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Author Topic: Uncomfortable Inquirer  (Read 2530 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2013, 08:52:01 PM »

Isn't a parish supposed to be a community? How can it be a community if nobody knows the name of the person next to them? And if it is a community, shouldn't it be a community that embraces all visitors?
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« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2013, 09:06:36 PM »

Isn't a parish supposed to be a community? How can it be a community if nobody knows the name of the person next to them? And if it is a community, shouldn't it be a community that embraces all visitors?

and each other. However, that is hard if the number of congregants is too high. I have  heard of research that the most a priest can effectively minister to is about 150 souls--not families. May be the same is true for the parishioners. In any case, the OP has received some thoughtful answers, the side discussion of the Polish Situation notwithstanding.
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« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2013, 09:07:27 PM »

Isn't a parish supposed to be a community? How can it be a community if nobody knows the name of the person next to them? And if it is a community, shouldn't it be a community that embraces all visitors?

and each other. However, that is hard if the number of congregants is too high. I have  heard of research that the most a priest can effectively minister to is about 150 souls--not families. May be the same is true for the parishioners. In any case, the OP has received some thoughtful answers, the side discussion of the Polish Situation notwithstanding.
Yeah if you are looking for a tight knit community, the higher number parishioners is not for you.
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« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2013, 09:12:40 PM »

I thought tuesdayschild's suggestions were pretty good. 
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« Reply #49 on: May 02, 2013, 09:16:58 PM »

Isn't a parish supposed to be a community? How can it be a community if nobody knows the name of the person next to them? And if it is a community, shouldn't it be a community that embraces all visitors?

and each other. However, that is hard if the number of congregants is too high. I have  heard of research that the most a priest can effectively minister to is about 150 souls--not families. May be the same is true for the parishioners. In any case, the OP has received some thoughtful answers, the side discussion of the Polish Situation notwithstanding.

Yeah, that's sort of a conundrum. The more successfully a parish is in its missionary effort, the less cohesion there will be among its members. However, Protestants may have valuable lessons to offer in this regard, because from what I've noticed, they tend to do a very good job at welcoming visitors and maintaining close communities (this could be another conundrum, as many Protestant churches are now criticized for having become little more than "social clubs"-- I guess it's best to find a balance).

Maybe more committees are the answer? Cheesy
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« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2013, 09:21:01 PM »

(this could be another conundrum, as many Protestant churches are now criticized for having become little more than "social clubs").
That holds true for Orthodox parishes as well.
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« Reply #51 on: May 02, 2013, 09:53:21 PM »

(this could be another conundrum, as many Protestant churches are now criticized for having become little more than "social clubs").
That holds true for Orthodox parishes as well.

Yes but more exclusionary. Protestants on the other hand have always been VERY good with social outreach. The YMCA, for example.
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« Reply #52 on: May 02, 2013, 10:40:56 PM »

I thought tuesdayschild's suggestions were pretty good.  

I agree, our parish is pretty welcoming, but I really got to know people when I showed up for the church work days.

P.S. Welcome to the forum Africanus.
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« Reply #53 on: May 02, 2013, 11:37:43 PM »

Over the past year I've attended liturgy at a local mission here on Chicago's south side. Discovering orthodoxy has literally opened my entire world admittedly. Yet I have some nagging concern. I happen to be the only African American in attendance, which did not bother at the beginning. Over the course of the my entire time there only 3 others ever even speak or talk to me. The resident Priest is very attentive and I could not ask for a better teacher, however I do feel uncomfortable and out  of place - for as said before I feel 'isolated' socially because no one, I mean no one even says much of a 'Hello, how are you'? Strange? And I do enjoy Orthodoxy as a religion/the liturgy, the icons, etc. there are no other churches in the immediate area. Am I alone in this regard? Has this happened to other Inquirers (African American or not)?

Yeah, that's common in many "ethnic" churches. Elsewhere, one tends to be smothered. Some people don't like that, either. Eventually, after you keep going, you will make connections. Sometimes it's difficult because some parishes are kind of insular--they're made up of people who are by and large related to one another somehow and they only talk to the people they know and strangers are rather invisible to them. It's just habit, not intentional.
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« Reply #54 on: May 02, 2013, 11:55:20 PM »

I feel for you-Reminds of when I was attending my closest church, hadnt been back to church in, well-wayyyy too long. Started attending my local parish-Catholic-(another story- raised a Catholic-Baptist). Was gong quite a bit, went to coffee hour after mass one sunday ....talk started around a "fundraiser" the church was having. One of the people at my table stated that the church should not be doing another "begging thing", that every member should just give 200 bucks and be done with it instead of a fundraiser  again-and everyone at the table agreed, (most at the table were on the church council),   LOL And I said, but not everyone here has that kind of dough to do that-such as me- (who works part time-25 hours/wk to be able to take of my Mom full time  at the time who has Alzheimer's). One of the ladies looked at me and asked me if one of the churches in the inner city wouldn't be more like my liking for "people like me", and how could "you llive where we do when your base income isnt at least 80k/yr", and I do believe she was truly perplexed by my "lack" of income. It ended up being a rather interesting conversation from my perspective- Started going to the Greek orthodox church around the corner- it seemed the attitude was not much different- I'd sign up to do stuff, or attend stuff- since I wasn't a "supporter"- couldn't do it-unless I "gave" only x amount more (only working 25 hours to keep Mom taken care of, safe and pay what I need to-doesnt leave any play room for those dollars at 10/hr/net-took the job to be able to take care of my Mom, I was just an inquirer at the time-mind you).  Some, like me, know we need to be "home", find home,-and then forget that FINALLY being "home" includes warts and all with all the different "family members". Hmm, I am a  "tomboy at heart"- give me a huge chunk of  much land of a few acres or more to mow  and grow, take care of, nurture every week,  such as the church property, than to "pay" x more than what I dont have- some just don't think that is "lady like", let me be physical setting up those tables,moving those 100 pound boxes, stripping and waxing the floors, cleaning up/moving the big stuff, give me a chainsaw, mower/tractor, hammer, drill, screwdriver, shovel, dolly, cleaning out a livestock stall, etc - I can do that-love to do that type of  heavy physical labor stuff, its a stress reliever for me being in the medical field, but the "ladies" dont do that type of thing. LOL

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« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2013, 02:43:42 AM »

Thank all of you for some valuable insight! The 'welcome' mat here was certainly more congenial than at church....but speaking to the issue I've visited a couple of more churches - one of which was exclusively 'African American' (yet their liturgy was more 'episcopal'). They too weren't over the top in welcoming me socially....more later.
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« Reply #56 on: May 03, 2013, 04:21:29 AM »

Isn't a parish supposed to be a community? How can it be a community if nobody knows the name of the person next to them?

My parish has 7 (or maybe 12) k of members.

I've visited a couple of more churches - one of which was exclusively 'African American' (yet their liturgy was more 'episcopal').

Are you sure it was an Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #57 on: May 06, 2013, 11:10:26 PM »

You are not alone in this experience!  For this too has also been my experience within  my local Orthodox Church.  This experience has renewed my questions of the social-racial-political agenda of Christianity as a whole, my place within it (as a non white American), and most importantly do I want to align my person with the powers that be.  On the above points, I digress.  This is not the place for such a discussion.  But they are my silver lining to this experience.

However, I do understand all to well the discomfort that you describe after such treatment.  Such discomfort has left me searching for a new church, less attendance at present, and postponed chrismation (if I do continue with conversion into the church.)  I can't help but see the separation of Christ, Christianity, and the title of Christian.  Three terms that could very well merge into one, but can (and often do) remain singular.

Find a new parish?  What if better options are not available?  What does one do then?   
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« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2013, 09:35:23 AM »

You are not alone in this experience!  For this too has also been my experience within  my local Orthodox Church.  This experience has renewed my questions of the social-racial-political agenda of Christianity as a whole, my place within it (as a non white American), and most importantly do I want to align my person with the powers that be.  On the above points, I digress.  This is not the place for such a discussion.  But they are my silver lining to this experience.

However, I do understand all to well the discomfort that you describe after such treatment.  Such discomfort has left me searching for a new church, less attendance at present, and postponed chrismation (if I do continue with conversion into the church.)  I can't help but see the separation of Christ, Christianity, and the title of Christian.  Three terms that could very well merge into one, but can (and often do) remain singular.

Find a new parish?  What if better options are not available?  What does one do then?   

If no "better options" are available, if you're serious about the faith, you grin and bear it.  Over time, depending on the make up of the parish and your own personality and how much or little you participate in activities outside the actual liturgical services, you may (or may not!) begin to feel more comfortable, more at home.  Seems to me the most important thing is to pray and worship God. 

Christianity has no "social-racial-political agenda" other than the salvation of souls--all souls.  There may be individuals who claim to be Christians, or groups within "Christianity" who have such agendas, but Christianity does not.

What do you mean by "...most importantly do I want to align my person with the powers that be."?
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« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2013, 11:13:42 AM »


If no "better options" are available, if you're serious about the faith, you grin and bear it.  Over time, depending on the make up of the parish and your own personality and how much or little you participate in activities outside the actual liturgical services, you may (or may not!) begin to feel more comfortable, more at home.  Seems to me the most important thing is to pray and worship God

Christianity has no "social-racial-political agenda" other than the salvation of souls--all souls.  There may be individuals who claim to be Christians, or groups within "Christianity" who have such agendas, but Christianity does not.

What do you mean by "...most importantly do I want to align my person with the powers that be."?

I agree with the red highlighted statement. As for the blue highlighted statement, I wonder if you should add to that list financial status, as I agree with Mersch. I have struggled in some 'Christian' circles because although I see myself as 'rich' (I can keep a roof over my head and some sort of vehicle that runs, although not a late model, I buy my clothes at thrift stores, etc.) some 'Christians' only accept or talk to people within their same financial circle. Its the reason I dont take my handbag into church with me. It was free. It serves it purpose. I have had women look at my handbag and then at what I am wearing and simply look away and not even give me the time of day.

Mersch, you state that you are 'converting to Orthodoxy'. Is that an 'official' status? I had thought I would be a perpetual inquirer, then thought I was okay'd to elevate to catechumen, only to be shot down to inquirer again. All this said, when do they (powers that be?) assume you will be contributing to the parish? Is it when you are an 'official' member? I havent reached that part in my inquiry yet.
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« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2013, 11:46:19 AM »


If no "better options" are available, if you're serious about the faith, you grin and bear it.  Over time, depending on the make up of the parish and your own personality and how much or little you participate in activities outside the actual liturgical services, you may (or may not!) begin to feel more comfortable, more at home.  Seems to me the most important thing is to pray and worship God

Christianity has no "social-racial-political agenda" other than the salvation of souls--all souls.  There may be individuals who claim to be Christians, or groups within "Christianity" who have such agendas, but Christianity does not.

What do you mean by "...most importantly do I want to align my person with the powers that be."?

I agree with the red highlighted statement. As for the blue highlighted statement, I wonder if you should add to that list financial status, as I agree with Mersch. I have struggled in some 'Christian' circles because although I see myself as 'rich' (I can keep a roof over my head and some sort of vehicle that runs, although not a late model, I buy my clothes at thrift stores, etc.) some 'Christians' only accept or talk to people within their same financial circle. Its the reason I dont take my handbag into church with me. It was free. It serves it purpose. I have had women look at my handbag and then at what I am wearing and simply look away and not even give me the time of day.

Mersch, you state that you are 'converting to Orthodoxy'. Is that an 'official' status? I had thought I would be a perpetual inquirer, then thought I was okay'd to elevate to catechumen, only to be shot down to inquirer again. All this said, when do they (powers that be?) assume you will be contributing to the parish? Is it when you are an 'official' member? I havent reached that part in my inquiry yet.

Well, financial status also has nothing to do with Christianity.  Christ accepts all who accept Him.  Unfortunately, not all Christians are very Christ-like or are more or less so depending on a huge number of factors.

It occurs to me that perhaps we should not try so hard to feel at home in this world, though I do like what Mersch said about accepting family "warts and all"  Wink.
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« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2013, 12:19:11 PM »

I feel that I have to speak up for those of us who are somewhat socially awkward and unsure about how to approach visitors or inquirers.

ISTM that there are two types of visitors and inquirers: those who wish to just stand in the back and soak it all in, to be left alone, as it were and those who are comfortable with and want interaction with strangers.

Since I feel awkward approaching visitors, could y'all wear some sort of identifying badge -perhaps red for "leave me alone" and green for "hey there, let's get to know each other!" Wink

Of course, I haven't visited every parish in the country, and there probably are some parishes where the people judge you on what clothes you wear or what kind of purse you carry. I just haven't visited any - and I shop at Goodwill.
If they are, that's their problem - not mine, and I certainly wouldn't let it keep me away from worshipping God in His Church.
Something to consider is that we may be ascribing motives and attitudes to people that they don't have, but which may be based on our own past experiences and perhaps insecurities.
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« Reply #62 on: May 07, 2013, 03:45:27 PM »

sometimes it just takes time. like 5 years ago there were not so many non-pale-to-medium-brown people in the uk coptic orthodox church (and people used to look at me like i was some kind of alien), but now i'm in a church with a few other white people, 2.5 south asians, one chinese and 2.5 central-to-south africans (one guy is mixed race south asian/central african). there are others who visit and enquire from time to time. my friends' churches are also becoming more mixed. people are getting used to looking outside their comfort zone.
remember (as katherineofdixie hints) that apparently longstanding confident member who does not speak to you may have just come back to church after a bad life experience and be battling anxiety. make sure you hang around at least half an hour after the service ends, and actually say 'hello' to someone (smiley body language is not always enough to encourage others to approach you).

it's hard being the first person of your social / ethnic group in your church, but if you stick it out, you can soon welcome the second / third etc. etc.
 Smiley

top tip: loving people and having the social skills to demonstrate that love are often two different things!
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« Reply #63 on: May 07, 2013, 06:41:37 PM »

I don't think you have to be American to believe that.  It kind of falls in the whole "love your neighbor as yourself" genre.

No, you don't have to be American.  It does, however, help if you are a Christian.  John 13:35.
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« Reply #64 on: May 08, 2013, 12:07:29 AM »



Mersch, you state that you are 'converting to Orthodoxy'. Is that an 'official' status? I had thought I would be a perpetual inquirer, then thought I was okay'd to elevate to catechumen, only to be shot down to inquirer again. All this said, when do they (powers that be?) assume you will be contributing to the parish? Is it when you are an 'official' member? I havent reached that part in my inquiry yet.
[/quote].

 Smiley   Over the last 2 years, Mom's Alzheimer's has gradually increased to affect how she can do things. 2 years ago she could still drive in her neighborhood to get to Church (Catholic),  go to her store to get what was on her list, with minimal help from me,1//2 years ago- forget driving, and then needing someone around around 100 percent of the time so can be safe, healhty and clean. So, I would take her to her church-Catholic. It became increasingly hard to get her to her usual time she has always gone, and trying to get back, have someone dependable to keep an eye on her to make it to DL, cat nap to catch up on sleep missed from the previous week of up most nights, before work on Monday, Unfortunately, we had to make a decision to place her in a facility in April, due to increasing  aggression/paranoid episodes- starting in the evening (sundowners type syndrome) and lasting most of the night with out her ( or I getting much if any sleep). So, I've been taking Mom to Mass rather than not having my Mom not being able to attend her own Church from  birth- couldnt do that to Mom. Mass is one of the very rare places/times  where her alzheimers does not seem so apparent the past year and a half. Plus some other issues within the family. I dont think God will hold it against me. I did take her vespers a few times about a year ago, she kept asking over and over and over and over what kind of stange thing was I putting her in- it was "dangerous" (I know that was the alzheimers talking, NOT my Mom, (and what time does Vespers usually begin- around sundown/early evening? LOL).  Take her still to a Mass today, she does it like she breathes-without having to think, away from church, she has a hard time saying the Lords prayer or the rosary, making the sign of the cross - but at Mass, doesnt skip a beat, and in a good strong voice.  So since we (sister and I), had to place her, I've been getting her house ready to put on the market,  looking for a place for me, and either a part time job in addition to my regular part time job (which I took to be able to take care of her full time 1 1/2 years ago) or a full time one to replace my part time one-which I really like.  So, thats why my status is the way it is.( I'm just extremelly thankful that the issues I do have with getting to DL are not nearly as bad/awful as  others who cant make it, or get killed for going or their beliefs in Christ-regardless of denomination.)
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« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2013, 03:12:45 AM »

Smiley   Over the last 2 years, Mom's Alzheimer's has gradually increased to affect how she can do things. 2 years ago she could still drive in her neighborhood to get to Church (Catholic),  go to her store to get what was on her list, with minimal help from me,1//2 years ago- forget driving, and then needing someone around around 100 percent of the time so can be safe, healhty and clean. So, I would take her to her church-Catholic. It became increasingly hard to get her to her usual time she has always gone, and trying to get back, have someone dependable to keep an eye on her to make it to DL, cat nap to catch up on sleep missed from the previous week of up most nights, before work on Monday, Unfortunately, we had to make a decision to place her in a facility in April, due to increasing  aggression/paranoid episodes- starting in the evening (sundowners type syndrome) and lasting most of the night with out her ( or I getting much if any sleep). So, I've been taking Mom to Mass rather than not having my Mom not being able to attend her own Church from  birth- couldnt do that to Mom. Mass is one of the very rare places/times  where her alzheimers does not seem so apparent the past year and a half. Plus some other issues within the family. I dont think God will hold it against me. I did take her vespers a few times about a year ago, she kept asking over and over and over and over what kind of stange thing was I putting her in- it was "dangerous" (I know that was the alzheimers talking, NOT my Mom, (and what time does Vespers usually begin- around sundown/early evening? LOL).  Take her still to a Mass today, she does it like she breathes-without having to think, away from church, she has a hard time saying the Lords prayer or the rosary, making the sign of the cross - but at Mass, doesnt skip a beat, and in a good strong voice.  So since we (sister and I), had to place her, I've been getting her house ready to put on the market,  looking for a place for me, and either a part time job in addition to my regular part time job (which I took to be able to take care of her full time 1 1/2 years ago) or a full time one to replace my part time one-which I really like.  So, thats why my status is the way it is.( I'm just extremelly thankful that the issues I do have with getting to DL are not nearly as bad/awful as  others who cant make it, or get killed for going or their beliefs in Christ-regardless of denomination.)
*Prayers and respect*
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« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2013, 09:53:42 AM »

The Orthodox Church in the UK I used to attend was about 40% Black out of a congregation of 80 people.  Only about 4 of them were from the Caribbean diaspora (mostly ex-Rastafarians, and the rest were from Eritrea.  I rarely spoke with the Eritreans, but I developed relationships with the diaspora Caribbean Jamaicans.  

I guess it just depends.

I am sorry to hear about your situation.  It doesn't sound right.
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« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2013, 10:07:50 AM »


What you don't seem to understand, or are unwilling to understand, is that in the States things are done differently.  We DO greet each other, and share kisses, etc.

Therefore, if Joe is sitting in the corner and he sees everyone else speaking to every other person, but him....it's wrong.  If you take the time to say hello to one person, you ought to at least smile at the person standing next to them.

Silly Americans...
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« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2013, 11:23:15 AM »


Smiley  I think that in this regard, we are doing the right thing.

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« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2013, 01:32:25 PM »

Smiley   Over the last 2 years, Mom's Alzheimer's has gradually increased to affect how she can do things. 2 years ago she could still drive in her neighborhood to get to Church (Catholic),  go to her store to get what was on her list, with minimal help from me,1//2 years ago- forget driving, and then needing someone around around 100 percent of the time so can be safe, healhty and clean. So, I would take her to her church-Catholic. It became increasingly hard to get her to her usual time she has always gone, and trying to get back, have someone dependable to keep an eye on her to make it to DL, cat nap to catch up on sleep missed from the previous week of up most nights, before work on Monday, Unfortunately, we had to make a decision to place her in a facility in April, due to increasing  aggression/paranoid episodes- starting in the evening (sundowners type syndrome) and lasting most of the night with out her ( or I getting much if any sleep). So, I've been taking Mom to Mass rather than not having my Mom not being able to attend her own Church from  birth- couldnt do that to Mom. Mass is one of the very rare places/times  where her alzheimers does not seem so apparent the past year and a half. Plus some other issues within the family. I dont think God will hold it against me. I did take her vespers a few times about a year ago, she kept asking over and over and over and over what kind of stange thing was I putting her in- it was "dangerous" (I know that was the alzheimers talking, NOT my Mom, (and what time does Vespers usually begin- around sundown/early evening? LOL).  Take her still to a Mass today, she does it like she breathes-without having to think, away from church, she has a hard time saying the Lords prayer or the rosary, making the sign of the cross - but at Mass, doesnt skip a beat, and in a good strong voice.  So since we (sister and I), had to place her, I've been getting her house ready to put on the market,  looking for a place for me, and either a part time job in addition to my regular part time job (which I took to be able to take care of her full time 1 1/2 years ago) or a full time one to replace my part time one-which I really like.  So, thats why my status is the way it is.( I'm just extremelly thankful that the issues I do have with getting to DL are not nearly as bad/awful as  others who cant make it, or get killed for going or their beliefs in Christ-regardless of denomination.)
*Prayers and respect*

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"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

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« Reply #70 on: May 09, 2013, 01:07:25 AM »

Katherineofdixie says....."I feel that I have to speak up for those of us who are somewhat socially awkward and unsure about how to approach visitors or inquirers.ISTM that there are two types of visitors and inquirers: those who wish to just stand in the back and soak it all in, to be left alone, as it were and those who are comfortable with and want interaction with strangers.Since I feel awkward approaching visitors, could y'all wear some sort of identifying badge -perhaps red for "leave me alone" and green for "hey there, let's get to know each other"

Brutal.....sigh
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« Reply #71 on: May 09, 2013, 01:22:50 AM »

People who stick to their ethnic communities probably don't have much experience interacting with other ethnicities, including African-Americans. I doubt that anyone holds any serious racial prejudices, but unfortunately, they might believe in certain stereotypes, out of their own ignorance. I would recommend that you take the initiative here and speak with the parish members. It's sad to say, but it can be hard for people to approach someone who looks different than anyone they've spoken to before. Once they realize that you're a breathing human being just like everybody else, they'll lower their defenses significantly, and probably grow warmer towards you.

I wish I didn't have to give the above advice, but sadly, we still live in a racial world and not everyone goes outside of their own groups for day-to-day affairs.

Always remember that to be a follower of Christ has nothing to do with one's skin color, or social status. What you're battling with here is the result of a fallen humanity, not of the Christian ideal. God bless, my brother.
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« Reply #72 on: May 09, 2013, 12:03:37 PM »

Katherineofdixie says....."I feel that I have to speak up for those of us who are somewhat socially awkward and unsure about how to approach visitors or inquirers.ISTM that there are two types of visitors and inquirers: those who wish to just stand in the back and soak it all in, to be left alone, as it were and those who are comfortable with and want interaction with strangers.Since I feel awkward approaching visitors, could y'all wear some sort of identifying badge -perhaps red for "leave me alone" and green for "hey there, let's get to know each other"

Brutal.....sigh

The red and green reminded me of our Paschal Vespers service and following feast which was attended by a newcomer who was so disarmingly beautiful (dare I say sexy) that I felt obliged to not even look at her a second time.  Her darker skin contrasted strikingly with a lime green skin tight, low cut, mini-dress.  I overheard her telling an old Russian guy at her table that she was a Pentecostal christian and that it "seemed different".  He paused and agreed ... "yes very different".

Even with color coding, we poor souls could still be confused and locked up in our own misunderstandings! 

Have pity on those of us who can't be open and honest and kind to you right away, we might need you to be open and honest and kind to us first and we might need that for a good long time!  The only way people can ever get over being racist is to have a real friend who is also of a different race and you might be their last best chance.   Of course it's asking an awful lot from you to return love & understanding to those who show disdain or indifference to you but if you do it, you might just save everybody's soul in the process!

All that aside... there might be other churches in your area that are more welcoming!  angel
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« Reply #73 on: February 03, 2014, 09:29:58 AM »

I understand how you feel. Unfortunately I think some parishes are just not welcoming to visitors, especially smaller parishes - it's like they have no idea what to do when a visitor arrives. I was attending a church in Baltimore for a while and not once did anyone say hello to me except for the priest. "Hello" - silent glare. Smile - silent glare. Needless to say, I refuse to go there anymore and if it makes you feel as bad as it did me, maybe another parish would be a good idea. Sorry you have to go through this.
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