Sunday, May 27, 2012

An Orthodox and Heterodox Service...all in one day!

The Rain won't keep Jim away from Church!
Thursday was a busy day! Since I was on Vacation, I could actually go to the Ascension Liturgy which was at 9:30am. It was a rainy morning but that didn't stop my friend, Jim Martin from arriving on his motor cycle. I must say that it is impressive that sometimes rain keeps people from Church who have cars, it doesn't stop Jim who only has his motorcycle.

I arrived just at 9:30 and Reader John was just finishing up with the Hours. 

The Liturgy was beautiful as always and, even though, with my short attention span, I am constantly fighting distraction, I am always brought back in.  It is a good thing to Worship, knowing the communion of Saints and the angels make it more than just our small group on a Thursday morning.  After Liturgy, they had coffee hour which I could not stay for because I had to go up to New York to visit my brother. (Jim told me later that he actually spent an hour and a half at coffee hour. Good for him!)

My brother Joe had been going through some personal difficulties and the upshot of it, as does sometimes happen in a time of crisis, he returned to Christ. I, of course, had to support him in that and I wanted to visit with him and attend his church with him. (Most protestant churches who have midweek services have it on a Wednesday but my brother's Church has it on a Thursday which is good for him because of his work schedule.)

My brother's Church
I am glad I went. I am also glad that is not my church. The pastor is a good man who seems to care for those in his congregation but it is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB)  Church. Now, I like that during all the songs, they stood. (How Orthodox!). I also like that they dressed up very nicely, even the kids had ties and this was only a mid week service.  But the preaching seemed an odd mix of Republican, conservative political values with an obsession with figuring out the book of Revelation. (I wouldn't be surprised if the rapture was mentioned in every sermon.) I also had to stop myself from laughing out loud when the pastor lamented that there were actually some Bible colleges out there who were abandoning the King James Version for the "Original Alexandrian texts." 

After the service we hung out a bit and, in conversation, the pastor continued his lament. I didn't want to start an argument about the King James Version verses the original Greek, partly because I was tired, partly I thought it would be rude and partly because I didn't want to discourage my brother in his return to church. (My brother has been IFB since the 1980's so I guess it's natural for him to return to what he knew). I can say that if my present protestant congregation was anything like what  went to with my brother, I'd be out of there in a heartbeat!

Our Church Saturday night before I walked in for Vespers!

I am writing this on Sunday Morning and I might as well mention that last night I went to Vespers. I really love Vespers. I love that worship is mostly straight out of the Bible. As much as many protestant churches complain that the Orthodox are "too catholic", I can say I hear more Bible in one service than I hear in half a year of protestant services.  We use the hymn book of the early church, the Psalms and that is just right!

I know that many of you may be thinking, when are you going to "take the plunge" and join the Church....Keep me in your prayers is all I can say.


  1. What an interesting Ascension indeed.
    Continued prayers. I thought of both of the Jims (that's how I prayed during Liturgy) and sent prayers for you during the Litany of the Catechumens yesterday.

  2. thanks for the prayers, Mimi!