Video – Paisios Jones, USA: A former Protestant pastor who converted to Eastern Orthodox Church in 2017

http://havefaithorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

Paisios Jones, USA:

A former Protestant pastor who converted to

Eastern Orthodox Church in 2017

An interview with Orthodox writer Bev Cooke, Canada

https://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”

Episcopalian Minister & Congregation Convert in Frederick, Maryland, USA

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

Episcopalian Minister & Congregation Convert

in Frederick, Maryland, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/episcopalian-minister-and-congregation-convert/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

It appears the fruits of St. John of San Francisco’s labors have paid off. After a year of instruction and a prayer, an Episcopalian clergymen and many from his congregation entered the Orthodox Church. While the members of the congregation became Orthodox Christians in April, their former minister was ordained to the Holy Priesthood a little over a week ago.

The now Fr. James Hamrick is pastor of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Frederick, MD. He was a minister in the United Methodist Church for years, but as he was looking for ancient faith, he found himself in the Charismatic Episcopal Church for a few years. At least until now. The CEC underwent a major rupture, causing the bishop who ordained Fr. Hamrick to question the notion of Protestantism altogether.

He said, he “believed that God’s authority was not only found in the Scriptures, as he felt Protestant churches emphasized, but also in the apostolic succession and sacred traditions.”

This invariably led him to Orthodoxy.

In keeping with the authentic, ancient liturgical and spiritual traditions of the Orthodox West, the new converts opted to be Western Orthodox. What does that look like? It resembles what an old Tridentine Roman Catholic Liturgy would look like, but in English. There are many variations to how Western Orthodox celebrate their liturgy (in many WO churches, they use the term ‘Mass’).For example, there is the Divine Liturgy of St. Ambrose which some use, as well as the Divine Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great (which resembles the ancient Pre-Vatican II Catholic Liturgy, but in English) and the Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon, which is similar to the Anglican Book of Common prayer.

All of these have been slightly modified to conform to Orthodox doctrine, such as deleting the Filioque clause from the Creed and commemorating Orthodox Bishops. These Western Orthodox Christians keep to the same spiritual heritage as was seen in the West before the Schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. Will his conversion influence other Protestant clergy to bring their flocks to the historic Church? Time will tell.

It will be interesting to see if disillusioned Episcopalians, Methodists and Lutherans convert en masse to Orthodoxy, given the fact that both denominations now support homosexual clergy (with the United Methodist Church pursuing full communion with the Episcopalians, who passed similar measures recently), after an agreement of full communion was signed between the two last week.

The parishioners of St. John the Baptist have remodeled an old church to make it acceptable for Western Orthodox worship.A total of 26 people were received into the Orthodox Church, with other Orthodox supporting them. Today, Fr. Hamrick celebrated his first liturgy as an Orthodox priest. May God grant him and his parishioners many years!

Video: Fr. James Bernstein, USA: Surprised by Christ

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

Fr. James Bernstein, USA: Surprised by Christ

I knew right then, in that second… – Trudy Ellmore, USA

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

I knew right then, in that second…

by Trudy Ellmore, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

I Knew Right Then, In That Second…

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

My family of origin is Roman Catholic, the faith I practiced until I was 18. My love of God was deep and personal. There was never a time in my life when God was not present, even in my earliest memories. Yet, when someone witnessed to me and asked,

“Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If you haven’t, you’re going to hell”

my reaction was one of panic. I turned away from my childhood church to a non-denominational fundamentalist church to allay my fear of damnation. There I met my first husband. After our marriage, we became involved in a Southern Baptist church where we both were baptized by immersion.

Following my husband’s death after 26 months of marriage, my infant son and I returned to my hometown. Thinking all Baptist churches were alike, I joined an American Baptist church, where I met my current husband, who was attending Seminary with the intention of pastoring in the Baptist denomination. We served the church for 5 years until he transitioned to higher education fundraising.

For the next 20 years, it was in the American Baptist denomination where my faith and love of God was nurtured and grew deeper and deeper, where I taught children and adult Sunday school classes, counseled children for Continue reading “I knew right then, in that second… – Trudy Ellmore, USA”

A Life Changed By Icons – Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

A Life Changed By Icons

by

Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany

Source:

https://journeytoorthodoxy.com

https://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2015/10/a-life-changed-by-icons/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

—Please tell us about your background and your journey to the Orthodox Church.

My name is Cliff (Isaac in Orthodox Baptism) Gardner, and this is my background. I was raised in a Protestant Southern Baptist family. We were in the military; my father was in the U.S. Air Force. I have four brothers, a family of five boys, and we moved all over the world. We lived most our lives in America and then in Germany, where I was as a teenager. No matter where my parents moved, they always found a Southern Baptist church, including in Puerto Rico, where I was born, and Germany, where our German pastor was Southern Baptist!

I grew up in Miami, Florida where my mother was from, so we moved back to Miami after my father retired from the Air Force. Miami is where I went to high school. It was when I was in the high school that I felt called to be a missionary. I wanted to be a Protestant missionary/Bible translator in Indonesia. So I went to a Bible school in Chicago called the Moody Bible Institute—a famous Bible school. I studied Bible-Theology/Greek; it was at Moody where I first started to interact with people from the Muslim world. I was very attracted to working with Muslims. I ended up going to the University of Illinois at Chicago where I studied linguistics, Middle East studies and Arabic. This is how I met my wife Marilyn.

She was raised in Pakistan, as her parents were Baptist missionaries for over thirty-five years there. She went to nursing school in Chicago. She was a nurse and I was a linguist, and we met back to back in an Indian restaurant.

“I was amazed by the worship, the liturgy, and the icons.”

We first moved to Pakistan in 1986 where I taught English to Pakistani government employees. Pakistan was Marilyn’s home, and we were involved in a Protestant church there. Then we moved to Egypt in 1989, where we lived for seven years; this is where I first encountered Orthodoxy. I don’t think I ever met anyone who was Orthodox before I moved to Egypt. I had an Egyptian friend in Chicago, so I had met one Oriental Orthodox person before. But when I moved to Egypt, I was an English teacher and I started to meet Coptic Orthodox Christians, who were very amazing and very faithful. One of my colleagues, an English teacher, was Orthodox. She was always fasting and I didn’t understand why. She said that she fasted over two hundred days of theyear. And I was so Continue reading “A Life Changed By Icons – Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany”

The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA – From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

https://protestantsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

PROTESTANTS MET ORTHODOXY

The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA

From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

by

Fr. George Johnson

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/the-personal-story-of-fr-george-johnson/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

I am a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, serving in the cathedral of St John the Baptist in Washington, D.C. There are some almost uncanny parallels between our lives, even down to the grumpy choir directors. I was (and sometimes still am) the grumpy choir director, however.

I became interested and involved in Anglicanism through a singing job in a “high” church in 1968. At the time, my focus was primarily musical. My parents were devout Southern Baptists, and, while I now appreciate their humility and devotion, in my youth I did not so much. The Episcopal Church offered an escape from the music and worship of the Baptists, which, shall we say, were not to my taste.

The Western liturgical tradition as carried on by the high-church Anglicans seemed to me to be just the right combination of grandness and sobriety justly suited to worship. Having just come from the Baptists, the intellectual and spiritual confusion which at length gave rise to tradition-destroying innovations did not concern me for a long time. I chalked it up to our fallen state, for which God was making accommodations which I did not understand. I thought I could press on for the sake of art and faith, and pray that everything would come out alright. It was going to take a great deal to make me want to throw away Tallis, Byrd, Weelkes, Purcell, …, RVW, Walton, Britten, … , not to mention all the great hymns and tunes, and the gorgeous language of the (old) Prayer Book and Psalter.

A great many things happened, but I’ll cut to the chase. In 1984 or 5, a lesbian member of our parish who sang in my choir asked me to be a member of a committee to help her explore a calling to the priesthood. Needless to say, I begged off. But I did not have the courage to tell her that the thought of her as a priest made me sick. You may be familiar with the musical “Fiddler on the Continue reading “The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA – From Protestantism to Orthodoxy”