Author Topic: "When you're ready"  (Read 722 times)

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Offline AClaire11

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"When you're ready"
« on: November 24, 2013, 09:29:59 PM »
First off, I want to thank everyone for all the help I received when I previously posted!

So according to the priest, I'm officially a catechumen.  I asked him what the timeline would be for my chrismation (I'm Catholic, so no new baptism), and he just said to let him know when I feel ready.  I also haven't been able to talk to him since that first time I met him because there are 800+ families in the parish and he is insanely busy.

On the one hand, being able to set my own pace is great.  On the other, I feel kind of lost because I don't have an easily accessible person to ask questions.  For example, I have no idea what will happen at the actual chrismation and how I will need to prepare for it.  But I guess that will get covered when I tell him I'm ready.  I'm just feeling a bit disconnected from the process right now, I guess.

Offline Maria

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2013, 09:39:12 PM »
Congratulations and Many Years!
Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός
Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός
Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος
ἐλέησον ἡμας

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 09:40:04 PM »
If there are specific concerns I wouldn't hesitate to talk to him, but knowing how busy he is maybe write stuff out ahead of time if that helps. Or... well I don't know him, so I don't want to say something specific on that.   Do you have people who can guide you, like a sponsor/Godparent, someone who maybe teaches a study class that you can talk to, or something along those lines? If not you could maybe ask the priest to suggest one?

Anyway, congrats :)

Offline Christina

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 11:06:38 PM »
Inquirers' classes have been very helpful for me.  After we were finished discussing the book they gave me, we had many other subjects to go over, like reading/venerating icons, a prosforon baking class, a teaching service where the priest showed us how he prepares the prosforon for communion, a class on preparing for confession, a class on chrismation, choosing a godparent/sponsor, etc.  It's seemed like a long 7 months, but as I found out, you don't know what all you don't know until you do know.  (That last part made sense in my head.)
"You cursed and lost man!  Instead of enduring pain for a single hour, you have made yourself worthy of eternal torment."  ~St. Christina of Ancyra~

Offline smokeala

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 11:12:32 PM »
I have been outside the Church about four years now, let's just say my spiritual planning did not include an agenda. Since you have so many families at your parish, have you made any relationships with them? If they are already chrismated they should be able to advise on the process. I too had a period of being disconnected, however my eclectic work scheduling conflicted with making a real lasting impact with other parishioners. And because of that, I fell through the cracks as a catechumen since our presiding priest was transitioning elsewhere. I was involved in a rather torrid relationship with a woman for two years that sidetracked me, but now I am ready to take it seriously.

Offline orthodox4life

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2013, 11:24:43 AM »
Congratulations and welcome!
The true Orthodox way of thought has always been historical, has always included the past, but has never been enslaved by it. . . for the strength of the Church is not in the past, present, or future, but in Christ.

-Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Offline elephant

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2013, 11:51:55 AM »
Dear AClaire,

Chronia Polla!  Many Years!

It is wonderful that you are moving towards reception into the Church!  Orthodoxy is blessedness!

I agree it would be helpful for you to form a relationship with someone in the parish.  If you have not met anyone yet, joining in parish activities may be a good way to start meeting people.  Or ask your priest to introduce you to a few people. 

Hanging around here is good too, but nothing replaces face to face relationships.

Love, elephant

Offline AClaire11

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2013, 08:38:08 PM »
Thank you for all the congrats and advice!

I only really know 3 people in the parish (not including my husband).  No one really talks to strangers at the coffee hour or anything, so I only  know the teacher and the two others in the Orthodoxy 101 course.  One is a cradle Orthodox and the other is her fiance, who is converting.  I guess I'm planning on asking the teacher to be my sponsor.

I think that's part of the problem.  I don't even know when I'm supposed to look for a sponsor or whom I should be asking (in terms of guidelines).  Would it be weird to ask someone who is only a few years older than I am?  I guess I'll email the priest about all that.

Offline Christina

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2013, 09:47:25 PM »
I don't even know when I'm supposed to look for a sponsor or whom I should be asking (in terms of guidelines).  Would it be weird to ask someone who is only a few years older than I am?

It was explained to me that a sponsor should be someone who is a member of the Church for at least a year and in good standing.  Preferably, this person should be someone you know pretty well and feel comfortable with as they are supposed to be like adopted family.

After 7 months at my church, I still don't feel like I know anyone well enough to ask them as they haven't been super friendly.  I've just recently started getting hugs from a couple of women.  I can't even remember one of their names.  That's how little we've actually spoken.  The only people I've spent any time talking with are also in the inquirers' class so they don't qualify, and the teacher is usually the presbytera and sometimes the priest.  I don't know if there would be a conflict asking one of them, but I'm quite sure they must be too busy for another "kid."
"You cursed and lost man!  Instead of enduring pain for a single hour, you have made yourself worthy of eternal torment."  ~St. Christina of Ancyra~

Offline AClaire11

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2013, 11:04:48 PM »
I don't even know when I'm supposed to look for a sponsor or whom I should be asking (in terms of guidelines).  Would it be weird to ask someone who is only a few years older than I am?

It was explained to me that a sponsor should be someone who is a member of the Church for at least a year and in good standing.  Preferably, this person should be someone you know pretty well and feel comfortable with as they are supposed to be like adopted family.

After 7 months at my church, I still don't feel like I know anyone well enough to ask them as they haven't been super friendly.  I've just recently started getting hugs from a couple of women.  I can't even remember one of their names.  That's how little we've actually spoken.  The only people I've spent any time talking with are also in the inquirers' class so they don't qualify, and the teacher is usually the presbytera and sometimes the priest.  I don't know if there would be a conflict asking one of them, but I'm quite sure they must be too busy for another "kid."

Exactly!  At the parish back in WA, I volunteered to help with baking for the Greek Festival and I got to know a lot of people through that.  Here I barely know anyone.  I feel like if you aren't involved in societies/activities, you can't get to know people, which is sad.  Isn't this what coffee hour is for?

Offline Christina

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2013, 12:58:35 AM »
I work 2nd shift, so I can't participate in the women's Bible study on Tuesday or baking, etc.  But yeah...coffee hour...  ::)
"You cursed and lost man!  Instead of enduring pain for a single hour, you have made yourself worthy of eternal torment."  ~St. Christina of Ancyra~

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2013, 01:11:57 AM »
I work 2nd shift, so I can't participate in the women's Bible study on Tuesday or baking, etc.  But yeah...coffee hour...  ::)

Hey, at least you can get to Church.  ::)
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2013, 01:17:14 AM »
I don't even know when I'm supposed to look for a sponsor or whom I should be asking (in terms of guidelines).  Would it be weird to ask someone who is only a few years older than I am?

It was explained to me that a sponsor should be someone who is a member of the Church for at least a year and in good standing.  Preferably, this person should be someone you know pretty well and feel comfortable with as they are supposed to be like adopted family.

After 7 months at my church, I still don't feel like I know anyone well enough to ask them as they haven't been super friendly.  I've just recently started getting hugs from a couple of women.  I can't even remember one of their names.  That's how little we've actually spoken.  The only people I've spent any time talking with are also in the inquirers' class so they don't qualify, and the teacher is usually the presbytera and sometimes the priest.  I don't know if there would be a conflict asking one of them, but I'm quite sure they must be too busy for another "kid."

Exactly!  At the parish back in WA, I volunteered to help with baking for the Greek Festival and I got to know a lot of people through that.  Here I barely know anyone.  I feel like if you aren't involved in societies/activities, you can't get to know people, which is sad.  Isn't this what coffee hour is for?

I say good morning to the ushers and the parish council at my church.  That way, I know who's on the parish council.  Whether I know them personally or not doesn't matter to me.  Volunteering at the church festival is a good way to be sociable.  I work the bar; I don't cook or sit behind the serving lines.

I'm surprised that you decided to become a cathechumen at a large Greek Orthodox church.  Being familiar with Northern VA (worked in Vienna and Reston), I understand the commuting distances involved.  The more time you spend at the church, the more diverse people you will meet.  If Greek history/culture interests you or your husband, the church hosts a lot of events around the March 25 (Greek Independence Day) time frame.  If you're more of a faith person, you'll meet people who share the faith.

It's been years since I attended the church in Northern VA.  I used to travel to different Orthodox churches just to experience the same faith among different people.  Now, I don't travel as much as I used to.   :(  One day, I traveled with my cousins to Annapolis, MD to see the Ecumenical Patriarch which was the second time that I've seen him.

Congratulations on your cathechumenate.   :)

Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2013, 01:20:32 AM »
Congratulations. Don't know how long you've been doing this but, if your less than a year or so give it time. There's no rush and it takes time to meet people. Do what you can to become involved in the life of the parish.   :)
Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Offline AClaire11

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2013, 10:09:08 PM »
Congratulations. Don't know how long you've been doing this but, if your less than a year or so give it time. There's no rush and it takes time to meet people. Do what you can to become involved in the life of the parish.   :)

I've been here for about 1.5 months.  I know I should have lower expectations, but I just jumped right in at my old parish.  It's tough to go to a new place and suddenly be all alone.

Offline AClaire11

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2013, 10:13:20 PM »
I don't even know when I'm supposed to look for a sponsor or whom I should be asking (in terms of guidelines).  Would it be weird to ask someone who is only a few years older than I am?

It was explained to me that a sponsor should be someone who is a member of the Church for at least a year and in good standing.  Preferably, this person should be someone you know pretty well and feel comfortable with as they are supposed to be like adopted family.

After 7 months at my church, I still don't feel like I know anyone well enough to ask them as they haven't been super friendly.  I've just recently started getting hugs from a couple of women.  I can't even remember one of their names.  That's how little we've actually spoken.  The only people I've spent any time talking with are also in the inquirers' class so they don't qualify, and the teacher is usually the presbytera and sometimes the priest.  I don't know if there would be a conflict asking one of them, but I'm quite sure they must be too busy for another "kid."

Exactly!  At the parish back in WA, I volunteered to help with baking for the Greek Festival and I got to know a lot of people through that.  Here I barely know anyone.  I feel like if you aren't involved in societies/activities, you can't get to know people, which is sad.  Isn't this what coffee hour is for?

I say good morning to the ushers and the parish council at my church.  That way, I know who's on the parish council.  Whether I know them personally or not doesn't matter to me.  Volunteering at the church festival is a good way to be sociable.  I work the bar; I don't cook or sit behind the serving lines.

I'm surprised that you decided to become a cathechumen at a large Greek Orthodox church.  Being familiar with Northern VA (worked in Vienna and Reston), I understand the commuting distances involved.  The more time you spend at the church, the more diverse people you will meet.  If Greek history/culture interests you or your husband, the church hosts a lot of events around the March 25 (Greek Independence Day) time frame.  If you're more of a faith person, you'll meet people who share the faith.

It's been years since I attended the church in Northern VA.  I used to travel to different Orthodox churches just to experience the same faith among different people.  Now, I don't travel as much as I used to.   :(  One day, I traveled with my cousins to Annapolis, MD to see the Ecumenical Patriarch which was the second time that I've seen him.

Congratulations on your cathechumenate.   :)

Why are you surprised?  It's the closest church to me.  The other ones are huge cathedrals and a OCA mission.

Hopefully we'll be able to join the regular Bible Study group after our Intro group is done in a few weeks.  We'll be able to meet people there.

Thank you!   ;D

Offline SolEX01

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2013, 11:39:24 PM »
I don't even know when I'm supposed to look for a sponsor or whom I should be asking (in terms of guidelines).  Would it be weird to ask someone who is only a few years older than I am?

It was explained to me that a sponsor should be someone who is a member of the Church for at least a year and in good standing.  Preferably, this person should be someone you know pretty well and feel comfortable with as they are supposed to be like adopted family.

After 7 months at my church, I still don't feel like I know anyone well enough to ask them as they haven't been super friendly.  I've just recently started getting hugs from a couple of women.  I can't even remember one of their names.  That's how little we've actually spoken.  The only people I've spent any time talking with are also in the inquirers' class so they don't qualify, and the teacher is usually the presbytera and sometimes the priest.  I don't know if there would be a conflict asking one of them, but I'm quite sure they must be too busy for another "kid."

Exactly!  At the parish back in WA, I volunteered to help with baking for the Greek Festival and I got to know a lot of people through that.  Here I barely know anyone.  I feel like if you aren't involved in societies/activities, you can't get to know people, which is sad.  Isn't this what coffee hour is for?

I say good morning to the ushers and the parish council at my church.  That way, I know who's on the parish council.  Whether I know them personally or not doesn't matter to me.  Volunteering at the church festival is a good way to be sociable.  I work the bar; I don't cook or sit behind the serving lines.

I'm surprised that you decided to become a cathechumen at a large Greek Orthodox church.  Being familiar with Northern VA (worked in Vienna and Reston), I understand the commuting distances involved.  The more time you spend at the church, the more diverse people you will meet.  If Greek history/culture interests you or your husband, the church hosts a lot of events around the March 25 (Greek Independence Day) time frame.  If you're more of a faith person, you'll meet people who share the faith.

It's been years since I attended the church in Northern VA.  I used to travel to different Orthodox churches just to experience the same faith among different people.  Now, I don't travel as much as I used to.   :(  One day, I traveled with my cousins to Annapolis, MD to see the Ecumenical Patriarch which was the second time that I've seen him.

Congratulations on your cathechumenate.   :)

Why are you surprised?  It's the closest church to me.  The other ones are huge cathedrals and a OCA mission.

I thought you were looking for a smaller, more intimate, language and culture friendly church.  Forgive me.    :angel:

Hopefully we'll be able to join the regular Bible Study group after our Intro group is done in a few weeks.  We'll be able to meet people there.

Thank you!   ;D

Usually there's a welcoming committee - perhaps more informal than formal.   :)

Offline AClaire11

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Re: "When you're ready"
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2013, 12:25:46 AM »

I thought you were looking for a smaller, more intimate, language and culture friendly church.  Forgive me.    :angel:

Hopefully we'll be able to join the regular Bible Study group after our Intro group is done in a few weeks.  We'll be able to meet people there.

Thank you!   ;D

Usually there's a welcoming committee - perhaps more informal than formal.   :)


Oh yes, thank you for remembering my other thread!  This is true, but aside from Cathedrals, the only other option was a mission church run out of someone's living room with no studies/groups and no services aside from DL on Sunday.  In the end, we decided to go with the larger church that has more resources.  Although this decision does have drawbacks, I'm happy with it.