Hi, well, lately I was looking around me in my parish and I noticed that compared to the Wednesdays Greek dance practise (of which I am part of), there seems to be very few youth who come to church regularly on Sundays. And this really bothered me because as a youth I look around t the older greek generations who are slowly dying off and I wonder...who will come every sunday to pray, to chant, to light the candles, to usher, and to be the priest in the future if they are nto used to coming to church now?? I see our church attendance declining like Catholic churches.
I mean what happened from just one generation who's verylives were part of the church to now where the younger generations don't even know what is going on in church?
I beleive part of it is because of the Greek church's insistence on holding on to the greek language. It's like the language will save them insetad of our faith!
So many youth come on Wednesday in the mdidle of their busy week schedules to dance for an hour or two yet cannot come to chruch on sundays once a week. And most of the teens or young adults think im weird or different because I do go to church regularly.
I really have to commend the OCA and Antiochians because they didn't stay in their cozy Russian or Arab shells but took on America headstrong with the Faith.
I love the Greek Orthodox Church but I am ashamed that now our churches are not so full, our chanting is no more, our parishes are run by one or two rich families and the parish councils who think they own the church, and most of all the destroying ethnocentrism.
Seriously, nationalism and ethnocentrism had its place in our church's history for every nationality, Greeks in the 1800's, Serbs up til this day...but if we don't change our attitudes we will never go anywhere.
Many visitors are interested in our church and when they pop in on a Sunday I never see them again..go figure the entire service is in Greek except for a "in peace let us pray to the lord" here and there as well as the our father, creed, gospel, and half of the homily. And the old grandparent's are yelling "there's too much english!"
Our GOYA youth group has about 6-10 active members out of about 500+ Greek Orthodox youth in my city.
What do you think we can do to save our ethnic parishes from dying as well as save our youth?