Thanks for all your replies!
I guess I really can see why my parents would be worried.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š If I were them I probably would be.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
There is also the fact thatÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š not all Orthodox jurisdictions would ask you to be rebaptized (OCA, Antiochian)
Actually, the jurisdiction I am being baptized in is the OCA.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š And no, I am not some crazy convert who demanded to be baptized, in our diocese all Protestant converts are supposed to be baptized unless it presents a "stumbling block"(whatever that is supposed to mean).ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
Writing as a parent, how have things you did changed?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Do you live and home with your parents doing the cooking? If so, how do you let them know about any fasting? Do you not take part in things/activities that you used to?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š How things are done is important, especially when dealing with family, I think.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š It is *not* totally out of line for parents to be concerned about a child changing churches.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I have read a number of books on cults and there *are* behaviour changes and patterns that are common.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š And often cults *do* work to keep the "believer" different from how they were in the past as this can tie them to the cult and break the bonds with family and friends.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
I would suggest that they are *concerned* about a child that they have raised and loved and his welfare.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š They don't know much about EO, so they're not sure if it's alright or going to have their son showing up on the news.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š It *has* happened before.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
Yes, of course I live at home(I'm 17). Actually, because of their crazy work schedules, I am normally the one who does the cooking, and then everyone just eats it whenever they are home.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š And yes, I cook meat and such for them on fasting days, I just don't eat it myself.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Generally, they aren't too aware of my fasting, I don't talk about it much, and it isn't very difficult to hide since we almost never eat together.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Though obviously in long fasting periods, like the one we're in now, I have to tell them because I need them to buy special food that I can eat, which they are fine with.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š As for not participating in family activities...my parents work a lot, hence, not so many family activities in the first place.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Though when things do come up, of course I go them...and yes, I ate meat on Thanksgiving....
I think that as your family sees you grow in Orthodoxy, they will see that Orthodox Christianity is simply an ordinary human life lived in an extraordinary way.
Our spiritual life is hidden, we don't talk about our fasting, we don't talk about our prayer rule, we don't dress in extraordinary ways (just modestly), we don't do things before the eyes of others, we just quietly get on with it.
So I think, less talk about Orthodoxy and more loving as an Orthodox Christian. Be the first to help with the dishes and cleaning; buy that little gift for Grandma or Grandad if you see it and you know they'll like it, so they know that you were thinking of them......
I do need to remember those things, and I try to.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š The thing is though, for the most part I do help out around the house a lot, and I am almost never asked to do any of it.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š And what is strange is that you'd think they would think Orthodoxy is more normal, given that since I started going to the Orthodox church, I have started doing things that I had not done during my Catholic "phase", like listening to secular music...And I have never talked about my prayer rule with them.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š They do think the icon corner is a bit odd though.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š But I think they have figured out what I am doing when I have my door shut immediately after waking up and before going to bed, and I think they think it is too long.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
Don't your parents know any other Orthodox Christians?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š What about Nick, the local Greek diner owner?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Or how about Vladimir, the Russian guy that lives down the street, or better yet, David, the 4th generation American dentist whose father converted 40 years ago?
My mom's boss is Greek Orthodox.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š But he is not exactly a shining example of Orthodoxy...being a drunk who beats his wife and hardly ever goes to church. My dad has a Russian Orthodox friend from work, and she's really nice.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Maybe that's why my dad doesn't think Orthodoxy is a cult(maybe I wasn't clear, it's my mom who thinks it is a cult, not my dad).
Both my parents have been to Orthodox church services, my dad has been once with me to a different parish, and my mom has been three times to my parish.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š The strange thing is, my dad absolutely hated the Divine Liturgy, never wants to go back, does not want to hear about it, and yet he is the one who DOESN'T think it is a cult. My mom, on the other hand, told me that she really liked the Divine Liturgy, and she thinks it's a cult...right...Then again, the priest's sermons could be what is making her think that.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I can definitely see how they could sound extreme and cultish to someone who doesn't know much about Orthodoxy ("The Orthodox Church is the only true church and the only true hope and peace in the face of the troubles and confusion of the world that surrounds us", "Orthodox must go to confession regularly or canon such and such says you are excommunicated", "Attending divine services must be the high point of our week, it must be what we live our lives for").ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š And to someone who is used to getting in and out of church in one hour, 2+ hours probably seems a bit over the top.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
One of the things that made me comfortable when I first visited an Orthodox church was how much it was like other churches, apart from the theology.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š There was a common area (parish hall, fellowship hall, whatever) where everyone met after the service; there was a youth group, senior's group, ladie's group, men's group; all the normal things any other church might have.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Perhaps if your parents and grandparents were to visit and see how completely normal it all is they would feel better.
Well, now this could be a problem and part of the reason why my mom thinks Orthodoxy is a cult.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š My parish is tiny.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š It has MAYBE 50 people at Divine Liturgy on Sunday.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š And thus, there is no youth group, senior's group, lady's group, men's group, etc. We do have lunch together as a parish after Divine Liturgy though.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š All there is is as far as "activities" though is Bible Study and Inquirer's Class.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š My church also used to be a house, like you can see a filled-in fire place on the east side of the nave.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
if your parents are high Episcopal it may seem a little more familiar. If they are evangelical Episcopal, well good luck.
No, they're more of the semi-nominal, broad church variety...