The State of the GOA

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admiralnick

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In my personal experience living in Chicago where media outlets believe that all Orthodox are Greek Orthodox, I can say that I've met alot of Greeks here who are only interested in things when they're in the spot light and if it has nothing to do with them, they aren't interested... But that has nothing to do with my post, just an observation.

As far as this thread goes, I am going to keep myself safe by stating that the thoughts of GisC are definately quite Nationalistic in the extreme. Now whether that's a good thing or not I dunno. However, I can sympathize with Jennifer because I too feel that his posts are kind of insulting to the rest of us non-greeks in an indirect way. Further, I'm not even gonna start about Chant vs. Choir, only to say that the Slavs never had choirs and never used an ison. We simply have melody, one line chant (when the Plain Chant Group sings of course).  Ummm... I don't remember what else I was gonna say, but I will leave this thread with a thought that is definately going to produce somemore heat (Sorry Jennifer  :-[ )  The only way to get rid of nationalism is to align the Orthodox Churches in America of all jurisdictions into the Orthodox Church in America (Used only as a title in this sense, not a jurisdictional alignment) with an American Patriarch.  However, being realistic, I don't see this happening anytime soon.

Peace to all!
 

ozgeorge

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Silouan said:
The strange thing though about Orthodoxy is that some of the most ethnocentric people are not of the ethnicity they claim is central. I've come across some strange ROCOR converts that are OBSESSED with Russia beyond what I have ever seen in someone who is actually Russian. Once in a blue moon such can also be found with the Greeks.ÂÂ
Still, if they're neither Greek nor Russian, all their behaviour can be called is "Helenophile" or "Russophile". We can hardly call it "ethnocentric".
 

ozgeorge

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admiralnick said:
  However, I can sympathize with Jennifer because I too feel that his posts are kind of insulting to the rest of us non-greeks in an indirect way.
I bet you pennies to pounds GiC is one of "you non-Greeks".
 

TomS

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I believe that GiC has already stated in another thread that he is not of Greek descent.
 

ozgeorge

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TomS said:
I believe that GiC has already stated in another thread that he is not of Greek descent.
Pay up, Nick!

Jennifer said:
Several things strike me from reading his posts. 
1)  Ethnocentricism (a better term would be that phrase that starts with a "p" that I can't remember how to spell) -
And if the word "phyletism" comes from "phyli" meaning "tribe", how can someone be a "phyletist" when they don't even belong to that tribe?
Leave poor ol' GiC alone ya bully! :)
 

Veniamin

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ozgeorge said:
Pay up, Nick!
And if the word "phyletism" comes from "phyli" meaning "tribe", how can someone be a "phyletist" when they don't even belong to that tribe?
Leave poor ol' GiC alone ya bully! :)
He's adopted himself into the Greeks.  :D
 

ozgeorge

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Veniamin said:
He's adopted himself into the Greeks. :D
He wishes:D (Spoken like a true phyletist).

"There are two types of people in the world: Greeks, and those who wish they were Greeks."
                                                              -Mr. Portokalis in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

:)
 

Pedro

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admiralnick said:
The only way to get rid of nationalism is to align the Orthodox Churches in America of all jurisdictions into the Orthodox Church in America (Used only as a title in this sense, not a jurisdictional alignment) with an American Patriarch.  However, being realistic, I don't see this happening anytime soon.
Well, Nick, I agree with you that one jurisdiction would definitely streamline matters.  It'd force us all to have to actually DEAL with each other, as you'd have several different ethnicities put together only ONE bishop (imagine that...).  But...sigh...and this is where I get into trouble...I try to keep a level head in stuff like this, but my own bad experiences with ethnically-driven parishes makes me REALLY impatient and not at ALL considerate of those who insist on foreign liturgical languages, but...here goes...

I would love to see what would happen if we made English the primary language of all Orthodox churches  in America and Canada (and Spanish or Indigenous Language X that of all of them to the south thereof...), with certain prayers (which could ALSO be repeated in English, like Holy God and Lord have mercy, etc.) in the foreign languages as a concession, and just watch what happens.  I know, I know, there would be riots in parish halls throughout the continents and mass exoduses of people from regular church attendance if this were implemented, but I guess my thought is...so what?  And the reason I respond in this amazingly unpastoral way is this:

The Church is not social hour.  It hacked me off, even as a Protestant, when kids would come to youth group to flirt and see how cute they could be, when adults would come and hum through hymns and be there to make an appearance (so they could go out afterwords with folks and network and/or gossip over lunch)...and these were more important than the spiritual aspect of the meeting, the fact that we were there to meet our Creator.  Same thing now, just in a different language.  The Church does not exist to keep any sort of cultural expression alive, period, full stop! (Uh, oh, here he goes!)  It is there so we can worship together, be unified with each other, ascend to the glorious throne of our Lord together, give Him thanks and praise for all He has done and does for us in this life, and finally, by His grace, to be united to Him through His All-Holy Body and precious Blood.  THIS is what Church is for.  If anything hinders people from experiencing this--whether it's liturgical language, people chatting in the back of the nave, or WHATEVER--it needs to be dealt with.

<steps off soapbox>  Sigh.  Thanks for indulging me. :-\ :-[ :-X
 

jlerms

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Here Here Pedro! 
I totally concur with Church not being a social hour.  Personally, I don't have too much of a problem with it because I go to Church with my children and then afterwards sit outside and watch them play a bit with the other children.  I am pretty new to my GOA church (1 year and still a catachumen) so I don't know that many of the parishoners.  Maybe I am wrong to not try to socialize with them but I have enough problems of my own without adding to the list...gossiping.  This would only be a temptation...which is sad that this happens at church. Ugh. 
The Divine Liturgy at our church can be a bit lengthy because it spoken in Greek and English so there is lots of repeating.  There seems to be a fair number of Greek speakers (most of whom are 65+ yrs) but the majority are American born and many are converts.  I don't participate in discussing about church politics...mostly because I am ignorant on such matters.  However, after reading this thread I am worried.  Am I being led astray?  Can one be a good christian in the GOA?  It frightens me that I could be going down the wrong path.  Isn't the GOA part of the One True Church?
Please pray for me and my family,    Juliana
 

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"Congregationalism" seem to be BIG in the US especially. It doesn't matter which jurisdiction.  I think this is based on democratic idealsim. However in practice there is no real democracy since you have pressure groups even on a parish council.  I remember being told that in the US you have to observe democracy, but when it came to voting a new board, the old board was reinstated without votes!  Of course you have to abide by the law if you incorporate your council.  Then you have to vote, maintain a board etc.  The parish council is meant to deal with the material support of the Church, not run it.  I was also told that the priest has to confer with the council before he can do anything, - in one extreme instance, the council wanted to edit his sermons!  Tell us something nice, don't remind us of sin etc... :'(

The language situation is of concern, but since US is a melting-pot of tribes, I think we need to cater for everyone. And the hallmark of Orthodoxy is unity through diversity. If the English-speaking parishes grow, not just in numbers, but spiritually, then the 'others'', the ethic clubs will become just that.  I don't see many black people in Orthodox churches - is this because of culture, European superiority?  do we want exclusive black Orthodoxy?  I don't think so.  But I do believe that peope should have the right to choose.  One Mega-Orthodox Church would not be my ideal. Thank you.
 

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Someone was saying that the ison was never part of the Greek tradition. Well, it may have not been used until later byzantine times, but it was developed by the Ancient Greeks and other near esatern cultures who used it as a bass to set their music to. I will try to find the sources and post them here later. I believe one source is from the St.Anthony's Monastery website. For example it was used when Homer's Iliad, greek plays were sung, and during religious services.

As for the Slavic usage of choirs, it is true that this wasn't always the case but they have been doing so for hundreds of years so far and some of the works are by musical geniuses like Tchaikovskey, Bortniansky.

The western music the greek church uses usually sounds like quacking ducks- one really good choir though is in the Denver Cathedral. Still, Byzantine chant captures the heart of Byzantine music, the stuff used here is ok too but does not give it credit as does the chant.
 

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Timos said:
Someone was saying that the ison was never part of the Greek tradition. Well, it may have not been used until later byzantine times, but it was developed by the Ancient Greeks and other near esatern cultures who used it as a bass to set their music to. I will try to find the sources and post them here later. I believe one source is from the St.Anthony's Monastery website. For example it was used when Homer's Iliad, greek plays were sung, and during religious services.
Provide exact references please.  I fully believe an ison developed, but am skeptical that was always there.


Timos said:
As for the Slavic usage of choirs, it is true that this wasn't always the case but they have been doing so for hundreds of years so far and some of the works are by musical geniuses like Tchaikovskey, Bortniansky.

The western music the greek church uses usually sounds like quacking ducks- one really good choir though is in the Denver Cathedral. Still, Byzantine chant captures the heart of Byzantine music, the stuff used here is ok too but does not give it credit as does the chant.
I wouldn't include Tchaikovsky and probably only a few of Bortniansky's works either.  Their work is more characteristic of modern, concert or imperial style singing, charachteristic of the "western captivity" era.  Kievan, Obikhod, Valaam, Kazan and especially Znammeny are traditional Russian chants (Carpathian/Galician as well, but they are more Ukrainian I think).  Matter of fact, the old Znammeny was originally written in the same type as old Byzantine chant.  Old Zanammeny DOES have an ison, although it is more modal in nature.
 

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GiC said:
Quote from: Jennifer on Yesterday at 11:03:56 PM
I suspect that greekischristian is being deliberately provocative


Somewhat, I generally believe what I post, but I may push the issue farther than I normally would for the sake of argument.


Quote
and that some time in Thessaloniki will do him a lot of good but I can't help but be offended by at least half of what he writes.


Please, dont be, it's just an internet Message board, nothing is intended to be personal.
So, you have no qualms sounding like a pretentious, pompous a**?  That's sad.
 

jlerms

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Dear All,  Would someone please reply to my earlier question in this thread:

  I don't participate in discussing about church politics...mostly because I am ignorant on such matters.ÂÂ However, after reading this thread I am worried.ÂÂ Am I being led astray?ÂÂ Can one be a good christian in the GOA?ÂÂ It frightens me that I could be going down the wrong path.ÂÂ Isn't the GOA part of the One True Church?

God bless you.  Juliana
 

jlerms

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Dear All,    Would someone please reply to my earlier question?

  I don't participate in discussing about church politics...mostly because I am ignorant on such matters.ÂÂ However, after reading this thread I am worried.ÂÂ Am I being led astray?ÂÂ Can one be a good christian in the GOA?ÂÂ It frightens me that I could be going down the wrong path.ÂÂ Isn't the GOA part of the One True Church?

God bless us all
 

choirfiend

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You're fine. We're just discussing the problems of the GOA....and all the jurisdictions have their own problems. The GOA is Orthodox and your family is doing a wonderful thing by joining it. All the best!
 

Eugenio

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Jennifer,

As a non-Greek convert to the G.O.A., all I can say is that the only way you can judge any U.S. jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church is for you to go and investigate yourself. And, preferably, investigate more than one church location!

Do not judge the Greek archdiocese by the comments of G.I.C. Instead, let me impart the advice rely of my Greek priest, who has told me, "If you doubt anything I say, go and check out the answer for yourself!"

My own experience has been that most Greek parishes in the upper Midwest, where I live, are full of people who are overjoyed to have new people walk into their churches - as long as those "new folks" accept them on their own terms.

Also, I must say that all online formats - including this message board - are truly poor formats to learn about a living faith.
 

ozgeorge

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Elisha said:
So, you have no qualms sounding like a pretentious, pompous a**? That's sad.
Hey! That's nasty and rude!

The "way someone sounds" depends on the ears of the listener. This is the second time GiC has been attacked for "the way he sounds" rather than the content of what he says.

I disagree with GiC on many points, but I've never seen him be nasty or rude to anyone.

Eugenio said:
Also, I must say that all online formats - including this message board - are truly poor formats to learn about a living faith.
AMEN TO THAT!

 
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