Author Topic: Community and length of inquiry  (Read 760 times)

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Offline CharalambisMakarios

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Community and length of inquiry
« on: March 08, 2015, 02:15:13 PM »
Hi all,

I've been in the discerning process for awhile, and I've recently had the opportunity to go to my first Syriac liturgy (the jurisdiction of greatest interest to me). I'm making plans to visit a Syriac church about 45 minutes from my hometown when I'm not at school. Unfortunately, there are a few obstacles. First, the distance. I don't mind the commute, but I myself do not currently drive, and it's hard to find people willing to give me rides on a regular basis (especially to a church that is usually a. not of their tradition and b. not always in English). I would use public transit, but the buses don't leave early enough to get me to service on time, and I'm not financially independent enough to justify staying in town overnight the night before.

The second obstacle is that this church only holds services with English vernacular on the first Sunday of every month. The other Sundays, the teaching and readings are in Malayalam. Fortunately, I'm familiar enough with Syriac to be able to follow the liturgy, but I have no training in Malayalam. I'm interested enough in exploring the church further that I would be willing to go on some days when the services aren't in English (the last Syriac service I went to was mostly Syriac and Arabic, with only a little bit of English. It didn't bother me), but on those days it would be harder to find someone who is willing to give me a ride to a service that they wouldn't be likely able to follow much at all.

The third obstacle is that I'm not generally home on the first Sunday of a given month. So on a given school break, I'm not likely to be able to go to an English service, and I'm not home often enough to make a regular habit of going for the majority of the year (summer and winter being somewhat an exception). This is not insurmountable, but it is significant.

All these points lead me to a few questions, which I would appreciate input on:

1. How might I be able to overcome the logistical obstacles?

2. How long, in people's experience, should one be attached to a community before moving forward into catechism? How essential is it to be attached to a parish? In an ideal situation, I agree that community is important, but it's not entirely possible for me to go to this church regularly, but I still try to go to other Orthodox services when I can, and practice the spirituality and prayer outside of church.

Pray for me, a sinner.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Community and length of inquiry
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 02:55:30 PM »
Quote
1. How might I be able to overcome the logistical obstacles?

2. How long, in people's experience, should one be attached to a community before moving forward into catechism? How essential is it to be attached to a parish? In an ideal situation, I agree that community is important, but it's not entirely possible for me to go to this church regularly, but I still try to go to other Orthodox services when I can, and practice the spirituality and prayer outside of church.

1. Do the best you can. When you cannot attend, attend in spirit, watch videos on the internet, study the liturgy and it's cycle.

2. Well, I've been attending for about a month and I've made the jump.  ;)
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Community and length of inquiry
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2015, 03:10:05 PM »
We announced our interest in joining the catechumenate the first time we attended. Others remain inquirers for years. Perhaps you can think of it as "dating" versus "engagement."
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Offline CharalambisMakarios

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Re: Community and length of inquiry
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2015, 03:38:50 PM »
Quote
1. How might I be able to overcome the logistical obstacles?

2. How long, in people's experience, should one be attached to a community before moving forward into catechism? How essential is it to be attached to a parish? In an ideal situation, I agree that community is important, but it's not entirely possible for me to go to this church regularly, but I still try to go to other Orthodox services when I can, and practice the spirituality and prayer outside of church.

1. Do the best you can. When you cannot attend, attend in spirit, watch videos on the internet, study the liturgy and it's cycle.

2. Well, I've been attending for about a month and I've made the jump.  ;)

I appreciate the responses. That is helpful. I've definitely been trying to keep up my private studies when I can't attend liturgies, as well as prayer life. I have not yet attended this parish, but I've been attending Orthodox services and inquiring for a couple years now.

We announced our interest in joining the catechumenate the first time we attended. Others remain inquirers for years. Perhaps you can think of it as "dating" versus "engagement."

That's also good to know. I guess I should probably talk to the priest about my interest while I'm there.

Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Community and length of inquiry
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 08:01:11 AM »
To obvious, but I am a simpleton: you have spoken to the priest to see if other parishioners in your area can give you a ride? Nearest parishioner to your town? I see you are a student, meaning broke, however can you offer to pay for gas, at least partially? If there's a bulletin board at school, have you posted to see if you can get a steady ride on any days of services?
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Offline CharalambisMakarios

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Re: Community and length of inquiry
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2015, 10:37:07 AM »
I have emailed him to ask if there are parishioners in my area. Haven't heard back yet. Here's hoping!