Introductions From 2011
Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:02 AM
My name is Kenneth Olsen, I am 26 years old, borned in Oslo, Norway. I was baptized in the lutheran church as a child, but converted to orthodoxy a couple of years ago while studying theology at the University here. After this I have been living in Serbia for an extended period. For the time being I am back in Norway writing my master thesis on Gregory Palamas on the Faculty of philosophy.
Posted 06 December 2011 - 09:13 PM
My name is Frank J. I use to Roman Catholic some 11 years ago I been attend am Orthodox for 13 years. I converted on 1/07/2001. In the coming weeks I will tell my story on how I came to Orthodoxy. I just join this chatroom so I will need time write my story. The only thing I can say is I love being Orthodox Christian.
Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:09 AM
I am currently a Sophomore at the university in my home town. I have two majors: one in foreign language teaching, with a specialization in Latin; the other in Classical Cultures. In addition to this, I am attempting a minor in Ancient Studies and picking up Greek on the side.
Whilst I could write a short article on my faith journey thus far, I'll attempt to spare you the (many) boring bits. I was born in a Southern Baptist family and was baptized in that faith tradition. After a series of tragedies in the family, I explored other denominations and, dissatisfied, left Christianity altogether for the duration of my High School years (with the exception of my last semester). I went to a Catholic church on the behest of my mother in my Senior year and fell in love with liturgy. I studied harder to become a good Catholic than I studied for school - and, in fact, forced myself to believe some of the doctrine I otherwise questioned -, and, by the time I was confirmed, had stepped down a path that has proven so far irrevocable for me: tradition (within reason). I sought out Church history, and, just this last year, discovered the Orthodox voice which was on the whole dismissed in my RCIA classes (after all, it wasn't the focus). I began to investigate the Orthodox claims and, after a year of juggling the arguments concerning various issues am now at a completely different place spiritually and theologically from where I started. I found that I did not have to force myself to believe Orthodox theology - it came naturally. I did not have to force myself to pray - the Jesus Prayer was easily adopted (I now try to pray 33 of these between each class in order to remind me Who is truly important). I spoke with my girlfriend about both, as I initially discovered both. She was hesitant and reluctant (and many times downright doubtful) of many Catholic claims, but is herself amazed at the way Orthodoxy represents what she has always herself believed(with a few foreign concepts not often known in the West, of course, but not contradictory at all).
I have attended Vespers with the Orthodox Christian Fellowship on my campus each Monday. It is led by an Antiochan priest out of Indy. The generous Father gave me my first icon and blessed it during a Vespers service; a generous professor in the Fellowship (and a Greek by jurisdiction) gave me a 33-knot prayer rope, which I carry with me everywhere now. This professor is taking myself and another student to a Divine Liturgy at her parish this Sunday: my first Divine Liturgy.
While I refuse to jump into Orthodoxy with both feet, lest I later regret it, I still feel, at this point, I am spiritually more Orthodox than Catholic. I probably will eventually convert, but until then, I will continue to analyze both sides. I do not think I would have discovered the richness and beauty of Orthodoxy without first stepping into Roman Catholicism. I, due to my theological beliefs on such aspects as the Papacy, am technically no longer in communion with my own official church. But neither am I in communion with the Eastern Churches. I am in a strange limbo, but, if as a Catholic (even if in name only) I can help my brother (who's father, my step-father, was Catholic during his time on earth) come into a relationship with our Lord and if I, as a Catholic (even if in name only) can help my mother back into a relationship with our Lord, I will accept this limbo as the will of God.
Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:24 PM
I am not new to this forum, having been lurking for about two years now. That was necessary in order to know what type of forum I am dealing with - there are too many things out on the net that one can not just "trust" to be the real stuff.
A little bit about myself:
I also became Catholic (Latin) in the beginning of the 1990's - however, I was soon disillusioned with that specific tradition.
I am a self-proclaimed monk, having chosen this way (as is written - "this is the way, walk ye in it")
I have since walked over to the Spanish Orthodox tradition, and find it very full-filling.
However, I am the only one "of my kind" in the country where I live, which makes life very difficult. The local Arch Bishop (contrary to what he says) is not very welcoming - this being Africa.
I am really sick of the politics around here.
I am looking for a community where I can serve God in contemplation and prayer, and in South Africa, I was denied this based on my race - I am now even too "white" to live in community with others like myself.
Does anyone have advice for me?
Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:54 AM
welcome to this forum. Are you willing to go to another country? There are many possibilities. I have contact to some wonderful spanish speaking priests and and orthodox bishops (you mentioned spanish orthodox church). I assume that you try to live like a monk, a life full of prayer, poverty, chastity and obedience- which is possible without to be tonsured.
To actually be a monk you shoulb be tonsured. I highly recommand you too visit some orthodox monasteries, I have known many wonderful monasteries as I once too wanted to become a monk. If you are interested I can recommend you some.
The church fathers advice (if circumstances allow)to join a monastery because to live as a recluse or alone is very very difficult and only possible through Gods special grace. If you fall down who can lift you up again if you are alone. And the spiritual path can be very dangerous. I actually personal know some "self proclaimed monks" who perished because they lived without a monastery and community (hence maybe the seemingly harsh response of Paul Cowan). And yes to have a spiritual father is soo important. But consider carefully before you choose a sprirital father. With all my heart I wish you find what you need I will pray for you... it is not easy to find the right path in these spiritual cold, confusing and unbelieving times Johannes from Germany
Posted 15 December 2011 - 03:22 AM
Posted 15 December 2011 - 01:22 PM
Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:58 AM
Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:40 PM
My name is Tom Neufeldt. I live in southeast Alaska. I have been a Protestant for most of my life. Since last spring I have been investigating Orthodoxy.
Most of my inquiry is long distance because the closest communities with Orthodox clergy are 200 miles from us. In Alaska, this means miles by air or by water transport. Very little of our huge state is accessible by road. However, I have been blessed with the friendship of folks in Kodiak, some 500 miles away, and they are a continual blessing and source to me.
I have had several interactions with Orthodox, and the people I've met have always been gracious and encouraging. God bless every one of you!
The path of my inquiry will be slow and cautious. I need to make sure that I don't rush my family, or put any pressure on them. I don't think that would be God's will. I also have to be careful for my own reasons. I don't experience doubt in this faith journey as much as a need to be sure of my direction for the sake of obedience to God. Some of the experiences and traditions I have encountered are quite different than those I grew up with as a Protestant. I need to be sure (between me and God) that I am being obedient and faithful to His will.
That said, I find so much that draws me so strongly. I find so much in the theological implications and the practical results (hope of Theosis) that just seems so very true! I just need the Lord's truth, and if you think of praying for me, that's what I would ask for.
God bless everyone,
Posted 27 December 2011 - 09:08 PM
I have a question I'm going to post in the forums pretty soon, but just wanted to introduce myself first.
Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:44 PM
I grew up in a loving Calvinist home, had some unusual spiritual experiences in my teens and 20s and realized I needed something a little less errr.... rather something a bit more .... hmmmm, well, as you can see words fail me. After worshiping in a high Anglican church for several years, by God's grace my wife (of 28 years now) and I found Orthodoxy and have been in the OCA for 20 years (This coming April.)
Our children are in the late teens and an empty nest is calling....errr threatening? There I go again. At any rate I have recently felt a call to something I am not yet doing (in addition to pursuing repentence with greater seriousness) and am taking some concrete steps to seek the Lord's direction. It came to me that perhaps participation in these discussion boards would give me another place to corrected in a Godly way.
So go easy. I can be quite a pain but I'm a lovable fluffball in there somewhere.
I'll sign off with a quick list of a few of my favorite things.
Likes, the Venerable Bede, The New Testament, John Zizioulas, Alexander Schmemann, freedom, Gregory the Theologian, Georges Florovsky, whole meals for 'coffee hour', The Old Testament, Traditional byzantine style festal iconography, woodwork in churches, hard working teenagers, Bright Monday, and most music that makes me cry.
So, for that joke. My 16 year old recently asked me to name a pirate's favorite type of Christmas sweater. I failed to properly denote it would be aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgyle. And I similarly missed the city that Pirates like the least....Boston. (Of course because it is a land where nobody pronounces his rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs!) Yes I lived there for a time.
Symeon (heavenly patron Symeon the God-Receiver)
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