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Elisha
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« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2005, 11:52:48 AM »



As cleveland pointed out, we do acknowledge that there are some in our Archdiocese who view Orthodoxy as little more than an element of their Cultural Identity, fortunately it is less of a problem than it has been in the past (and the GOA is by no means the only Jurisdiction with faithful who think like this, as +æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é pointed out, and I have even seen converts who are quite hostile to ethnic Orthodox Christians, accusing them of only being Orthodox because they were born into it and thus some how less Orthodox than these converts). However, from your post you are clearly not concerned with 'solving a problem' or 'changing an injustice,' you have not tried to understand the roots of this thought nor offer a viable solution to this difficultiy; instead you have used this difficultiy as an excuse to bash the Greeks and the Greek Orthodox Church and to try and proselytize, ignoring the great Cultural and Religious wealth that the Greeks and the Greek Orthodox Church has to offer because of your bitterness and bigotry. The fact that you were unable to enjoy what Greek Christian Culture, Customs, and Tradition have to offer does not mean that you should deny others the blessings of these experiences.

How do you know that there isn't some truth in what he is saying - that maybe these "cradles" don't really have faith?  Is it really that inconceivable to admit that there are "ethnics" in any jurisdiction that view their church as a culture club and not the Church?  The bottom line is this:  there is absolutely no excuse for any of this cultural elitism/phyletism/whatever.  If these problems happen in any of these parishes, the priest and even the bishop need to be told!  Of course, for the potential convert, they wouldn't know to do this, so that's why the mentality of the parish needs to be changed. 
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« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2005, 11:55:50 AM »

I've had IDENTICAL bigoted experiences in not one, not two, but THREE (out of four) Slavic parishes in the past three years here. I don't complain as those here bigoted against Greeks do. You guys are doing the devil's work. You can't see your own sins in your zeal to point out those of others.

Sick.

Then talk to the priest or even the bishop there.  It should be completely unacceptable ANYWHERE.

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« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2005, 11:59:13 AM »

Of course, greekischristian, there are those who would rather argue...
Yesterday in our ACROD parish we had a "Patriarchal Pence" offering preceeded by a long letter from Met. Nicholas which was augmented by our parish priest. The blessings of the Ecumenical Partiarch wre extolled. We were reminded that it was from Constantinolpe that the "Little Russians" received Christianity well before "Big Russia" and that it was again the mother Church that received the Carpatho-Russians back from the unia - received WITHOUT condition. No requirements to change anything - liturgical language, liturgical form, music, ethnic traditions, even the calendar. The various Latinizations introduced over the 300 year unia and which had become a part of the Ruthenian traditions (and there are many) were left alone. How outrageous for those egotistical Greeks! They actually chose to receive their brethern with Love.
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« Reply #48 on: April 11, 2005, 12:01:35 PM »



Then talk to the priest or even the bishop there. It should be completely unacceptable ANYWHERE.


Surely I would agree, but time is better spent in His service elsewhere. (I did talk with one of the priests - a year later; he was aghast, but really could do nothing.)
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« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2005, 12:05:58 PM »

Unfortunately, there are still priests who think that way, and I can say that there are students here (in the distinct minority, thankfully) who still think that way. I think it was brought up earlier - Greeks can be very clan-ish; we are even rude to people from other parts of our own country. (There are islands where if you are from one end you are considered "cultured," but if you're from the other end you are a hillbilly - and the island is only 10-15 miles long!) This is changing in different areas of the country, thankfully; take my beloved hometown, for example: we have 4 GOA parishes in Cleveland; only one is stereotypically "Ethnic" (i.e. Greek in the liturgy, speaks Greek most of the time, and is somewhat inhospitable to visitors); the other three have all become more inviting, open, etc. (If you're ever on the East side of town, stop by Sts. Constantine and Helen!)

Thats all for now - its time to go see the bishop off to the airport.

There is a Sts. C & H parish (GOA) somewhat near me that I visited last summer. Nice parish. I got a couple of those "are you Greek?" questions, but otherwise they were nice and welcoming.
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« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2005, 12:11:46 PM »



As cleveland pointed out, we do acknowledge that there are some in our Archdiocese who view Orthodoxy as little more than an element of their Cultural Identity, fortunately it is less of a problem than it has been in the past (and the GOA is by no means the only Jurisdiction with faithful who think like this, as +æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é pointed out, and I have even seen converts who are quite hostile to ethnic Orthodox Christians, accusing them of only being Orthodox because they were born into it and thus some how less Orthodox than these converts). However, from your post you are clearly not concerned with 'solving a problem' or 'changing an injustice,' you have not tried to understand the roots of this thought nor offer a viable solution to this difficultiy; instead you have used this difficultiy as an excuse to bash the Greeks and the Greek Orthodox Church and to try and proselytize, ignoring the great Cultural and Religious wealth that the Greeks and the Greek Orthodox Church has to offer because of your bitterness and bigotry. The fact that you were unable to enjoy what Greek Christian Culture, Customs, and Tradition have to offer does not mean that you should deny others the blessings of these experiences.

Also, maybe it hasn't occured to you that: 1) Maybe it is more of a problem in the GOA as opposed to other jurisdictions 2) again, you are assuming something out of Orthodoc that is not there 3) Since the GOA is the largest jurisdiction population-wise, it is more likely to be known and 4) maybe it is more of a problem per capita as well, so that the GOA really does have the most to change.
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« Reply #51 on: April 11, 2005, 12:22:18 PM »

Oooookaayyy...take a couple days away and this is what happens...


<mod hat>
Folks, let's cut out the "devil's work" comments, as NOBODY really has any room to talk about who's doing what, sinners that we all are.

If we can't at least go about this without the emotional terms like "narrow-minded" and references to EP politics on one side and "bitterness, bigotry, egotistical (used sarcastically, but still)" on the other--and we may not be able to do this without the emotion, I know, as this hits close to home for many Greek members of the forum--then I'm going to lock this, at least until Pascha, since Lent (of all times) is perhaps not the best time to discuss all this.

I'll give it a bit of time, but let's allow for some humility on both sides: many folks have had problems that shouldn't be ignored, but the grass is seldom TOO much greener...

And with that awful cliche, I'm done...
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« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2005, 12:29:45 PM »

Yeah, you are right, Pedro.
This place is getting more like the Indiana List daily.
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« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2005, 01:14:40 AM »

Another thing that is contributing to the rapid degradation of these topics is the fact that we have already discussed them in length, so rather than re-hashing our old debates we decide to just go straight to the emotional argument that these conversations often degrade to, and just re-hash those. I have been trying not to bring these issues up for that reason; however, when someone attacks the Greek Orthodox Church or Oecumenical Throne, I will come to the defence of my Church and Patriarch.
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« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2005, 01:15:41 AM »

I noticed GiC that you spelled 'defense' as 'defence'

Are you from the UK chap?

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« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2005, 01:49:47 AM »

No, I'm from the united states, though I'll often use English spellings from 'grey' to 'colour' to 'programme'...I'm just eccentric  Grin
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« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2005, 02:27:52 AM »

Another thing that is contributing to the rapid degradation of these topics is the fact that we have already discussed them in length, so rather than re-hashing our old debates we decide to just go straight to the emotional argument that these conversations often degrade to, and just re-hash those. I have been trying not to bring these issues up for that reason; however, when someone attacks the Greek Orthodox Church or Oecumenical Throne, I will come to the defence of my Church and Patriarch.

It's all this guy's fault. Cheesy

Seriously, no need to be super defensive.  Part of improving the Church on the homefront is being willing to be critical of ourselves, the job our hierarchs are doing and other things.  Anyway, g'night y'all.
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« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2005, 03:30:06 AM »



It's all this guy's fault. Cheesy

Seriously, no need to be super defensive. Part of improving the Church on the homefront is being willing to be critical of ourselves, the job our hierarchs are doing and other things. Anyway, g'night y'all.

When the "ourselves" above turns into "themselves" as in this thread, there is no improvement anywhere.
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« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2005, 07:25:22 AM »

Part of improving the Church on the homefront is being willing to be critical of ourselves, the job our hierarchs are doing and other things. 

I would agree with some stipulations.  Obviously we need to be careful of "being critical" - critical thinking about the problems of our Church is a good thing; criticizing with no move to improve the situation, and no hope of improving it, is just speculative and sinful (I'm not saying that this is what we are doing....).  The biggest thing we can do on our level is to design and implement plans for the future that address particular issues in the same Holy Spirit that has been present in the Church since its founding.  When we find faults in our hierarchs (because we do not believe in infallible bishops) we need to then be careful and vocal about the men that will be elected or considered in the future; and we also need to make sure that, when we raise our own kids with a heart to serve the Church, they will not have the negative traits that we might observe in the leadership right now.

While blame is always ready to be shot about (and in the GOA the hierarchs need to wear flak-jackets), we also need to be mindful of the role that we as individuals, and as a Laity in general, play in this divine drama.  Many of your outspoken (and rich) members of the GOA think we must (at all costs) be Autocephalous; we would have been a lot closer if their parents hadn't nearly split the Church over Greek political matters in the 1920's.  The Church was actually nearly Autonomous then; but when Patriarch +ATHENAGORAS saw that our freedom was going to be a part of our downfall, the charters were revised, and in the end the Church was saved.
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« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2005, 02:35:58 PM »

I was just wondering how people dealt with the question:   Are you.....?

In the RCC,  no one ever asked me about my heritage.   Now, it is asked.    I was sure the question would be more like, why are you interested in becoming Orthodox?  So, it just made me wonder a bit, that's all.

This thread has definitely taken a turn, sorry for that!

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« Reply #60 on: April 12, 2005, 03:17:52 PM »

I was just wondering how people dealt with the question: Are you.....?

In the RCC, no one ever asked me about my heritage. Now, it is asked.  I was sure the question would be more like, why are you interested in becoming Orthodox? So, it just made me wonder a bit, that's all.

This thread has definitely taken a turn, sorry for that!

Irene

Generally I'll just respond, 'No, I'm just Greek Orthodox' or soemthng along those lines...if they want you to elaborate, they will ask, if not, oh well. Of course, if I'm asked in Greek I'll generally restirct my response to '-î-ç+¦' or '+¦+¦++ +¦+»+++¦+¦,' short and to the point, lest I get drawn into a conversation in a langauge I neither speak nor understand Wink
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« Reply #61 on: April 12, 2005, 08:28:04 PM »

When people ask me if I'm Greek, I'll just say 'no' and look right back at them. The questioner will often begin with a different question, and as has been pointed out previously, it actually is a great opportunity to witness in a completely safe environment.

So, this inocuous(sp?---I'd like a spell checker on this board just like another member has asked!) question could actually be a way for the questioner to learn why others want to enter the church, as well as an opportunity for you to articulate what your faith means to you. It's a win/win situation given to us by God!
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« Reply #62 on: April 13, 2005, 09:26:33 PM »

Coming from the perspective of one who has been Orthodox since 6 months old, I have on a few occasions used the question "Are you Greek" in a situation where I know they are not just to lead them into the question of "how did you come to the Church," but through a different method than normal - I know it is easier and more direct just to ask the "how did you...", but sometimes it gets boring (that, and I do like to hear about the interesting ethnic mixes people have - me myself, I am 75% Greek and 25% German, and the German part of the family has been in this country for at least 150 years, if not more).
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« Reply #63 on: April 13, 2005, 09:27:47 PM »

UNRELATED ADDENDUM: I didn't even realize when I made my post that it was going to cause the interesting visual effect of having three posts by three different posters - all with the same avatar, consecutively.

Go Holy Cross!
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« Reply #64 on: April 13, 2005, 09:51:48 PM »

GO ST. HERMANS!!!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #65 on: April 13, 2005, 10:08:51 PM »

GO ST VLADS!!
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« Reply #66 on: April 14, 2005, 09:04:23 AM »

I was just wondering how people dealt with the question: Are you.....?

I would reply with "Are you American?" and if they say "what does that have to do with it?" Then I would reply with "Exactly" or "And what does being Greek have to do with being Orthodox?, Were the Disciples Greek? Was St. Paul Greek?"
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« Reply #67 on: April 14, 2005, 09:55:03 AM »

[Quote from: irene on Tue, Apr 12, 2005, 02:35 PM
I was just wondering how people dealt with the question: Are you.....?]

Just politely reply..."No, but I am Orthodox."

Bob
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« Reply #68 on: April 14, 2005, 10:22:33 AM »

[Quote from: irene on Tue, Apr 12, 2005, 02:35 PM
I was just wondering how people dealt with the question: Are you.....?]

Just politely reply..."No, but I am Orthodox."

Bob


A much better answer than the one I usually give--"No, only my grandparents were Greeks"  Cheesy
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« Reply #69 on: April 14, 2005, 10:28:03 AM »

The various Latinizations introduced over the 300 year unia and which had become a part of the Ruthenian traditions (and there are many) were left alone.

A friend of mine is an ACROD priest and he says there's a church up in the Poconos that still has a Baldacchino in it.
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« Reply #70 on: April 14, 2005, 10:35:16 AM »

GO ST STEPHEN'S HOME STUDY COURSE!!!! Wink
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« Reply #71 on: April 14, 2005, 11:07:14 AM »

How about this line.....

"Are you familiar with Timothy Ware's journey?"

Shocked)
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« Reply #72 on: April 14, 2005, 11:08:45 AM »

Question----
when i made a smiley, it showed a shocked face?
maybe i'll stick with the cat, haha 
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« Reply #73 on: April 30, 2005, 12:06:52 PM »

I think I have to add something to your interesting discussion.

As a Greek who has studied partly in Germany and is living in Spain, I have found out there are many kinds of Greeks, something I did not know when I was growing up in Greece!

Greek immigrants who left more than thirty years ago tend to be tightly knit communities (a bit too ghetto-like for my taste). If you go to their church, of course they will ask you why you want to join! It should not be taken as an insult. For these guys their church is the one of the last parts of their "greekness" and they really wonder what are your motives when you want to join... I even think, that them not trying to convert people all the time, is a good sign. It means they are not looking for customers but only try to practise their religion...

Naturally they will tend to forget that Greek does not equal orthodox (as I am not practising for example in the last 10 years) and orthodox does not equal Greek.

You can always choose a chruch where you feel best, but please do not make the mistake of confusing the Greeks, or their church with what you see in some strange communities far from home which seem to be stuck in the past (if there ever was such a past).

The Greek Orthodox Chruch IN Greece at least has enough non-Greeks (mainly from the Balkans and the former SU I guess) and is quite open. It is still not "commericalised" in the style of the organised converting of hapless strangers where other churches excel, but again for me that is not its biggest fault. I dont think a church should be expansionistic, just spiritual and whoever wants can join...

My reasons for not liking this church have to do with other things which are common in most churches (what kind of christian doesn-¦t accept his fellow humans as priests or anything as they are, be their gay, green, with three legs or with antennae? Who can tell me that sex in any way, as long as nobody-¦s rights are violated, can be immoral? etc)

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« Reply #74 on: August 30, 2005, 10:00:34 AM »

I know people are curious, but i do get tired of "how did you come to the orthodox church" Makes me want to say, "well, i put a bunch of names in a hat..."  But mostly these days it is from people that have returned to the area after an absence or job change.  I DO get "you look Greek" a lot though, which doesn't bother me at all.   Cheesy  I also get "OH! I've heard of you, you have the five kids that were baptised...(though it was only 4)" I know it is unusual...but sometimes i feel that we're under a microscope.  I'm just glad there are a lot of converts in my church, so I'm not seen as a total freak, just a curiosity. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my church and the people there!!!
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« Reply #75 on: August 30, 2005, 01:23:06 PM »

Sigh....my feelings on the Greek Church are not good.

I'm trying to think of ways to say this without offending anyone on this forum.

Granted, I've only been to a limited number of Greek Churches (I'm sure they probably vary from parish to parish), but the one word that comes to mind is "dead".  I think the Antiochian and Eastern European varieties have much more sincerity and livelihood.

Once again, for anyone who goes to a lively and sincere Greek church (which would obviously be one I have not been to), correct my false assumption.

Hello

My own feelings are somewhat similar to the poster in the above quote. I've attended three different Greek churches down through the years and sadly found all (in widely divergent areas of the country) to be ethnically closed to those who are not Greek. In fact, the usher at the last Greek church asked our name while greeting us in the narthex and when I responded he said, "But you're not Greek."  Huh

We've made our home in an OCA church after a move and having spent many years in the Antiochian Church. The same degree of unwelcome that we had felt in the Greek Church has not been our experience in the other two jurisdictions.  Sad
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« Reply #76 on: August 30, 2005, 04:19:59 PM »

Hey, Stamfordguy.  Welcome to OC.net!

I've attended three different Greek churches down through the years and sadly found all (in widely divergent areas of the country) to be ethnically closed to those who are not Greek.

Sorry that's been your experience.  Actually, since moving to Ft. Worth, I've had the pleasure of having my own, initially bad, experiences changed.  The Greek parishes here in the metroplex are very welcoming, and the monastery in Kendalia (all Greek and Athonite) is a very friendly, peaceful place.

Keep an open mind; there are most definitely parishes in all jurisdictions that are closed and dying, as well as those which are open-minded and alive.
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« Reply #77 on: August 30, 2005, 04:56:25 PM »

I've constantly heard about how closed and ethnic the GOA is, but I have yet to personally encounter it.  Holy Archangels Monastery in Kendalia is absolutely the most welcoming place on Earth.  Our local OCF chapter is sponsored mostly by the Greek parish but is incredibly open to the three of us from the OCA parish.  Parishioners also tend to visit back and forth (and with the Antiochian parish) as well.  I know that's not the case everywhere, but I'd like to think the xenophobic parishes are the much-publicized exception, rather than the rule.
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« Reply #78 on: August 30, 2005, 06:09:01 PM »

I've constantly heard about how closed and ethnic the GOA is, but I have yet to personally encounter it.ÂÂ  Holy Archangels Monastery in Kendalia is absolutely the most welcoming place on Earth.ÂÂ  Our local OCF chapter is sponsored mostly by the Greek parish but is incredibly open to the three of us from the OCA parish.ÂÂ  Parishioners also tend to visit back and forth (and with the Antiochian parish) as well.ÂÂ  I know that's not the case everywhere, but I'd like to think the xenophobic parishes are the much-publicized exception, rather than the rule.

Ditto, but then I'm often more outgoing, not let myself get offended easily, and am quick to politely correct if they make some erroneous assumptions.  I've definitely felt the strong ethnic "vibe", but that's it.
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FrChris
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Holy Father Patrick, thank you for your help!


« Reply #79 on: August 31, 2005, 12:20:41 AM »

Well, thanks, guys!

I actually am getting tired of having to post how welcome I have felt in all the various Greek parishes I have lived in, served in, or visited over the years. It is good to know that I am not the only perosn on the planet to experience this...
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« Reply #80 on: August 31, 2005, 12:22:04 AM »

Thanks for the welcome, Pedro.

I hope there isn't an implication n the latest post that I'm somehow not  "outgoing" and "do let myself get offended easily." Our mileage may vary, Bro. I'm sure you weren't implying that I was somehow negligent and therefore not as kindly received as was your experience. It just seemed to come across in that manner. Peace. Smiley
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« Reply #81 on: September 01, 2005, 05:10:44 AM »



      After having attended the GOC regularly (and still do),  and become involved in activities, ministries, this is my opinion at this point
      in time.
     
      The GOC Parish I attend has been welcoming, the Priest (s) is very warm and welcoming, and I think would feel discouraged if
       inquirers stayed away because they weren't Greek.   BUT....with all that said....
       I have felt the difference though, that I am not Greek, and everyone else is.   But, I think that comes from within, too, and
       it's something I can work on.
      As far as converts, 'haven't met any yet.   If there are converts, I'm guessing it's marriage-related.

       I think situations like this, can be a place of growth in ways you didn't  expect, too.  Then again, if you find yourself thinking about
       it more than Orthodoxy, it might be better to go somewhere else and see if it all goes into the background where it should be.

       It's helpful to have converts in your parish, that's for sure.   Someone needs to be the first, though!

       Peace,
       Irene       
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« Reply #82 on: September 09, 2005, 06:42:51 AM »

I tend to think of myself as just Orthodox, not necessarily adding any particular nationality to it.  Mostly I go to the Orthodox Church that is nearest to my home (can't afford petrol to go to any other Orthodox Church!).  I think the key is to do what one can and not try to be some nationality that one isn't.  I am rather adaptable and have learned enough of the languages used in the liturgy in various places so that I can understand what's going on.

20 years ago I made an extended visit to Greece and found it a magnificent place--I spent several months in a women's monastery where I was royally treated and made to feel so at home that I wanted to stay.  However, they made their living by writing icons, and I have no artistic talent at all, so even if it had been possible to stay, I'd have been a burden on them.  They said, "Oh, that would be all right!  You could help Sr. "X" clip the incense!"  But that would not have been right--and besides, I distracted the attention of the villagers who came to the Divine Liturgy on Sundays--they were all wanting to "see the American".  I shall always remember that place, though, and I wish I could still remember all the Greek they so patiently taught me, and all the kindness they showed to me while I was there.

I have decided to try to "become as a little child" and go to the Greek School in my parish.  I really need to learn some conversational Greek.  University Greek is not the same thing.  I am slowly learning the differences in pronunciation between University Greek and Conversational Greek--it's easy to get them mixed up.  When I was in Greece, the nuns used to find my pronunciation when I read very amusing.  I was touched, though, by their infinite patience, and was glad that my "funny" sounding Greek brought them a smile!

Best wishes,

Leetle Masha
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« Reply #83 on: September 09, 2005, 08:23:46 AM »

Leetle Masha!

Great to see you here!

Much love,

Michael x
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« Reply #84 on: September 09, 2005, 08:47:15 AM »

How do, Michael!  Good to see you too!

Leetle Masha
oh, and Sprasnikom on the 21st, in case I forget...
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« Reply #85 on: September 14, 2005, 07:25:05 AM »


Hi Leetle Masha,

What does "Leetle Masha" mean?  I saw that your late Spiritual Father called you that, but I am curious as to the meaning of the words.

You are so right, I was just thinking exactly the same thing today, and then read your post.    We are Orthodox, (well, fairly soon for me) period!   

What a gift you received from God,  being a part of the monastery!

Best of luck to you pursuing Greek.   I am starting up again, soon, too.   

Peace to you,
Irene       
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