OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 20, 2014, 04:36:41 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Where's the American Traditionalist Groups?  (Read 2535 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,472



« on: October 14, 2002, 08:24:22 PM »

Just about all of the groups I've read about or heard about that are "old calendar" or "traditionalist" groups in America seem to be oriented towards their ethnic heritage (with little sign of Americanizing). I don't mean to judge these groups: if you're Russian, Serbian, Greek or whatever else and wish to maintain your cultural heritage, then I certainly don't have a problem with that. The problem is that I am an American, and have no wish to be anything other than American, culturally speaking. What I'm interested in hearing about, then, is which "traditional" groups in America are actually looking towards the day when they are fully American? The early Church didn't change Greek culture and Roman society by insisting on Near Eastern language, customs, and so forth. They took the society head on-- changing and "baptizing" things for Christian use as needed. This is what I look forward to happening in America in the 21st century. Where is this going to happen though? What traditional groups are looking to do this?

Perhaps I have misunderstandings about ROCOR? Perhaps I misunderstand the "True" Greek Churches? If I'm wrong, please let me know! Smiley
Logged
The young fogey
Moderated
Archon
********
Online Online

Posts: 2,643


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2002, 08:43:04 PM »

Justin,

I understand your frustration. I know a convert couple from California (more on that place below) who moving back East wanted both the Old Calendar and English and couldn't have it - the English-speaking Orthodox all were Gregorian calendar and the Old Calendar churches were all-Slavonic.

You can find what your'e asking for in ROCOR - in all-convert, English-only congregations in California, whence this couple came. I've visited one - Prophet Elias in Sunnyvale. The only two ROCOR priests I've ever met who speak no Russian.

The down side of that, I fear for them, is in fact ROCOR is not an American church - it does business internally in Russian and I fear such people may be left out of the loop.

So perhaps there is work still to be done to accommodate what you describe.

Personally I see the OCA as the American church (but with a place for Russian). I know that the ex-Christ the Saviour Brotherhood churches under its omophor are English-speaking and Old Calendar. So perhaps there is more room to accommodate such there, too.
Logged

Nigula Qian Zishi
Administrator Emeritus, Retired Deacon, Inactive Poster, Active Orthodox Christian, Father, and Husband
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Posts: 1,836


我美丽的妻子和我。

nstanosheck
WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2002, 08:43:24 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Paradosis,

     I've found that with ROCOR, just like with the MP, it depends on the church. Some are into being Russian for Russians and others are open to being an American church holding fast in the traditions of our Fathers. When you visit ROCOR churches you'll probably get a feel for this as well. I cannot speak for any of the "True" Orthodox Churches. Hope this is of some help. God Bless!
Logged

在基督         My Original Blog
尼古拉         My Facebook Profile
前执事         My Twitter Page
Father Serafim
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 17


The loveliest of our llamas has gone beyond the do


WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2002, 09:07:56 PM »

Dear Paradosis,

I am not sure what you mean by American culture. The missionary work of Orthodoxy has todate been through an ethnic witness. I remember once discussing the use of English with an OCA deacon, who wanted uniformity of language in Orthodoxy. I asked whether he would use American-English or English-English. My people, mainly Russian hear E-E from me but that's because I am a British subject living in this great country! Of course more use of English is essential for our children but it depends on the culture of the parish.  In Seattle we are an immigrant parish - mainly from the former Soviet Union and from UK too. Only two parishioners are American.

My only experience of Traditional Orthodox has been with ROCOR and the Synod of Met Cyprian - both use English.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Serafim
Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
www.fatherserafim.info
Logged

Holy Protection of the Theotokos Orthodox Church - Patriarchate of Jerusalem - Seattle
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,472



« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2002, 11:24:33 PM »

Father, Bless

Father Serafim

I will try to clarify what I was speaking of in my first post regarding being in a traditionalist Church with an American Culture. The traditionalist part speaks of the doctrinal and practical mindset. For some examples of doctrinal stuff: what does the Church say about birth control? what does it say about attending a Southern Baptist Church sometimes? what does the Church say about the Holy Fathers when it comes to controversial subjects like anti-semitism or slavery? And so on. For some examples of practical things: how often is the Church in community and prayer? (E.g., is it a Church that is only open Saturday night, Sunday Morning, and for a few major feasts?) Are the morally neutral customs of the Church modern or more traditional? (E.g., many beards? head coverings? bowing and crossing onself before kissing icons? etc.)  How far will I have to travel to attend the Church, and will moving altogether be necessary?

Regarding the American culture part, I was thinking of much more than just the language of the community, though that is also, of course, an issue. As long as it is understandable, it's not an issue as to what dialect or form the English takes (E.g., we Western Pennsylvanians have some strange pronunciations, but I'm sure anyone listening to me would understand what I was saying.) However, a Priest who is a native-born American (or is a long time resident) does help in in one respect. I know a number of Priests who can speak perfect English, technically speaking, but who are very hard to understand at times because of their accents. It's easier to think of yourself as having an American culture when the Priest speaks in a understandble American (or British, or Australian, etc.) accent.

Another thing regarding culture is not feeling out of place because of ethnicity. And more importantly, feeling a cultural identity with those whom you are with. When I speak of a Church having an American Culture, I mean that any American (regardless of ethnicity) can feel a link between themselves and the other members of the local body. This is not ethnocentricity, it's just human nature. We like to be with those whom we identify or associate well with. If a Church has an American Culture (America being a melting pot), it cannot be a Church of Greeks, Russians, and Arabs, all praying together. It has to be a Church of Americans praying together. Such a Church wouldn't be multi-racial, but would be trans-racial.

Another area is regarding more celebratory events, such as bake sales, festivals, weddings, etc. What type of food do we have there? I know some people will cringe when I say this, but he, it's America, why not hamburgers and french fries? (on non-fast days, of course). If I can go to a Greek festival and eat the delicious Greek food, why shouldn't we eat food popular in the American culture at an American Church? I know this would not happen over night, but I'd like to see that day being looked forward to. It might be said that "ethnic food festivals" bring people in and expose them to Orthodoxy, but what type of exposure do we get? We're just the old religion of small ethnic groups to them, who have "onion domes," "funny hats," and good food. People come for the ethnic food, possibly hear a Priest with a foreign accent, and then have the impression that the Church is an ethnic Church; I wonder how that happens Smiley Also regarding such celebratory events, what types of customs and dances are done at weddings and such? What types of sports and games are played at Church "picnics" or "fellowships"?

What types of religious education goes on in the Church? I know some are against "western style Bible studies," but many are willing to go to "Bible Studies," and we can change the content to being Orthodox: so do we have them? Are American saints discussed often? Are the laity educated (or at least given the opportunity to be educated) concerning the history of Orthodoxy in America and other such things? Are notable American theologians such as Georges Florovsky discussed? Does the Church have the works of American saints and theologians in their book store? It's hard for a Church to have an American cultural feel when the laity are largely ignorant of Orthodoxy in America. (I admit that I am largely ignorant at this point)

In a Church with an American Culture, problems facing the nation would be faced from a different perspective than they would if the Church considered itself transplanted [enter ethnicity here] who were most concerned with keeping their customs and cultural traditions intact. When I speak of a Church with an American Culture, then, I mean one that looks at and examines problems from a decidely American perspective, and not through the lens and traditions of a foreign culture. Such a Church, considering itself part of the west, would critique what's wrong in "the west," but also work to improve the west. We have gone too long here in America reading anti-western literature and not doing anything about it. When Justin Popovich spoke against the west and/or Europe, he was speaking to us if we are westerners; Saints and pious men like him identified the problems: but it's our problem to solve, it is one of the crosses that we who consider ourselves westerners or Americans must pick up. We can't pick it up, though, until we come to grips with the fact that it isn't some foreign culture, but is our very own culture. Our life, of course, and culture in that sense, is christocentric; yet we are also called to transform the earthly culture within which we live as well. (If only by leading a christocentric, ascetic, prayerful life)

Hopefully that made some sense at least.

Justin
« Last Edit: October 15, 2002, 11:31:43 PM by Paradosis » Logged
Seraphim Reeves
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 450



WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2002, 05:14:16 PM »

Paradosis,

Many of the concerns/suggestions you have sound as if you had read my own mind and heart.

I have heard a great deal of justification for why this integration of "the west" has not occured, and though some of it comes close to being convincing (with talk about the need for a gradual, organic integration of this culture into Orthodoxy, which apparently must occur with old world Orthodox cultures acting as a bridge), in the end it strikes me as being a bunch of talk to justify an almost complete lack of zeal to convert anyone to Orthodoxy.  I even hear such nonsense coming from men who should know better (such as priests and even some Bishops) who claim that's apparently not how "Orthodox Christians operate."

While I understand that Orthodoxy does not rely on dishonest polemics and sensationalism to win people over, it should go without saying that the Church has a mission to the western world, and it simply isn't to maintain emigre flocks.  Indeed such a policy is dangerous even for those flocks, since we're already facing the time where they're dealing with third (plus) generation Greeks/Russians/Serbs, whatever...and quite frankly those young people are just as "American/Canadian/British", or whatever, as their Roman Catholic and Protestant neighbours (and conversly, about as "Greek" or "Russian" as those non-Orthodox neighbours!)

Thus if there is a real concern for those children, for their continuing in the faith, then there is going to have to be a major attitude adjustment on the part of some very important people.

I remember in my childhood/teens going to school with a few kids who were Orthodox; listening to them, and judging by appearances, I concluded that this was all a "Greek thing" or a "Serb thing".  No one says that about Catholicism (that it's an "Italian thing") or Protestantism.

Unfortunately, the juristictional mess, and some serious doctrinal controversies (such as arguments over ecumenism), and even liturgical matters (like the calendar, which is related to ecumenism) only make a real "western" Orthodoxy seem more distant.

In the end, such will come about; I suspect more by the compositional change of flocks themselves, than because of anyone getting their act together (as more of the "ethnic" flock are westernized descendents of long past immigrants, and an increasing number in the congregation are western converts).

Though I love my "ethnic" brethren, am I wrong for dreaming of a situation where I could be in a Church where the saints amongst my ancestors are commemorated, or where there are not quibbles over which language to use (even though everyone present speaks English!)?  Where perhaps there is even (gasp) some active outreach to at least get the non-church going interested, if not (double gasp) make some kind of appeal to heterodox Christians?

Seraphim
Logged

Ole Rocker
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12


Say yore prayers, varmint!


« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2002, 06:18:34 PM »

Seraphim -

As you seem to indicate, I also think that the face of American Orthodoxy will change as time goes on in the 21st C. Why? Because the Orthodox Church has infinitely more to offer than any RCC, Protestant, semi-Protestant, quasi-Christian or what ever has splintered since the first great schism. American Christians who truly fear for their souls can only find the peace and healing in the Orthodox Church. Why? Because there is where the Holy Spirit operates in fulness, unbroken and continuous. There is where the Good Samaritan deposits those who seek healing, the continuous Hospital. And there is where the seeking American Christian will find it, sell himself for it, possess it as it possesses him, bathing in its richness and glory. There is the Ark that rescues us from the world and from ourselves. More and more will seek Her because they are disillusioned with "Christianity" as is proposed in various, almost countless sects in America alone. The Orthodox Church will change as the Church has changed in the past, Jerusalem, Greece, Asia Minor, Rome, Byzantium, Russia, America. But it will still be "catholic" because as Alexander Kalomiros stated "She will exist somewhere far from all these fabrications, unaltered, full of truth and light, pure of every falsehood of compromises, with the Holy Spirit lighting her steps and enveloping her like the light of the sun, guiding her "to the fullness of truth"."
The "change" will be from the Holy Spirit and for the "catholicity" of the American Orthodox Church and the laymen, deacons, priests, and bishops with the heart for God will recognize it and embrace it, even though there will be those who, as in the past, reject it and/or resist it.

That's why I'm transitioning over and hope to be accepted as a catecumen very soon. I don't fret over all the struggle and stress of jurisdiction this and calendar that. I'm not saying it isn't important, it's just I'm in the "look to my soul" for healing mode right now and all those things will pan out.

Zowie, i hope that made sense  Smiley I'm sure many of you wiser ones could put it better than I  have.
Logged

Reach for the sky, critter!
Rock on,
Ole Rocker
egan
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12


I'm a llama!


« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2002, 02:48:40 AM »

IÆve read all the posts on this thread with interest.  I am a Greek Orthodox woman, born and raised in Australia.   I came to Greece in my early twenties and have been living here for over 20 years. When I came my spoken Greek was minimal and I couldnÆt read or write the language.

Paradosis, (a Greek work meaning ôtradition), please tread softlyà à Ã

We have both Old Calendar churches and New Calendar churches here in Greece.  The New Calendar churches far outnumber the Old Calendar ones and arenÆt as strict.  Both branches respect each other.   I belong to the New Calendar church and the services, of course, are all in Greek.

Paradosis, you refer to the fact that the first-generation foreigners in the US wish to maintain their cultural heritage, donÆt speak English etc.  IsnÆt this natural?  IÆve been here for over 20 years and although my Greek is now OK, if something is not in English I canÆt understand it as well as I want to.

The 2nd generation of immigrants will want the services in both their own language  and in English and then the 3rd generation will want everything in English.  The older immigrants to the US (excluding the British and Irish) went through the same process. Living in Pennsylvania IÆm sure that you are aware of this.

Tread softly my friend and curtail some of your impatience.    The Orthodox Church has been the same for the last 2000 years û respect the tradition you have chosen to become a part of, seek to understand with humility the things that seem strange to you.   Being Orthodox is a wonderful thing û donÆt become bogged down in details such as hamburgers, french fries and ôfunny hatsö.  

There are countless books and articles available on the Internet (in English) for any information you need on the Orthodox faith.

God bless you.

Effie
Logged

NULL
The young fogey
Moderated
Archon
********
Online Online

Posts: 2,643


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2002, 07:27:14 AM »

Quote
The 2nd generation of immigrants will want the services in both their own language  and in English and then the 3rd generation will want everything in English.  

Inevitable - the third generation will speak the new home country's language exclusively. It isn't even necessary to make English the US' official language. It naturally happens. Although people aren't aware of it since there is so much immigration, there are plenty of Hispanics in the US who don't speak Spanish!
Logged

abdur
Guest
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2002, 09:19:05 AM »

Thank God there are still many Greek Americans--even third and fourth generation G-As--who have a working knowledge of Greek.

I will rue the day when America degenerates into a dumbed-down monolingual nation.

If you speak a second language, please pass it on to the next generation and allow your child to grow culturally and intellectually.

BTW: It is true that some Greek kids have the negative attitude about Greek school that Jewish kids have for Hebrew school. But there is much more to Greek school--usually--than just language and many Greek-American kids love Greek school. From their pov, Greek school is fun.

God bless the babaki.

Abdur
« Last Edit: October 22, 2002, 09:24:18 AM by abdur » Logged
The young fogey
Moderated
Archon
********
Online Online

Posts: 2,643


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2002, 09:57:41 AM »

Bilingualism is wonderful but I am stating an undisputable trend - the third generation is English-only. In fact, unless the household speaks the old-country language all the time, many second-generation people are too.

There is the old joke of what you call someone who speaks only one language (an American) but Anglo-America is largely that. The US as a whole is not, of course - Spanish is nearly everywhere and is our de facto second language, due to the massive presence of Latin America right at our southern border. Which IMO is great ù to quote one pundit, it's a magnificent language with a sound that's better than English. And, I'll add, it's easy to learn!
Logged

Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.068 seconds with 39 queries.