New to Orthodoxy?
Dear Visitors and Friends Who are not of the Orthodox Faith
Now that you have found us please dive in…the water is fine. If you have any questions regarding particulars of the Orthodox Church, please feel free to contact the pastor, Father Robert by phone or Email, and feel please ask any of our parishioners about Church life when you visit in person, and we will try to help you find satisfactory answers to your most daunting questions!
There are many today who thirst spiritually for truth, peace, mercy and forgiveness in their lives. Human nature is - in essence - spiritual, and we all have, deep down, a desire to experience that dimension of life that leads us to our God. In Orthodoxy, we believe that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, fostered through our prayer life (private and public), the sacraments, scripture reading and teaching, helps people to experience the transforming power of His grace in their lives. This ‘new life’ in Christ is characterized by the living presence of the Holy Spirit – bringing love, joy, peace, spiritual knowledge, forgiveness of sins, and a spiritual purpose.
Seeking Orthodoxy means not only pursuing an intellectual exercise, but opening one’s heart to God’s working within. In the Church – in worship (liturgy) services and fellowship, that pursuit becomes an experience that fosters a desire to know God, and love Him. Our study of the faith, through sacred Scripture, and the ancient teachings of the Church, help us to bring our minds into the sacred knowledge of Christ, who is the Truth. Yet, while our personal search, through books and online materials, is vital, the true exploration of Orthodoxy takes place in the heart, through experiencing the Liturgy, and the life of prayer in the Church. This is the same way of Christian life present from in the Church from the moment of Pentecost (Acts 2) and for 2000 years since.
To help with this exploration, St. Nicholas parish invites newcomers to our weekly Inquirer’s Discussions, held shortly after Sunday liturgy. These are informal discussions to present a little additional knowledge about the Faith, but most importantly, to ask the pastor questions about the practices and beliefs of Orthodoxy and how they relate to your life (or don’t)! Do feel free to ask your questions, in whatever forum you feel comfortable. For those who are interested in a more intensive study, we offer Convert Instructions as well as a variety of adult education presentations on a wide variety of topics open to the public.
Listed below are some sources that may prove helpful in our common journey into the Orthodox Faith.
Some Introductory Readings
The Orthodox Church by Metropolitan by Kallistos (Ware)
Becoming Orthodox by Peter Gilquist
Our Heart’s True Home Virginia Nieuwsma, Editor
Thirsting For God: in a Land of Shallow Wells by Matthew Gallatin
First Visit to an Orthodox Church, Twelve Things I Wish I had Known by Frederica Mathews Green
What Do The Converts Want? by Terry Mattingly
These books are available in the Parish Bookstore and available on loan from our Library.
Literature Rack Booklets
Visitors to our parish can avail themselves of the topical booklets available in the church Narthex (entry area). Each is a brief summary of an important topic often of interest to people seeking to know more about the teachings of the Orthodox Church.. For more in-depth treatments of these topics please feel free to browse our church Library.
There are a host of websites on the Internet that purport to be ‘Orthodox’. Unfortunately, like other information sites, not all are reliable – even those with lots of icons and videos. Some present either incorrect information or an unbalanced approach to important aspects of the faith. Because the ‘ortho’ in Orthodoxy means ‘right’, we need a right approach to the right information to follow the path that leads to the fullness of Truth, Christ Himself.
The Structure of the Churches Today
The Ecumenical Patriarchate: https://www.patriarchate.org
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA: www.uocofusa.org
Note: Each of the canonical Orthodox jurisdictions has various strengths in it’s approach to bringing the faith to a wider audience. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops identifies those recognized as canonically legitimate in the United States: http://assemblyofbishops.org/
Journey to Orthodoxy http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Good Guys Wear Black http://goodguyswearblack.org/
Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas http://orthodoxhistory.org/
Commentary on Social and Moral Issues of the Day http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/
A link to Fr. Robert’s recent sermons can be found here:
For more information, contact the parish and we’ll see if we can point you in the right direction. firstname.lastname@example.org
May the Spirit of Truth lead you to all Truth! (Jn. 16:13)