Category Archives: orthodoxy

now that we’re Home.

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!

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Filed under Forrest, Jack, my delightful husband, orthodoxy, tea-timing

Diving In

Well, folks, let’s do this then! I’m just gonna go ahead and dive right into it…

Now, I am painfully aware of the controversy of blogging about faith and specific beliefs. Inevitably, it always sounds close-minded because, well, it kind of is. If I choose to believe in Jesus as the true Son of God and Savior of the world, then that obviously means I don’t believe in other things.

Be that as it may, this is my blog and if my faith offends someone, they can simply choose not to read my posts. 🙂

For the rest of you who are interested, I thought I’d clue you in on some recent developments concerning our Christianity.

Yes, we’re still Christians, and actually, just thinking about the whole process and how we got here is a little overwhelming, and I’m kind of intimidated to jump into it. One step at a time, I suppose.

Starting at the very beginning, let me just say that we’ve been wrestling through a lot of issues in the last several years. Our questions and concerns have kept us from really rooting ourselves in a specific church for far too long. A lot of it had to do with our personal discomfort and preferences. I like the worship here, but the pastor is BOR-ING. Or, The pastor at that church is such a great speaker but the lead guitar player for Sunday night service? Totally hate his solos. In addition to very selfish and silly reasons like that, we also had this niggling feeling in the pit of our stomachs: Is this it? Is this how it’s meant to be? Has it always been like this? Is it really supposed to be about what I like, anyway?

Those thoughts are only the initial reasons we began searching, and thus, ended up at the Orthodox Church.

In some ways, I wish we would have acted on our concerns much sooner. By the same token, I am so grateful we didn’t officially begin our “investigation” until after we moved because this season has been such a slow, intentional, thoughtful time for us and it just fits with what we mentally and spiritually chose to dive into. Does that make sense?

Because I am hesitant to try to explain Orthodox Christianity with my own words (undoubtedly, I’d do a poor job), I figure I’ll just supply some links to satisfy any curiosity.

What does Orthodox mean?

What on Earth is the Orthodox Faith?

First Visit to an Orthodox Church: 12 Things I Wish I’d Known

The articles above are some of many of that I read through as we prepared ourselves to attend our first Orthodox Church service several months ago. Of course, even after reading what seemed like hundreds of articles to prepare ourselves, we still didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into. We fell in love with the Church in a whole new way, and we’ve been attending ever since then (and are in the process of converting).

Surely I’ll write more on this whole topic, but I’ll leave it at that for now. 🙂

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Filed under orthodoxy