social.

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« Reply #72 on: February 07, 2013, 12:15:24 PM »


In which case, per your theory, this discussion should be put on hold for another 30 or 40 years, when the all the future generations have forgotten then roots and are no longer clinging to their heritage.

I still can't get the implication "unified Church => unified traditions".

Me, neither.  Within walking distance of where I am sitting at the moment:

1) A Polish RC church that's VERY Polish.
2) An Italian RC church that's very Italian-American.
3) A Lithuanian RC church that not only retains its Lithuanian character but also hosts the Traditional Latin Mass in Baltimore.
4) At least one RC church that has a strong Mexican community attached to it and a number of other churches sprinkled with congregants from various South American immigrants.

And that's just off the top of my head.  One church, all sorts of varied ethnic traditions.  I understand that in the past there was a very strong, justifiable fear of, say, Ukrainian traditions being ignored in favor of Russian ones if a parish joined the Metropolia.  I just don't think those fears are justifiable in the 21st century.  

Yes, if we ever get our act together and unite in an autocephalous Church of North America (or two, USA and Canada), after a generation, I'm sure you will still be able to tell whether a Church was founded by Greeks or Russians or Arabs, etc. even if the DL is all in English (or French/Spanish, as the case may be).  As it should be.

I have no problem with Orthodox being concerned with helping the Church in the Mother Country, as long as it does not come at the expense of serving the Home Country.  The Ukrainians in Canada are Canadian.  They should be under a primate in Toronto/Ottawa, or New York/Washington.  Not Kiev. That doesn't mean that they have to do everything like the Greeks in Toronto do.  They can do it à la Kiev in Saskatchawa.

My understanding is that out in the provinces the Ukrainians were like the Pennsylvania Dutch as far as culture goes, and now, like the Pennsylvania Dutch (which isn't limited to the Amish-they just remained isolated) coming into assimilation.  A revival can be made, much like the Cajun's in LA.  But the idea of locking the doors of the ghetto from inside, that's not going to work.
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« Reply #73 on: February 07, 2013, 12:17:41 PM »


You tell me why this doesn't happen in your "old country".  Perhaps they are all anti-social.



Or rude, perhaps?

On behalf of the US, I apologize to all ethnic Orthodox for offending them by being friendly and polite. It won't happen again, trust me.
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« Reply #74 on: February 07, 2013, 12:21:54 PM »


No, it does not.

However, most people can sympathize with Biro's plight, as they've been shunned at least once in their life and were left feeling awkward about it.

Besides, her trying to make "friends" is hardly shoving Protestant behavior on anyone.  Orthodox folks also make friends.

Let's start from a scratch:

Outside USA there is almost no such thing as "coffee hour". People come to church, pray, and leave. For many of them concept of social gatherings in a church is sacrilegious. Imagine, they come to the country where dominant religious tradition treat  churches as not only places for worship but also as community halls, entertainment centers, pubs, and whatever.
In the Middle East, the Churches resemble those of the USA more than they do not in this.
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« Reply #75 on: February 07, 2013, 12:23:35 PM »

WHAT?!?  Why don't YOU eat insects!  
We have a tradition of eating rather tasty food....and we invite others to join us.

You didn't get it. I mean in the "old country" there is not customary to socialise after church services as a parish just as there is no tradition of eating insects or walking with leeks stuck into ears. It's alien for them.

Quote
Why so offensive?  Believe it or not, Ukrainian don't wear embroidered shirts every day....not even on Sundays.

Funny food?  I believe that what you eat, is very similar to what Ukrainians eat.  So, I hope you enjoy the funny food.

What's the deal with the OP?  Be more specific, please.

The OP's point was that churches in America loose their national identity and traditions. The problem (or it's not a problem) is that you've lost "old country" type of church already (if you ever had it in the first place).

If in the "old country" a group of people appeared and said:

- they want to discuss with the bishop how wrong he rules the diocese
- they want the priest to consult with them all parish expenses and his activities
- they want to organise parish festival, dance group, whatever
- they want to talk with a priest because they own the parish
- they want to choose their priest / bishop

they would be looked at as some extraterrestrials. No such things are "traditional" or present in the "old country".

You may still keep all that national decoration (not long, though) but there is nothing traditional in the way those "traditional old country churches" operate.

I have been attending typical "old country" parishes, typical diaspora parishes and everything in between. I see pros and cons of both types of management. I've heard arguments that ethic ghettos would prevent assimilation of minorities and seen it does not work.

Quote
It's not fun.  It's food.  People have to eat.  Do you eat alone, locked up in your room?  Or do you eat with your family?  The parish is a family.  We started the lunch after services, because many folks were old, widows, widowers, singles, etc....and had nobody to go home to.  So, this was our little attempt at bringing some joy and camaraderie into their lives.  After all, we are all family.

I'm not saying it's bad. It's only not an "old country" way.

Quote
You tell me why this doesn't happen in your "old country".  Perhaps they are all anti-social.

Yeah. "Everyone that does not share my opinion is bad".
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« Reply #76 on: February 07, 2013, 12:26:11 PM »


I have no problem with Orthodox being concerned with helping the Church in the Mother Country, as long as it does not come at the expense of serving the Home Country.  The Ukrainians in Canada are Canadian.  They should be under a primate in Toronto/Ottawa, or New York/Washington.  Not Kiev. That doesn't mean that they have to do everything like the Greeks in Toronto do, and do it à la Kiev in Saskatchawa.


This is exactly the issue that the OP was having with Metropolitan Yurij and the UOCC.  The UOCC insists on being strictly a Canada based entity...with no ties to the homeland.  This fact, seems to upset a number of folks....who would like it to become part of the KP.

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« Reply #77 on: February 07, 2013, 12:43:23 PM »



This is exactly the issue that the OP was having with Metropolitan Yurij and the UOCC.  The UOCC insists on being strictly a Canada based entity...with no ties to the homeland.  This fact, seems to upset a number of folks....who would like it to become part of the KP.


This also includes no contact in Canada with certain Ukrainians and banning them from any Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada property. 

For those of you who do not understand Ukrainian, the English version of the letter is at 0:45.

Letter from Metropolitan Yurij to the Clergy and Parish Councils of the Eastern Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQk0ubup0hQ

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« Reply #78 on: February 07, 2013, 12:49:21 PM »


You are too vague in your answer.

It's not "certain" Ukrainians that are banned....it was a request that the clergy of the UOCC not be in the same vicinity as P. Filaret,....in case a photo be taken and misrepresented as that UOCC clergy supporting the KP.

Now, if photos could be taken, and nobody would attach gossip to them....then it would be fine.

However, everyone looks for an opportunity to make something out of nothing....and then the pot boils over.

In other words, there would be no problem if a priest from a UOCC parish came to listen to the speach.  In truth, there's no problem.  It might have been interesting.  However, having seen him there, the next morning, gossip would spread that this priest supports the KP....and a mess would ensue.

If people stopped all the gossip and would mind their own business.....everything would be better. 


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« Reply #79 on: February 07, 2013, 01:22:46 PM »

To fairly discuss the establishment, history and organizational modalities of North American Orthodoxy would no doubt exhaust available bandwidth.

However, for the benefit of non North Americans, the role of community, family, fellowship, fraternal and insurance organizations, sporting federations etc in the establishment of ethnic parishes in the early 20th century can not be understated. (Nor can assistance in many towns from mill-owners, factory owners,local bankers be overlooked either.) Unlike the Habsburg, Russian or any other European state of the era, here there was, and is, no state financial support of churches, payment for clergy and so on. In the absence of an active, local hierarchy in those formative decades, property rights, never an issue in 19th century Europe, were critical in North America to obtain legal status and to obtain bank loans for the construction of church buildings. Revenue became and remains a critical component of our ability to exist - initially through donations and dues, later and still today fundraising and now increasingly through stewardship.. So if the new immigrants emulated parts of a "protestant" mindset, so be it - that was, and to a lesser extent remains, the predominant ethos here.

I can't speak as to  Poland, Belarus or Russia, but in my experience we share a sense of community with our brothers and as sisters from and in Slovakia, west Ukraine, Greece and the Arab lands - along with our fellow North Americans - including converts.

(As an aside, auto correct on Kindle Fire is driving me nuts.....)
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« Reply #80 on: February 07, 2013, 01:28:14 PM »

To fairly discuss the establishment, history and organizational modalities of North American Orthodoxy would no doubt exhaust available bandwidth.

However, for the benefit of non North Americans, the role of community, family, fellowship, fraternal and insurance organizations, sporting federations etc in the establishment of ethnic parishes in the early 20th century can not be understated. (Nor can assistance in many towns from mill-owners, factory owners,local bankers be overlooked either.) Unlike the Habsburg, Russian or any other European state of the era, here there was, and is, no state financial support of churches, payment for clergy and so on. In the absence of an active, local hierarchy in those formative decades, property rights, never an issue in 19th century Europe, were critical in North America to obtain legal status and to obtain bank loans for the construction of church buildings. Revenue became and remains a critical component of our ability to exist - initially through donations and dues, later and still today fundraising and now increasingly through stewardship.. So if the new immigrants emulated parts of a "protestant" mindset, so be it - that was, and to a lesser extent remains, the predominant ethos here.

I can't speak as to  Poland, Belarus or Russia, but in my experience we share a sense of community with our brothers and as sisters from and in Slovakia, west Ukraine, Greece and the Arab lands - along with our fellow North Americans - including converts.


Which is why there needs to be an American Orthodox Church, however it would be structured, administrated, and whatever it would look like.
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« Reply #81 on: February 07, 2013, 01:59:17 PM »


No, it does not.

However, most people can sympathize with Biro's plight, as they've been shunned at least once in their life and were left feeling awkward about it.

Besides, her trying to make "friends" is hardly shoving Protestant behavior on anyone.  Orthodox folks also make friends.

Let's start from a scratch:

Outside USA there is almost no such thing as "coffee hour". People come to church, pray, and leave. For many of them concept of social gatherings in a church is sacrilegious. Imagine, they come to the country where dominant religious tradition treat  churches as not only places for worship but also as community halls, entertainment centers, pubs, and whatever.

Can't you realise how awkwardly they feel? Do you really have to magnify that awkwardness? Do you really have to impose on them that always-happy American mentality? Imagine, in the "old country" there is not normal to make "friends" with everyone, to behave like Stepford wives.

Why do you behave so selfishly? "I'm lonely", "No one makes friends with me", "I'm being ignored", "They do not talk in English", "They do not behave like me"... Deal with it or join some support group where you will be able to whine with people with similar "problems".

Maybe the reason you can't make friends lies in you, not in the "others".

It is a completely different culture in other places.  In the Philippines I do not have to stay in Church to hang out with other Catholics.  I go to school, most people are Catholics.  I go to work, most people are Catholics.  Here in North America, not so much.  Even Catholics who are greater in number than Orthodox are hard to come by, what more the Orthodox?  I think there are a handful at work, we have a bunch of Russians and other slavic folks here.  But like an ethnic parish, they gather among themselves and they probably don't talk about church anyway.  So it is good to be with like minded people in a place where you hardly find anyone of that mold.
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« Reply #82 on: February 07, 2013, 02:02:20 PM »


I agree.

I love hanging out with Orthodox folks!

Nobody at work is Orthodox....and it's nice to hang out with folks who have the same interests and beliefs.
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« Reply #83 on: February 07, 2013, 02:11:46 PM »

Let's start from a scratch:

Outside USA there is almost no such thing as "coffee hour". People come to church, pray, and leave. For many of them concept of social gatherings in a church is sacrilegious. Imagine, they come to the country where dominant religious tradition treat  churches as not only places for worship but also as community halls, entertainment centers, pubs, and whatever.
I didn't realize that people held liturgies in fellowship halls.

But aren't parishes supposed to be a community, rather than just a bunch of individual families that come for Liturgy on Sunday and then go home and never speak to, much less know, one another?
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« Reply #84 on: February 07, 2013, 02:28:05 PM »

Let's start from a scratch:

Outside USA there is almost no such thing as "coffee hour". People come to church, pray, and leave. For many of them concept of social gatherings in a church is sacrilegious. Imagine, they come to the country where dominant religious tradition treat  churches as not only places for worship but also as community halls, entertainment centers, pubs, and whatever.
I didn't realize that people held liturgies in fellowship halls.

But aren't parishes supposed to be a community, rather than just a bunch of individual families that come for Liturgy on Sunday and then go home and never speak to, much less know, one another?

I agree with you, but that is the sad reality in most places.  In the Philippines which is mostly Catholic and there is a parish 10 minutes from each other in every direction (including the horrendously bad traffic), people usually parish hop to whatever is their convenience.  So like if one Sunday I want to go to the Mall, I go to church that is close to the mall (and most malls would even have their own chapels that has Masses throughout the day).  My home has 2 parishes within 2kms, and if I drive out a little further, there is another parish that has Masses 'round the clock from 5am to 9pm on Sundays.  So we never stick to the same parish enough to know the people there.  I can imagine in places like Ukraine that it is the same thing.  There are just options on where to go so people never really form bonds with people from the parish.  Also most of their friends and family are of the same faith anyway, so celebrating the Feasts is not a problem.  Invite your extended family and you have 50-100 people over at your home for Pascha.
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« Reply #85 on: February 07, 2013, 02:30:51 PM »

But aren't parishes supposed to be a community, rather than just a bunch of individual families that come for Liturgy on Sunday and then go home and never speak to, much less know, one another?

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it depends on members' mentality and there is not one proper answer?
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« Reply #86 on: February 07, 2013, 03:13:38 PM »

There absolutely should be an American Orthodox Church, that's undeniable, but if there really were to be one eventually, it shouldn't be a veil for another ethnically-rooted Church.

Look at the OCA, the Orthodox Church in America, a very unassuming and seemingly straightforward name. They may speak English and are great about including ethnic Americans, but when it really boils down to it, it follows the Muscovite (Russian) Tradition -- Znamenny, Moscow, and Valaam Chants, high-back phelons, celebrating the feast days of very Russian-specific saints, emphasis on the Protection of the Mother of God, and the occasional use of Slavonic, are undeniably Russian. Yet, ethnic Americans don't seem to feel so alienated there.

I'll take another example from the Ruthenian Catholic Church. In the last thirty years or so, they have rebranded themselves as the "Byzantine Catholic Church," for fear of alienating non-ethnic Ruthenians, yet they continue to sing in Carpatho-Rusyn Chant and Prostopinije, they bless fruit during the feast of the Transfiguration, use embroidered towels in their services, pariwinkle wreaths during weddings, et cetera. If they were truly THE Byzantine Catholic Church, wouldn't logic deduce that they would use Byzantine Chant, Stefana wedding crowns, and the Greek language in their icons?

People need to understand that just because a church is Russian, Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Ukrainian doesn’t mean that only people from Ukraine or of Ukrainian descent can go to it. That has nothing to do with nationalism. The base of Churches also has nothing to do with nation-states because states and governments are temporary. How many ethnic groups don’t have their own states and countries? Does that mean that they are any less deserving of an independent Church? The Ukrainian (Kyivan) Church existed long before 1991. Just because there is a United States and a Russia, doesn’t mean that those countries need an independent Church.

Look at the Roman Catholic Church. Is every member Italian? Absolutely not. Do non-Italians feel alienated? Not usually. But their structure, Tradition, and rites are rooted in the politics and culture of Rome.

It’s inevitable that some people would not feel comfortable in a labeled Greek Church or a Ukrainian Church and would rather belong to a Church named “American.” But that Church would need to be original, with American chants, American customs, emphasis on American saints, and other American influences. Until Orthodoxy is strong enough in North America, however, ethnically rooted Churches shouldn’t try to half-heartedly fake being American because that’s how we find ourselves in these situations.

Also, before I post this, let’s be honest and admit that this isn’t only a problem in Ukrainian Churches. How many Greek churches in America have Greek flags hanging out front or on the solea? Would they be merged into this “American Orthodox Church?”
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« Reply #87 on: February 07, 2013, 03:16:20 PM »

Look at the OCA, the Orthodox Church in America, a very unassuming and seemingly straightforward name. They may speak English and are great about including ethnic Americans, but when it really boils down to it, it follows the Muscovite (Russian) Tradition -- Znamenny, Moscow, and Valaam Chants, high-back phelons, celebrating the feast days of very Russian-specific saints, emphasis on the Protection of the Mother of God, and the occasional use of Slavonic, are undeniably Russian. Yet, ethnic Americans don't seem to feel so alienated there.

50% of the OCA pictures I've seen depict clergy with Greek phelonions. Go, figure...
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« Reply #88 on: February 07, 2013, 03:22:15 PM »

There absolutely should be an American Orthodox Church, that's undeniable, but if there really were to be one eventually, it shouldn't be a veil for another ethnically-rooted Church.

Look at the OCA, the Orthodox Church in America, a very unassuming and seemingly straightforward name. They may speak English and are great about including ethnic Americans, but when it really boils down to it, it follows the Muscovite (Russian) Tradition -- Znamenny, Moscow, and Valaam Chants, high-back phelons, celebrating the feast days of very Russian-specific saints, emphasis on the Protection of the Mother of God, and the occasional use of Slavonic, are undeniably Russian. Yet, ethnic Americans don't seem to feel so alienated there.

I'll take another example from the Ruthenian Catholic Church. In the last thirty years or so, they have rebranded themselves as the "Byzantine Catholic Church," for fear of alienating non-ethnic Ruthenians, yet they continue to sing in Carpatho-Rusyn Chant and Prostopinije, they bless fruit during the feast of the Transfiguration, use embroidered towels in their services, pariwinkle wreaths during weddings, et cetera. If they were truly THE Byzantine Catholic Church, wouldn't logic deduce that they would use Byzantine Chant, Stefana wedding crowns, and the Greek language in their icons?

People need to understand that just because a church is Russian, Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Ukrainian doesn’t mean that only people from Ukraine or of Ukrainian descent can go to it. That has nothing to do with nationalism. The base of Churches also has nothing to do with nation-states because states and governments are temporary. How many ethnic groups don’t have their own states and countries? Does that mean that they are any less deserving of an independent Church? The Ukrainian (Kyivan) Church existed long before 1991. Just because there is a United States and a Russia, doesn’t mean that those countries need an independent Church.

Look at the Roman Catholic Church. Is every member Italian? Absolutely not. Do non-Italians feel alienated? Not usually. But their structure, Tradition, and rites are rooted in the politics and culture of Rome.

It’s inevitable that some people would not feel comfortable in a labeled Greek Church or a Ukrainian Church and would rather belong to a Church named “American.” But that Church would need to be original, with American chants, American customs, emphasis on American saints, and other American influences. Until Orthodoxy is strong enough in North America, however, ethnically rooted Churches shouldn’t try to half-heartedly fake being American because that’s how we find ourselves in these situations.

Also, before I post this, let’s be honest and admit that this isn’t only a problem in Ukrainian Churches. How many Greek churches in America have Greek flags hanging out front or on the solea? Would they be merged into this “American Orthodox Church?”


Great post, Julian.

Welcome to the Forum.
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« Reply #89 on: February 07, 2013, 03:26:24 PM »

We've never used Slavonic at my OCA parish.  Mind you that some OCA parishes are ethnic parishes.  It is not true that all are "American" or "North American".  Also we have a lot of "American" saints though admittedly they are mostly Russian saints who have come to North America.  But there aren't as much North American Orthodox Saints to fill up the calendar just yet and admittedly the Church was born from the Russian Church, so there are many hold-overs.  Do you think Sts. Cyrill and Methodius started from scratch and did everything Slavic for their mission?
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