CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY
The Lure of the Mystical Path
Alice Tallmadge, Correspondent
Originally published in The Oregonian, Sunday, April 9, 2000
From Ashland to Portland, the Orthodox tradition is drawing Oregonians to its ancient depths
JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY
EUGENE — The Saturday night buzz is revving outside the doors of St. Eugene Orthodox Church in the Whiteaker neighborhood. Motors race. Doors slam. Nearby taverns begin to fill with eager revelers. But inside the walls of the humble, dome-topped church, an otherworldly peace reigns. Pungent incense hangs in the air. Gold-flecked icons, lit by flickering tapers, line the dark red walls. Women, their long hair covered with scarves, stand on one side of the small nave, men on the other.
They take turns filling the room with plaintive, old-world chants. Other worshippers stand quietly, hands to their sides, heads bowed.
“This is how we worship, to stay concentrated in prayer,” said St. Eugene member Sarah Cowie.
“We believe that, during the service, God pours himself out. If you get quiet enough in your mind, you can feel, palpably, his presence.”
The 70 or so members of St. Eugene aren’t immigrants from Russia, Eastern Europe or Greece. They are Eugene-area residents, most of them converts from Protestant sects, who have found solace and sustenance in a tradition that dates back 2,000 years to the early Christian church. Cowie and other St. Eugene members are among the growing numbers of Oregonians who are converting to Orthodoxy.
For years, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Portland, established in 1895, was Continue reading “The Lure of the Mystical Path – Alice Tallmadge, Oregon, USA”