The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
Sergiusz, zeroneet, Atomic Parakeet 1, Anna777, HeraclitusTheObscu
5,830 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
2 members (Adamcsc, akemner), 62 guests, and 19 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
by Veronica.H, April 24
Byzantine Catholic Outreach of Iowa
Exterior of Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Parish
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics35,141
Posts414,752
Members5,830
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 2 of 3 1 2 3
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 730
E
EdHash Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
E
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 730
Originally Posted by mwbonline
so, why go the a 'church' that has requirements when one can go to one that only has entertainment and 'you-fill-in-the-blank' requirements. This is 'cafeteria Christianity'.

I beg to differ. Many fill uplifted when they go elsewhere because the found something that was missing in their former (Catholic) church - joy. Their new communities are not afraid to talk about Jesus the Lord. 90% of their discussions (or arguments) aren't about rubrics, beards, vestments, and other distractions that keep us from keeping focused on the reason for being there.

I do agree to some degree that some congregations are really into the show business thing. But many are strong in their faith. So, the choice is either attend a church that is so focused on rubrics, beards, vestments, titles, and other things that focus on *man* or attend a church that is so focused on music, entertainment, and other things that focus on *man*. Both have their ways of distracting.

In reading the comments about rubrics, beards, vestments, titles and other things considered vital to Christianity and its survival on these forums, I would conclude that THIS is considered entertainment too. Consider those who are proud that another church community *returned to their traditions*. We see pictures of very beautiful church buildings, but not many pictures of people. The focus is on externals; what can be seen and experienced (eye candy).

Every church has its problems. On another thread I posted (Theosis), there seems to be common ground between the churches that doesn't focus on music, beards, vestments, entertainment, and all those other things. I would even guess that theosis, or the doctrine of, doesn't get too much publicity because everyone is so focused on *man*; so many are frequenting the Church of the Golden Calf.

The Roman Catholic Church also taught that its members should pray for the conversion of Russia; this despite the fact that the largest Orthodox Church is there! I also read that the BCC also wanted to set up missions to convert the godless Russkies. Now, Evangelicals and other Protestants are/want to bring the Gospel to godless Russia (and Catholic Europe). The Catholics once taught that the Orthodox (*Schismatics*) and Protestants were going to hell. The Orthodox taught that the Catholics and especially the *Uniates* were going to hell. The Protestants taught that both Catholics and Orthodox were already in hell and needed to be saved.

But at least we have common ground in the doctrine of Theosis.

Ed

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 221
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 221
I guess that ethnicity disappearing a couple of generations or so down the road wasn`t something our immigrant granddparents/great-grandparents thought of at the time, they were foreign, they seemed strange to everyone here. As we all know most formed their own little communities within the community. I speak from the viewpoint of a Hungarian Byzantine Catholic originally from the Detroit area whose grandparents immigrated here, helped build the small Hungarian community in the area, churches, ethnic clubs, etc. My parents kept many of the traditions so we kids all knew them, then you get everyone of my generation marrying into every possible kind of ethnic group and sometimes no particular ethnic group and now I have a small grandson who is Hungarian, Irish, Italian and American Indian. In addition to that people moving here and there and it all adds up to assimilation. None of this is news but I think in order to survive Eastern Christianity has to evolve, ethnically speaking, the way population has assimilated. We should never forget our roots. I am proud of my heritage but we have to be realistic and adapt to the needs of the population in any given area without abandoning what is essential to Eastrern Christianity. In a lot of cases depending on the ethnic make-up of the area this should be done naturally and gradually, so as not to make the old timers feel abandoned by their church but to also feel make anyone of any background feel welcomed and comfortable to worship in the parish. Of course other evangelization efforts are needed but if they feel out of place when they come you probably won`t see them as a permanent member of the parish. Anyhow, just my two cents.

Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,274
Likes: 14
Moderator
Member
Offline
Moderator
Member
Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,274
Likes: 14
"Can some here speak up and dispute, agree, or deal with these issues?"

Well Simple Sinner I think you pretty much covered everything. The problem is complex. You have those that demand the ethnic factor, those that could care less, and those that want a little for nostalgic reasons. How do you please everyone? How do you balance evangelizing and bringing in new people while renewing those already there? To complicate matters, there are success models for different approaches. Some parishes are successful with an all-English, minimal ethnicity model, some parishes are successful with a "join our Church you become (insert ethnicity)" model. You will always have people that don't give a hoot to ever sing even a single hymn in anything but English and you will always have people who are really gung-ho about their ethnic roots and want to preserve it as much as possible and feel it is the Church's duty to promote it.

Fr. Deacon Lance


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,760
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,760

I usually offer a series of classes for our parish during Lent and I'm contemplating something different this year. I would appreciate your thoughts.

I understand where you're coming from about ethnicity, but let me preface my idea with a comment that there are many families in my area with names suffixed with ...ula ...chak,...ak,...or,...ko, etc. who do not belong to our church. Also, it is very difficult to explain why the BCC exists without a explanation of where our founders came from and why they loved their expression of worship to our Merciful and Loving God.

My idea is this:

1. Rent a room at a local Best Western Conference Center with internet access and screen
2. Prepare a lesson which:
Using Google Earth will "fly" us to our origin, the Rusyn lands, relating to the Poles, Croats and Lithuanians who are so numerous in this area.
Speak of their lands, and the relatives still there.
Speak of the traditions which still exist to some extent - the blessings of homes, candles, flowers, Easter Baskets, etc
Our expression of worship, relating it to the larger locally dominant Western Catholics (whom our people have joined).
Pointing these out on Internet sites, a taste of Liturgy, Churches
Sampling internets sites, like Byzcath.org, http://carpatho-rusyn.org/ the Vatican website, prayer sites, EWTN, among others.

I hope to advertise, trying to reach those interested in geneology, history, curious about a different Catholic "expression", by advertising on radio and newspaper and inviting the local Catholic High School (Light of the East theme).

I'm gathering info at this time and need to set a date. My sentence structure and grammar may not be so good in this post, but its getting late and I'm just "thinking out loud."

Your comments are appreciated.

Fr. Deacon Paul

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,131
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,131
I know it is complicated, but the less we consider it, the more it is still there... just unconsidered.

At this juncture in history some SERIOUS soul searching needs to be made about what we intend to do for the future. VERY conservative estimates in some areas are generously allowing for about ten more years of funerals. That is generous for some.

A lot of parishes will end up getting closed, many will have no one to blame but themselves.

I hope the new missions learn from it...

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,461
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,461
Quote
What I would like to know about Brampton:...

What is most important is success. St. Elias started in a RC school gym with a few core dedicated families. What it is now is an amazing, dedicated and and beautiful parish.

It was not an older "established" ethnic or nationalistic parish. Archpriest Roman received the blessing of Kyr +Isidore of blessed memory to try something new, and he did, and it was a great success.

In addition to a very full and traditional liturgical life, certainly the core of the parish life (with many services in English) there are other things - study groups, the Heritage School, youth activities as well as a very welcoming fellowship that seems to make many feel at home who are not originally of "that tradition".
FDRLB

http://www.saintelias.com/ca/index.php

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 320
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 320
my response is concerning all of the eastern rite churches. some simple ways to evangelize are to evangelize inside the parish. keep printed material inside the parish about who we are and what our mission is. parishes need to evangelize internally in order to externally. then externally simple ways such as newspaper advertising could be used. and how about well organized outdoor divine liturgies ?


Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 476
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 476
Quote
I guess that ethnicity disappearing a couple of generations or so down the road wasn`t something our immigrant granddparents/great-grandparents thought of at the time, they were foreign, they seemed strange to everyone here.

From my experiences withthe UGCC, I do not find the Ukrainian cultural aspect off-putting. In fact I want to learn more.

However, I think that there needs to be a way for newcomers to not feel uncomforatble and to 'assimilate' if they want or to still feel comfortable if they choose not to. The UGCC parish near me has both a Ukrainian Liturgy and an English Liturgy on Sundays. IMHO this is a good thing as it allows for everyone to feel welcome.

As well, I also find that the parishes that thrive the most are those with an "active liturgical life" i.e. a lot of services.

The Eastern Churches are poised to picked up the slack from us Romans who have not done much (in most places) to pass on the faith to our youth, nor to win more to the "faith delivered, once and for all, to the saints."

From my experience here some suggestions:

1.) Get a website with a Liturgy schedule (and make sure it is accurate and frequently updated!) Most people under the age of 40 spend at least some time every week onthe Internet.
2.) Get a tasteful sign visible from the street.
3.) As someone mentioned above, tracts are very important--especially those explaining what an Eastern Catholic Church is and that a Latin Rite Catholic can fulfill their Sunday obligation at the Divine Liturgy.
4.) Ring your church bells if you have them (and preferably real bells, not electronic). They are good for letting the locals know when there is a service and, at the very least, church bells appeal to the Romantic in all of us. Can't tell you how many times I've been with friends and heard real church bells, and they wondered where they were coming from.
5.) Assign the ushers to hand out bulletins and greet people as they come in and out, and have them ready to answer questions like "where's the restroom?"
6.) If possible have some sort of coffee hour after every service and make sure to talk to newcomers and not ignore them.
7.) Finally, advertise your services in the local newspaper. It's done all the time here in Philadelphia in the religion section of The Philadelphia Inquirer's Saturday edition.

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 59
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 59
I'm coming to this topic somewhat late, but I am intrigued by the question.

In reading the responses so far (as well as those on the thread on ethnic vs mission churches), it seems that many are concerned about the future of Eastern Catholicism in the US, perhaps with good reason. I'd like to pose several items for your consideration.

First, the recent Pew study shows that 44% of all Americans have switched their religious affiliation from the churches and denominations in which they were raised. This is something that affects all churches, not just "ethnic" ones. It is perhaps likely that "ethnic" churches face greater declines with increasing assimilation. Many ethnic Roman Catholic parishes have been forced to close or merge with other parishes as a result. So this challenge is not unique to EC or EO parishes.

Second, the consumeristic nature of American society can be viewed as a positive as well as a negative. While many of our "home grown" adherents are leaving the faith, others are searching for a deeper expression of Christianity than that with which they are familiar. Many serious Protestants are looking to the ancient Churches and are converting to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy. Why not Byzantine Catholicism? To be honest, it's because it's not on the radar screen for most. They are compeltely unaware of the existence of a Church that offers Eastern spirituality and practice yet is also in communion with Rome. Many Protestants, especially Evangelicals, are often torn between an attraction to both Orthodoxy and Catholicism, and they mistakenly think they must choose between the two. If more people knew about Eastern Catholicism, it would attract more converts.

Third, it seems that the Byzantine Catholic Church, in order to survive, simply MUST evangelize. What does this look like? Perhaps, in areas with a large surviving ethnic culture, it might take the form of parish festivals to help people re-connect with their heritage (the local Greek parish here in Knoxville has a HUGE Greek Fest every year that is well attended by the entire community). This might encourage lapsed Byzantine Catholics to return to their faith, especially if they find a warm and welcoming community. But evangelization must move beyond that. You have a beautiful Tradition which is largely unknown even to most Latin Catholics. You must find ways to share the "good news" of your faith with the larger Catholic community in your area.

In my diocese, the Byzantine mission lists their service time in the diocesan newsletter, and a link to the mission is found on the diocesan website. This past Sunday, our Cub Scout troop attended the Divine Liturgy and the pastor met with the boys (and their parents) before and after the Liturgy to explain the Eastern Catholic faith. For most of us, it was their first exposure to it. My point is that there are ways to invite people to "come and see" the beauty of Eastern Christianity - and that will, in itself, draw many to you.

But even beyond this, the fields are ripe for the harvest. According to the Pew study, 16% of Americans are unaffiliated with any religion (a growing percentage). Many people are searching for a deeper encounter with God, and they're not finding it in Western Christianity (in either it's Protestant or Roman Catholic forms). The Byzantine Church must find ways to proclaim Christ, and invite people to "come and see" - to encounter Him in the Divine Liturgy. I have no doubt that many would be "blown away" by the awesome power and beauty of the Liturgy.

God bless you as you struggle with this question, and may the Lord grant the Byzantine Church in America "Many Years"!

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 510
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 510
C. I. X.

Many families will have three sets of church offering envelopes in their buffet drawer. The first is where they go with mom and dad on Christmas and Easter. The second is where they attend usually because it is meaningful to them. The third is where they go with friends mainly to volunteer working at fundraisers for charitable causes. I do. Yes one can be an Evangelical Orthodox Catholic.

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Goodmorning everyone,
I am looking for a church. I live in Williamsport, pa and I think the closest church is in Berwick. Does anyone know of one closer?
Thank You,
Maureen

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,373
U
Member
Offline
Member
U
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,373
There is an OCA parish in Williamsport.

Ung

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Thank You,
Are you talking about Holy Cross? they are an Orthodox Church. I have been there and I recommend it to everyone a great community of believers. Very nice church but are not in communion with the Pope. I am looking for a Byzantine Catholic Church.
Thank You,
Maureen

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 21
If you want to learn how to Evangelize look at Holy Cross OCA Church in Williamsport. I went there once and felt like I grew up there. The welcomed me in introduced themselves when I entered invited me personally to come to a social hour which was lovely and delicious where the parishoners brought the food and some signed up to bring it next week. The kids where running around and it felt like a true Worshipping Community.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 773
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 773
Maureen,

I do not know the Pennsylvania geography that well, but here is a link for the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Churches in PA:

http://www.archeparchy.org/page/directories/directory-PA.htm


Blessings,


Lance

A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World [byzantinechristian.blogspot.com]

Page 2 of 3 1 2 3

Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2022 (Forum 1998-2022). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5