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Introductions from 2010


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#41 Alkateb

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:11 PM

My name is Kamel Alkateb, I am a coptic orthodox 55 years old and live in England

I am preparing for the holy lent after less than two weeks

I am looking for companions during this year through the lent to share readings and preparaation for the EASTER

#42 Alkateb

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:14 PM

How can I see the replies I submitted and any comments on it ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

alkateb@doctors.org.uk

#43 Father David Moser

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:34 PM

Welcome to all our new members. We are glad to have you as part of our community. Alkateb asked about seeing replies and comments. This can be done online simply by visiting the appropriate forum section and reading from the "first unread" post onward. One thing to be aware of is that new members are subject to moderation for a period of time. This is simply a means by which we screen out spammers. That period of moderation also provides the new member a chance to get used to the culture of the discussion community and gives the moderators a chance to provide feedback in how to phrase posts and best participate in the forum when necessary. In any case the moderation means that there will be a (usually) slight delay in seeing your posts appear as they need to be approved by one of the moderators. The policy of moderation is usually pretty "light" and in no case does a moderator make substantial changes in a post (usually changes are limited to formatting, adding white space or sometimes eliminating excess quoted material.) Posts are usually sent through as submitted. I suggest you all explore the various features of the forum by reading through the posting helps found with the Terms of Use, past posts and experimenting if you wish in the "test area" Questions about the forum functioning or "how to" questions are welcome in the "about the forum" area.

Fr David Moser

#44 Anna Stickles

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:06 AM

In college, I encountered Orthodoxy again through Gary, The Willard Preacher. I wasn't attracted to Orthodoxy at the time, but I did get an Orthodox Study NT, and one of my friends converted. .


Hi Luke,

If you are not aware of it there is now a Penn State Orthodox Christian Alumni group They are looking for enough signatures from Orthodox Christian alumni to be registered as an official group by the University. They would love to hear from you or other Orthodox Penn State alumni if you are not already in touch. Gary will be glad to hear that some of his seeds have been watered and grown.

Welcome to the forum.

Edited by Anna Stickles, 03 February 2010 - 01:33 AM.


#45 Kristine

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:53 AM

Hello. my name is Christine. ( nick here is kristine )

I was received into the Church ( OCA) this past Sunday . I feel very blessed to have been drawn to a church that in a very real sense, i have been looking for all my life. I had found this forum the night before i was received into the Church. I was having a little bit of pre- entrance jitters... i had some questions , which today do not seem nearly as pressing as they did the night before i was received..however i still have questions.. lots of them... i look forward to reading the posts here and learning , as well as asking questions.. all in good timing.


I knew nothing about the Orthodox Church until last Spring when i was browsing the Roman Catholic section of a book store in a neighboring city. I had picked up a book i thought had to do with Roman Catholic contemplative prayer.. The book i picked up had been placed in the wrong section...The book is called, ' Mountain of Silence, a Search for Orthodox Spirituality.' Not knowing what Orthodoxy meant/ was , i bought the book on a whim, a whim that changed my life . The fullness of everything i had been searching for within Christianity and never had found , began to pull together with the reading of this book and the books that followed...

I began to read everything i could get my hands on that had to do with Orthodox prayer . The classic , ' Way of the Pilgrim ', ' The Ladder of Divine Ascent' ' The Philokalia,' which led me to reading about the lives and wisdom of the saints ( saints i had never heard of in the Roman Catholic Church!) .. i wept... and to be honest, i am still reading and weeping and praying the *Jesus Prayer* . All that matters to me is continual remembrance of God.... receiving the Most Holy Eucharist and the Divine Liturgy ......... i spend my days praying the Jesus Prayer and guarding the mind .. for many years i have prayed, but never before have i found the fullness of Truth that i have found in Orthodoxy. i am DUMB concerning theology... the one yearning within me.. is to* live in God*, within the *heart* and by His grace, to love Him with all my mind, with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength and to love my neighbor as myself... no easy task!

The past several years . after having a powerful spiritual experience in 1996 that blew my little world wide open , the order of business has been dying to self... i. e., facing everything within that is most fearsome and confronting the mind and the passions... this has not been fun . Before discovering Orthodoxy, i had very little understanding , no foundation in which to understand what was happening within me. At times this was frightening and highly perplexing as i had no frame of reference to understand.

Once i met a wonderful ( visiting ) Catholic priest from India who told me i was in good hands and what i was experiencing was a gift from God..... but he did not elaborate and i felt not inclined to press him for more details out of respect , as this came up in casual conversation at a luncheon... not the time and place to ha rang a priest about personal issues. I clung to his words which helped keep my sanity when i had no one to speak with about these things throughout the years..and prayed to Mother Mary and Jesus always, especially when things got really bizarre.

When i was lead( discovered ) Orthodoxy and and began to read .. what i read was very direct in helping me in this beginning to understand... all i can say is that this discovery was like finding an oasis after wandering about in a very dry ( hot) desert with no road signs for years . This opening to Orthodoxy has been no 'mental 'discovery .. this has been like finding a squillion dollars .. but better! YES, it has been a great *relief *to gain some understanding, ( like i am NOT going to die from spontaneous combustion or be swallowed up by the earth quaking inside of me ) or that i am NOT losing my mind.....

but even better, Orthodoxy offers a place to really grow in and KNOW Christ...and to worship in the highest sense of the word, the Father Son and Holy Spirit!. A way to work with the noisy mind and work with the passions and by Gods Grace to obtain theosis........... union with God. This is my hearts desire. Possibly it may sound brazen to say so.. but everything else pales in comparison....this is what brings me to the Orthodox church.....i have never found a Christian church that speaks so directly about Truth, what the heart longs for... which is God... and gives a marvelous compass to point the way.

yeah, at this time my ship may be a bit leaky... as in i have no ' spiritual teacher'.. would be nice to have one .. BUT i am keeping my eyes on the One and wrapping my heart around His.. and the heart of the most Holy Theotokos,... She is soooooo wonderful! and of course the Church.:)

so.. that's about it for now.. i look forward to getting to know all of you and learning... thank you for taking the time to read this introduction.

in His most infinite mercy....

christine/ aka kristine

#46 Dustan Michael Yergo

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 12:18 AM

My name is Dustan Yergo and I live with my beautiful wife of 10 years and my 2 children in York, PA. We were illumined on November 29th, 2009 and are parishioners of St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Orthodox Church in York. My wife came from a Pentecostal background in the Assemblies of God while I was brought up in a non-denominational church and by a family of converted Catholics. My wife and I had moved towards the Reformed Church, Presbyterian Church in America, shortly after we were married. We were constantly trying to find the New Testament Church and desperately trying to escape the liberalism and Gnosticism that had crept into the church bodies we were attending. What drew us to the PCA was the return to fundamental doctrine and its depth into the scripture. We took almost 3 year venture to Germany for a job, where we were attending an American and English speaking church, (of which the Pastor had been ordained by the Assemblies of God.) While in Germany, my cousin, who had also been Reformed, had converted to Catholicism, and I had found myself re-evaluating where I was and found myself asking “What happened during the 1500 years between Christ and the Reformation?” While doing some research on the internet about Catholicism, I had stumbled upon the Orthodox Church while reading an article about relics. Relics, the veneration of, and even the existence of, was so odd and foreign, it would only have to intrigue me. Unbeknownst to my wife, I had been secretly looking into what the Orthodox Church was and where it came from. Being in a foreign country, knowing very little of the language, I would not be able to visit a parish until I returned home. When we had moved back to the States, we stayed with relatives for about 8 months before we moved into our new home. I had promised my wife that we would find a permanent Church body once we got settled in. I immediately scanned for the internet for the closest Orthodox Church; I had to see this for myself. It didn’t take long as there was an Antiochian parish a mere 5 minutes away. We had no idea what Orthros was, but we knew it started at 8:30AM, or so we thought. We were a good 20 minutes early for Matins, but stayed well after for coffee hour. The service was unlike anything I ever experienced. There was chanting, there was incense, there were colorful garments, there were icons, and there was the huge image of Mary behind the iconostas. I had no idea what was being said or what it all meant, but I knew one thing, God was in their midst. One year later, my daughter and son were baptized and my wife and I were chrismated.

#47 Luke C.

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 03:36 AM

Hi Luke,

If you are not aware of it there is now a Penn State Orthodox Christian Alumni group They are looking for enough signatures from Orthodox Christian alumni to be registered as an official group by the University. They would love to hear from you or other Orthodox Penn State alumni if you are not already in touch. Gary will be glad to hear that some of his seeds have been watered and grown.

Welcome to the forum.

Thanks for letting me know, Anna. I'll have to check that out.

#48 Daniel E.

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 08:19 AM

Amazing story, Kristine, God bless you. I already requested to be accepted as a cathechumen (hopefully to start with Great Lent or around it). I anxiously desire to be fully member of the Orthodox Chruch!
Isn't it interesting how God guides us to the Truth through so many ways? Mine was a simple conversation with other fellow Roman Catholics that triggered deep curiosity in my heart. Yours a book that you even didn't know, but opened a whole new world in front of you.
I am, although, concerned that in several months I could end up in a place (due to work) with no Orthodox Church around in many, many kilometers. I pray God will provide with wahtever means for me to overcome difficulties that I may encounter. Interesting, some of my good friends decided to stop talking to me or see me because I am now (at least in intention) a "schismatic" in their Roman Catholic eyes (traditionally minded fellows).

#49 Olga

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 09:19 AM

Welcome Christine, Dustan, Luke and Daniel. May you find this forum as useful, informative and edifying as I do.

#50 Kristine

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:14 PM

thanks Olga for your welcome! and yes, i am reading all the older posts and loving it!

thanks for sharing your story Dustan! i loved hearing about your first visit to the Orthodox church!

Daniel...

indeed it is interesting .. the great mercy of God! Never, ever a dull moment.....what i failed to share in my introduction, is i had found myself waking up at night the week prior to finding this book that started this leg of the journey. Begging God within my heart for help to go deeper.. whatever it took, to lead me.. He did! It ws like a great invitation to give Him my restless heart and He would lead me deeper into Eternity beginning.. now! " LOL! Oh my, Our God is such a great God!

Do not worry about finding a home church.. it will all work out. I never thought there were any around where i live either ( small town in Montana) .. 2 months after i had been reading Orthodox books i found an Orthodox church in the neighboring town of Bozeman... ( 23 miles away) a wonderful community! mainly younger people ( families with kids) . since then i found out there is a Serbian Orthodox in Butte and another Orthodox church in Billings. I am confident the Lord will lead you Daniel. well He is leading you now!

As far as others not speaking to you...let it go.. it always works out. Pray for them.. ask their hearts be open to understanding....i will pray too:)

as far as the "schismatic" thing. Yeah i can understand a bit.. in my heart i know that the Lord led me to where i am today... to Orthodoxy, because it rang so incredibly true within my heart . Yet , the night before being received within the church there was a bit of anxiety as i have extreme devotion to Jesus of the Divine Mercy and saying the chaplet of the Divine Mercy.... and i wanted to be 100% clear that i was doing Gods will. Once i got quiet and was able to hear the still small voice in my heart, i knew without a doubt that i was in good hands and to go to sleep for the night. He accepts us where we are at. He is infinite goodness..

so be gentle with them and with yourself. these things have a way of working out. Enjoy the richness in which God has placed you..! i will add you to my prayer list.. and drop me a line in private message if you ever need a bit of support....

rich in his mercy.....

christine

#51 Josh Heller

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:07 AM

Greetings All,

I am a newcomer to the Orthodox Christian faith. I have long enjoyed learning about western and eastern faiths as a matter of personal interest. I have a great love and admiration for God, but, honestly, am uncomfortable with "public" worship, preferring personal prayer and devotion. I have interest in Christian contemplative practice thanks to St. Teresa of Avila, Fr Thomas Keating and others. Since turning my attention to Orthodox faith some months ago I have found that its depth and beauty and richness resonates with me more than I would have imagined. The wealth of educational materials on the various Archdiocese and related media websites has been incredibly helpful and informative. Fr Matthew Steenberg's podcasts have been a very enjoyable source of education and reflection, which is how I found myself here. I look forward to learning more about the Orthodox faith in general and several Orthodox Saints in particular whom I am finding most interesting.

My family and I have recently met with the Father of my local Greek Orthodox church and we will quite likely visit for Liturgy very soon. (Yes I have to overcome my uncomfortable feelings.) In the mean time, I have enjoyed listening to the Capella Romana version of the the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in English set to Byzantine Chant.

I am thankful to be here and I look forward to much reading and learning within this community.

Josh

#52 Daniel E.

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 11:13 PM

Hello everyone,
Today Forgiveness Sunday, I have been received as a Catechumen in the Orthodox Church. My journey just begins, but I already feel as a member of the Orthodox Church, at least as a Catechumen. Today, I participated also of my fist Forgiveness Vespers. Too many deep experiences today. Your prayers are appreciated.

#53 Olga

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:30 AM

Congratulations, Daniel! I am always inspired out of any "cradle" complacency by folks like you who have taken the monumental step to join the Church.

#54 Nikolas

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 11:01 AM

Hi there, I'm Nikolas from Cornwall in the UK. I'm an Anglican, but with family members who are Russion Orthodox, so I have attendened many Orthodox services. I am greatly impressed with Orthodox theology (such as I know of it), and am pleased to see it dosnt seem to be a part of the slide into over the top liberalism the Anglican church is. I look forward to entering int disscussion with you all.

#55 Grace Singh

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 02:26 AM

hey, my name is grace, and i've joined to learn more about the Orthodox tradition. i have a lot of respect and admiration for the older, apostolic Christian churches, their theology, liturgies, and traditions. would like to learn more about Orthodox theology and history, and commune with other Christians here. God bless you, and thank you!

in Christ ~ grace

#56 Jon Barker

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 02:28 AM

Hello, all. My name is Jonathan, and I'm a former-Evangelical-but-not-yet-Orthodox, which basically means I greatly desire to join the Orthodox Church, but can't be catechized just yet, due to family circumstances. I'm a college student in New York, and I'm currently finishing up my final semester and applying to law school.

Hope to come here more often once I've finished more work!

~Jon

#57 Jason H.

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:56 PM

Hello! My name is Jason and I was recieved into the Holy Orthodox Church (Antiochian) in 2006. I'm so glad that i found this website that is full of Orthodox theology, thought, prayer, and people! It seems to be more active than Orthodox Circle and Beliefnet. I chose my screen name Thaddeus as it means "gift of God" and just find it beautiful. My Patron Saints are St. Philip the Apostle, St. John Maximovitch, and St. Ignatius the God-bearer.

IC XC

Jason

#58 Luke C.

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 03:30 AM

Hello, all. My name is Jonathan, and I'm a former-Evangelical-but-not-yet-Orthodox, which basically means I greatly desire to join the Orthodox Church, but can't be catechized just yet, due to family circumstances. I'm a college student in New York, and I'm currently finishing up my final semester and applying to law school.

Hope to come here more often once I've finished more work!

~Jon


Hi Jon! Glad you stumbled over here! I know you've desired to become Orthodox for quite some time - since it's partly your fault that I became Orthodox. I look forward to when you can join us!

- Luke C. (OBP)

#59 Tifo

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:44 AM

Greetings all,

To make it short, my name is Christian and I was born in Poland and baptized Roman Catholic, though in my family Catholicism is more of an cultural/ethnic marker than actual faith. For the most part anyway. I never felt that I received the 'revelation' of Catholicism, realizing that I can't force faith. I am not Orthodox (yet), and yet through attending Divine Liturgy (many churches to choose from in Bulgaria), reading, asking questions, I know that Orthodoxy is 'home' for me. The more I learn, the less I know however, and this site seems a natural step in helping me to learn more about Orthodoxy.

Thanks everyone,

- Christian

#60 David Menchu

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 07:55 AM

Hello to everyone,

My name is David, I am an orthodox from Guatemala. I'm coming from a faithful family, catholic, even if my father always openly expressed and thaught us his differences with some dogmas and skepticism about the Vatican's things. Well, in my adolescence, I was involved in a lot of activities of my catholic parish, even becoming some kind of "young leader" for guiding and teaching the others on subjects like the Bible and the social practice of the faith. Aftherwards, I followed and finished the laws' faculty, keeping frequent discussions with some close priests, because for me there were too many things to learn, to ask, to question. Thus, I began to know the Orthodoxy almost three years ago, when I wanted to strengthen my faith but I began to realize that the paths of the catholic teaching were just a branch of a deeper truth. From conversations with a Costa Rican orthodox priest, then, with the orthodox nuns of my country, until arriving to communicate in english with this side of the world, Romania.

From that "discovering", many important things happened in my life, blessing after blessing: I was invited and succeeded to come many times to Eastern Europe for living the Orthodoxy, I received the Holy Baptism in a moldavian monastery with the blessing of the beloved staret Iustin Parvu and months ago I married here with who is now my "teacher". And, as the blessings keep coming, I keep learning.




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