What proseltism might that be? This person is longing for the Orthodox faith and is being treated as an outsider in a GOC. To tell her to go to another Orthodox Church that will accept her in a better christian manner and not discriminate against her becuse of her DNA is not proseltyzing, its common sense and good advice.
And don't assume anything. My previous story may be part of the reason I am critical but it isn't the only one. Ever hear of "By their deeds they may be known'? That's how I feel about the EP.
In response to my psots both here and elsewhere, I get many private emails. And 99% of them are for advice. Two years ago I got one from a man who was raised a Roman Catholic. In fact he became a Roman Catholic deacon. After Vatican II he became disatisfied with the RCC and after studying Orthodoxy decided to convert. Which he did in a GOC. After 4 years in that parish his treatment was so bad he returned to the RCC and he was miserable. He felt he lost everything because when he converted he lost his wife and his kids refuse to speak to him. But he still longed for Holy Orthodoxy.
Why, I don't know from hearing some of the horror stories he told me. He said that after 4 years in the parish he was still referred to as that Roman Catholic. Once when he tried to start an outreach program to the poor he was told that there are no poor Greeks. And, as for the poor non Greeks, let the Protestants and Roman Catholics take care of them! I'm not making this up! His question to me was that I obviouly love my Orthodox Catholic faith but I portray it so different than what he had experienced. He wanted my assurrance that the Orthodoxy I speak of did exist and asked where could he find it.
My honest reply was to look in a non Greek Orthodox parish (same as I'm saying here). I asked his location and found a small OCA parish in the Bulgarian Diocese reasonably close to him and put him in contact with the priest. He had since remarried a widow with children but felt guilty the marrage wasn't blessed in the church. I put him in touch with the OCA priest and they began to meet. His wife was from a fundamentalist background and was not to keen on the 'Orthodox' bit but began to go to church with him. Both were amazed by the love, warmth, and greeting they received.
So, after two years of study he was received back into the Orthodox faith and his wife baptized into the Orthodox faith (against her family's wishes) on western Easter weekend! Their marriage was also blessed and they are very happy and very much a part of the parish which gave them a Lenten dinner celebration after the service.His wife has three boys 8,11, and 13. They have now told her they also want to become Orthodox! That's whati its like to be Orthodox my friend!
In remembrance of the occassion I sent his wife a small Russian Pysanty locket with a Guardian Angel on the front and a 3 bar cross on the back. And reminded her that upon her baptism she received her own Guardian Angel which will be with her forever! I told her of the slavic tradition that some of the women observe in my own parish by wearing their minature pysanky from Pascha to Pentecost and suggested she do the same.
To the man I sent a lapel pin with a 3 bar cross and a U.S. flag joined together. I told him that it should remind him that he is now an Orthodox American. He is not an American Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox, etc. He is an Orthodox American because God always comes first in everything we do and say. This is something many of our Orthodox people (including non Greeks) have yet to learn.
Here is how he describes the day -
The day was fantastic!!!!
We arrived about 20 minutes before Liturgy. S----- (now Sophia) was of course
beautiful in her new dress. Fr D. called the evening before to remind her
not to wear panty hose. I asked him if it were all right for me to wear
them and he laughed. But to continue...at
about 3 min until the beginning, she was swept away by her God Mother, (NONA
in greek, what is it in Slavonic?) and the ending prayer of the Acceptence
into the Catachumens was were he began, leading her into the front of the
church by her holding his stole. (This is the first adult baptism in memory
for this parish) Fr. did the prayers, the annointings, baptism,
Chrismation, Absolutions and Tonsure. I had given S----- tissues before it
began, she said she wouldn't need them but i insisted...as things progressed,
she shed more tears then water was poured. Cameras popping everywhere.
Afterwards, of course the Liturgy continued,,,oh, by the way, she was given
a white baptismal garment to wear, it was my white alb i had used in the
Roman Church, i then donated it to the church to be used for any further
adult baptisms....When it was time for Holy Communion, her godmother once
again took charge, pushing aside the unwary infants who were used to
receiving first and stormed the Chalice, showing her (Sophia) the
way....Sophia said she didnt know if she could swallow it she was so
emotional. Then I received for the first time in the Holy Orthodox Church
since 1998. How humbling and awesome it was.
After Liturgy, we went down stairs for a catered meal of meatless Rigatoni,
salads, pies, (Wine) there was a i think serbian wine that was very good, i
had but a sip as i do not normally drink anything. The entire parish came
forward to congratulate Sophia (and me) and as i had told her, she would be
one of the family and she was astounded. She got a great Ikon of St. Sophia
and we got an Ikon of the Marriage of Cana because as i had forgotten to
include, our marriage was blessed.
There are pictures and once Sophia gets them off the camera i will send
them on. On a bit of a sad note, the choir director and his wife had been
up to visit her mother near St. Tikhons the day before, Father had wanted
them back for the Baptism, which they were, and yesterday morning she was
told her mother had died that morning. But when talking to her, she said
what a blessing it was for them that they had gotten to visit with her and
she had died on a sunday morning and then witnessed and chanted at a
baptism,,,now that is faith and a good example of True Orthodox belief in
the resurrection for my wife.....
On Friday, i took Sophia to C------- just to get away for a day or so since
she works 7 days a week, many days for 12 hours, (they had closed for
Western Easter) we dropped into a little Russian store i had always wanted
to visit and everything was in russian (duh) but we bought a wonderful cake
called Izba do you know this delight? we didnt know what was in it, i fear
it is not Lenten but i tasted it....it was wonderful. we will return and
get some for our Pascha basket.
After the Liturgy, we drove to Sophia's parents house for Easter and their
only comment was..."How did your little thing go?" O' if they only knew how
not little it was and is.....
Probably much more to tell, but i have taxed your attention enough. Again,
my many thanks and couldnt think of anyone i would rather have shared this
part of the journey with than you.....
God love you....