Where to start?
In the Orthodox Church, the role of a spiritual father cannot be understated. Starting from the beginning of your journey, a priest can guide, encourage, and connect you, the seeker to the Truth. Therefore, the first step we encourage you to take is to contact Father Ciprian either by email, phone, or Facebook.
What is next?
After the first meeting, based on the conversations you have, Fr. Ciprian can recommend readings, online resources, or spiritual practices. There is no “cookie-cutter” approach on the path to Orthodoxy. You are unique, your path is your own, and the approach is unique.
Later, we might form Inquirers’ Classes for people on the same journey. They usually take place at the church in the Founders Garden weather permitting or in the church. If Christ leads you to His Orthodox Church, we will continue the walk together. Later, you will choose a Godparent who will stand witness on the day of your Chrismation (or Baptism)
Do I need to become Orthodox if I participate in the Inquirers’ Class?
No. The invitation is to “Come and See,” but there are no expectations. We believe that once you taste the richness of our Orthodox theology, spirituality, worship, and history, you may be moved to seek becoming an Orthodox Christian, but, again, there is no expectation.
How long does it take for one to become an Orthodox Christian?
This question is like asking “how long does it take for one to become married?” It is a personal journey, not unlike the journey, which a single person takes that leads them to married life. Similarly, there are usually three stages:
- Seeker. Like dating, this is a period of discovery. One may ask questions, research the history and theology of the Orthodox Church, attend services and integrate Orthodox spiritual practices.
- Catechumen: Like an Engagement, one makes a commitment to join the Orthodox Church and spends this period preparing for that day. In consultation with Fr. Ciprian, one may join the Orthodox Church through Baptism or Chrismation, choose a Baptismal name (if different than the given name), and integrate into the life of the community.
- Become Orthodox: Like Marriage, it is a life-transforming event, in which one enters in intimate union and communion with Christ and the Orthodox Church, both visible (members of the community, the larger Orthodox community worldwide) and invisible (prophets, saints, bodiless powers.) Again, like Marriage, this day is not a destination in itself, as the growth and change continue in the life of the New Orthodox until the end of his life.
What are some available resources?
In our age of instant information, there is an abundance of available resources:
- Orthodox Christian Network. This is a tremendous wealth of information from articles, podcasts, videos, and resources.
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website: Videos, interviews, and daily readings will enrich your spiritual life and offer additional resources.
- Be the Bee YouTube channel: Short, fun, and easy to understand video series on Orthodoxy
- Fr. Josiah Trenham series:
- Patristic Nectar Films: the official YouTube channel
- on Eastern Orthodox Theology, Catholicism, and the Reformation
- Kevin Allen interviews Fr Josiah Trenham: part 1 and part 2
Shine in our hearts, O Master Who loves mankind, the pure light of Your divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our mind that we may comprehend the proclamations of Your Gospels. Instill in us also reverence for Your blessed commandments so that, having trampled down all carnal desires, we may lead a spiritual life, both thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You. For You, Christ our God, are the illumination of our souls and bodies, and to You we offer up glory, together with Your Father, Who is without beginning, and Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.