So! Let’s talk a little more about Orthodoxy.
When we first began talking about visiting the Orthodox Church, we sort of just saw it as “another way to do things.” Our understanding of the Orthodox Church was very limited and it never occurred to us that we’d have to officially convert in order to become Church members. Again, to us, it was just like any other denomination.
As we were preparing for our temporary relocation to New York (where we are now), we talked a lot about what we wanted in a church. We have friends who’d recently became members of an Orthodox Church back in California, and they only had good things to say about it. We also have friends who had planted a Anglican Mission church and we were very interested in that as well. We were sad to find out that there were no Anglican Missions in the Rochester area, but we were able to find an English-speaking Orthodox Church. Assuming the two churches would be very similar (again, we were ignorant), we decided we’d just “hang out” at the Orthodox Church until we moved to our final destination, where we’d look up an Anglican Mission.
So, we moved. And we visited the Orthodox Church for the first time. There was something so compelling – so authentic – about that Church service and we came home that day in a total funk. Truth does that to you, doesn’t it?
It’s hard to explain, because honestly, you just have to experience it to understand. In short, we knew we had just taken part in something we would never (be able to) forget. I remember Ryan looking at me and saying, “Rissa, if we’re going down this road – if you want to read up on it and truly consider it, you know there’s no turning back. This is it.” And it’s true. This is it. We’ve come Home.
Our transition into the Church has been fairly smooth. When people have learned where we’re attending, one of the most common questions I’ve been asked is, “How are the kids doing?” Truly? They’re doing great. There is no childcare or “kids’ church,” but that’s been an easy transition for us because we’ve always kept our kids with us – even before we began attending at the Orthodox Church. The first time we went, we were ill-prepared and Jack had a hard time. He was used to being whisked off to a “crying babies” room whenever he felt like being loud, and our new insistence that he keep his voice down was not received very well. 🙂 The next week, however, we brought along a couple of toy cars, his Sigg bottle and a bag of raisins. On the way to Church, we explained that we expected him to be quiet because we were going to worship Jesus. He’s been quiet, calm and happy in Church ever since. I don’t plan on always allowing him the convenience of his toy cars, but as we make the transition, it has been extremely helpful. I’ve noticed, however, that lately he has been paying more attention to what’s going on in the service so I’m hoping to transition him into toylessness soon. 🙂
Oh, and I always wear Forrest in my ring sling or the Ergo, so he does fine. We stand for almost the entire service, so Forrest usually doesn’t have any reason to get restless. In fact, he almost always takes his morning nap while we’re there!
Speaking of the boys – they’re both clamoring for my attention. That’s my cue!