Fr. Lawrence Farley, Canada: The Not So Eastern Church

http://romancatholicsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

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The Not So Eastern Church

by

Fr. Lawrence Farley, Canada

Source:

https://oca.org

https://oca.org/reflections/fr.-lawrence-farley/the-not-so-eastern-church

ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

I can, I think, count on the fingers of my one hand the number of times I have described myself as an Eastern Orthodox. Usually the preferred self-designation is simply “Orthodox,” but sometimes this provokes confusion, as when I am further asked, “Oh, are you Jewish?” The respondent has clearly heard of Orthodox Jews, and supposes that I must be one of them, though you would think the big pectoral cross around my neck would tip them off somewhat that I was a Christian. On these occasions I am reduced to elaborating more fully, saying that I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian: “You know, like the Russians, or the Greeks?” The respondent’s eyes then glaze over for a moment, since I am neither Russian, nor Greek, but they usually let the matter drop. In these conversations, the adjective “eastern” serves to connect me with a known quantity, such as the Russian Orthodox Church or the Greek Orthodox Church—i.e. the ones on television with the fancy robes and the icons.

There is a reason for not referring to our Church as “the Eastern Orthodox Church”—namely, that we are not in fact eastern. Our own jurisdiction has its membership in the west (i.e. North America), and my own parish is situated on the extreme west coast of that western continent. So, in what sense are we eastern? Only in the historical sense, and long dead history at that. In the first millennium the Church was dispersed throughout the Roman world, living in the west from Britain to Rome and in the east, from Jerusalem to Parthia and beyond. (Yep, Parthia. Like I said: long dead history.) In those far off days, east was east and west was west and never (or rarely) the twain shall meet. The church organized itself into patriarchates, including the famous five of the so-called “Pentarchy”, even though the actual reality never was quite as tidy as all that. In this ancient system, you had Rome leading the west, and Constantinople leading the east. Latin flourished out west, and Greek out east (and later on, Slavic languages in the northern land of the Rus) and, oh yes, Syriac. In those days, the designations of “western church” and “eastern church” meant something, since the faithful who lived in the west didn’t often visit the east, and those in the east visited the west even less often. Most people, in fact, didn’t travel very far from their homes at all, and for the overwhelming majority a trip of a hundred miles was the trip of a lifetime. The Greeks stayed in Greece, and the British stayed in Britain. (The Irish monks took to travelling, but that counted as a kind of ascetic exploit, and was quite exceptional.) Thus “the eastern church” was the church you found in the eastern part of the Roman empire, and which had certain identifiable characteristics, including language, liturgical traditions, and a certain way of organizing its life. “The western church” was the one you found in the west, which also had its distinctive language (Latin), its liturgical traditions and ways of organizing itself. Geography largely determined where churches with these characteristics were to be found.

That was then, and this is now. Since then people have enjoyed a tremendous increase in mobility. Greeks no longer are to be found only in Greece; they can be found anywhere. And people formerly found only in the west are now found also in eastern regions. Thus, people of religions that were once found in geographical concentration in a particular place can now be found everywhere in the global village: Roman Catholicism is global—as is Orthodoxy. As is Islam.

In this world it makes little sense to refer to the Roman Catholic church (or to its Protestant daughters) as “the western church,” and little sense to refer to the Orthodox church as “the eastern church.” Geography has succumbed to mobility and world-wide diffusion. Could one perhaps salvage the designation “eastern” by using it to refer to the liturgical usages of the church that was once rooted and concentrated in the east? Could one say that things like the use of incense, and chanted services, and icons, and not using pews, are specifically and peculiarly eastern?

Well, no, actually. In the church of Britain before the Reformation, all of these things could be found there too. One entered a British church in (say) the fourteenth century and found Latin—and also icons all over the walls, and incense, and long chanted services, and no pews. It even had a large screen up front—the “rood screen” (not exactly an iconostas), separating the nave from the chancel. Things that we now most commonly associate with “the eastern Orthodox church” were once universal, even in the west. They are not so much specifically eastern as specifically Christian. The west has dropped most of them, and these things now survive only in the Orthodox Church.

I would suggest therefore that the issue is not whether a church is eastern, but whether its teaching is true. I sometimes meet dear friends who come from the “western churches” of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, who tell me that they could never convert to Orthodoxy because it is “eastern” and they are “western.” Conversion is treated as a kind of betrayal of their ancestors. But surely this is to do a disservice to one’s ancestors, who would prefer that one choose the truth whether it accords with family pedigree or not. And what about people from non-Christian backgrounds? What about people from India or China? Their ancestors were Hindus and Buddhists or Taoists, yet no one sensibly suggests that conversion to the Christian Faith involves a disservice to them. The fact is that for all people of whatever ancestry or geography, conversion involves taking Abraham and the patriarchs as their new ancestors, and like them “leaving your country and your father’s house” (Genesis 12:1). To be a Christian at all involves becoming a stranger to all the tribes of earth, and living as an alien and sojourner here, and of confessing that here we have continuing city (1 Peter 2:11, Hebrews 13:14). It is folly to say that we will embrace this eschatological rootlessness, but only if we can still retain cultural vestiges that defined our ancestors.

The Orthodox Church is not “the eastern Church.” It is simply “the Church”—the one that began in the east (i.e. Jerusalem) and from there spread out into all the world. Schisms and other catastrophes have attended it over the years as it soldiered on throughout the long and winding course of history. But it remains now what it always was. One can perhaps find our church defined as “the eastern church” in Google. But one cannot find it so described in the Creed. There we find it described with greater accuracy: “the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church”. Not so eastern, is it?

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An interview with Orthodox writer Bev Cooke, Canada

http://protestantsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

PROTESTANTS MET ORTHODOXY

An interview with Orthodox writer Bev Cooke, Canada

by Tudor Petcu

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://ourneytoorthodoxy.com/2016/07/an-interview-with-orthodox-writer-bev-cooke/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Tudor Petcu is a Romanian writer, graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest, Romania. He has published a number of articles related to philosophy and theology in different cultural and academic journals. His work focuses on the evolution of Orthodox spirituality in Western societies as well and he is going to publish a book of interviews with Westerners converted to Orthodoxy. In this article, he interviews Bev Cooke, a Canadian writer who converted to Orthodoxy.

* * *

TP: Given the fact that you are one of the most well-known orthodox thinkers and writers in the West, I think it would be very good if you could introduce yourself and present the way by which you have discovered the Orthodoxy. Why have you chosen the conversion to Orthodoxy and how do you understand the Orthodox spirituality as a way of living?

Bev Cooke: Thank you very much for those kind words, but I’m really not as famous or as wise as you say! There are a lot of people who are much wiser, and I learn from them every day!

I was born and raised in Toronto Ontario, Canada and was baptized into the Anglican church. My father, the son of a Protestant minister, was a tolerant and gentle atheist who actually taught me a lot about Christian behaviour – he was one of the gentlest, kindest, most accepting and loving men I’ve ever known. My mother left the Anglican church when I was about five (I don’t know why, she never told me). So I grew up in a very secular household, but was always conscious of God and of needing His love, His mercy and his presence in my life.

In my teens, I hung around with a group of Catholic kids, attended mass and the youth group, and almost converted until a kind and wise priest advised me first to explore my own faith, and then decide if I should be Catholic. So I did, and the plan to convert ended up being put on hold for over twenty years and I ended up Orthodox, not Catholic. I was, for a long time, happy and fulfilled in Continue reading “An interview with Orthodox writer Bev Cooke, Canada”

Answering Main Street Canada

http://cominghomeorthodoxy.wordpress.com

COMING HOME – ORTHODOXY

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Fr-Korz

Answering Main Street Canada

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2013/05/answering-main-street-canada/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

We offer you an article written by Fr. Geoffrey Korz, Managing Editor of Orthodox Canada and the Dean of All Saints of North America Orthodox Church in Hamilton ON, Canada.

Some years ago, I had the pleasure of dining in Toronto’s “Greek Town” with a sister in Christ, a Greek grandmother who had been around the Church all her life, and who was a true realist. As we walked through the warm summer streets, surrounded by mobs of young people – many of them Greek, and presumably Orthodox Christians – my friend let out an audible exclamation.

“Look at them, Father – they don’t even know what an Orthodox priest is! Why aren’t they at Church?! They should be ashamed of themselves!”

Of course hearing this, all these young people heard the voice of their own yia-yia, or grandmother, confronting them with their own lack of piety, spiritual observance, and Continue reading “Answering Main Street Canada”

Saint Brendan the Navigator from Ireland to Canada (+578) & Tim Severin – The Brendan Voyage (1976–1977)

http://faithbookorthodoxy.wordpress.com

FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY

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Saint Brendan the Navigator

from Ireland to North America (+578)

“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.”

Psalm 107:23-24

St Brendan, The Navigator was born in Fenit Co. Kerry in 484. Educated by Bishop Erc in Kerry, set his skills to developing his knowledge to the art of ship building and the rules of the seas around Fenit Island. Building a simple boat made out of wood and leather, St Brendan set sail and discovered America in search of the Promised Land of the Saints. His journey and adventures were outlined in his journal the Navigatio Sancti Brendani which even inspired the Great Christopher Columbus himself on his voyage of discovery many years later.

* * *

Our father among the saints Brendan was born about 484 AD to an Irish family near the present city of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. At a very young age he began his education in the priesthood and studied under St. Ita at Killeedy. Later he completed his studies under St. Erc, who ordained him in 512 AD.

During the next twenty years of his life, St. Brendan sailed all around the Islands surrounding Erie (Ireland), spreading the word of God and founding monastery after monastery. The most notable of these is Clonfert in Galway, which he founded around 557 AD, and which lasted well into the 1600s. St. Brendan died around 578 AD and his feast day is marked on May 16th.

Brendan’s first voyage took him to the Arran Islands, where he founded a monastery, and to many other islands which he only visited, including Hynba Island off Scotland, where he is said to have met Columcille (Columba). On this voyage he also traveled to Wales, and finally to Brittany, on the northern coast of France.

The event that St. Brendan is most celebrated for, however, is his voyage to the “Land of Promise”. Sometime in his early journeys, St. Brendan heard from another monk the story of a land far to the west, which the Irish claimed was a land of plenty.

He and a small group of monks including, possibly, St. Machutus, fasted for forty days, then set sail for this land in order to investigate and ‘convert’ the inhabitants. Altogether the journey took seven years.

In the ninth century, an Irish monk wrote an account of the voyage in the Navigatio Sancti Brendani (Voyage of St. Brendan). This book remained popular throughout the entire Middle Ages, and made Brendan famous as a voyager.

The account is characterized by a great deal of literary license and contains references to hell where “great demons threw down lumps of fiery slag from an island with rivers of gold fire” and “great crystal pillars”. Many now believe these to be references to the volcanic activity around Iceland, and to icebergs.

Upon reaching their destination, they engaged a guide who took them around the land. They went inland but were prevented from going further by a great river. Soon after this, St. Brendan, and the remainder of his colleagues sailed back to Ireland. Only a few survived the journey.

In modern times the story was dismissed as pure fabrication, but in the 1970′s a man named Tim Severin became fascinated with the story and decided to replicate St. Brendan’s journey. Severin built a boat made of hides tanned with oak bark just like the one described in the ancient text. The hides were sewn together over a bent frame of ash wood and the seams were sealed with animal fat and grease. With a group of volunteers he set sail for America and made his way to Newfoundland. His journey is covered in “The Brendan Voyage: Across the Atlantic in a Leather Boat”.

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/53856.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Tim Severin – The Brendan Voyage (1976–1977)

It is theorized by some scholars, that the Latin texts of Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (The Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot) dating back to at least 800 AD tell the story of Brendan’s (c. 489–583) seven-year voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to a new land and his return. Convinced that the “Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (The Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot)” was based in historical truth, in 1976 Severin built a replica of Brendan’s currach. Handcrafted using traditional tools, the 36-foot (11 m), two masted boat was built of Irish ash and oak, hand-lashed together with nearly two miles (3 km) of leather thong, wrapped with 49 traditionally tanned ox hides, and sealed with wool grease.

Between May 1976 and June 1977, Severin and his crew sailed the Brendan 4,500 miles (7,200 km) from Ireland to Peckford Island, Newfoundland, stopping at the Hebrides and Iceland en route. He considered that his recreation of the voyage helped to identify the bases for many of the legendary elements of the story: the “Island of Sheep”, the “Paradise of Birds”, “pillars of crystal”, “mountains that hurled rocks at voyagers”, and the “Promised Land”. Severin’s account of the expedition, The Brendan Voyage, became an international best seller, translated into 16 languages.

The boat is now featured at the Craggaunowen open-air museum in County Clare, Ireland.

Source: Wikipedia

Biblical Forecasts of Scientific Discoveries – By Dr. Hugh Ross, Astronomer, Canada

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Biblical Forecasts of Scientific Discoveries

By Dr. Hugh Ross, Astronomer

Canada

January 1, 1976

Source:

http://www.reasons.org

http://www.reasons.org/articles/biblical-forecasts-of-scientific-discoveries

REASONS TO BELIEVE

Not only is the Bible filled with the fundamentals of science, but it is as much as 3,000 years ahead of its time. The Bible’s statements in most cases directly contradicted the science of the day in which they were made. When modern scientific knowledge approaches reality, the divine accuracy of the scriptures is substantiated. For example:

Biblical Statement Science Then Science Now
Earth is a sphere (Is. 40:22). Earth’s a flat disk. Earth is a sphere
Number of stars exceeds a billion (Jer. 33:22). Number of stars totals 1,100 Number of stars exceeds a billion
Every star is different (1 Cor 15:41). All stars are the same. Every star is different.
Light is in motion (Job 38:19-20). Light is fixed in place. Light is in motion.
Air has weight (Job 28:25). Air is weightless. Air has weight.
Winds blow in cyclones (Eccl. 1:6). Winds blow straight. Winds blow in cyclones.
Blood is a source of life and healing (Lev. 17:11). Sick people must bled. Blood is a source of life and healing.

For centuries the conjectures of science also were at odds with Genesis 1 concerning the origin and development of Earth and of life on Earth. However, science has progressed beyond these conjectures and now agrees with Genesis 1 in the initial conditions of Earth, the description of subsequent events, and in the order of these events. The probability that Moses, writing more than 3,400 years ago, would have guessed all these details is less than one in trillions. Below is a partial list of other fundamentals of science explained in the Bible:

  • conservation of mass and energy (Eccl. 1:9; Eccl. 3:14-15).
  • water cycle (Eccl. 1:7; Is. 55:10).
  • gravity (Job 26:7; Job 38:31-33).
  • Pleiades and Orion as gravitationally bound star groups (Job 38:31). NOTE: All other star groups visible to the naked eye are unbound, with the possible exception of the Hyades.
  • effect of emotions on physical health (Prov. 16:24; Prov. 17:22).
  • control of contagious diseases (Lev. 13:4546).
  • importance of sanitation to health (Lev.; Num. 19: Deut. 23:12-13). control of cancer and heart disease (Lev. 7-19).

In the crucible of scientific investigation, the Bible has proven invariably to be correct. No other book, ancient or modem, can make this claim; but then, no other book has been written (through men) by God.

Copyright 1976, Reasons To Believe

Subjects: Creation Passages, General Apologetics , Two Books

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross. 

Sara Hillis, Canada: My journey from witchcraft to Orthodoxy

http://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

My Journey From Witchcraft To Orthodoxy

Sara Hillis, Canada

“The Illumined Heart” podcasts from Ancient Faith Radio with host Kevin Allen, featuring Sara Hillis, a musician and English literature scholar who became a witch priestess before encountering Christ and finding the Orthodox Church! Sara is now a parishioner of All Saints of North America Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario.

Part 1 (May 30, 2008) | Part 2 (June 6, 2008)

Source:

http://www.orthodoxtoronto.ca/journey

http://www.orthodoxtoronto.ca/journey

ORTHODOX TORONTO

Orthodox Christianity: Canada

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/search/?text=canada

Orthodox Christianity: Canada