I intend to use this blog as a way to communicate things that I learn as I progress in my journey with the Greek Orthodox Church.
I am a recent convert, and by no means do I understand everything that the Orthodox church believes or teaches. I was chrismated by Father Phil in November of 2015.
My journey to Orthodoxy was full of kicking and screaming, mostly on my part. Or to be completely honest, totally on my part.
Let’s back up a few years (or twenty). I was raised in a variety of churches, but for simplicity’s sake I tend to state that I was raised as a baptist. I was baptized at Red Mountain Community Church when I was about 8 years old.
I threw myself into studying scripture at an early age. Mostly through a desire to please my parents but also because I was genuinely interested.
I constantly read the Old Testament (I erroneously thought that I already knew everything I needed to know about the New Testament because that’s what Sunday’s were for!) My favorite stories were about King David, Samson, Joshua, and Samuel. Men of great renown who led holy lives.
I also grew to believe that the Catholic church was leading men and women astray by praying to saints, iconography, and indulgences.
So when my wife introduced me to the Greek Orthodox church, my reaction was not entirely positive. I would read articles on the www.goarch.org website, but I would target beliefs I had problems with and argue against them from a completely biased point of view.
By the grace of God and the patience of my wife, two years later I agreed to attend a Vespers service at a local parish. That night I would meet the man who would eventually become my godfather, his wife, children, and my future spiritual father.
I was overcome by the grace of the church and its members. We were immediately welcomed and treated like family, though we had never met any of these people. I remember one parishioner asking me if I wanted to go and receive a blessing from Father Phil, but that was a step further than I was willing to go that night. But the love and peace I felt when I walked into the building was something I had not experienced before.
Since then I have been taken under the wing of Father Phil and my godfather Tikhon. They have patiently answered all my questions and given me more to think about than I have ever had at church.
So if you are interested, please join me as I share the things that I have learned about the church and its history and why it is important for us today.