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Militants of TAW starting January 2006 (Introduction Thread)

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Akathist, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    Anastasia... I served in Baptist and then later Pentecostal churches. We feel blessed to be in his parish also. Unfortunately we are having to drive a little over an hour to get there. We are hoping that a mission will be started in our area at some point in the future.

    BTW... I found out tonight that we will be made Catechumens on April 23
     
  2. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Congratulations! :)

    I'm just always a little curious about the paths by which people come into the Church. My family was Baptist, and I later became Pentecostal too. :)

    I drive almost an hour myself. It's time I can put to good use, but by the time I leave after fellowship on Sunday and maybe buy groceries on the way home since I'm out, it does make for a long day. Holy Week I pretty much just stay at Church. :)

    If this is your first Pascha, I pray your family is especially blessed!
     
  3. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    My journey post-clergy life is much more interesting than before. We took time with a variety of movements while denying our path to Orthodoxy. This included a stint with conservative Anabaptists, and a 2 week trial with a horse and buggy Anabaptist commune in Mexico.
     
  4. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    That IS interesting. Again, I'm going to have to say that, though my path was probably quite different, I can relate to casting a wide net in the meantime. There is a special place in my heart for Anabaptists (broadly). We built a farm in a place with a high percentage of Mennonites, and I interacted with them a great deal. It was something I strongly considered, and I must say they are among the believers I have met who most closely actually LIVED their faith, instead of just talking it. I have great respect for them. What I find an irony is that the few little things that kept me from willingly joining are things they hold in common with Orthodoxy. :D I obviously wasn't quite ready yet. :)
     
  5. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    I believe that the Anabaptist, and to a degree all Protestants, build systems that try to appease their desire for the sacraments. We hunger for the graces that come through the sacraments. If they are held from us we try to earn those graces. In the end it may create better morals, solitude, etc., but it can never replace what we have reformed out of truth.
     
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  6. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Hmmmmm. That makes a lot of sense.

    It's sad, and ironic ... I'm remembering scenes where children were allowed to toss oyster crackers (communion) at one another and they were trampled underfoot. Extreme, I'm sure, and not common to any memorialistic communion service. But then to know what they hunger for and miss ...
     
  7. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    By the way, I LOVE your quote from St. Theophan the Recluse! I wish I'd had it years ago. I've been through a number of professions, but teaching was one of them. I have especially fond memories of homeschooling my daughter, teaching a coop school we formed that she attended, and small classes at a Christian school in Texas that I was given. These days I substitute teach, which isn't the same, so I can attend Church when I want. But I love the quote. :)
     
  8. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    St. Theophan showed up on a particularly difficult day. His homilies answered some of my more probing questions on prayer. It wasn't until later that I realized that he had been involved in education. As a teacher this was significant. I feel that he was the answer to prayer and an affirmation of my current profession.
     
  9. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Yes, St. Theophan is one of my most favorites. I'm suddenly struck that I've really been ignoring him lately! And I think, now that I'm reminded, that he may be just who I need to be reading again.

    I'm glad he was of such benefit to you. Isn't it amazing how God brings these people to us when we need them?

    Forgive me please if I've missed it (or likely forgotten, my life is pretty crazy right now and I'm losing all kinds of details in my efforts to do what I need to do) ... but do you teach now? What subject(s)/ages?
     
  10. Hermit76

    Hermit76 You can call me Paisios Supporter

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    I am a high school special education teacher. Specifically math and life skills.
     
  11. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Ah, life skills with special ed high school students. Yes, I think you surely undertake a holy task!

    I got the barest taste last year with a high school teacher who used to call me whenever she would be out, because she had many difficult students but I'd gotten used to them (and they to me) early in the year, so it went well for me to fill in for her. And she often saved certain life-skill type projects for when I was there. It was a great strategy, because I couldn't teach her regular material effectively, but I could draw on my experience to teach these things. It was both a good experience for me to see more deeply into the "plans and thoughts" of the same students over the year, as well as an opportunity to really teach again in a way substitutes usually don't, at least not with older students.

    My hat is off to you, sir. :) God be with you. :)
     
  12. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    this is a very solid point, one to chew on for sure. thanks!
     
  13. Silmarien

    Silmarien Vaguely Neoplatonic

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    Hey, guys! Anastasia invited me to drop by a while back, but this thread wasn't active at the time and I wasn't sure where to post.

    I think I'm probably a baby Christian, though still struggling seriously with agnosticism. This is the first time matters of faith have been more than an academic interest to me (secular, but with a thing for religious existentialism and mysticism), so... little bit overwhelming. I'm currently at the Episcopal Church, but Orthodox theology is a thing of beauty and I'm at the very least interested in learning more about it. So I shall be lurking around a bit.

    Though for future reference, is there any protocol when visiting Orthodox churches?
     
  14. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Hi, Silmarien!

    So glad you decided to visit! Welcome to TAW, :)

    This is a bit of an old ongoing thread, so you might not be easily noticed here, but some of us read anything new that pops up (I usually do). :)

    Feel free to start threads or post in fellowship in the main TAW area, etc. Since it is a congregational area, like all congregational areas on CF, it doesn't allow arguining against our beliefs, but we do have a place set up for that (St. Justin Martyr's) should you like at any time. But we are pretty laid back here, and you can feel free to join in regular conversation or post in the main area. :)

    As far as visiting an Orthodox Church, if you want a pretty detailed general list of things, you might like this little article: 12 Things I Wish I'd Known - Frederica.com

    But feel free to ask for more details, and there will be some variation, especially in how things might look, and sometimes to do with local culture or ethnicity.

    Again, welcome. :) So glad to have you! :)
     
  15. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    just go to your closest parish, try to wear conservative dress (long sleeves, no crazy logos, etc), and talk to the priest afterwards.
     
  16. Silmarien

    Silmarien Vaguely Neoplatonic

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    Thank you! I'd make a separate thread, but I'm not sure I want to inflict my constant whining on you guys, haha. You're probably better equiped to deal with my brand of tortured intellectualism than many, but it's pretty wild.

    You guys do the kiss greeting! That's good to know in advance--I'm a little bit... nomadic, so pretty likely to finally get around to dropping by an EO church in kiss-happy Europe before the US. Not sure how many cultural complications that'll add to the mix!

    Though we've actually got an OCA church right down the road. Are they in any way different from ethnic churches? (Are they ethnic churches? The Greek Orthodox church is elsewhere, so I have no idea what this one is.) And what is Great Vespers anyway?

    I assume that still includes head coverings, or does that depend?
     
  17. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    that depends on the parish, usually the thing to is bring a head covering, and if no one has one it can just be worn on the shoulders
     
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  18. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Your call. :) it's good either way, but if you make your own thread (just a suggestion) and put your own thoughts, questions in it, we can get to know you and reply better to where you yourself are coming from. Answers are sometimes better given knowing that, rather than risking creating confusion but giving too much info, or misunderstanding what you are thinking or really want to know.

    I just really enjoy getting to know people and talking to them as persons rather than giving "one size fits all" canned responses that can confuse or mislead. :)

    That's an "it depends". Officially we do. In our parish we do. What I know of our diocese is that we are rare for doing so. I'm told sometimes people turn it into a big greet and chat, and it's really supposed to be a liturgical act with meaning, but because we happen to "do it the right way" - greeting people in our most immediate vicinity with the proper greeting and kiss, our bishop told us to keep doing it, but told some parishes to stop.

    I do think it is widely practiced in general in Orrhodoxy, but no idea what the real boundaries of practice are.

    Again it depends on who made the parish up to start it, and who is still there. I've been in OCA parishes that were essentially American convert Orthodoxy, and those indistinguishable from Russian Orthodox in ethnicity of parishioners, language, food, and everything about the priest, Liturgy, and Church. Other ethnicities are possible too. I suspect chances are a bit higher you'll find the American convert sort.

    The same is true of Greek Orthodox, somewhat. They tend to hold onto their "Greekness" to some degree, since they were mostly established by immigrants, for immigrants, who desire to keep what they value (their culture), but depending on succeeding generations they Americanize anywhere from a little to a lot, depending on the local parish and priest.

    A prayer service, rather than the service centered around communion. There are prayers, hymns, reading of Psalms, OT, Epistles, Gospels (varying a bit - and we rarely have it so I'm no expert). And more prayers, hymns, and Scripture.


    You're getting it - it depends! ;) LOL At least in some matters of cultural practice.

    In the US, head coverings I've seen commonly at Russian and OCA parishes. Rarely at Greek ones. Always at monasteries. Antiochian seems to be hit and miss, but more without coverings than with. It's rarely something they will make a fuss over if someone goes against the flow, except being a requirement at many monasteries. And you will come to understand that often the yiayias, babas, or whatever the grandmas are called .... dear, dear, precious ladies! .... they very often fulfill the role of keeping others in line with expectations, raising up the young ones. And sometimes they use guilt or grandmotherly words, as if they are YOUR grandmother and have every right to correct you, anytime they think it's needed. I have learned to love that sentiment from them so dearly and appreciate it, but strangers may be taken aback, or even take offense.

    Titus 2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Orthodoxy!
     
  19. Silmarien

    Silmarien Vaguely Neoplatonic

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    Well, I'm not specifically looking at joining the church (at least not yet), but rather wondering about the Orthodox perspective on being trapped halfway through a conversion. Once you realize it could be true, it's hard to look away again, but I'm kind of turning into a dog chasing its own tail here. ^_^ I also want all of your literature, of course!

    But yeah, I suppose I might as well post a thread sometime soon.

    Does the Divine Liturgy not involve that sort of stuff too? Or is the focus just different?
     
  20. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Ah! I think I see what you mean. Yes ......... as a matter of fact I was intrigued by what Orthodoxy seemed to know, and like any good Protestant my REAL intent was to kind of swoop in and take what I found beneficial .... but I couldn't see myself actually becoming Orthodox, not at first. I mean, they FAST at times I'd really rather not!

    But yes, it's kind of choosing between the blue pill and the red (Matrix) ... once you learn certain truths, it becomes pretty hard to pretend you don't know it anymore ...

    The perspective on that? Well, it depends. If the family won't accept, it may be better for some not to actually convert. If you can't accept as true certain things the Church teaches, it's more honest not to convert, but the reasons why you can't accept it must be honestly examined. Basically, we are interested in what is REALLY best and most spiritually beneficial for every person, and for the persons they closely impact. There can be reasons that overrule conversion, but that is very much something to discuss with the priest, and needs careful discernment and can be worked through, sometimes. You will generally find that we are quick to share our faith so that people can experience it, but we are not interested in pressuring people to officially join quickly. There are things particular to each person that need to be considered, and we are more interested in things being done in a beneficial way, rather than quickly. By the way, in fact, if a catechumen (one who is learning about the faith) dies (God forbid) ... they are allowed an Orthodox funeral and to be commemorated in the Church in ways normally reserved only for Orthodox. So even before they are formally received, they are considered part of us, in a sense, if they want to be. Things are usually taken slowly though. People are often catechumens for a year or so.

    But even if you don't decide to join, we welcome you. We have long-term friends, and some with no intention of becoming Orthodox, who are quite welcome with us here, and would be in Church as well. :)

    We look forward to it. :)

    Yes, the Divine Liturgy has basically the same, and more. There are hymns, prayers, more hymns, more prayers, the reading of the Gospel, a reading from the epistles, usually a homily (short sermon), more hymns and prayers, the entrance of the Gospel, (not in this order btw) ... and the second half is organized around the preparing and receiving of the Eucharist, including the recitation of the Nicene Creed and more hymns and prayers, and the Great Entrance (the bread and wine being brought out in a procession).

    But most any service you might attend, there will generally be lots of hymns and prayers and reading from the Scriptures, along with any other things particular to that service.
     
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