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Article or explanations of the Orthodox jurisdictions


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#1 Wayne Whitmer

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 06:06 PM

I just read an article regarding Fr Peter Gilquist and it states

Gilquest said he chose to join the Antiochan Orthodox Church because he asked himself when the church in Antioch died, and realized it never did.


What are the essential distinguishing characteristics of each Orthodox jurisdiction? Is there a good article which addresses their origins and differences? Were I to convert to Orthodoxy I would have 2 choices locally and 1 choice within an hour away from my residence. 1. OCA 2. GOARCH and the 3rd an hour away would be AOCANA.

Does it really matter or is one more open to converts than others? I know in the end I need to visit these parishes to understand however I'm interested in your thoughts?

Regards,

Wayne Whitmer

#2 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 07:48 PM

Um, well, not so much. Orthodox is Orthodox, we are not Protestant denominations. The differences are cultural, not doctrinal, and different parishes within the same jurisdictions are going to be "different" in personality. This one will be more "ethnic", that one will be less so depending on the makeup of the parish. Our parish is very eclectic, being a mix of "converts" and "cradles" of many different backgrounds.

I have been to some "ethnic" Churches that tended to be rather clique-ish and even suspicious of "outsiders", but others within the same jurisdiction that were very welcoming. There are no hard-and-fast rule to go by.

Having been a member of many different parishes (former military, moved around a lot), the best I can say is that the Antiochians, by and large, have done the best with integrating and attracting converts. The OCA is a bit of a mixed bag, depending on how "ethnic" it makeup tends to be. The Greeks seem to prefer Greek members, but most are not overtly hostile (although some can be). Greek parishes often tend to emphasize Greek things, Hellenism and that, but there will be exceptions (or so I'm told, my admittedly limited experience to date has not yet borne that out). I prefer to understand what I am singing/praying, but that might just be me.

Visit each parish, go with the one that makes you feel the most comfortable/welcome. Beyond that, Orthodox is still Orthodox regardless of jurisdiction. It is still the Divine Liturgy, it is still Heaven on Earth. The sacraments are the sacraments.

Or so it seems to this bear of little brain.
Herman the Pooh

#3 Jason H.

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 08:48 PM

I agree with what Herman has said. Even though there are "jurisdictions" it is still Orthodoxy.

Choose the one that you feel comfortable with the Priest and the Parish.

I've never heard of "AOCANA"

#4 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 09:25 PM

Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the official name (at present) of the Antiochians in the US. Go to your official jurisdictional website and see for yourself

#5 Jason H.

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 10:01 PM

Wow, I've been a member of the Antiochian Church for 4 years and I always refer to it as the AOC.

#6 Wayne Whitmer

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 11:31 PM

Um, well, not so much. Orthodox is Orthodox, we are not Protestant denominations. The differences are cultural, not doctrinal, and different parishes within the same jurisdictions are going to be "different" in personality. This one will be more "ethnic", that one will be less so depending on the makeup of the parish. Our parish is very eclectic, being a mix of "converts" and "cradles" of many different backgrounds.

I have been to some "ethnic" Churches that tended to be rather clique-ish and even suspicious of "outsiders", but others within the same jurisdiction that were very welcoming. There are no hard-and-fast rule to go by.

Having been a member of many different parishes (former military, moved around a lot), the best I can say is that the Antiochians, by and large, have done the best with integrating and attracting converts. The OCA is a bit of a mixed bag, depending on how "ethnic" it makeup tends to be. The Greeks seem to prefer Greek members, but most are not overtly hostile (although some can be). Greek parishes often tend to emphasize Greek things, Hellenism and that, but there will be exceptions (or so I'm told, my admittedly limited experience to date has not yet borne that out). I prefer to understand what I am singing/praying, but that might just be me.

Visit each parish, go with the one that makes you feel the most comfortable/welcome. Beyond that, Orthodox is still Orthodox regardless of jurisdiction. It is still the Divine Liturgy, it is still Heaven on Earth. The sacraments are the sacraments.

Or so it seems to this bear of little brain.
Herman the Pooh


Very helpful Herman. You hit on what I was looking for regarding jurisdictions and with that said I understand Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy and I'm also encouraged by the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America which from the outside looking in looks as if it is a step in the right direction. I have just recently converted to Lutheranism in the past year but find myself still learning more about Orthodoxy. I listen to Ancient Faith Radio and am learning more about spiritual discipline and moral living in Christ which is something inherently missing from Lutheranism. I've also come to embrace the Theotokos as Perfect, Ever Virgin, Mother of God who prays for us and for our Salvation but so did Martin Luther believe it or not. The juridical view of the Atonement is also under scrutiny at the moment after my reading of Reader Timothy Copple's article on the Atonement.

#7 Wayne Whitmer

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 11:32 PM

Wow, I've been a member of the Antiochian Church for 4 years and I always refer to it as the AOC.


See Jason you learn something new every day.

#8 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 11:42 PM

Wow, I've been a member of the Antiochian Church for 4 years and I always refer to it as the AOC.


Well, the AOCANA is indeed part of the Antiochian Orthodox Church (AOC), but it is technically that part of the AOC that is specifically in North America, rather than the parts of the AOC diaspora located elsewhere.

#9 Evan

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:04 AM

Very helpful Herman. You hit on what I was looking for regarding jurisdictions and with that said I understand Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy and I'm also encouraged by the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America which from the outside looking in looks as if it is a step in the right direction. I have just recently converted to Lutheranism in the past year but find myself still learning more about Orthodoxy. I listen to Ancient Faith Radio and am learning more about spiritual discipline and moral living in Christ which is something inherently missing from Lutheranism. I've also come to embrace the Theotokos as Perfect, Ever Virgin, Mother of God who prays for us and for our Salvation but so did Martin Luther believe it or not. The juridical view of the Atonement is also under scrutiny at the moment after my reading of Reader Timothy Copple's article on the Atonement.


Wayne,

Welcome to Monachos! Christ is in our midst!

Ancient Faith Radio played an instrumental role in my conversion. I found in the podcasts of Father Thomas Hopko and Father Patrick Henry Reardon a powerful witness to a transforming faith in which every thought, word, and deed is to be offered up to God and which does not simply consist in the sum total of theological propositions about but in a transfigured, Spirit-bourne life in Christ. At a time in my life when I had become convinced that I was leading a dualistic life (if "life" one must call it) in the body that had precious little connection with any of my professed theological beliefs (which had their own deficiencies, it must be said), AFR was the right ministry at the right time.

Of course, Luther affirmed the Ever-Virginity of Our Lady. Indeed, all of the major Protestant Reformers did, from Calvin to Zwingli. For that matter, so did Arius and Nestorius (despite not getting anything else about the Theotokos right, most notably, the fact that she WAS the Theotokos). Not surprising, really, when one considers how the Church has always understood the Ark of the Covenant to prefigure the Theotokos and then considers what happened to Uzzah.

In Christ,
Evan




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