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Hi,
I'm John Daniel. I was baptized and chrismated last year in the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. I'm a History major with a concentration in Russian studies, and my minor is Russian language.

You're probably wondering, if I'm so interested in Russia, why the Antiochian Archdiocese? I'm not sure exactly; I feel more comfortable in Russian Churches, I use an Old Ritualist prayerbook (put out by a ROCOR church), and My patron is St. John Maximovitch. So I'm kind of unsure, but still very content with being safely in the Ark of the Church.

Is anyone here a part of one of the old-calendar synods? ROCOR, ROCE, Greek Synod in Resistance?

I've attended at a vespers service at a ROCE home chapel, but I would like to go to a fully functioning parish sometime.

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Yesterday, I was at work, and absolutely nothing was going on. I ended up talking with one of my co-workers, a man who, I would guess, is in his mid-50's. Anyway, the topic of relationships came up, because I was being kind of silly. However, as the course of the conversation progressed, it became apparent how far apart our beliefs on these sort of things are.

I was laughing and saying how I'd like to get married and have kids and whatnot, and he replied that I didn't "necessarily" have to do things in that order. On a tangent to this, I guess, I was saying that if I were to have a relationship with a certain person, I'd want marriage to be a goal, and I'd want the man that I marry to be Orthodox, even if that meant conversion. Mind you, this was a "silly" conversation, and though what I was saying is true, it's not like I'm going to beat somebody over the head with these things.

For some reason, though, my co-worker seemed to think I was being unreasonable. Why chase off all the boys with the idea of marriage? The more I get to think about this, the more I feel like I'm in the right... (I'm just so close-minded!) I'm 26 years old, and I guess I feel like it is an age where it isn't an unreasonable expectation that marriage be something to consider here. Sure, it may be "old-fashioned", but I guess I feel like I've been saved from a lot by doing what is right, and I'm not about to change now. This goes for his "necessarily" part, too. *L*

Maybe, years back, I would have been upset by what he was saying, because of the inference that I can't expect to "impose my beliefs" on others, and that I'm not having enough "fun", but now, it doesn't bother me the same way. :) I know what's right. :)
Current Music:
Badly Drawn Boy - "Say it Again"
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I've been contemplating the role of women in relationships, in the church, and in the world. One quote I stumbled across made me stop and think really hard about who I am as a woman.

"Woman was created from the rib of man. She was not created from his head to rule him, nor from his feet to be stepped on. She was made from his side protecting his most vital organs, from beneath his arm, dressed modestly, that God reiterated with every stroke her creation, to be protected by him and near to his heart to be loved by him.

As with Eve, her influence was evident. God heals everything under her influence. Her femininity may not leave an obvious imprint, but nonetheless her effect is unmistakenably deep."

I know that traditionally a wife's role is to be submitted to her husband, father, or protective male figure, but I'm not sure how that translates into today's world. Is change a good thing? Or perhaps, is this change drawing us more and more away from God? I don't see myself as ever being that Orthodox woman who walks around all day with her head covered, in long bulky skirts, kneading bread. Perhaps someday I will return to wearing a scarf in church, but the rest of it? I'm not sure I could do it. I haven't had a male protector in my life since I was 13 when my father died. My mom and I never got a long, so I've been pretty independant for a good portion of my life. How does one change all that? Is it necessary for a fulfilling life in the Church? I don't know... I guess more thought and reading is necessary.
I know I posted this before on my xanga account... but felt that since I've still been thinking about it, I would post it again, in an effort to maybe get some direction
Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
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I was looking in the archives of the community here and saw that there seems to be an introduction protocol so I'm here to do my part. My name is Jacob Daniel Brooks and I was baptized into the Orthodox Church four (really?) years ago this August. I was given the name Aleksander upon my baptism after St. Aleksander of Comana. Yes, it does appear that I may have three patron saints...all the more to pray for me in my many, many sins... I grew up in rural Illinois and currently (unfortunatly) reside in Chicago where I attend the University of Illinois. I'm studying Russian in order to translate at least a little bit of the wealth of Orthodox writings. That's about it...
Current Music:
Seamus McGuire - The Wishing Tree
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I'm somebody who is really influenced by music. Especially when I was younger, and I didn't have the means to express a lot of what was going on inside my head and inside my heart, music was a "safe" way to outlet some of that turmoil. The songs that got stuck in my head were gauges of how I was doing (and still are, to great extent). If I was in a really happy mood, "Good Day Sunshine" might be the song on infinite loop. On the other hand, I remember one time when I was 15 when I was in such a bad state of mind, I had Don McLean's song "Vincent" stuck in my head for an entire week.

That being said, I've always looked for little "truths" in song lyrics. "Hey Jude" is special to me because it's a song about persisting on and keeping hope, even when the world around is falling to pieces.

I'm not nearly as observant about music now as I was then, but I still latch on to things that seem important to remember sometimes. In December, I bought Sheryl Crow's new album, "Wildflower". There are a couple songs there that I really like, but the lyric that stuck out to me the most was the line, "And even in the worst of times, I give my best to you" from the song "Lifelines".

Maybe at one point, that was a given in a marriage (or even in just more "casual" relationships). If you had guests over, you made the house ready, you'd offer them tea or dinner, etc. Some of this is still true today, but more and more often, we are being sucked in to this attitude of "let it all hang out", citing it as "truth". (If he doesn't like/love me for what I am, why should I bother?)

Sure, there's plenty in us all that is less than ideal. Yet our quest should be to conquer that, not to flaunt it. I guess the song lyric could be taken two ways. The more conventional way would be to say, "Even in the worst of times, you'll get the best of what I've got left to give." Usually, this isn't very much, and it is a reason that so many people who are married or in relationships break up when things in life get very hard. They may understandably be in a lot of pain, because there are an awful lot of terrible situations that we are dealt sometimes, but especially in a marriage, one has to still be willing, even in the midst of terrible pain, to be willing to go all out for the other. I think that that is the second interpretation of the song - that even in the worst of times, a person is still willing to sacrifice themselves to give the absolute best to the other. It is possible, though oftentimes excruciating. For a marriage to work well, this is something that both partners have to be willing to do.

I hope I don't sound like I think I have all the answers, because I don't. However, hopefully, by this point in my life, I hope that I have learned something about life, about discernment, and about what is right and wrong. As I have said many times, I'd definitely like to get married, and share my life with somebody. However, I've been through enough to know that I can't be flattered by everybody who even looks my way. My standards are high, and they should be, though the world says that what I believe is just so much nonsense. And so we must band together, and be there for each other, as brothers and sisters in Christ. Problems don't just "disappear" because one is "in a relationship" or married. My friend Isabel has been married for 35 years, and she says that the problems don't get easier - they get different. :) I trust her judgement a lot. And so I hope that in this community, we can be friends and get to know each other better, support each other, and perhaps even help one another with the what we need to be looking for in our "relationships", because, even though it may seem "hopeless" now, most people in this community are quite young (early 20's), and chances are, most of us will be getting married at some point. And for those of us who aren't, there is joy in that as well. :) Let us always be willing, "even in the worst of times" to give the best of ourselves to God, and to each other.
Current Music:
Sheryl Crow - "Lifelines"
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Happy Nativity! Christ is Born!
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already posted on orthodoxy

what good metaphors have you all heard about sin and its effect on the individual?  (i'm looking for the equivalent of cardinal j.h. newman's barnacle metaphor)

if you need me to clarify, i'll be glad to elaborate as a comment.

Current Mood:
busy busy
Current Music:
bauhaus - the sanity assassin
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Hi, here is my intro post although I've been a member of this community for some time now. I'm female, 19, from Los Angeles, CA and I'm a Sophomore in a local 4 year university. I'm Coptic Orthodox Christian. That's about all I can think of at the moment...ask me if you want to know anything more....
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