Author Topic: Ethnic ?  (Read 1803 times)

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Offline Linda

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Ethnic ?
« on: February 04, 2005, 11:34:34 AM »
I've been reading some of the threads, and it seems like the ethnicity of a church can be an issue. I have been intrigued by a Coptic church in my area, but being Irish and Scottish I wonder how well I would fit in. The Greek church here is predominately people of Greek origin, and I also find that particular church to be a bit pretentious. They love to talk about money for some reason. I guess my ? is which particular Church would be most likely to welcome people from a different ethnic group or does this really just depend on the particular Church. I really like what I have been reading about Orthodoxy. I just hadn't thought about this aspect. In the RC you typically have a mix of all different ethnic groups. It might be really weird for me.
Linda
« Last Edit: February 04, 2005, 11:36:18 AM by Linda »
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2005, 12:03:55 PM »
Linda,

I don't think you can say any particular local Orthodox church is particularly welcoming/unwelcoming to converts from outside their ethnic group - you just have to go and see what they're like. In my own experience, I've found that the Greeks are a little too Greek - they welcome you but they try to Hellenize you also - others here haven't had the same experience at all, though. Personally, I've found the Romanians, Russians and Antiochian parishes to be very welcoming but, again, others may have a different view.

I would like to point out one thing, though. If you're seriously thinking of converting, you really need to figure out whether you agree with Eastern Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox Christology first. It just seems a really odd thing to me to that you appear to be considering the Greek (EO) and Coptic (OO) churches as though they have the same beliefs - but then I'm Romanian Orthodox, so fall firmly in the EO camp.

James
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Offline Linda

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2005, 12:21:53 PM »
Hi James,
Thanks for the response. I wasn't clear in my post. I'm not considering the Greek Orthodox church at all. I just happen to know alot of Greek Orthodox people, and I do know that church here to some extent. The Coptic church is the one that I was interested in, but I am very new to this so I really am just learning. My post was more of an inquiry into an issue that seems to be addressed frequently here.

Linda
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Offline Aklie Semaet

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2005, 01:04:36 PM »
Dear Linda,

I would strongly encourage you to just go to the Church. Copts are very welcoming. Truthfully, you may get asked about your ethnic background once or twice but don’t let that startle you. But this will only be in the total excitement that someone of Irish/Scottish descent is interested in the faith. Btw, were you aware that the British Orthodox Church is canonically part of the Coptic Patriarchate? I would recommend you to explore that website and also to look at the links. There is one on the history of Celtic Orthodoxy (and the interesting fact that Celtic Christology has been historically very Oriental in nature). So the connection may be closer than you think. :)
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2005, 01:12:06 PM »

Hi Linda,

Aklie is right.  In my (Coptic Orthodox) Church, there are several American converts, including people of African, Celtic, and Latino descent.  I think you will find the people to be welcoming, and pray your experience will be a good one!  :)

In Christ,

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Offline aurelia

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2005, 01:34:21 PM »
I'm also of Anglo(scotch)/German descent...and as I have pointed out in the related thread, the Greek ethnicity doesnt bother me a bit...

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2005, 02:36:41 PM »
In my limited experience, Copts generally tend to be welcoming.  There will be questions, it may be uncomfortable at times (I've experienced it myself), but I don't think it should be as bad as one might think...it may even be better. 
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Offline Arystarcus

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2005, 03:43:54 PM »
Linda,

I would also like to chime in and say that I agree with Aklie, Antonius and Mor's recommendation to visit the Coptic church. I visited my local Coptic church and they were the most friendly and welcoming church I've ever been to. I posted my experience in visiting the church on the board and here is a link, in case you are interested:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php/topic,3274.msg46744.html#msg46744

So, if you're thinking of going, why not pop in for a visit? Better to go and experience it firsthand than wish you hadn't.  :)

May God bless you.

In Christ,
Aaron

Offline Linda

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2005, 04:37:32 PM »
Thanks for the responses. The link to the British Orthodox Church was really good. Aaron, I was very impressed with your experience at the Coptic Church. It is unfortunate that the thread took a turn though. Didn't know that there was tension btw EO and OO, but then I am just learning.
Linda
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Offline Arystarcus

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2005, 06:11:49 PM »
Linda,

The tension between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox groups is more apparent with the laity and not so much with priests or bishops of either church. Of course, there are exceptions, but do not let this hinder you in your desire to learn more about Orthodoxy. Try not to focus on these things, but instead keep your gaze steady on Christ and with a desire to become a part of the Church. God will lead you where He wants you to be.  :)

In Christ,
Aaron

Offline Fr. David

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Re: Ethnic ?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2005, 08:46:51 AM »
The tension between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox groups is more apparent with the laity and not so much with priests or bishops of either church.

Ehhhh...well, the "tension" between bishops may be more charitably expressed than between laity (and is being dealt with by the bishops sloooooooowly), but it's still what's keeping us from concelebrating and being one church, so I don't know that I would paint it too much as just a "grassroots" problem.

That's good advice, though, Linda, about focus.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2005, 08:47:03 AM by Pedro »
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