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Author Topic: Which Jurisdiction?  (Read 3312 times) Average Rating: 0
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rosborn
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« on: July 23, 2005, 01:09:05 AM »

Hello,

This may sound like a strange request but it is sincere.  I am curious as to which jurisdiction I should consider.

I am a convert to Roman Catholicism and I am of Germanic/Swedish descent.  I am not sure that it makes much sense for me to become Greek Orthodox since I am not of Greek descent.  I am equally unsure if it makes much sense for me to become Russian Orthodox since I am not of Russian descent.  So, what jurisdiction should I cnsider?  Does it really make any difference?

As an aside, there are three different jurisdictions within 30 miles of my home - ROCOR, GOA and OCA.

Thank you all for your heartfelt replies.

Rob
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choirfiend
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2005, 01:13:25 AM »

The jurisdiction does not matter. You do not have to be any ethnicity to be Orthodox, even if the name of the church has a country in it. If you are interested in becoming Orthodox, then you should visit all three parishes several times, speak with their priests, and pick a parish based on where you are most comfortable. They are all Orthodox.

If you named the parishes, sometimes people here have experience with them, so someone could tell you more about them.
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Jennifer
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2005, 01:39:02 AM »

Ethnicity shouldn't matter but be warned that some parishes are very ethnic.  You should visit each parish and pick the one you like the best. Pick the one where you'll be the most comfortable and get the most support from the other parishioners and the priest. 

I don't mean to 'plug' for the OCA (I'm in the OCA) but the OCA parish will probably have english liturgies.  The GOA parish will probably have a lot of Greek and the ROCOR parish may have the liturgy in Slavonic.  I've been told that only Russian is spoken at some ROCOR parishes.  I could handle Slavonic liturgies but would be completely lost if only Russian was spoken at coffee hour. 

Other ROCOR parishes are convert parishes with the liturgy in english.  The ROCOR parish and the OCA parish will probably have more services than the GOA parishes. 

But these generalities don't apply to every parish so you never know where you'll feel comfortable unless you visit. 

The OCA and ROCOR are very similar because they both have Russian roots. The main difference between the two is that the ROCOR is old calendar while only the Alaskan Diocese of the OCA is on the old calendar.  Generally speaking, the OCA is more Carpatho Rusyn while ROCOR is more Russian. 

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rosborn
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2005, 01:45:22 AM »

The jurisdiction does not matter. You do not have to be any ethnicity to be Orthodox, even if the name of the church has a country in it. If you are interested in becoming Orthodox, then you should visit all three parishes several times, speak with their priests, and pick a parish based on where you are most comfortable. They are all Orthodox.

I will do that.  Thank you for that advice.

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If you named the parishes, sometimes people here have experience with them, so someone could tell you more about them.
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Okay.  Here they are - St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Ann Arbor, MI; St. Vladimir Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia, Dexter/Ann Arbor, MI and St. Demtrius Church (OCA), Jackson, MI.

Rob
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rosborn
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2005, 01:58:58 AM »

Ethnicity shouldn't matter but be warned that some parishes are very ethnic.ÂÂ  You should visit each parish and pick the one you like the best. Pick the one where you'll be the most comfortable and get the most support from the other parishioners and the priest.

I have visited the OCA parish and I like it very much.  The priest is young and very traditional.ÂÂ  

Quote
I don't mean to 'plug' for the OCA (I'm in the OCA) but the OCA parish will probably have english liturgies.ÂÂ  The GOA parish will probably have a lot of Greek and the ROCOR parish may have the liturgy in Slavonic.ÂÂ  I've been told that only Russian is spoken at some ROCOR parishes.ÂÂ  I could handle Slavonic liturgies but would be completely lost if only Russian was spoken at coffee hour.
Quote

Language would mean a great deal to me.  I don't speak Greek or Russian.  I speak English and, therefore, would benefit the greatest from an English Liturgy.ÂÂ  

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Other ROCOR parishes are convert parishes with the liturgy in english.ÂÂ  The ROCOR parish and the OCA parish will probably have more services than the GOA parishes.
Quote

I don't know about the local ROCOR parish but I do know that the "local" OCA parish is English oriented.  The "local" OCA parish has the full set of services.ÂÂ  

Quote
But these generalities don't apply to every parish so you never know where you'll feel comfortable unless you visit.ÂÂ  

The OCA and ROCOR are very similar because they both have Russian roots. The main difference between the two is that the ROCOR is old calendar while only the Alaskan Diocese of the OCA is on the old calendar.ÂÂ  Generally speaking, the OCA is more Carpatho Rusyn while ROCOR is more Russian.
Quote

That may be important.  I guess I was a little concerned about the orthodoxy of the OCA.  I had heared that they were more "lenient" than ROCOR.

Rob
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2005, 02:03:10 AM »

This may sound like a strange request but it is sincere. I am curious as to which jurisdiction I should consider.
I am a convert to Roman Catholicism and I am of Germanic/Swedish descent.
Rob

How would you feel if bunch of EHH RABS came to your church and starting "anscheißen" or "anmachen" with the Girls! Old people would say: What the hell are you doing here!?! Everything with ethnic people is not the problem, it starts with you.  I was raised up to tell how much confidence a person has to see the perspective of the other when they don't like you.. It should not be for others to run around in circles with your life. (Circles meaning how are you going get out of an uncomfortable situation) Try making conversation with people at the church especially the priest and  someone who's different will actually be like-minded of you. That's how I got along with people
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2005, 02:06:44 AM »

How would you feel if bunch of EHH RABS came to your church and starting "anscheißen" or "anmachen" with the Girls! Old people would say: What the hell are you doing here!?! Everything with ethnic people is not the problem, it starts with you.ÂÂ  I was raised up to tell how much confidence a person has to see the perspective of the other when they don't like you.. It should not be for others to run around in circles with your life. (Circles meaning how are you going get out of an uncomfortable situation) Try making conversation with people at the church especially the priest andÂÂ  someone who's different will actually be like-minded of you. That's how I got along with people

I really don't understand what you are saying.  I don't know how to speak Russian or Greek and, so, I assume that the OCA parish may be the best fit for me.

Rob
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2005, 02:10:59 AM »

And hey! Good news (or bad, if you dont like making choices) there are a number of more churches that are close to you....(ANT means Antiochian). I happen to have met a lot of the youth (now young adults) from Holy Transfiguration in Livonia and I think that it must be a pretty nice parish...You should give them all a call and let them know you're coming to visit (whenever that is).

St. Nicholas Church
GOA    
3109 Scio Church Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103    
734.332.8200
frjohn(at)stnickaa.org
www.stnickaa.org

St. Vladimir Orthodox Church
ROCOR    
9900 Jackson Rd
Dexter, MI 48130
734/475-4590
www.stvladimiraami.org

Nativity Of The Virgin Mary Church
GOA    
39851 Five Mile Road
Plymouth Township, MI 48170
734.420.0131
office(at)nativitygoc.org
www.nativitygoc.org

St. Demetrius Church
OCA    
3043 Seymour Rd
PO Box 125
Jackson, MI 49204
810.783.3091
http://www.stdemetrius.com/

SS. Constantine & Helen Church
GOA    
36375 Joy Rd.
Westland, MI 48185
734.525.6789
www.stcons.org

St. Mary Church
ANT    
18100 Merriman Rd
Livonia, MI 48152
734.422.0010

Holy Transfiguration Church
OCA    
36075 W Seven Mile Rd
Livonia, MI 48152
48.476.3432
mmatsko(at)twmi.rr.com
www.geocities.com/orthodoxy.geo/index.html

Holy Cross Church
GOA    
25225 Middlebelt Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48336
248.477.1677
http://www.holycrossgo.org/

St. Thomas Church
OCA    
29150 Ten Mile Rd
Farmington Hills, MI 48336
248.471.1059

SS. Peter & Paul Church
OCA    
750 N Beech Daly Rd
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
313.274.9651
spprocweb(at)hotmail.com
www.spproc.org/
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2005, 02:12:46 AM »

OCA churches are quite entirely Orthodox, have no fear about that.
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rosborn
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2005, 02:14:45 AM »

Chiorfiend,

You are the bomb!

Realistically, though, my choices are limited to the parishes I mentioned.  Why?  Because they are within a reasoanable driving distance from my home.

Thanks!

Rob
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rosborn
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2005, 02:15:36 AM »

OCA churches are quite entirely Orthodox, have no fear about that.

Okay.  I will take that into serious consideration.

Thanks,

Rob
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2005, 02:15:45 AM »

I'm in the OCA so I'm not exactly objective about this but I don't find the OCA to be more "lenient" than ROCOR.  There are differences, most notably the calendar. 

Other differences include preparation to receive communion.  Does "lenient" mean non-traditional? In Orthodoxy, a number of pious practices developed over the years.  Orthodox people sometimes mistake these practices for tradition.  Frequency of communion is an excellent example of this.  There's been a real push in the OCA (even amongst young traditional priests) for frequent communion.  If you receive every week then logically you probably aren't fasting for the whole week before to prepare.  I know some Serbian Orthodox people who only receive communion if they've fasted from meat and dairy for the entire week.  Also, some Orthodox only receive if they've been to confession that morning or the night before.  In the OCA, frequent communion is encouraged along with frequent confession but not weekly confession.  Some might say that's lenient.  Others say that it's a return to the traditional practices. I won't get into this debate. 

Keep in mind that ROCOR will likely soon be in communion with the OCA through the MP. 

Also remember that there's nothing in the OCA that forces "leniency."  There are plenty of people in the ROCOR who are just as rigorous as people in ROCOR. 

BTW, since you're in Michigan, you might want to visit the Dormition Monastery (OCA). 

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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2005, 02:20:38 AM »

Jennifer,

Thank you for the words of advice.

I have been by the monastery many times.  I haven't actually stopped in because I am still Roman Catholic but I know that the hieromonk was the spiritual advisor of the former priest of St. Demetrius PCA in Jackson, MI - which is a stone's throw away from the monastery.  How do you know about the monastery?

Rob
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2005, 02:23:48 AM »

Well, theorectially the others are only a few(1-10) miles more, but that is probably "as the crow flies" rather than by highways...Worth Mapquesting, though.
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2005, 02:28:08 AM »

Well, theorectially the others are only a few(1-10) miles more, but that is probably "as the crow flies" rather than by highways...Worth Mapquesting, though.

You are absolutely right.  However, I would like to remain as close to my community as possible.  That way I can attend other services and, possibly, meet with other members of the parish in my area.

Rob
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2005, 02:34:06 AM »

You're very fortunate to live in one of the "Orthodox strongholds" where you have several parishes to check into. Good luck on your journey and please ask whatever questions you have!
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2005, 02:43:35 AM »

You're very fortunate to live in one of the "Orthodox strongholds" where you have several parishes to check into. Good luck on your journey and please ask whatever questions you have!

A sincere thanks to you for all of your help!  And, I won't hesitate to ask questions when they arise.

Rob
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2005, 12:49:21 PM »

My advice is this: Visit all three. Each historic jurisdiction has it's own "take" on Orthodoxy. And, although they all agree on common matters of faith, sometimes their "small-t" traditions differ. You can learn a lot by going to several, and observing commonalities and differences.

Also, there are things I've learned by becoming acquainted with folks from the more "ethnic" churches who have been Orthodox all of their lives that I never would have learned from converts. The reverse is also true.

And, FYI: I'm a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, but I am not Greek either. The Greek churches in the U.S. vary widely on how "ethnically Greek" they are, as well as how much Greek is used during the liturgy.
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2005, 06:08:17 PM »

   Hi,

When I first started out, it was on my mind a lot, too.  ie... if I'm not from a certain ethnic group, and their ethnicity is part of the name of the church, will they be wondering,  what are you doing here?  Why would you come here?  No ancestral ties, etc???

I have ended up at a GOC, and feel at home.  'Am not one ounce Greek.   Now, instead of feeling "different",  I find it so thrilling they share so much of their culture, etc...and are so warm.    Yes, I get the question at times, are you?Huh??   Did you marry a Greek?   etc....   but my answer is, no, I am here because I believe this is the true church.    Oh!!! they say, and smile.   

If they are Orthodox, you can answer to any ethnic group this way!   

The Liturgy is half Greek, half  English.   To be honest, I wouldn't last in one that didn't have some English.  So, I can definitely see that as a decision for people seeking.

What worked for me was to join small ministries within the church, and bonds grew that way.  I forget I'm not Greek!

Pray that God shows you where He wants you.   I didn't even know about this church, and found out about it one day, and visited.     Give each one some time, because you will grow and change and eventually you will know where you should be.   If I stopped after only one or two visits, I wouldn't have this now.  You need to develop an overall picture.  It takes time.

God may surprise you!

Irene   
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