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Author Topic: New Parish started locally  (Read 4220 times) Average Rating: 0
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calligraphqueen
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« on: June 22, 2006, 04:30:05 PM »

When we converted, there was one Greek parish in town.  We live in the south in a distinctly Baptist town, were raised Baptist.  We are blessed to have the parish we do... Anyway, a new group of people starting meeting in a funeral home nearby, with intentions of heading towards Orthodoxy.
I was excited.  Now I am less so.  They used our church for chrismations on Pentecost Sunday.  They are Antiochian and we are GO, but I didn't think it would be THAT different.  So we went as a converted couple to represent our parish.  I am so deeply discouraged.
They seemed more exclusive than our Greek parish.  There were no young mothers with children, and certainly none with as many as me!  No homeschoolers....
I get so lonely and isolated I want to beat my poor dh.  He isn't cut off from the homeschool groups like I am, due to Orthodoxy.  He still gets human contact at work-so he can't comprehend what I am talking about.  How does a young Orthodox mom find fellowship and friendship?? Especially in a VERY baptist town?  Most of my former "friends" have decided I am not "christian" now.
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Elisha
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2006, 05:52:01 PM »

Don't quite get what you are saying.  Are you saying that your new parish is trying to be very insulated and not friend to visitors or non-Orthodox?  If so, then that really IS distressing.
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pensateomnia
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2006, 06:01:24 PM »

Don't quite get what you are saying.ÂÂ  Are you saying that your new parish is trying to be very insulated and not friend to visitors or non-Orthodox?ÂÂ  If so, then that really IS distressing.

Looks like three issues:

1) She homeschools and is therefore relatively isolated from outside groups/without some of the usual social events centered around one's school and community. Thus, most homeschooling families create their own parallel communities, which have social events, sporting opportunities, instructional enhancement -- even religious meetings. Most of these groups, however, are largely dominated by Evangelical or Charismatic Protestants, and such people (especially when they are counter-cultural enough to homeschool) do NOT like anything "Catholic." Thus, calligraphqueen became isolated from what was her only source of friends, social interaction and contact with other families when this formerly friendly group ostracized her because she left "Christianity" for some kind of weird, apostate Catholic church which follows the traditions of men.

2) Based on this, I assume she is implying that she doesn't have many opportunities for familial support in her Greek parish (perhaps for a variety of reasons). However, it doesn't seem she is shunned. Just that there aren't the social opportunities and families at the Greek Church in the numbers and anti-government-school persuasion that she would like.

3) This new Antiochian Church, which one would hope would understand such things and be quite welcoming or at least another possible venue of support, doesn't seem to be so!

Calligraphqueen, are there any conservative RC families who homeschool in the area? At least you could unite in your common status as lepers in the broader homeschool community.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2006, 06:05:42 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

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calligraphqueen
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2006, 06:57:27 PM »

You are quite astute in your understanding!  Grin

I hadn't thought of looking for RC families...  I shall in fact research that option.  However, there isn't a large pocket of RC here in this area, due to it being so highly baptist. 

I really did just hope that there would "happen" to be more families converting.  Every single person in our parish is old enough to be our grandparents or even great grandparents! (save one) 
I didn't think far enough ahead when converting to register that I would lose any and all contact previously afforded within the homeschool community.  We exist to buoy one another up and help each other trudge along in the bad times and fly in the good ones.  Unless you are no longer "christian" enough. Wink
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GiC
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2006, 08:34:07 PM »

Are there any social circles in your area that are not centred around religious preferences? Perhaps there is a secular group that you could become involved in, with people who don't care what religion you are; this would help prevent you from being isolated without actually having to deal with issues of religion and dogmatics.
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Landon77
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2006, 10:12:02 PM »

ÂÂ  However, there isn't a large pocket of RC here in this area, due to it being so highly baptist.ÂÂ  


When a friend of mine's family announced that they were becoming RC, his grandmother's only objection was, "But that's the Mexican church!"  :-)  We're from northeast TX- Methodist is as about as "high church" as many would dare go.
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calligraphqueen
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2006, 08:11:33 AM »

You know Greek, I have no idea?!!  I always just existed inside of the religious framework because with my limited "free time," that was the best place to be anyway.  I had to consider folks I would let my kids hang around with and play with and form relationships with, and the church environment seemed like a naturally *safer* place. Despite all the nonsense, it was still better than the bar crowd-most of the time.
I just recently got involved with a homeschool group that has many different belief systems represented, and it was hijacked by a wiccan recently.  No one can say anything or she gets this angry "poor me" attitude.  I don't buy any of it, due to my own legacy and therefore don't put up with her mood swings.
What other types of groups, homeschooling or otherwise, would I look for.  Right now in life, hs'ing and raising children eats up pretty much all of who I am-so when I look for people to hang around with it's going to be based on family, children, etc.  That's just the season of life I am in now. Today is taken up at an all day medieval camp for my 3 boys and a hs'ing crowd.  But this weekend, at the neighborhood 4th picnic, I will be called all sorts of names and get dirty looks and whispers-all because I have 7 children.  My one neighbor is rather mean.  That type of attitude keeps me a little cautious in venturing out, who needs more attacks right in front of their children?
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MicahJohn
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2006, 10:35:54 AM »

I don't know the age of your kids, but have you thought of picking up and moving?  There are places where Orthodox parochial schools exist, I believe.  Not to mention towns with a bit more Orthodox representation.  Some people find that the best thing for them to do is to go to where the church is.
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GiC
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2006, 10:46:47 AM »

You know Greek, I have no idea?!!ÂÂ  I always just existed inside of the religious framework because with my limited "free time," that was the best place to be anyway.ÂÂ  I had to consider folks I would let my kids hang around with and play with and form relationships with, and the church environment seemed like a naturally *safer* place. Despite all the nonsense, it was still better than the bar crowd-most of the time.

Church crowd better than the bar crowd??? You must live in a pretty rough neighbourhood, because in my experience the bar crowd (even when drunk) is always better than the Church crowd. Sometimes there's an annoying person or once in a great while someone may agressive, but they're usually thrown out before too long, pretty much they are just normal people trying to have an enjoyable evening. At even the best of Churches on the otherhand, there is political fracturing, gossip, backstabing, disputes, and fights that would put a Hells Angels biker bar to shame...many people who frequent Church are simply not good people.

Quote
I just recently got involved with a homeschool group that has many different belief systems represented, and it was hijacked by a wiccan recently.ÂÂ  No one can say anything or she gets this angry "poor me" attitude.ÂÂ  I don't buy any of it, due to my own legacy and therefore don't put up with her mood swings.

No one can say anything or no one can insult her religion without her becomming upset? If the place you live is a puritanical centre of baptistdom then perhaps it's understandable why she is often suspicious that her religious beliefs are under attack; she probably just needs to know that she'll be accepted for who she is and that most people really couldn't care less about the deities she worships. I hate the victim mentality as much as the next person, but often it's just insecurity.

Quote
What other types of groups, homeschooling or otherwise, would I look for.ÂÂ  Right now in life, hs'ing and raising children eats up pretty much all of who I am-so when I look for people to hang around with it's going to be based on family, children, etc.ÂÂ  That's just the season of life I am in now. Today is taken up at an all day medieval camp for my 3 boys and a hs'ing crowd.ÂÂ  But this weekend, at the neighborhood 4th picnic, I will be called all sorts of names and get dirty looks and whispers-all because I have 7 children.ÂÂ  My one neighbor is rather mean.ÂÂ  That type of attitude keeps me a little cautious in venturing out, who needs more attacks right in front of their children?

If you're going to live a lifestyle that varies from society's values and expectations you're going to get a few strange looks now and again, but as long as you dont hammer your values down other people's throats, they usually won't care after a while. The best way around this situation is a humourous and witty response to their concerns, lightens the atmostphere and allows for good conversation. (I have this problem from time to time when I tell people I have a masters degree in theology...that just spells cuckoo, and, after having been to seminary, I can say that it does for good reason)
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Elisha
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2006, 11:19:54 AM »

Church crowd better than the bar crowd??? You must live in a pretty rough neighbourhood, because in my experience the bar crowd (even when drunk) is always better than the Church crowd. Sometimes there's an annoying person or once in a great while someone may agressive, but they're usually thrown out before too long, pretty much they are just normal people trying to have an enjoyable evening. At even the best of Churches on the otherhand, there is political fracturing, gossip, backstabing, disputes, and fights that would put a Hells Angels biker bar to shame...many people who frequent Church are simply not good people.

You must hang out in some REALLY vicious Greek parishes then.  Sure, there is lots gossip at church, but most of it in my experience is not backstabbing, etc.  The bar crowd usually has a lot of carnal, hedonistic talk, which is very bad for children.
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2006, 01:49:11 PM »

You must hang out in some REALLY vicious Greek parishes then.ÂÂ  Sure, there is lots gossip at church, but most of it in my experience is not backstabbing, etc.ÂÂ  The bar crowd usually has a lot of carnal, hedonistic talk, which is very bad for children.

So basically what you're saying is that the façade put forward by church goers is preferable than the honest and straightforward conversation at a bar. I'm talking about how people are once you get to know them.

While my home parish has had more problems than most, even at good parishes I've gone to there is a disproportionately high number of people who are simply not good people and are of far lower character than your average frequenter of a working class bar.
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2006, 04:36:38 PM »

GreekisChristian, have you always lived in Australia?  Because the bars in the US are places I wouldn't be caught dead.  Now, across the pond and down under, I think they're a bit different.
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Landon77
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2006, 04:42:13 PM »

Oh, I thought that was an Aussie flag, but you know what I mean.
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2006, 05:14:25 PM »

Hmmmmm...
My priest furled his brow when I mentioned once that I was going to grab a few cigars and head to the local (and only) tavern. When I told him I was spreading the Good News in a place he could not go he burst out laughing and OK'ed my ministry   Cheesy
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calligraphqueen
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2006, 03:58:35 PM »

while it's true the bar scene folks would probably not bat an eye to anything I believe or value, that's probably because they tend to be snockered and could care less.  All my former schoolmates that hang out in that scene don't give a rat's whatever about family values, education of children, and whatnot-most don't have not created families or children or they have lost them in divorce.  They aren't as backstabbing as some baptist diva's I know either.  But inviting a childless divorcee over to cry on my dh's shoulder while he bar-b-cue's isn't quite a fun time either.
I know other Orthodox families, some that even homeschool-but only in the virtual world.  Moving sounds great, but I doubt I could get dh to consent.  He is at the top of his earning potential in the corp. world and is re starting his private technology business here.  So moving probably won't happen sans an engraved commandment from on high.
I just didn't know that I would have to operate outside of ALL faith based groups simply because I converted to Orthodoxy. That threw me off a bit.
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2006, 05:57:37 PM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9337.msg126130#msg126130 date=1151615665]
Hmmmmm...
My priest furled his brow when I mentioned once that I was going to grab a few cigars and head to the local (and only) tavern. When I told him I was spreading the Good News in a place he could not go he burst out laughing and OK'ed my ministry  ÃƒÆ’‚ Cheesy
[/quote]

LOL so funny!! Cheesy

We had an Irish (go figure!) Priest for a time in our parish who had the same ministry...He never admitted if he ended up converting anyone that way, but if he helped them with their struggles in life, I guess it was worth every last drop of Gunniess doing it. Cheesy
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2006, 12:37:59 PM »

was hijacked by a wiccan recently.  No one can say anything or she gets this angry "poor me" attitude.

She must have issues, most wiccans I know are very open minded..."you don't try to convert me, I won't try to convert you" type attitude. But if she is getting a lot of crud from people in the group, she is bound to get defensive.  It isn't easy talking to people who think you drink blood and eat babies, ya know, when all you really do is hug trees. Wink Unless she's a zealot type, they are just as bad as the hellfire and brimstone crowd.

I think the RC idea is good. At least you have the roots in common! Have you also thought about putting up a flyer for "homeschooling mom wants to network with other homeschoolers or stay at home moms etc etc." next time you go to the grocey store? Or maybe making a small web page, and advertising the url in ads at the store, or even a freebie ad in the paper?  Or is it possible for you to travel every now and then to a group not in your town?

Don't let them get you down.  It is hard to be isolated, believe me I know.  I can't even go online anymore, or talk on the phone, because we don't have one. I can't drive anywhere...so I know how you feel somewhat. 

 And I don't see why your dh couldn't consent to  move for the betterment of the family, considering your daughter's needs and your needs, and if he is in the top bracket, he could afford a small daily commute, you'd think. Just start looking online at realtor.com, that's what I did when it was time to get out of the hood, I basically forced the issue.
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calligraphqueen
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2006, 10:48:08 PM »

we finally got a house that has more than two bedrooms, and there are 9 of us.  Dh may make a good salary, but when our oldest was molested years ago, we got deeply into legal debt.  It's still being paid on, so there is not much free money to move and start over.  He isn't being mean or hardheaded, he knows there is not much for us anymore.  Family thinks we are nuts.  MIL showed a picture of Jesus on a notebook to my sons and weeped as she asked them if they knew who it was!  Yeah, she is over the top at times. 
I wouldn't have any idea where to move.  I am from northern CA, but it's not a state I want to homeschool and raise kids in.  This is a very good area in everything but Orthodox presence.  It's far to baptist for it's own good.
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