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Author Topic: Fellowship  (Read 657 times) Average Rating: 0
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Panagiotis
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« on: August 08, 2006, 01:11:46 PM »

This is more of a rant than an actual topic, but I have been feeling this for quite some time now.

I miss the fellowship I used to have: the gatherings, Scriptural studies, friends meeting together just to discuss whats been going on in their spiritual walk, their love of the One Who Is, the topics of our intercessory prayerlife, the love of the saints, the coffee chats after Divine Liturgy on what we just underwent in the Gospel readings, just good friends in general.

I moved from one state to another in order to better my family because the costs where we were living skyrocketed and economically my family would be in more debt than what I could support. So we moved to another state where we knew there was an Orthodox comunity, but it has proven to be a close facsimile of what we originally had. the parishioners, though loving, are not as involved in their spiritual life as where we left and has really lagged in their studies. The Father of the parish is older and tired and so we only have one bible study a month. The parishioners who support the Church allow Protestant heresy to flourish and there is little discussion on any spiritual level.

I have been called to Holy Orders and I am spiritually dying inside, seeking out something that is either foreign to this parish(which is the closest one to me short of driving 2 hours to the next one, one way) or may never had existed outside of the Divine Liturgy itself. I love the people and they have been nice, but I face a sad state of spiritual crisis. I can feel myself slipping more and more into semantics than spiritual practice here. When I attempt to discuss any of this with the Father, he is either too busy and reschedules our time together(which in turn gets rescheduled again(I have been waiting since I moved here in February)) or he is tired, and ready to retire.

Again, I miss being surrounded by a great multitude of Orthodox brethren. I have even been tempted to find solace in the RC Church just for companionship on similar understandings, though I find their Western Doctrinal Teachings and Rites in contempt.

I moved to the Eastern portion of the Midwest from the West Coast. Is this typical for the Midwest Parishes and if so am I in for a long haul of disappointment and testing?

Blessings,
Panagiotis
« Last Edit: August 08, 2006, 01:13:38 PM by Panagiotis » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2006, 03:27:17 PM »

Panagiotis,
As one now called to Holy Orders surely you realize that you are called to serve, not be served. Respectfully, I think this is a test for you and a tough one.

Your new parish experience sounds like an old rust belt congregation. Sure, you can find another parish, but do you really think that is what He wants?
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"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2006, 03:51:58 PM »

Do not grow tempted to join something (RCC) that you find error in.

Temptation is something you may pray about. Jesus and his temptation.

Overcome the obstacle that you face with the comfort of knowing that you may be the one person that the parish you are in needs to turn it around.

You may also find that if you focus on all the things they are doing "wrong" you might overlook any good they may be doing. Maybe they donate more to certian causes, or spend more time with other aspects of Christian life that you can not see now because of your dissapointment.

I know it is hard to overcome this feeling of dissapointment so I say this in love, since I have the same problem in the parish I attend. It is hard.

But my problem is different too. I think you sound like a person this parish NEEDS to have in it. Not out of it.

Prayers
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Panagiotis
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2006, 04:53:21 PM »

Quote
Your new parish experience sounds like an old rust belt congregation. Sure, you can find another parish, but do you really think that is what He wants?
I just read what I wrote again and it does sound like I desire to leave, but seriously I never planned to leave it. Its just really hard to deal with most of the time.

Quote
Do not grow tempted to join something (RCC) that you find error in.
LOL
Again, I reread what I typed and it sounded like I was planning to leave and join up in the RCC. But no, I was never planning to leave. Back on the West Coast I was surrounded by RC and EO people whom I have been friends with for a very long time. I miss the communication and time spent with them. But now it is pulling teeth to get something out of the people here spiritually as far as seeing where we are as a congregation. I saddens me.

I thank you both for your words of comfort and outpourings of perseverance. Both of you blessings and love from above.

Lord Have Mercy,
Panagiotis
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"The first condition for the establishment of perpetual peace is the general adoption of the principles of laissez-faire capitalism"
-Ludwig Von Mises
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