A letter to a new convert by Mother Thekla, Abbess of  Orthodox Monastery of the Assumpion in North Yorkshire, England

http://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

citywallpaperhd.com-263

A letter to a new convert by Mother Thekla,

Abbess of  Orthodox Monastery of the Assumpion

in North Yorkshire, England

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2013/01/mother-theklas-letter-to-a-new-convert/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Mother Thekla, who died on Aug. 7, 2011 at aged 93, was the last surviving nun to have occupied the enclosed Orthodox Monastery of the Assumption in North Yorkshire, but became better known to the wider world as the spiritual muse of the composer Sir John Tavener. Mother Thekla wrote the following letter in 2009, when she was 91 years old. You can read more about her here.

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Dear “John”,

I understand that you are on the way to becoming Orthodox. I know nothing about you, beyond the fact that you are English.

Before we go any further, there is one point I should make clear. I have not been told why you are about to convert, but I assure you there is no point whatsoever if it is for negative reasons. You will find as much “wrong” (if not more) in Orthodoxy as in the Anglican or Roman Churches.

So – the first point is, are you prepared to face lies, hypocrisy, evil and all the rest, just as much in Orthodoxy as in any other religion or denomination?

Are you expecting a kind of earthly paradise with plenty of incense and the right kind of music?

Do you expect to go straight to heaven if you cross yourself slowly, pompously and in the correct form from the right side?

Have you a cookery book with all the authentic Russian recipes for Easter festivities?

Are you an expert in kissing three times on every possible or improper occasion?

Can you prostrate elegantly without dropping a variety of stationery out of your pockets?

OR…..

Have you read the Gospels?

Have you faced Christ crucified? In the spirit have you attended the Last Supper – the meaning of Holy Communion?

AND….

Are you prepared, in all humility, to understand that you will never, in this life, know beyond Faith; that Faith means accepting the Truth without proof. Faith and knowledge are the ultimate contradiction –and the ultimate absorption into each other.

Living Orthodoxy is based on paradox, which is carried on into worship – private or public.

We know because we believe and we believe because we know.

Above all, are you prepared to accept all things as from God?

If we are meant, always, to be “happy”, why the Crucifixion? Are you prepared, whatever happens, to believe that somewhere, somehow, it must make sense? That does not mean passive endurance, but it means constant vigilance, listening, for what is demanded; and above all, Love.

Poor, old, sick, to our last breath, we can love. Not sentimental nonsense so often confused with love, but the love of sacrifice – inner crucifixion of greed, envy, pride.

And never confuse love with sentimentality.

And never confuse worship with affectation.

Be humble – love, even when it is difficult. Not sentimental so called love – And do not treat church worship as a theatrical performance!

I hope that some of this makes sense,

With my best wishes,
Mother Thekla
(sometime Abbess of the Monastery of the Assumption, Normanby)

Advertisements

Finding the Faith of St Joseph of Arimathea: An Interview with Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, England ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* The tradition of faith in Great Britain goes back to the Apostolic era!

http://orthodox-heart.blogspot.com

http://greatbritaiofmyheart.wordpress.com

GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX HEART

england fffd

Finding the Faith of St Joseph of Arimathea:

An Interview with Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, England

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

The tradition of faith in Great Britain goes back to the Apostolic era!

by Tudor Petcu

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2016/10/finding-the-faith-of-joseph-of-arimathea/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

A Romanian writer, Tudor is a 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 Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, Orthodox theologian, who is the priest of the Holy Life-Giving Cross Orthodox Church in Lancaster, UK, talks about faith and love in Christ.

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

1.) Before discussing your conversion to Orthodoxy, I would appreciate it a lot if you could talk about your main spiritual experiences and journies untill you have discovered the Orthodox Church.

First of all, we need to be sure of what we mean when we use the term convert or “conversion.” We all need to be converted – both those who come from different traditions and confessions and those from traditionally Orthodox countries who are referred to as “cradle Orthodox”. Christianity is not a Philosophy, it is a relationship with the All Holy Trinity. We are converted to Christ and we are received into the (Orthodox) Church through Baptism and/or Chrismation. Sometimes this happens in the other order of events. Those who are Baptised Orthodox as babies need to employ the gift of the Holy Continue reading “Finding the Faith of St Joseph of Arimathea: An Interview with Fr. Jonathan Hemmings, England ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* The tradition of faith in Great Britain goes back to the Apostolic era!”

Fr. Meletios Weber, England: Through Oxford to Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* England, USA & the Netherlands

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

https://greatbritainofmyheart.wordpress.com

GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

Staithes-New-View-02-Credit-Tony-Bartholomew_NYMNP

16bea2060ee100e9d6ca008552fb264b

Fr. Meletios Webber

ENGLAND, USA, THE NETHERLANDS

From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Through Oxford To Orthodoxy

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/through-oxford-to-orthodoxy/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Archimandrite Meletios Webber, of Scottish background, was born in London, and received his Masters degree in Theology from Oxford University, England and the Thessalonica School of Theology, Greece. He also holds an E.D.D. (doctorate) in Psychotherapy from the University of Montana, Missoula. He is the author of two published books: Steps of Transformation; an Orthodox Priest Explores the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (Conciliar Press, 2003); and Bread and Water, Wine and Oil; an Orthodox Christian Experience of God (Conciliar Press, 2007).

This interview was originally published in Pravoslavnie.ru.

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Fr. Meletios, could you tell us a little about your journey to Orthodoxy in Oxford, and how you became a priest?

I went to Oxford as a theology student in 1968, and very quickly found an Orthodox Church there. The parish priest at the time was Fr. Kallistos Ware, who is now Metropolitan of Diokleia, and the deacon at the time was Fr. Basil Osborne, who is now Bishop of Amphipolis. The parish in Oxford was both a Russian and a Greek one, coexisting in a small room in what had once been the house of the famous Dr. Spooner. I was immediately attracted to the quality of the stillness that I found in that small room. That has been something that I have consistently valued in the Orthodox Church ever since. It is a quality which is difficult to talk about, but it happens when one goes into a space which is so obviously God-filled. That is something that I found very important and very attractive at that time. Under the tutelage of Fr. Kallistos I became Orthodox three years later, and I was ordained a priest some three years after that in January of 1976, by Continue reading “Fr. Meletios Weber, England: Through Oxford to Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* England, USA & the Netherlands”

Orthodoxy In An English Village – by Fr. George Hackney

https://greatbritainofmyheart.wordpress.com

GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART

fcd94d_807dd4943f424c2f9a6d9860f5383c74

Orthodoxy In An English Village

by Fr. George Hackney

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/11/orthodoxy-in-an-english-village-by-fr-george-hackney/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Near to the geographical centre of England you can find Rolleston, the tiny village where I was born. My family were farmers, as their ancestors had been for generations. In the heart of the village and under the jurisdiction of the Church of England stood the ancient parish church of The Holy Trinity. For centuries it had been the centre of village life. There were no other denominations in the village.

As a child I did not even know that other denominations existed. It was in the Church of England that I was baptised and taught the orthodox Christian Faith. It was in the Church of England alone that I learned and accepted the great Orthodox dogmas concerning the Holy Trinity, Creation, Incarnation, Virgin Birth, Resurrection, Salvation through Christ our God from sin, death and the devil, the necessity for sacramental incorporation by Continue reading “Orthodoxy In An English Village – by Fr. George Hackney”

A Journey Of Faith In New Zealand – Alexandra Wood, England

http://newzealandofmyheart.wordpress.com

NEW ZEALAND OF MY HEART

gallery-2.jpg

A Journey Of Faith In New Zealand

by Alexandra Wood

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

When I was a little girl it was still possible to teach Scripture in schools and even people who did not attend church were happy for their children to be taught.

I remember as a child of eight or nine that I pictured in my mind one night the Mount of Olives with a bright full moon and a grove of trees and Jesus praying. I was very moved.

We heard “The Man Born to Be King” by Dorothy L Sayers on the radio, not the original 1940 broadcast of course! There was a very good TV series called “Jesus of Nazareth” which was repeated several times on the BBC I think. William Barclay also was a popular broadcaster later in my teens and I owe him a lot.

I was always interested in the daily life of the people in my Scripture lessons so I became interested in the daily life of the Romans in Britain, the Ancient Britons etc. as I went up through school. I had the advantage of living in the City of London where excavations were part of daily life. I left school at the age of nineteen and went to the Institute of Archaeology to learn to be a Museum Technician. So, Scripture took me to archaeology.

I realised from then on that to be Christian was not fashionable among the intelligentsia and also that those who furiously spurned religion in general did not apply the same standard of proof which they demanded in their own research.

I was not impressed by the intelligentsia. Therefore, I decided to make a hypothesis that God existed. It seemed that more learned people than I could ever be had, in the past, overcome what I could perceive as “Objections to Christianity,” therefore I would try to see if the orthodox teachings actually worked if taken as a practical blueprint for life. This seemed to me to be a more scientific method of assessment.

The book “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, followed by most of his other religious and ethical essays formed my mind at this time When I got to University as an adult student I found that I had to study Fine Art as part of my Prehistoric Archaeology course along with Ancient History. These were fortunate aberrations for me as D. Talbot Rice was our Art History professor and we had to consider Icons and Byzantine history and we also found ourselves taking in Late Antiquity as we studied Post Roman / Early Christian Archaeology in Britain and Ireland with Charles Thomas. While studying the origins of the monastic movement for Late Roman Archaeology I read “The Desert Fathers” translated by Nora Chadwick(?) and “The Desert a City” by Derwas Chitty and so came across the hermits and St Pachomius, the early British Saints and the extent of the Church in Britain and Ireland. Edinburgh University certainly gave us a good, wide, thorough education!

When I came to New Zealand I finally found myself joining the Anglican Church in the seventies because at the time there was a very orthodox feeling to the church, at least in the parishes. I did find, though, the clergy I met strangely uneducated in early church history and about the Orthodox Church.

The New Zealand Anglican Church then went through some strange and turbulent times with the Charismatic Movement etc.etc.

I found, after a while, that it got most of my pastoral help not from sermons but from the books of John White a professor of psychiatry in Manitoba, one which I am rereading now. It is called “Flirting with the World” and is about worldliness in the church. I also found a very sobering book called “Crumbling Foundations” by Donald G Bloesch about the death of the mainline churches in North America and the opportunity for rebirth as the original faith grounded in apostolic witness. It seemed to mirror concerns I felt here, in New Zealand

I remained in the Anglican church because I found nowhere else to go.

A few years ago I found a book in the public library called “The Orthodox Way” by Timothy Ware and because I was still interested in Late Roman Antiquity I got it out

I read it from time to time and then came the Internet.

Through the Internet I found the British Antiochian Orthodox Church and I asked the priest at Colchester which is near my brother, Fr. Alexander Haig, if there was any Antiochian Orthodox church in New Zealand. He surprised me by saying there was! In the end I found out where Fr Jack Witbrock was living. I also received much help from Fr Gregory Hallam in Manchester and of course there are the plethora of sites on Orthodox topics. None of this was possible before the World Wide Web.

So now I am Orthodox Christian and my patron saint is St Alexandra, wife of Diocletian. Back to late Antiquity! My way to Orthodoxy took many turns but was aided at all times by books and broadcasting and by the Internet so it was a very personal journey, tailor-made to my circumstances. I still continue the great experiment.

The New Zealand Antiochian church is scattered through out the land now. You may visit this site where you will discover a lively community under the guidance of Metropolitan Paul in Australia.

Ένας Ορθόδοξος Ιερέας από το Exeter της Αγγλίας μας αφηγείται τη δική του μοναδική ιστορία με την οποία γνώρισε την Ορθοδοξία

http://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

Ένας Ορθόδοξος ιερέας από το

Exeter της Αγγλίας μας αφηγείται τη δική του μοναδική ιστορία

με την οποία γνώρισε την Ορθοδοξία

Κι ἕνας ἱερεύς ἀπό τό Exeter τῆς Ἀγγλίας: «Ἕνας ἀπ’ τούς ἱερεῖς τῆς ἐνορίας τοῦ Exeter τῆς Αγγλίας, ὁ μεγαλύτερος σέ ἡλικία, μᾶς ἀφηγήθηκε τή δική του μοναδική ἱστορία μέ τήν ὁποία γνώρισε τήν Ὀρθοδοξία:

“Ἦμουν στό Παρίσι, ἔβρεχε κι ἔπρεπε κάπου νά πάω γιά νά μείνω στεγνός. Εἶδα κοντά μου μιά πόρτα καί μπῆκα. Δέν μπορῶ νά πῶ ὅτι εἶδα τό ἐξωτερικό τῆς ἐκκλησίας διότι ἔβρεχε· ἁπλά εἶδα τήν πόρτα καί μπῆκα. Ἄν δέν ἔβρεχε, δέν θά ἔμπαινα! Ἀνοίγοντας ἀπότομα τήν ἐξωτερική πόρτα, παραπάτησα κι ἔπεσα σέ μιά ἄλλη πόρτα κι ἔτσι μπῆκα στήν ἐκκλησία. Χωρίς νά θέλω νά ἐνοχλήσω κανένα, κάθισα πίσω στή γωνία καί παρακολουθοῦσα. Μόλις ἀπέκτησα περισσότερη αὐτοπεποίθησι, προχώρησα γιατί ἤθελα νά μάθω τί συμβαίνει, ποῦ βρίσκομαι. Εἶδα τίς εἰκόνες, τούς σταυρούς καί σκέφθηκα ὅτι πρέπει νά ἦταν ἐκκλησία. Ἀναρωτιόμουν ἄν ἦταν Συναγωγή, γιατί δέν εἶχα δεῖ ποτέ νά φοροῦν τά ἄμφια μέ τέτοιο τρόπο. Τά ἄμφια, τό λιβάνι, ὁλόκληρη ἡ ὀπτική ἐντύπωσι τῆς Continue reading “Ένας Ορθόδοξος Ιερέας από το Exeter της Αγγλίας μας αφηγείται τη δική του μοναδική ιστορία με την οποία γνώρισε την Ορθοδοξία”