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kricket777
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« on: September 21, 2005, 04:47:02 PM »

Hello all!  I guess I will first introduce myself.  I am a inquirer into Orthodoxy.  I have really only been looking into it for the past two weeks or so.  I have considered myself a Christian for about 15 years.  My upbringing was in both Protestant (non-evangelical community church) till around age 10 and Roman Catholic till around the age of 17.  I left the Catholic church during high school and have been searching for “God’s Church”  I have gone through every doctrine/belief  imaginable during this time and have found myself lacking any where and every where I would go.  I have lead a life of  “church hopping” for quite sometime now.  I basically had tried to think of all the different denominations as different expression of worship.  Again I had found this to be lacking.

 I joined a forum a few weeks ago called Christian forums.  This forum is kind of a mixing pot of all denominations that claim the Nicene Creed.  Plus some that do not…the forums are separated as such though. While on the forums I noticed some “heated” discussions between catholic and orthodox and thought I would read some posts on the orthodox forum there.  I started reading a thread about people that had converted to Orthodox and was amazed at the fact that these people had come form many different denominations and backgrounds.  I think it is important to point out I had always had a preconception of the Orthodox church as being just Catholic with out the Pope.  I have since (these last two weeks mainly) found that I was so very wrong.

My search for truth has been a long and painful road and the feeling that I may have found the Church that Christ established is exciting to say the least.  I have read every bit of the articles on the GOA website and on the OCA website and listened to The Great and Holy Pascha. (over the internet)  I feel so drawn to the Orthodox Church.  I can’t very well explain what is going on inside of me concerning all that I have learned, but I want to move forward and don’t know what to do.  As I don’t live very close to any Orthodox churches.

I will explain.  I am over 140 miles from a Orthodox Church.  I live in the North central part of Arkansas in a little rural town.  I wish I could afford to make the trip to attend a Divine Liturgy.  I just can’t at the moment. 

I hope this all make sense to you all.  I am looking for direction and people to just talk about what I am learning.  I hope to build some relationships and learn even more with you all. 

In Christ,
Kricket777

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zebu
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2005, 05:43:24 PM »

Hey kricket!
You've read everything on the GOA and OCA website??? That's quite impressive!

That's very sad that you have no Orthodox church close by.  Have you checked www.orthodoxyinamerica.org though? They have a directory that includes all jurisidictions, so maybe there is one closer and you just missed it. 

If you would like to listen to the regular Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, try this site: http://homepage.mac.com/stlawrence/iMovieTheater30.html Another good site for Orthodox hymns, sermons and radio programs is www.ancientfaithradio.com

Also, be sure to read actual books instead of just websites.  Some good ones to start with are: "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware, "The Orthodox Way" by Bishop Kallistos Ware, "Facing East" by Frederica Mathewes-Green, "At the Corner of East and Now" also by Frederica Mathewes-Green, "Light Through Darkness" by John Chryssavgis..

I myself am an inquirer still, I have only been going an Orthodox church for about two months now.  It's just AMAZING.  I will definitely be praying for you and if you want to talk about the whole experience, feel free to send me an IM/e-mail, my screen names/e-mail address are in my profile...

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QuoVadis
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2005, 07:44:46 PM »

Hi Kricket :-)

Welcome!!!ÂÂ  

Another great Orthodox radio programme over the Internet called "Incarnation Broadcast Network" that you can listen to (which I am listening to all the way over here in Australia) is at:

http://inbn.net/

Here, they also have liturgical music in English, as well as helpful talks about faith (which encourage me).

Here are a few other great Orthodox websites to start off with:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/
http://www.monachos.net/index.shtml

Zebu has mentioned a few good books to begin reading as well.  I also read a couple of these books when I started on my journey torwards Orthodoxy.

I would be glad to help and pray for you as you start this exciting journey.
Joy in the Resurrected Christ!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2005, 07:48:17 PM by QuoVadis » Logged

"Without sorrows there is no salvation. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God awaits those who have patiently endured. And all the glory of the world is nothing in comparison." - St Seraphim of Sarov
kricket777
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2005, 10:55:36 PM »

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That's very sad that you have no Orthodox church close by.ÂÂ  Have you checked www.orthodoxyinamerica.org though? They have a directory that includes all jurisdictions, so maybe there is one closer and you just missed it.ÂÂ  

This is the website I used to look for a Church near me.ÂÂ  The distances area a little off as listed there.ÂÂ  When I do a trip plan the closest one turns out to be Theotokos of Unexpected Joy Church
Parishes (OCA)ÂÂ  810 Woodbine Ashgrove, MO 65604 It is about 143 miles away.ÂÂ  I was told on Christianforums.com that there is a mission church starting in Springfield MO, they don't have a priest as of yet, but I will be trying to get a hold of the contact person for the mission. That is just southeast of Ashgrove and would save me about 26 miles.

I am going to get the book The Orthodox way next week sometime.ÂÂ  I am a fast reader, so I would guess I will be getting a lot of book to further my knowledge.

I am most definitely going to check out some of the websites guys have listed. I like the idea of being able to listen to Divine Liturgy.ÂÂ  It is funny that I was going to watch a live web cast this weekend but I got my time zones mixed up and ended up just watching the priest talking to some one "afterward"ÂÂ  thinking I was waiting for it to start lol.

Just some tidbits that would be good for you all to know.ÂÂ  I am 34 years of age and am a single father.ÂÂ  My daughter just turned 4 in July!!ÂÂ  I have been going to a Cumberland Presbytery Church, have not felt comfortable there, but my Girlfriend really seems to like it.ÂÂ  They have a "open bible study" where Privet interpretation is encourage.ÂÂ  It is kind of weird everyone just saying what they "think" this verse says.

My girlfriend thinks if I am interested in going to an Orthodox Church that I should try to go, she even said she would go with me!!ÂÂ  I think this is great.ÂÂ  She was scared that my little girl would be scared of all the chanting. So I have been letting here listen to it with me on the internet so she is not so shocked at it.ÂÂ  She, like all kids, gets kind of bashful in a new environment any way.ÂÂ  A funny thing when we where listening toÂÂ  The Great and Holy Pascha my daughter was saying "they are singing about Jesus, I like Jesus"ÂÂ  Some of the things she says just melts my heart sometimes.

In Christ,
kricket777
« Last Edit: September 21, 2005, 10:57:24 PM by kricket777 » Logged
Philokalia
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2005, 04:48:06 AM »

I'm not Orthodox myself, I'm Catholic, but I think you might find "The Way of a Pilgrim" by Anon helpful. If you are a quick reader you can get through it in a couple of hours. Then you will want to re-read it more slowly. It is a powerful way to strengthen your prayer life. It is not a Catholic book btw.
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aserb
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2005, 06:53:29 AM »

Kricket777

It is important to get in touch with a priest, maybe by phone or e-mail. It doesn't have to be the priest in the nearest church. When I started my journey I corresponded with a priest in California and I am in Pennsylvania. Eventually, I got a local priest from my CA connection.  The priest can guide you like no website or book can. He should have years of experience with the faith an inquireres.

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aserb
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2005, 06:54:47 AM »

K

P.S.

When my daughter was very little the chanting lulled her to sleep  Smiley
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Donna Rose
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2005, 12:54:15 PM »

Krickett - first, welcome!

Quote
She was scared that my little girl would be scared of all the chanting. So I have been letting here listen to it with me on the internet so she is not so shocked at it.  She, like all kids, gets kind of bashful in a new environment any way.  A funny thing when we where listening to  The Great and Holy Pascha my daughter was saying "they are singing about Jesus, I like Jesus"  Some of the things she says just melts my heart sometimes.

Your daughter sounds like a darling...and very smart, too! Also, if your daughter is anything like the children at my parish, she will find a way to make the church her own in no time! What I mean is, there is an interesting balance in Orthodox churches when it comes to the children - generally they know who's boss (i.e. mom or dad or both), but at the same time, because of the nature of the services (lots of standing and many things going on at once), they are allowed to often just be kids, as long as they don't distract others in prayer. It's a wonderdul thing to witness - as someone once said, the atmosphere in an Orthodox church is like "controlled chaos," and at least at my parish the kids play a large part in it. And while I have no kids, I happen to find it a much more healthy attitude towards children in church than I've found in other kinds of churches.

Also, I second whoever said to get in contact with a priest, even if it is just through email or over the phone...there really is no online or literary substitute for being able to ask any question that you have of someone who is authorized to give you the answer.

Good luck and you'll be in my prayers!

In Christ,
Donna Mary
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zebu
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2005, 12:04:05 AM »

Quote
I am going to get the book The Orthodox way next week sometime.ÂÂ  I am a fast reader, so I would guess I will be getting a lot of book to further my knowledge.
Great choice! Though, I would recommend reading it slowly to let it all sink in.ÂÂ  It is very heavy reading.ÂÂ  And it will expand your vocabulary! You'll get to learn lots of fun new words like "apophaticism", "theologoumen", and so forth...

Quote
I think you might find "The Way of a Pilgrim" by Anon helpful
While I like this book now, it actually scared the crap out of me at first and chased me away from Orthodoxy for several months...But that was just me.  Though Kricket, if you do decide to read this book now, please keep in mind that it was a monk who wrote this book and Orthodox are not expected to achieve what he did in life. I really think you should be involved in a parish, or at the very least in contact with a priest, before you read The Way of the Pilgrim. Seriously, it led me into spiritual despair for a few months, though now I recognize its treasures and definitely is worth reading, but only once you have a good understanding of Orthodoxy...

I'll be praying for you, that you'll be able to go to Divine Liturgy soon!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2005, 12:08:04 AM by zebu » Logged

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