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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Christ is Risen!

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  • Rosemarie Lieffring
    Dear Laura, Thanks for introducing your self and telling your story. I can only imagine how difficult it was for your husband to leave his means of support.
    Message 1 of 15 , May 7, 2008
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      Dear Laura,

      Thanks for introducing your self and telling your story. I can only
      imagine how difficult it was for your husband to leave his means of
      support. But I am so happy to hear of your joy!

      Laura...are you in Eagle River, Alaska? If so, did you get a chance to hear
      Matthew Gallatin speak in January there? He gave this outstanding talk on
      the will of God. I encourage anyone who hasn't listened to it yet to check
      it out. http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/pilgrims/P8/

      And I agree...the colloquium speakers were outstanding as well. Bach going
      to Liepzig for more frequent Communion...I will never forget that story.
      http://ancientfaith.com/specials/lutheran_colloquium

      BTW...I am a Lutheran convert...Orthodox for only 2 years now and attend the
      Greek Church in Athens, Georgia (on Mars Hill Road, no less!). No two year
      itch yet! I am so grateful to have been led to Holy Orthodoxy.-----R

      On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 7:14 PM, laurafrizelle <laurafrizelle@...>
      wrote:

      > Hello everyone,
      >
      > I was a member of this group for a short while last year before my
      > husband and I left the LCMS and became catechumens officially last
      > June. We and our 3 boys Ian 6, James 4 and Solomon 2 were chrismated
      > by Bishop JOSEPH at St. John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River this
      > last Christmas.
      >
      > My husband was a pastor for nearly 10 years in the LCMS. After 9 years
      > of controversy and fighting in the LCMS and about a year of intense
      > study and prayer, we met with Bishop JOSEPH and our local Orthodox
      > priest. Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our
      > situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever
      > thought about your salvation?"
      >
      > That might sound like a crazy question to most Lutherans, but let it
      > sink in a while. Is bitterness and lack of joy because of church
      > politics causing you to hate your brothers and sisters in the Lutheran
      > Church? Is it distracting you from worship and true Communion with
      > God and your neighbor? Are you addicted to church politics and so
      > sure that you are right and superior that it causes you to judge
      > people like a pharisee, so much that you lack horizontal communion
      > with others in your church? Examine yourself. Where can you get rest
      > and healing from all that crap? Has God abandoned His Church? Where
      > does God protected unity exist?
      >
      > I hope my tone does not sound harsh. I do not mean these words in a
      > hurtful way at all. All of those questions were true for me for too
      > long, and I am just wanting to speak the truth in love, like Bishop
      > JOSEPH did with us. (What a blessing a spiritual father and bishops
      > are in comparison to the political, corporate figures we had for
      > church leaders in the LCMS!)
      >
      > Our LCMS congregation was on the verge of voting on whether to
      > practice open communion or not, and our district president and other
      > pastors in the circuit were not in the least bit concerned. This was
      > one of the final straws upon many, many.
      >
      > Our lives have changed so much since last year, and at every turn we
      > are reaffirmed in the peace and joy of finding the pearl of Orthodox
      > Christianity. I have never known such unity, love and depth of
      > communion. We are home, healing and so thankful to God for all things.
      > Even those years of stress and pain mixed with blessing in the LCMS.
      > God truly works all things out for good for those who love Him, even
      > feebly as we do.
      >
      > Last week I was listening to recordings of the Colloquium for
      > Lutherans interested in Orthodoxy. The presentations were so good. I
      > pray that the Holy Spirit will use those talks to help many battle
      > weary Lutherans and protestants out there to open their hearts and let
      > down their defenses enough to seek the Kingdom of God beyond the
      > political trenches that we too were suffering in for too long. If any
      > of you are interested in the recordings, I am sure Mr. Orr could hook
      > you up.
      >
      > Also for any of you out there who (like us initially) think Orthodox
      > are soft on sin, check out Father Thomas Hopko's new lecture CD on
      > sin. It is very, very good and helpful.
      >
      > I want to encourage any of you lurkers out there to open your hearts .
      > Feel free to email me.
      >
      > God Bless You Always!
      > Laura Frizelle
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • RANDY ASBURRY
      Thank you very much for your words of wisdom, and thank God for thecomfort and peace that He has given you! While I still remain in theLCMS for the time being,
      Message 2 of 15 , May 8, 2008
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        Thank you very much for your words of wisdom, and thank God for thecomfort and peace that He has given you! While I still remain in theLCMS for the time being, I will confirm your words about the politics and thebattle-weariness. It does weigh on the soul. Bishop JOSEPH's questionis right on target: "What about your salvation?" Thanks for remindingus of that.

        Also, please tell your husband - Thomas, right? -hello for me. I believe our paths crossed a time or two, at least onemail lists if not in person.

        God bless!
        + + + + +
        Rev. Randy Asburry
        Hope Lutheran Church
        St. Louis, MO
        r.asburry@...




        ----- Original Message ----
        From: laurafrizelle <laurafrizelle@...>
        To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 6:14:02 PM
        Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Christ is Risen!

        Hello everyone,

        I was a member of this group for a short while last year before my
        husband and I left the LCMS and became catechumens officially last
        June. We and our 3 boys Ian 6, James 4 and Solomon 2 were chrismated
        by Bishop JOSEPH at St. John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River this
        last Christmas.

        My husband was a pastor for nearly 10 years in the LCMS. After 9 years
        of controversy and fighting in the LCMS and about a year of intense
        study and prayer, we met with Bishop JOSEPH and our local Orthodox
        priest. Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our
        situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever
        thought about your salvation?"

        That might sound like a crazy question to most Lutherans, but let it
        sink in a while. Is bitterness and lack of joy because of church
        politics causing you to hate your brothers and sisters in the Lutheran
        Church? Is it distracting you from worship and true Communion with
        God and your neighbor? Are you addicted to church politics and so
        sure that you are right and superior that it causes you to judge
        people like a pharisee, so much that you lack horizontal communion
        with others in your church? Examine yourself. Where can you get rest
        and healing from all that crap? Has God abandoned His Church? Where
        does God protected unity exist?

        I hope my tone does not sound harsh. I do not mean these words in a
        hurtful way at all. All of those questions were true for me for too
        long, and I am just wanting to speak the truth in love, like Bishop
        JOSEPH did with us. (What a blessing a spiritual father and bishops
        are in comparison to the political, corporate figures we had for
        church leaders in the LCMS!)

        Our LCMS congregation was on the verge of voting on whether to
        practice open communion or not, and our district president and other
        pastors in the circuit were not in the least bit concerned. This was
        one of the final straws upon many, many.

        Our lives have changed so much since last year, and at every turn we
        are reaffirmed in the peace and joy of finding the pearl of Orthodox
        Christianity. I have never known such unity, love and depth of
        communion. We are home, healing and so thankful to God for all things.
        Even those years of stress and pain mixed with blessing in the LCMS.
        God truly works all things out for good for those who love Him, even
        feebly as we do.

        Last week I was listening to recordings of the Colloquium for
        Lutherans interested in Orthodoxy. The presentations were so good. I
        pray that the Holy Spirit will use those talks to help many battle
        weary Lutherans and protestants out there to open their hearts and let
        down their defenses enough to seek the Kingdom of God beyond the
        political trenches that we too were suffering in for too long. If any
        of you are interested in the recordings, I am sure Mr. Orr could hook
        you up.

        Also for any of you out there who (like us initially) think Orthodox
        are soft on sin, check out Father Thomas Hopko's new lecture CD on
        sin. It is very, very good and helpful.

        I want to encourage any of you lurkers out there to open your hearts .
        Feel free to email me.

        God Bless You Always!
        Laura Frizelle




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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • laurafrizelle
        Hello Randy, I ll tell my husband you said hello! I am glad you have peace now. It was amazing for us too, how once we were close to making our decision how
        Message 3 of 15 , May 8, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Hello Randy,

          I'll tell my husband you said hello!

          I am glad you have peace now. It was amazing for us too, how once we
          were close to making our decision how our peace while still in the
          LCMS began to increase. Of course it was very hard to make the final
          separation from the people in the congregation my husband served, but
          we knew with full conviction that that was what we had to do. Bishop
          JOSEPH also said to us during that first conversation that once we
          made our decision to do it quickly as possible and to have no fear.
          That is exactly what we tried to do.

          We will pray for you and yours, Randy.

          Tom asked for a peaceful release from his call. We did not want to
          tear up that little church anymore than it was. I wish that we could
          have brought more with us for their sakes, so that they could know the
          fullness and beauty of Orthodoxy. In time we pray that people will
          come, a few have, but most will have to come on their own. We run
          into people from our old church all the time at the grocery store. We
          tell them that we are poor, but very happy and invite them to come and
          see.

          I am convinced that most people just aren't ready yet and that God
          understands completely where they are coming from and He is patient
          and steadfast to all of us Lutheran, Orthodox, Baptist, whatever.
          Forgive the cliche...you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot
          make him drink.

          All we can ultimately do is try to listen carefully to our Good
          Shepherd and personally follow His lead.

          God Bless You Always,
          Laura


          --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, RANDY ASBURRY
          <r.asburry@...> wrote:
          >
          > Thank you very much for your words of wisdom, and thank God for
          thecomfort and peace that He has given you! While I still remain in
          theLCMS for the time being, I will confirm your words about the
          politics and thebattle-weariness. It does weigh on the soul. Bishop
          JOSEPH's questionis right on target: "What about your salvation?"
          Thanks for remindingus of that.
          >
          > Also, please tell your husband - Thomas, right? -hello for me. I
          believe our paths crossed a time or two, at least onemail lists if not
          in person.
          >
          > God bless!
          > + + + + +
          > Rev. Randy Asburry
          > Hope Lutheran Church
          > St. Louis, MO
          > r.asburry@...
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ----- Original Message ----
          > From: laurafrizelle <laurafrizelle@...>
          > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 6:14:02 PM
          > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Christ is Risen!
          >
          > Hello everyone,
          >
          > I was a member of this group for a short while last year before my
          > husband and I left the LCMS and became catechumens officially last
          > June. We and our 3 boys Ian 6, James 4 and Solomon 2 were chrismated
          > by Bishop JOSEPH at St. John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River this
          > last Christmas.
          >
          > My husband was a pastor for nearly 10 years in the LCMS. After 9 years
          > of controversy and fighting in the LCMS and about a year of intense
          > study and prayer, we met with Bishop JOSEPH and our local Orthodox
          > priest. Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our
          > situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever
          > thought about your salvation?"
          >
          > That might sound like a crazy question to most Lutherans, but let it
          > sink in a while. Is bitterness and lack of joy because of church
          > politics causing you to hate your brothers and sisters in the Lutheran
          > Church? Is it distracting you from worship and true Communion with
          > God and your neighbor? Are you addicted to church politics and so
          > sure that you are right and superior that it causes you to judge
          > people like a pharisee, so much that you lack horizontal communion
          > with others in your church? Examine yourself. Where can you get rest
          > and healing from all that crap? Has God abandoned His Church? Where
          > does God protected unity exist?
          >
          > I hope my tone does not sound harsh. I do not mean these words in a
          > hurtful way at all. All of those questions were true for me for too
          > long, and I am just wanting to speak the truth in love, like Bishop
          > JOSEPH did with us. (What a blessing a spiritual father and bishops
          > are in comparison to the political, corporate figures we had for
          > church leaders in the LCMS!)
          >
          > Our LCMS congregation was on the verge of voting on whether to
          > practice open communion or not, and our district president and other
          > pastors in the circuit were not in the least bit concerned. This was
          > one of the final straws upon many, many.
          >
          > Our lives have changed so much since last year, and at every turn we
          > are reaffirmed in the peace and joy of finding the pearl of Orthodox
          > Christianity. I have never known such unity, love and depth of
          > communion. We are home, healing and so thankful to God for all things.
          > Even those years of stress and pain mixed with blessing in the LCMS.
          > God truly works all things out for good for those who love Him, even
          > feebly as we do.
          >
          > Last week I was listening to recordings of the Colloquium for
          > Lutherans interested in Orthodoxy. The presentations were so good. I
          > pray that the Holy Spirit will use those talks to help many battle
          > weary Lutherans and protestants out there to open their hearts and let
          > down their defenses enough to seek the Kingdom of God beyond the
          > political trenches that we too were suffering in for too long. If any
          > of you are interested in the recordings, I am sure Mr. Orr could hook
          > you up.
          >
          > Also for any of you out there who (like us initially) think Orthodox
          > are soft on sin, check out Father Thomas Hopko's new lecture CD on
          > sin. It is very, very good and helpful.
          >
          > I want to encourage any of you lurkers out there to open your hearts .
          > Feel free to email me.
          >
          > God Bless You Always!
          > Laura Frizelle
          >
          >
          >
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        • Anastasia Theodoridis
          We tell them that we are poor, but very happy and invite them to come and see. One of the things that desperately needs doing is for Orthodox businessmen and
          Message 4 of 15 , May 8, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            "We tell them that we are poor, but very
            happy and invite them to come and
            see."

            One of the things that desperately needs doing is for Orthodox businessmen
            and women to get organized so as to be able to offer decent jobs to people
            like your husband, Laura. We ought to have a nationwide network of people
            who have access to such positions.

            Yes, it's breathtakingly courageous when families leave behind their means
            of support to follow Christ into Orthodoxy. And indeed, this is the sort of
            faith Christ exhorts us to have when He says if anyone loves father or
            mother, etc., better than Me, he is not worthy of Me.

            STILL! It would be great if we could help make such decisions easier by
            having some sort of a job placement service...

            Anastasia
            e-mail: anastasiatheo01@...
            blog: http://anastasias-corner.blogspot.com
          • wrvinovskis
            Dear Sister, As an LCMS pastor, I very much appreciate your family s frustration with the controversy and fighting in the LCMS. I, too, from time-to-time have
            Message 5 of 15 , May 9, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              Dear Sister,

              As an LCMS pastor, I very much appreciate your family's frustration
              with the controversy and fighting in the LCMS. I, too, from
              time-to-time have been tempted to throw in the towel. I pray God's
              blessing on you in your journey. I trust you will find a safe haven in
              the Orthodox church. Having said that, in my brief interactions with
              Orthodox Christians of various stripes it has become fairly obvious to
              me that there is no lack of conflict and fighting among the Orthodox,
              also. While there may be many good reasons to become Orthodox, I'm
              not sure peace and harmony is at the top of the list.

              God's Peace,

              Pr. Waldemar Vinovskis

              "We feebly struggle, they in glory shine!"


              > >
              > > My husband was a pastor for nearly 10 years in the LCMS. After 9 years
              > > of controversy and fighting in the LCMS and about a year of intense
              > > study and prayer, we met with Bishop JOSEPH and our local Orthodox
              > > priest. Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our
              > > situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever
              > > thought about your salvation?"
              > >
              >
            • James Royal Prickett, Ph.D.
              Very true! But if you look over the things we squabble about, they are not the essentials of the faith. Give me battles over calendars and the length of
              Message 6 of 15 , May 9, 2008
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                Very true! But if you look over the things we squabble about, they
                are not the essentials of the faith. Give me battles over calendars
                and the length of beards rather than battles over the Mother of God's
                ever-virginity and the use of disposable communion glasses (two
                matters that I am pretty sure Luther would side with the Orthodox on)
                any day.

                JiMi

                --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "wrvinovskis"
                <WRVinovskis@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear Sister,
                >
                > As an LCMS pastor, I very much appreciate your family's frustration
                > with the controversy and fighting in the LCMS. I, too, from
                > time-to-time have been tempted to throw in the towel. I pray God's
                > blessing on you in your journey. I trust you will find a safe haven
                in
                > the Orthodox church. Having said that, in my brief interactions
                with
                > Orthodox Christians of various stripes it has become fairly obvious
                to
                > me that there is no lack of conflict and fighting among the
                Orthodox,
                > also. While there may be many good reasons to become Orthodox, I'm
                > not sure peace and harmony is at the top of the list.
                >
                > God's Peace,
                >
                > Pr. Waldemar Vinovskis
                >
                > "We feebly struggle, they in glory shine!"
                >
                >
                > > >
                > > > My husband was a pastor for nearly 10 years in the LCMS. After
                9 years
                > > > of controversy and fighting in the LCMS and about a year of
                intense
                > > > study and prayer, we met with Bishop JOSEPH and our local
                Orthodox
                > > > priest. Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to
                our
                > > > situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you
                ever
                > > > thought about your salvation?"
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • Rosemarie Lieffring
                Exactly. I think another important point is the intent of the Orthodox on all sides to work through these squabbles because of the understanding of Church.
                Message 7 of 15 , May 9, 2008
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                  Exactly. I think another important point is the intent of the Orthodox on
                  all sides to work through these squabbles because of the understanding of
                  Church. Father Stephen Freeman once wrote:

                  *The Orthodox Church has perhaps the weakest ecclesiology of all, because it
                  depends, moment by moment, on the love and forgiveness of each by all and of
                  all by each. Either the Bishops of the Church love and forgive each other or
                  the whole thing falls apart. "Brethren, let us love one another, that with
                  one mind we may confess: Father, Son and Holy Spirit." These are the words
                  that introduce the Creed each Sunday, and they are the words that are the
                  bedrock of our ecclesiology...*

                  The recent healing of the rift with ROCOR is but one case in point.

                  I have to say that the peace Laura speaks of is quite real, as I am certain
                  the converts here can all attest to, despite the squabbles...which says
                  something about both the squabbles and the peace. -----R


                  On Fri, May 9, 2008 at 8:39 AM, James Royal Prickett, Ph.D. <
                  jimi@...> wrote:

                  > Very true! But if you look over the things we squabble about, they
                  > are not the essentials of the faith. Give me battles over calendars
                  > and the length of beards rather than battles over the Mother of God's
                  > ever-virginity and the use of disposable communion glasses (two
                  > matters that I am pretty sure Luther would side with the Orthodox on)
                  > any day.
                  >
                  > JiMi
                  >
                  > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
                  > "wrvinovskis"
                  > <WRVinovskis@...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Dear Sister,
                  > >
                  > > As an LCMS pastor, I very much appreciate your family's frustration
                  > > with the controversy and fighting in the LCMS. I, too, from
                  > > time-to-time have been tempted to throw in the towel. I pray God's
                  > > blessing on you in your journey. I trust you will find a safe haven
                  > in
                  > > the Orthodox church. Having said that, in my brief interactions
                  > with
                  > > Orthodox Christians of various stripes it has become fairly obvious
                  > to
                  > > me that there is no lack of conflict and fighting among the
                  > Orthodox,
                  > > also. While there may be many good reasons to become Orthodox, I'm
                  > > not sure peace and harmony is at the top of the list.
                  > >
                  > > God's Peace,
                  > >
                  > > Pr. Waldemar Vinovskis
                  > >
                  > > "We feebly struggle, they in glory shine!"
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > My husband was a pastor for nearly 10 years in the LCMS. After
                  > 9 years
                  > > > > of controversy and fighting in the LCMS and about a year of
                  > intense
                  > > > > study and prayer, we met with Bishop JOSEPH and our local
                  > Orthodox
                  > > > > priest. Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to
                  > our
                  > > > > situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you
                  > ever
                  > > > > thought about your salvation?"
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Anastasia Theodoridis
                  As often happens, Frederica says it best for me. Check out her essay on controversies in the Orthodox Church at
                  Message 8 of 15 , May 9, 2008
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                    As often happens, Frederica says it best for me. Check out her essay on controversies in the Orthodox Church at http://www.frederica.com/writings/orthodox-controversies.html and see how different it is!

                    Anastasia
                    e-mail: anastasiatheo01@...
                    blog: http://anastasias-corner.blogspot.com




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • BPeter Brandt-Sorheim
                    Yes, there is fuss and trouble everywhere. That is evidence of our need for Christ. But, there is great peace and harmony in my heart, my conscience, my soul,
                    Message 9 of 15 , May 9, 2008
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                      Yes, there is fuss and trouble everywhere. That is evidence of our need for Christ.

                      But, there is great peace and harmony in my heart, my conscience, my soul, since becoming Orthodox. How joyous the intercession: "...and grant us Thy great mercy."

                      When a devout family came to me in tears as I left my congregation, my words were like those of the bishop: "Please understand that I too must seek my salvation." I still pray for them. May the Lord behold their piety with His accustomed love and mercy.

                      [formerly Pastor] B Peter Brandt-Sorheim

                      wrvinovskis <WRVinovskis@...> wrote:
                      There is no lack of conflict and fighting among the Orthodox,
                      also. While there may be many good reasons to become Orthodox, I'm
                      not sure peace and harmony is at the top of the list.

                      ML wrote:
                      Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever thought about your salvation?"



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                    • Rebecca Wilson
                      Here are truly words of wisdom. This is a quote from Fr. Ted Bobosh s reflectons on the difficulties that are facing the OCA: St. Maria Skobtsova, being part
                      Message 10 of 15 , May 9, 2008
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                        Here are truly words of wisdom. This is a quote from Fr. Ted Bobosh's reflectons on the difficulties that are facing the OCA:

                        St. Maria Skobtsova, being part of an émigré church (rather than a missionary church), did have some insight into the awesomeness of the task facing Orthodoxy in Western Europe in the 1940’s. Orthodoxy had been displaced to Western Europe by the rise of atheist communism in Russia, and found itself living in the darkness of atheist Fascism which was blitzkrieging across Europe. Mother Maria recognized that Orthodoxy separated from its motherland-favored status is given a freedom to be the Body of Christ and not merely a state-church. She saw clearly that freedom places great demands on the membership who can no longer rely on the cultural/state support to maintain the church or its status in society. These struggles also are rife with temptations to avoid the difficulties by trying to live in some golden age past or by trying to recreate and maintain the culture from which one is exiled instead of trying to live the faith in the soil in which one is newly planted.
                        She wrote:
                        “Freedom obliges, freedom calls for sacrificial self-giving, freedom determines one’s honesty and strictness with oneself and one’s path. And if we want to be strict and honest, worthy of the freedom given to us, we must first of all test our own attitude toward our spiritual world. We have no right to wax tenderhearted over all our past indiscriminately – much of that past is far loftier and purer than we are, but much of it is sinful and criminal. We should aspire to the lofty and combat the sinful. We cannot stylize everything as some sweet ringing of Moscow bells – religion dies of stylization. We cannot cultivate dead customs – only authentic spiritual fire has weight in religious life. We cannot freeze a living soul with rules and orders – once, in their own time, they were the expression of other living souls, but new souls demand a corresponding expression. We cannot see the Church as a sort of aesthetic perfection and limit ourselves to aesthetic swooning
                        – our God given freedom calls us to activity and struggle. And it would be a great lie to tell searching souls: ‘Go to church, because there you will find peace.’ The opposite is true. She tells those who are at peace and asleep: ‘Go to church, because there you will feel real alarm about your sins, about your perdition, about the world’s sins and perdition. There you will feel an unappeasable hunger for Christ’s truth. There instead of lukewarm you will become ardent, instead of pacified you will become alarmed, instead of learning the wisdom of this world you will become foolish for Christ. It is to this foolishness, this folly in Christ, that our freedom calls us … And we will become fools for Christ, because we know not only the difficulty of this path but also the immense happiness of feeling God’s hand upon what we do.” (p. 114-115. MOTHER MARIA SKOBTSOVA: ESSENTIAL WRITINGS)


                        St. Maria was truly an Orthodox visionary. I highly recommend her writings and covet her prayers.

                        Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

                        Rebecca

                        BPeter Brandt-Sorheim <donpedrogordo@...> wrote:
                        Yes, there is fuss and trouble everywhere. That is evidence of our need for Christ.

                        But, there is great peace and harmony in my heart, my conscience, my soul, since becoming Orthodox. How joyous the intercession: "...and grant us Thy great mercy."

                        When a devout family came to me in tears as I left my congregation, my words were like those of the bishop: "Please understand that I too must seek my salvation." I still pray for them. May the Lord behold their piety with His accustomed love and mercy.

                        [formerly Pastor] B Peter Brandt-Sorheim

                        wrvinovskis <WRVinovskis@...> wrote:
                        There is no lack of conflict and fighting among the Orthodox,
                        also. While there may be many good reasons to become Orthodox, I'm
                        not sure peace and harmony is at the top of the list.

                        ML wrote:
                        Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever thought about your salvation?"

                        Recent Activity

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                      • tharman32
                        I wanted to ask...for me Orthodoxy seems to be more unified in its teaching. By that I mean there doesn t seem to be this versus that (body vs. soul, faith vs
                        Message 11 of 15 , May 9, 2008
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                          I wanted to ask...for me Orthodoxy seems to be more unified in its
                          teaching. By that I mean there doesn't seem to be this versus that
                          (body vs. soul, faith vs works, Scripture vs. Tradition, etc).
                          Orthodoxy seems to teach that this is the Way, and it involves
                          several aspects or componets.

                          Is this accurate? Or am I off base?
                          Thanks

                          --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, BPeter Brandt-Sorheim
                          <donpedrogordo@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Yes, there is fuss and trouble everywhere. That is evidence of
                          our need for Christ.
                          >
                          > But, there is great peace and harmony in my heart, my
                          conscience, my soul, since becoming Orthodox. How joyous the
                          intercession: "...and grant us Thy great mercy."
                          >
                          > When a devout family came to me in tears as I left my
                          congregation, my words were like those of the bishop: "Please
                          understand that I too must seek my salvation." I still pray for
                          them. May the Lord behold their piety with His accustomed love and
                          mercy.
                          >
                          > [formerly Pastor] B Peter Brandt-Sorheim
                          >
                          > wrvinovskis <WRVinovskis@...> wrote:
                          > There is no lack of conflict and fighting among the
                          Orthodox,
                          > also. While there may be many good reasons to become Orthodox, I'm
                          > not sure peace and harmony is at the top of the list.
                          >
                          > ML wrote:
                          > Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our
                          situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever
                          thought about your salvation?"
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Recent Activity
                          >
                          > 2
                          > New Members
                          >
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                          > Kevin Sites
                          > Get coverage of
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                          > w/ John McEnroe
                          > Join the All-Bran
                          > Day 10 Club.
                          >
                          > Yahoo! Groups
                          > Stay healthy
                          > and discover other
                          > people who can help.
                          >
                          >
                          >
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                          >
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                        • BPeter Brandt-Sorheim
                          Christ is risen! You are accurate. Orthodoxy is quite united in theological understanding and teaching. I cannot say that in twenty plus years I have
                          Message 12 of 15 , May 9, 2008
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                            Christ is risen!
                            You are accurate. Orthodoxy is quite united in theological understanding and teaching. I cannot say that in twenty plus years I have encountered more than one significant divergence...though that one has great import.
                            There are certainly differences of pastoral application in various situations. I attribute this to the healthy Orthodoxy understanding that we are not in a game to keep rules and therefore seeking how to justify exceptions or variations. We are about the task of bringing human persons into the salvation in Christ. You will observe that even our Savior made occasional unexpected responses as reported by the sacred Evangelists but in all cases, His goal was salvific. Such must always be our approach.
                            For example, in Orthodox perspective no sacraments / mysteries are for sure valid outside of Orthodoxy. This does not mean than God cannot work through such actions as He is sovereign. And, this does not stop the Orthodox from utilizing the sacral actions of the non Orthodox when it can serve the purpose of salvation.
                            A very conservative Greek Old Calendarist presbyter of my acquaintance baptized a young convert from Roman Catholicism. The bishop had instructed that in order to affirm the above mentioned principle baptism should be the normal mode of reception into Orthodoxy even in the case of converts who previously practiced some form of Christianity. But, the same person's elderly mother was at the same time received only by chrismation as she genuinely wished to become Orthodox but could not well grasp the principle nor physically endure a baptism by triple immersion.
                            Other bishops make different decisions about how Roman Catholics and Protestant Christians normally are to be received. The goal is salvation in Christ. This is the touchstone that determines the application in a spectrum from strictness to mercy.
                            My wife is from a Soviet Russian family displaced by WW2. As no Orthodox Church was known in their new Brazilian home, my wife was baptized in a Roman Catholic Church. When her sister was born three years later, the family had located an Orthodox Church. Her sister was baptized and chrismated.
                            My wife was chrismated at age three at the same time as her sister was baptized. To this day she recalls the sacred fragrance of the chrism with great joy and celebrates the day of the transferal of the relics of St Nicholas to Bari as her second feast day after that of her patroness saint. We still pray with thanks to God for the [now reposed] spiritual elder / presbyter Serafim who anointed her.
                            I hope this is helpful. Paschal joy to you! Peter

                            Thrman32 <tharman32@...> wrote:
                            I wanted to ask...for me Orthodoxy seems to be more unified in its
                            teaching. By that I mean there doesn't seem to be this versus that
                            (body vs. soul, faith vs works, Scripture vs. Tradition, etc).
                            Orthodoxy seems to teach that this is the Way, and it involves
                            several aspects or componets.

                            Is this accurate? Or am I off base?
                            Thanks

                            --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, BPeter Brandt-Sorheim
                            <donpedrogordo@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Yes, there is fuss and trouble everywhere. That is evidence of
                            our need for Christ.
                            >
                            > But, there is great peace and harmony in my heart, my
                            conscience, my soul, since becoming Orthodox. How joyous the
                            intercession: "...and grant us Thy great mercy."
                            >
                            > When a devout family came to me in tears as I left my
                            congregation, my words were like those of the bishop: "Please
                            understand that I too must seek my salvation." I still pray for
                            them. May the Lord behold their piety with His accustomed love and
                            mercy.
                            >
                            > [formerly Pastor] B Peter Brandt-Sorheim
                            >
                            > wrvinovskis <WRVinovskis@...> wrote:
                            > There is no lack of conflict and fighting among the
                            Orthodox,
                            > also. While there may be many good reasons to become Orthodox, I'm
                            > not sure peace and harmony is at the top of the list.
                            >
                            > ML wrote:
                            > Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our
                            situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever
                            thought about your salvation?"
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Recent Activity
                            >
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                            > Day 10 Club.
                            >
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                            > and discover other
                            > people who can help.
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                          • laurafrizelle
                            Dear Pastor Vinovskis, You are right. In that very same conversation with my bishop and priest, they reminded me that the Orthodox Church is not perfect and
                            Message 13 of 15 , May 9, 2008
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                              Dear Pastor Vinovskis,

                              You are right. In that very same conversation with my bishop and
                              priest, they reminded me that the Orthodox Church is not perfect and
                              has it's divisions.

                              Locally in another jurisdiction there has been a lot of controversy
                              and even in our own parish's history, there has been fighting, but the
                              big difference I see is that there is a time tested, apostolic even,
                              process for reconcilliation and self correction.

                              On the parish level: confession and being reconciled to your brother
                              before you commune is practiced where I am at and the people have a
                              deeper relationship with their priests and respect for the office.

                              On the whole church level, a council of bishops. Much different from
                              voter's meetings and jockeying between "liberals" and "confessionals".

                              Episcopal government and the clear view of ordination as a sacrament,
                              so far from my view, seem to really help with resolving confict. Also
                              doctrinal issues like the what the LCMS is facing are pretty much
                              unheard of in my neck of the woods. There might be disagreements even
                              about money or fasting or whatever, but these are minor and do not
                              border on breaking with apostolic teaching. Time ends up healing
                              these conflicts, whereas in churches with more democratic forms of
                              church government it seems like the churches change with the times in
                              a more worldly direction.

                              For what it is worth.

                              In my parish and in my diocese people are fighting for unity between
                              jusrisdictions. People fight against their selfish desires to be in
                              communion with each other. Humility is a virtue that is admired and I
                              have friends who are not afraid to speak the truth in love to me when
                              I am wrong. I have never experienced anything like this before.

                              "Let the righteous strike me, it shall be a kindness and let him
                              reprove me, it shall be as excellent oil."--- from the Divine Liturgy
                              of St. John Chrysostom.

                              Another thing is this. Because doctrinally the Orthodox Church is
                              steadfast, one can really stand firm and fight for what is right.
                              Before being Orthodox I felt like I was on a hill of sand.

                              Peace,
                              Laura

                              P.S. I just woke up and am drinking my first cup of coffee. It's
                              probably too early for me to try to communicate about such things. ;-)





                              --- In utheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "wrvinovskis"
                              <WRVinovskis@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Dear Sister,
                              >
                              > As an LCMS pastor, I very much appreciate your family's frustration
                              > with the controversy and fighting in the LCMS. I, too, from
                              > time-to-time have been tempted to throw in the towel. I pray God's
                              > blessing on you in your journey. I trust you will find a safe haven in
                              > the Orthodox church. Having said that, in my brief interactions with
                              > Orthodox Christians of various stripes it has become fairly obvious to
                              > me that there is no lack of conflict and fighting among the Orthodox,
                              > also. While there may be many good reasons to become Orthodox, I'm
                              > not sure peace and harmony is at the top of the list.
                              >
                              > God's Peace,
                              >
                              > Pr. Waldemar Vinovskis
                              >
                              > "We feebly struggle, they in glory shine!"
                              >
                              >
                              > > >
                              > > > My husband was a pastor for nearly 10 years in the LCMS. After 9
                              years
                              > > > of controversy and fighting in the LCMS and about a year of intense
                              > > > study and prayer, we met with Bishop JOSEPH and our local Orthodox
                              > > > priest. Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our
                              > > > situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever
                              > > > thought about your salvation?"
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • laurafrizelle
                              THarmann, Yes you have picked up on a great point. Everything is connected. The Church is the Body of Christ. We are created in the image and likeness of the
                              Message 14 of 15 , May 9, 2008
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                                THarmann,
                                Yes you have picked up on a great point. Everything is connected.
                                The Church is the Body of Christ. We are created in the image and
                                likeness of the Holy Trinity which is completely, perfectly united in
                                love. The Church and her doctrine and spirit reflect this unity.

                                One thing I have noticed personally is that my heart, my head and my
                                soul need to be healed back together. Because of experiences in my
                                life and my sin, they have become separated so I would not feel pain
                                or guilt. Growing in unity with God and repentance will bring my self
                                back together. It hurts sometimes, but it is a healing pain. Like
                                alcohol poured on a wound.

                                Laura


                                are --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "tharman32"
                                <tharman32@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I wanted to ask...for me Orthodoxy seems to be more unified in its
                                > teaching. By that I mean there doesn't seem to be this versus that
                                > (body vs. soul, faith vs works, Scripture vs. Tradition, etc).
                                > Orthodoxy seems to teach that this is the Way, and it involves
                                > several aspects or componets.
                                >
                                > Is this accurate? Or am I off base?
                                > Thanks
                                >
                                > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, BPeter Brandt-Sorheim
                                > <donpedrogordo@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Yes, there is fuss and trouble everywhere. That is evidence of
                                > our need for Christ.
                                > >
                                > > But, there is great peace and harmony in my heart, my
                                > conscience, my soul, since becoming Orthodox. How joyous the
                                > intercession: "...and grant us Thy great mercy."
                                > >
                                > > When a devout family came to me in tears as I left my
                                > congregation, my words were like those of the bishop: "Please
                                > understand that I too must seek my salvation." I still pray for
                                > them. May the Lord behold their piety with His accustomed love and
                                > mercy.
                                > >
                                > > [formerly Pastor] B Peter Brandt-Sorheim
                                > >
                                > > wrvinovskis <WRVinovskis@> wrote:
                                > > There is no lack of conflict and fighting among the
                                > Orthodox,
                                > > also. While there may be many good reasons to become Orthodox, I'm
                                > > not sure peace and harmony is at the top of the list.
                                > >
                                > > ML wrote:
                                > > Bishop JOSEPH listened patiently and compassionately to our
                                > situation, concerns and fears. Then he said to us, " Have you ever
                                > thought about your salvation?"
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Recent Activity
                                > >
                                > > 2
                                > > New Members
                                > >
                                > > Visit Your Group
                                > > Yahoo! News
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                                > > ---------------------------------
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