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Psalti Boy
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« on: June 14, 2006, 10:46:05 PM »

I just stumbled on this in a newsletter from OCL.  I wasn't aware that Fr. Gilquist had gone to the EP and was rejected. 

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Greek Orthodox Need to be More Accepting & Open - The National Herald
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June 11, 2006

To the Editor:

I am a longtime admirer of Dr. Charles Moskos, Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University, and though this is overdue, his interview with the National Herald on January 14 was very insightful.

Dr. Moskos has also written many poignant articles. The most recent that I'm aware of appearing in the Spring 2006 issue of the AHEPAN, “The Future Of Greek America.”

He cites that more than 60 percent of Greek Orthodox Church marriages involve a non-Orthodox. Estimates now indicate that somewhere between 60-80 percent are “mixed marriages” within the Church nationwide, thus diluting the ethnic Greek identity of Greek Orthodox communicants. Eventually, as the rate of interfaith marriages increases, biologically Greek lineage will be overwhelmingly diluted.

That means the Church in America must become autonomous and less ethnic in order to keep future offspring within the fold.

Dr. Moskos writes that many disillusioned Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and Evangelical Christians are “coming over to Eastern Orthodoxy.” That is true, but unfortunately, very few are joining the Greek Orthodox Church. They are predominantly joining Metropolitan Philip and the Antiochian Orthodox Church. Why is that?
A key figure in enticing converts to the Antiochian Church is Rev. Peter Gillquist. The Antiochian Archdiocese, which is non-ethnic, has reportedly almost doubled its membership in the past 15 years. This has transpired since Father Gillquist and his 2,000 “campus crusaders” joined the Antiochian Church.

Father Gillquist was a disillusioned Evangelical Christian. While attending the University of Minnesota, he was instrumental in organizing dissatisfied Protestants on university campuses throughout the country who were seeking a Christian Church with roots in the original Christian Church. They became known as “the campus crusaders.”

After extensive research, the crusaders discovered that the Greek Orthodox Church was the most representative, in the undiluted sense, of the original Christian Church. They eventually made contact with Bishop (now Metropolitan) Maximos of Pittsburgh. They convinced Maximos that they genuinely wanted to join the Eastern Orthodox Church. By that time (1986), the “campus crusaders” numbered 2,000. Bishop Maximos was convinced of their sincerity and arranged a meeting with Archbishop Iakovos. After extensive conversation, Archbishop Iakovos also became convinced of their sincerity to join the Orthodox Church. He accordingly arranged a meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch.

A delegation headed by Gillquist traveled to Constantinople. They spent a whole week meeting with underlings, but the Patriarch refused to grant them an audience. After a week in Constantinople, they returned dejected and empty-handed. They were jilted. Bishop Maximos was also stunned.

Subsequent contact was made with Metropolitan Philip. After several meetings and prescribed indoctrination sessions, the group of 2,000 “campus crusaders” became members of the Antiochian Archdiocese on February 15, 1987. It should be noted that Bishop Maximos was present, and welcomed them to Orthodoxy when Metropolitan Philip consecrated the first group of the 2,000 Evangelicals on that date.

Father Gillquist and his 2,000 crusaders have played a key role in bringing the name of the Antiochian Church to the forefront, and in converting disillusioned Christians of other denominations to Orthodoxy, and to the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

The Greek Orthodox Church missed a golden opportunity when it refused the group entry into the fold. Had the “campus crusaders” been accepted into the Greek Orthodox Church, they would have added some much-needed enthusiastic contact with other Christian denominations, as well as with the general public, which they have done for the Antiochian Church.

The hierarchy of the Antiochian Archdiocese, emanating from Metropolitan Philip, is imbued with love, respect and trust. This filters down to the parishes.

My wife of 59 years, Beth, is a convert, and we are cognizant of this, because we belonged to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church while living in Orlando, Florida from May 1992 to September 1993. The Greek Orthodox parish in Orlando was in a state of turmoil at that time. Consequently, a number of Greek families had joined St. George's. Beth and I were privileged to meet Metropolitan Philip personally. He is a truly Evangelical, compassionate and down-to-earth spiritual father.

He and Archbishop Iakovos had a close working relationship towards unifying all Orthodox America and Canada. When the Patriarch learned of this, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos was forced into early retirement. Had the unification transpired, it would have elevated the status of Orthodoxy within the United States and Canada. Metropolitan Philip is still working toward unity. But he is finding the hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox Church a deterrent in achieving this goal.

Father Gillquist and I are college fraternity brothers, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, he from the University of Minnesota and I from the University of Wyoming. In addition, Father Gillquist, together with my nephew, Father Lou Christopoulos, head priest of St. Catherine's Greek Orthodox Church in Denver are the national Orthodox chaplains of that fraternity.

My wife and I love our Church, and during my tenure in the military, we often had to travel miles to attend Orthodox Church services. For example, while stationed at Air Defense Command headquarters in Colorado Springs, we had to drive 75 miles (one way) to attend services in Denver. Today, we are members of the Transfiguration Church (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese) in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Respectfully submitted,
Col. James L. Christopoulos
U.S. Air Force, Retired
Charlottesville, Virginia
 
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2006, 11:30:00 PM »

read Fr. Gillquist's book, Becoming Orthodox

the best part is when Metropolitan Phillip receives them at his offices and tells them they will be received into the Antiochian jurisdiction, he calls for cigars and they all light one up. Some of those poor evangelicals had never smoked in their life LOL!
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2006, 11:52:19 PM »

Cigars... that's nothing. 

He should have busted out a hookah. 
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2006, 01:46:23 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9278.msg124385#msg124385 date=1150343539]
Cigars... that's nothing. 

He should have busted out a hookah.  [/quote]

No kidding.

And what's this malarky about the Antiochian Archdiocese being "non-ethnic"?!   Huh  Our former parish in Tulsa is majority Lebanese (one of whom is my godfather!) and it is precisely that atmosphere--which is warm and open to visitors without pressuring them to become Middle Eastern--that makes it "home" when we go back to Tulsa.
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2006, 01:59:19 AM »

I'm sorry, but this letter has misleading, inaccurate and presumptuous statements througout.  I have known Fr. Peter throughout my life and grew up playing with his son, Fr. Peter Jr. (yes, his son has now been a priest for a few months himself now.

I really don't know much about OCL, but from the little I've read online, they seem to think a bit too highly of themselves.  While the headline or overall point of the letter may be on, the content is maybe not even as well written as the average AP article that talks about Orthodoxy.

Now to take this letter apart somewhat...

I just stumbled on this in a newsletter from OCL.  I wasn't aware that Fr. Gilquist had gone to the EP and was rejected. 
Yes...but at the time, who was he?  He was just some energetic Evangelical at the time along with Frs. Richard Ballew, Jack Sparks, John Braun and several others.  While His All-Holiness may have been unhospital and myopic at the time, the EOC ("Evangelical Orthodox Church") "clergy" (many of them were calling themselves bishops at the time) were very presumptuous at the time.  They went to the OCA later on, but couldn't handle that the OCA wanted to take all of their "clergy" on a individual basis and not some mass ordination/Economia.

Dr. Moskos writes that many disillusioned Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and Evangelical Christians are “coming over to Eastern Orthodoxy.” That is true, but unfortunately, very few are joining the Greek Orthodox Church. They are predominantly joining Metropolitan Philip and the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
Uhhhh...WHAT?!?  Does he have any numbers to support this of non-Orthodox converts (other than former EOCers)?  There are a lot joining the OCA and I know of others joining the GOA as well.  The Antiochians don't have a monopoly on American converts even though they may be doing the best in this department.

Why is that?
A key figure in enticing converts to the Antiochian Church is Rev. Peter Gillquist. The Antiochian Archdiocese, which is non-ethnic....
Riiiiiiight...sure...

There is a mostly arab Antiochian mission down the street from me, a large 95%+ arab Antiochian parish in the City (San Fran), and another 95%+ parish in the East Bay as well.  While there are many mixed and even mostly convert parishes, non-ethnic as a blanket statement is patently false.

Subsequent contact was made with Metropolitan Philip. After several meetings and prescribed indoctrination sessions, the group of 2,000 “campus crusaders” became members of the Antiochian Archdiocese on February 15, 1987. It should be noted that Bishop Maximos was present, and welcomed them to Orthodoxy when Metropolitan Philip consecrated the first group of the 2,000 Evangelicals on that date.

Father Gillquist and his 2,000 crusaders have played a key role in bringing the name of the Antiochian Church to the forefront, and in converting disillusioned Christians of other denominations to Orthodoxy, and to the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
It really was a glorious event, although being only 11 at the time, I was a bit young to appreciate it.  The former EOCers really have done some good work, but they have been almost as bad as many of those CSBers as well, abusing their authority and hurting people.  Still, pieces of truimphalistic drivel like the above make it sound like no other evangelization ever happens in any other Orthodox jurisdiction and the Antiochians are just the heroes of Orthodoxy in America. 
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2006, 02:00:57 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=9278.msg124385#msg124385 date=1150343539]
He should have busted out a hookah. 
[/quote]

Exactly.  That's the only thing I'll ever smoke.  As said in this Middle Eastern restaurant in the Haight, "Hookas, not Bazookas!"

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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2006, 03:47:04 AM »

I really don't know much about OCL, but from the little I've read online, they seem to think a bit too highly of themselves.ÂÂ  While the headline or overall point of the letter may be on, the content is maybe not even as well written as the average AP article that talks about Orthodoxy.

Like any organization there are some in them that "think too much of themselves."  I've had the pleasure of meeting some people like that in an Antiochian parish which I no longer attend because of that and many other issues.  By the way, they were 95% Syrian, so I don't know where the idea of the Antiochian archdiocese isn't ethnic.  The letter which I posted was published in the National Herald, a Greek American newspaper, not in any OCL publication.
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2006, 09:17:35 AM »

I often find the National Herald to be as suspect as the OCL.
Yes, the "Evangelical Orthodox" were poorly snubbed in Constantinople...by the previous EP. One wonders what the current one would have done. Thankfully the Antiocians stepped up to the plate and now we better know what to do and what not to do should this situaton arise again.
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2006, 11:00:07 AM »

To quote Clark Carlton (not that I'm a big fan, I just happened to attend one of his lectures at a nearby parish) "I'm not ethnic, I'm English"
Therefore, what is a hookah?
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2006, 11:11:36 AM »


Therefore, what is a hookah?

It is the only proper way to enjoy tobacco!

You probably have seen one in a movie with scenes in a Middle Eastern setting. It's the tall pipe which has men drawing on it through a long flexible 'hose' that has a bit on its end. It frequently stands on the floor or the table.

Often a hookah will have two or three hoses so that a group of friends can smoke, filling the air with languid billows of sweet scented clouds...

It's sort of like a water bong also (er...at least what I've heard water bongs are like  Wink) where we have water in the base through which the smoke is drawn prior to contacting the hosing and then your palate. It really mellows the smoke flavor.

Due to the fight I had to endure to quit my tobacco habit, I have only rarely smoked a hookah with friends. Every occasion was enjoyable, though!

I only wish hookah smoking wouldn't cause the same circulatory and carcinogenic effects as other methods of smoking!
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2006, 11:51:24 AM »

It is the only proper way to enjoy tobacco!

...

I only wish hookah smoking wouldn't cause the same circulatory and carcinogenic effects as other methods of smoking!

You forgot to mention the flavors (e.g. honey, apple, peach, strawberry, etc.).

I think the arab friends of mine told me it isn't as harsh as smoking....like the effects are diluted or weaker.  I have no idea.  I count on one hand the times I've attempted to smoke anything in my life (well, maybe a finger or so on the second hand too).  I think a hooka is 3x by now.
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2006, 12:05:36 PM »

Ive been told the water filters a lot of the carcinogins (and any charcoal smoke, since that heats the honeys/tobacco) out. Ive also been told that the smoke is nearly completely comprised of the vaporized honey, syrup, juices, flavors, etc that soaks the tobacco leaves, and that the tobacco hardly burns at all. That has also been the observation I have made when looking in the bowl after using a hookah. The tobacco is not even entirely blackened, and certrainly isn't charred to ash.
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2006, 12:23:03 PM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9278.msg124419#msg124419 date=1150377455]
I often find the National Herald to be as suspect as the OCL.
Yes, the "Evangelical Orthodox" were poorly snubbed in Constantinople...by the previous EP. One wonders what the current one would have done. Thankfully the Antiocians stepped up to the plate and now we better know what to do and what not to do should this situaton arise again.
[/quote]

Yes, but there was a big authority/submission issue with the EOC leaders at the time.  +Met. Phillip granted some pretty extreme Economia by taking all of the EOC clergy in right away and letting all the EOC "bishops" be Archpriests.  Remember, the EOC got to be their own sub-diocese (the AEOM - Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission) for several years after '87.  At the time, the EOC leaders weren't willing to settle for any less of an arrangement, as they definitely had power issues.  Of course, this is all water under the bridge now.  My only point is to look at this situation from a normative Orthodox view:  1) that how +Met. Phillip received the EOC was NOT normative (allowing all the priviledges to the EOC and their leaders) and 2) all the history/stuff written about the situation (e.g. Fr. Peter's "Becoming Orthodox") was written through rose-colored glasses and white washed the story.  Whle the destination (how things are now or have been recently) may be great now, the journey was not the merry trip is was painted to be.
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2006, 12:25:50 PM »

Ive been told the water filters a lot of the carcinogins (and any charcoal smoke, since that heats the honeys/tobacco) out. Ive also been told that the smoke is nearly completely comprised of the vaporized honey, syrup, juices, flavors, etc that soaks the tobacco leaves, and that the tobacco hardly burns at all. That has also been the observation I have made when looking in the bowl after using a hookah. The tobacco is not even entirely blackened, and certrainly isn't charred to ash.

Yeah, I've been told all those things too...but it's probably better for me, in my weakened known-to-have-had-a-tough-fight-with-tobacco-addiction state, to ignore those statements so that I have One More Reason Not To Start Smoking.

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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2006, 01:11:42 PM »

Yes, but there was a big authority/submission issue with the EOC leaders at the time.  +Met. Phillip granted some pretty extreme Economia by taking all of the EOC clergy in right away and letting all the EOC "bishops" be Archpriests.  Remember, the EOC got to be their own sub-diocese (the AEOM - Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission) for several years after '87.  At the time, the EOC leaders weren't willing to settle for any less of an arrangement, as they definitely had power issues.  Of course, this is all water under the bridge now.  My only point is to look at this situation from a normative Orthodox view:  1) that how +Met. Phillip received the EOC was NOT normative (allowing all the priviledges to the EOC and their leaders) and 2) all the history/stuff written about the situation (e.g. Fr. Peter's "Becoming Orthodox") was written through rose-colored glasses and white washed the story.  Whle the destination (how things are now or have been recently) may be great now, the journey was not the merry trip is was painted to be.

Well said, Elisha. I applaud such honesty and balance. I mean, put yourself in the position of the late Patriarch of blessed memory. A group of American Protestants visits your ancient and persecuted See and tells you they want to become Orthodox under your direction.

"God bless you," you say. "There are Orthodox parishes under my jurisdiction just down the street from where you live! Start attending them, become catechumens, and, God willing, you will be received into the Church soon!"

"No, no, no," they respond. "We want to keep our titles, keep our parishes intact (which have no Orthodox members) and convert en masse, without having to bother with actually incorporating ourselves into an existing Orthodox community. We've been studying this Orthodoxy thing for years now -- and we're Bishops already!"

Had I been in His All-Holiness' shoes, I certainly wouldn't have busted out the cigars either. Thank God things turned out the way they did (although they have been far from perfect even after all of the concessions).
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2006, 02:47:30 PM »

Yes, but there was a big authority/submission issue with the EOC leaders at the time.  +Met. Phillip granted some pretty extreme Economia by taking all of the EOC clergy in right away and letting all the EOC "bishops" be Archpriests.  Remember, the EOC got to be their own sub-diocese (the AEOM - Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission) for several years after '87.  At the time, the EOC leaders weren't willing to settle for any less of an arrangement, as they definitely had power issues.  Of course, this is all water under the bridge now.  My only point is to look at this situation from a normative Orthodox view:  1) that how +Met. Phillip received the EOC was NOT normative (allowing all the priviledges to the EOC and their leaders) and 2) all the history/stuff written about the situation (e.g. Fr. Peter's "Becoming Orthodox") was written through rose-colored glasses and white washed the story.  Whle the destination (how things are now or have been recently) may be great now, the journey was not the merry trip is was painted to be.

I heard from some of their priests that they were only required to take the St Stephen's correspondence course.ÂÂ  After observing one such priest for about a year, it seemed to me that maybe at least one year in an Orthodox Theological school would have helped.ÂÂ  If we, and our clergy, are supposed to be as close to perfect as humanly possible, this guy was far off the mark.
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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2006, 03:20:31 PM »

After observing one such priest for about a year, it seemed to me that maybe at least one year in an Orthodox Theological school would have helped.

Quite possibly. Beyond that, the real issue isn't even book learnin', but integration into an Orthodox faith community. One can learn a few things about Orthodox doctrine in books, but very little about what it means to live as an Orthodox Christian in the world. [Not to mention other practical things clergy need to know, like how to celebrate the liturgical services, chant, do a Baptism -- none of which can be learned (well) from books.]
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2006, 07:13:53 AM »

We actually had a discussion about this in one of our Ethics classes this year; I don't even remember why it was on point at the time (if it was - we did lots of tangents first semester).

One of the classmates has a spiritual father, who was deeply involved in the process of evaluating the group of Fr. Gillquest's application to enter the GOA.  His official recommendation (now, this is a priest of the GOA, who speaks english, who is in America) was to not accept the group, because he thought that they still exhibited too many "cultic" attributes, and thought that the conditions for entry that they had set were not good enough.  In other words he stated the same concerns some have already in this thread (that their clergy should have gone through thorough Orthodox Theological training, that there should have been some integration with Orthodox parishes, etc.).

I have no doubts that this impacted the EP's decision heavily.  It should also be noted that the previous EP was a)peaceful, b)very humble, c)very spiritual, d)according to many in Constantinople, a poor administrator; but from his personality and previous actions, accepting them would actually have been the more likely choice.  The fact that he didn't means there must have been some strong voices with strong concerns.
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2006, 08:01:28 AM »

Chris
keep up the good fight and stay away from tobacco
This is coming from a former 30 year, pack-plus a day smoker now 3 years, nine months and counting having quit the habit.
I am also one cigarette, or one cigar, or one hookah smoking session from becoming a pack- a-dayer again.
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« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2006, 01:40:27 PM »

The one time I ever heard Fr. Gilquest speak was at Holy Cross and I was not particularly impressed.  One thing that really ticked me off was that he wasn't saying anything that appealed to ME.  If he wants to be an Orthodox priest tackling issues of today in America, maybe he should spend some time talking with ETHNIC communities and less time talking to his "fan base". 

Sorry, but it was very frustrating for me to sit there and keep my mouth shut as he talked about all of these (quotes are mine) "convert issues" while i'm sitting there trying to divulge what I can do to help the other however million Orthodox in the country. 

I'm not saying we shouldn't have people focusing on converts.  We should.  But after years of doing it, i'd like to hear the guy spend 1 talk on something else.  If he's such an "awesome" evangalist, he should be able to spread the Gospel to ethnic communities. 
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« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2006, 06:29:39 PM »

The one time I ever heard Fr. Gilquest speak was at Holy Cross and I was not particularly impressed.ÂÂ  One thing that really ticked me off was that he wasn't saying anything that appealed to ME.ÂÂ  If he wants to be an Orthodox priest tackling issues of today in America, maybe he should spend some time talking with ETHNIC communities and less time talking to his "fan base".ÂÂ  

Sorry, but it was very frustrating for me to sit there and keep my mouth shut as he talked about all of these (quotes are mine) "convert issues" while i'm sitting there trying to divulge what I can do to help the other however million Orthodox in the country.ÂÂ  

I'm not saying we shouldn't have people focusing on converts.ÂÂ  We should.ÂÂ  But after years of doing it, i'd like to hear the guy spend 1 talk on something else.ÂÂ  If he's such an "awesome" evangalist, he should be able to spread the Gospel to ethnic communities.ÂÂ  

Amen!
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