Sherie Mercier, USA: Called To Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* A former Pentecostal minister and Independent Old Catholic Priest’s conversion story to the Orthodox faith

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USA OF MY HEART

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Michigan, USA

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Called To Orthodoxy

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

A former Pentecostal minister and Independent Old Catholic Priest’s conversion story to the Orthodox faith

by

Sherie Mercier, Michigan, USA

Where do I begin? I was born and raised in St. Joseph, Michigan, on the shores of SW Lake Michigan – across the lake from Chicago, 61 years ago. My parents were not very religious, in fact, they attended a Methodist church in my hometown. The pastor was a medical doctor and eventually left the active ministry and set up shop as a General Family practitioner. My parents stopped attending church and after that I never remember them ever stepping into a church at all, even to this day. My mother is deceased but my father is still alive and I have never seen him enter a church.

So, eventually, around the age of 7 or so, I went to a Baptist church with my neighbors and continued to do so until my teenage years. I then set out to check different denominations, usually joining them, then leaving because something didn’t “feel right”. Of course, our home town had a huge Roman Catholic following, plus my maternal grandmother had been Roman Catholic herself.

I remember seeing statues of Mary and crucifixes. Our public school in that day followed the Roman Catholic system of meatless Fridays, usually fish sticks or mac and cheese. So, I became interested in the Roman Catholic faith. But it was not to be at all until years later.

I graduated high school, enlisted in the US Army, did a short stint and then married my first husband in Scotland. We settled back in Michigan but only for the summer of 1974, then moved to Arizona. I again, searched and Continue reading “Sherie Mercier, USA: Called To Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* A former Pentecostal minister and Independent Old Catholic Priest’s conversion story to the Orthodox faith”

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New York, USA: Journey to Orthodoxy

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USA OF MY HEART

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New York, USA: Journey to Orthodoxy

Fr. Barnabas Powell, Georgia, USA: Finally Oriented – From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

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CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

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Finally Oriented

by Fr. Barnabas Powell, Cumming, Georgia, USA

 

 

Fr. Barnabas Powell is the priest at Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Greek Orthodox Church in Cumming, Georgia, USA

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

The Pentecostal church I grew up in had a profound impact on my life. The lively services, the thundering sermons, and the emotional altar calls gripped my young heart and fed my hunger for an intimate encounter with God.

As a young man growing up in a Pentecostal church, I always knew I wanted to be a preacher because all the powerful men I had ever known had been men in the pulpit, and I wanted to be just like them.

In my Pentecostal church I was told that a stream is purest at its source, so what we had to do was to be like the Church in the Book of Acts. If we were going to affect our world for Jesus then we needed the same power the Early Church had, and that meant being Pentecostal.

The whole purpose for our emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, lively, emotional worship services, and powerful, motivating, sermons, was to keep us motivated to win Continue reading “Fr. Barnabas Powell, Georgia, USA: Finally Oriented – From Protestantism to Orthodoxy”

Video: Το Ευαγγέλιο που μάτωσε στην Arizona των ΗΠΑ & η ανάπηρη που περπάτησε

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ARIZONA OF MY HEART

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Το Ευαγγέλιο που μάτωσε στην Arizona των ΗΠΑ

& η ανάπηρη που περπάτησε

Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA: From Unchurched Hawaiian to Local Orthodox

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USA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS OF MY HEART

HAWAII OF MY HEART

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Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA:

From Unchurched Hawaiian to Local Orthodox

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

I grew up unchurched. I became a Christian in high school through reading the Living Bible. I was active in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Hawaii. My home church was Kalihi Union Church (KUC), a fine evangelical congregation that was part of the United Church of Christ (UCC).

I was deeply troubled by the UCC’s liberal theology and wanted to help it return to its biblical roots. This led me to study at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for the purpose of preparing to become an evangelical seminary professor in the liberal United Church of Christ to help the UCC return to its biblical roots.

However, in a surprising turn of events, I became Orthodox!

It was my first week at seminary. As I walked down the hallway of Main Dorm I saw on the door of one of the student’s room an icon of Christ. I thought to myself,

“An icon in a Calvinist seminary!?!”

This was to be the first of many encounters with Eastern Orthodoxy.

After receiving my M.A. in Church History, I did doctoral studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. While there I attended Saints Kyril and Methodios Bulgarian Orthodox Church. I was drawn to the deep mystical worship of liturgical worship that was rooted in the historic Christian Faith. I also felt comfortable with its all-English services and a congregation that was made up mostly of converts. Orthodox worship presents a stark contrast to the emotionally driven entertainment that passes for contemporary Evangelical worship.

My journey to Orthodoxy began when little questions about Protestant theology turned into big questions, and the big questions turned into a theological crisis. Protestant theology holds up so long as one accepts certain premises but becomes problematic when considered from the standpoint of church history and the early Church Fathers. As a church history major I became painfully aware that much of what passes for Evangelicalism: the altar call, the symbolic understanding of the Lord’s Supper, the inductive bible study method, minimalist creed, the rapture, all have their origins in the 1800s.

This means that Evangelicalism is a modern innovation as is Liberalism.

But more troubling was my investigation of classical Reformation theology, e.g., Martin Luther and John Calvin. Two foundational tenets of Protestantism: sola fide (faith alone) and sola scriptura (Bible alone), were not part of the early Church and rely upon reading the Bible in a certain way. Moreover, these two tenets originated out of the theological debates of Medieval Scholasticism. In other words, the Protestant Reformation marks not a return to the historic Christian Faith, but rather a late innovation.

What makes Orthodoxy so daunting to an Evangelical is its understanding that to have the true Faith means belonging to the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church. If the Orthodox Church is the true Church, then that meant that I needed to resign my membership from Kalihi Union Church and become Orthodox. I was received into the Orthodox Church on the Sunday of Orthodoxy in 1999 at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Honolulu. I am very grateful for what I have learned from Evangelicalism but there is so much more to Christianity. Orthodoxy is the fulfillment of Evangelical theology and worship.

Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA

The 2 Calendars of the Eastern Orthodox Church – A letter to an American friend

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SCHISMATICS RETURN TO CHURCH

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Dear friend,

The Eastern Orthodox Church have 2 calendars. The New Calendar and the Old Calendar.

Some Orthodox countries have the new calendar and some the old calendar.

The Orthodox Church of Serbia, Russia, Mount Athos in Greece, Poland, Holy Land-Jerusalem and Sinai have the Old Calendar and the have Christmas on January 7.

The Orthodox Church of Greece, Romania, Asia Minor etc. have the New Calendar and the have Christmas on December 25.

But all these are local Churches are One Church: Eastern Orthodox Church.

But be careful!

There is a team who founded in Greece on 1924 that is a SCHISMATIC TEAM. They called “Genuine Orthodox Christians” but is out of Church.

If you have a “Genuine Orthodox Christian” near you don’t go there, because is out of Church!

Here in Greece the Old Calendarists are schismatics.

Only the Mount Athos Monasteries have the Old Calendar but they are in the Church like Russians, Serbians etc.

Only the Monastery of Esfigmenou in Mount Athos is a schismatic monastery that is “Genuite Orthodox Christian” monastery, now.

Here you find a Canonical Orthodox parish in North America:

https://oca.org/parishes

https://oca.org/directories/na-churches

Saint Nectarios of Aigina Island in Greece who died on 1920 prophesied the schism of old calendar of Greece!

St. Nectarios of Aegina (+1920) saind to the Nuns of his Monastery in Aegina Island, Greece:

“After my death will take place a great schism. You will follow the Main-Executive Church” (St. Nektarios of Aegina – Written in the Proceedings of the Monastery of Saint Nectarios).

With love in Christ,

Abel Gkiouzelis

gkiouz.abel@gmail.com

http://gkiouzelis.wordpress.com

Jorge’s Journey from Roman Catholic Spain to Wisconsin Orthodox – By Jorge Luque, USA

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

USA OF MY HEART

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Jorge’s Journey from Roman Catholic Spain to Wisconsin Orthodox

by

Jorge Luque, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

I was born in a nominally Roman Catholic family, though they did not practice their faith. I was baptised in the RC church, and some years later, about the age of nine, had my first communion. And that was all my Christian formation, those two separate instances without anything in between. My family did not go to church, except for baptisms, weddings, and funerals.

I was more or less like them until I was a teenager, when I converted, or rather came back, to the Roman Catholic faith.

I was 16 years old when, after undergoing a severe and long depression, I turned back to the faith of my “forefathers”. That was my thought back then, that is, to make a turn around, returning to my cultural and religious roots. The love for tradition was very strong in me, and was leading me step by step to the true faith, though not directly, for I had to go first through a period in my life dominated by the Roman Catholic faith.

I was sitting in a public library when, reading the first words of the first chapter of St. John’s Gospel, something, finally, changed in me. That was a turning point for me, the Continue reading “Jorge’s Journey from Roman Catholic Spain to Wisconsin Orthodox – By Jorge Luque, USA”