Solitary Orthodox

AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
I live in the wilds of Scotland, in a very remote area. I’m seriously contemplating taking the leap and converting formally to Orthodoxy...I’m not a beginner, I’ve lived in Cyprus and spent time in monastery’s there....problem is, where I live makes getting to liturgy difficult, I might only make it once every few months. I do view this situation as not all bad!, a challenge given to be overcome. I wondered if there are any others in a similar position? How do you manage? Personally, I am quite happy pursuing a kind of third order type rule at home, interspersed with occasional visits to church and monastery retreats when I go to Cyprus. Any thought welcome.👍☦️

Comments

  • I'm an Episcopalian in a similar situation - it's often months even in non-covid times between opportunities to receive Holy Communion. I worship with the local Church of Scotland congregation which feels a little like a starvation diet when you're used to partaking of Christ's banquet each Sunday (this isn't to denigrate the faithful witness of the Kirk but to emphasise the difference in experience) but I think is essential to my Christian discipleship. It is important that we are part of a local Christian community, because that roots our faith in our day-to-day life. If we allow them to become separate we do a disservice to both.

    I don't know exactly where you are or how remote (some folk think the "wilds" is anywhere more than 30 minutes from Waitrose; others would say it doesn't count if you can reach it by public road) but there are Orthodox communities in Scotland, including a monastery on Mull dedicated to the Celtic Saints. If you can make a discipline of sacrificing, say, one weekend in four to attend the liturgy then that's probably a good thing to do, but I think "it is not good for man to be alone" applies on Sundays and Holy Days when you can't manage that, and recognise that while other churches may not have the full heritage of the church as you have found in Orthodoxy but it is still Christ they are serving.
  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    Thanks for that. I see what you mean ! I know about the Mull Monastery, interesting place for sure however it seems set up for american pilgrims, almost exclusively. I don’t think they have a parish presence as such although I may be wrong. I live in a remote part of Argyll which is a long way from anywhere....Glasgow is my nearest a good 3.5 hrs away.
  • I'm also in Argyll (island rather than mainland). I've passed the Orthodox Cathedral in Glasgow, not far from the piskie one, right?
  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    Orthodox Community of The Archangel Gabriel is up the road from St Marys on Gt Western Rd, theres also St Lukes in Govan, Greek Orth. I like the look of Gabriel.....
  • Do you want your local Orthodoxy with a Greek flavour or a Russian flavour?

    Both parishes in Glasgow currently have Scottish priests, so contact one or both of them to discuss things.
  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    Angus wrote: »
    Orthodox Community of The Archangel Gabriel is up the road from St Marys on Gt Western Rd, theres also St Lukes in Govan, Greek Orth. I like the look of Gabriel.....

    Not entirely accurate... (though I would agree with liking the look of Gabriel :smile: )

    The Archangel Gabriel is in the basement of Wellington Church on South Park Road, and has its services in English. A friend of mine was received into the Orthodox Church there a few years back, and I visited on a number of occasions. Their priest, Fr Augustine (and indeed the rest of the community) I found to be incredibly friendly and welcoming. The Greek Orthodox Cathedral, St Luke's is in Dowanhill (which is in the West End). That very much serves the Greek Community, though some of their services are in other languages (and the priest in charge listed on Wiki is a Scot). The Russian Orthodox community are in Govan (St Kentigern).
  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    Splendid, thank you 🙏
  • Growing up in eastern Ontario where there were lots of scattered Orthodox-- likely enough in many places to have a church, but not enough of Greeks or Arabs or Romanians etc to have their own-- they usually attended Anglican churches in the same way as @Arethosemyfeet does CoS churches. Otherwise it's a good one or two-hour drive-- Saint Xenia's in the far western suburbs gets about a dozen or so driving in from up to 100km on a Sunday morning. It took the various Orthodox of Brockville, Ontario, about 40 years to realize that they would have to cooperate and have a joint parish.

    @Angus might look at trying a routine of making a monthly or even quarterly pilgrimage to wherever might be possible, perhaps alerting the priest in advance for a pastoral visit. Depending on connectivity, it might also be possible to zoom vespers or youtube a liturgy-- which is what a lot of people are limited to right now-- on other Sundays.
  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    Ah yes, zoom! I had wondered if that might be an option, kind of distance learning ! Seems to be the way everything is going. I think the quarterly pilgrimage will be how it will unfold for me. Until I can retire to Cyprus 👍☦️☦️
  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    @Angus might look at trying a routine of making a monthly or even quarterly pilgrimage to wherever might be possible, perhaps alerting the priest in advance for a pastoral visit. Depending on connectivity, it might also be possible to zoom vespers or youtube a liturgy-- which is what a lot of people are limited to right now-- on other Sundays.

    It might be worth connecting with @Cyprian as, IIRC, he's doing zoom/youtube Vespers (I think). Or other bits of liturgy that Deacons are permitted to do...

  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    Excellent, thank you Kingsfold 👍
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    Thank you for thinking of me, @kingsfold

    While my mission is at the tail end of the results of the various lockdowns of the past year, we are still live-streaming on our Facebook page for now. However, as we're hopefully soon to return to public worship (once we find a new home), we're in discussion over what place, if any, live-streaming will have in our worshipping life going forward.

    Still, please do feel free to make contact should you wish, @Angus .
  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    @Cyprian ..I’d like to see your livestream on FB if I may, would you be kind enough to give me the details. Thanks.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    Angus wrote: »
    @Cyprian ..I’d like to see your livestream on FB if I may, would you be kind enough to give me the details. Thanks.

    Of course.

    It's all here, on our Facebook page.

    The church where we worshipped prior to the first lockdown is now due to be demolished, so while we look for a new home, the makeshift chapel is in my home and our people follow at home.

    We do what we can.
  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    Thank you, I’ll tune in. Love the chapel being at home! In Crete near Arkadi theres a factory that makes home chapels, amazing to see them all lined up in the yard. Really solid made out of concrete, looks like you could get a decent number of people inside 👍
  • cgichardcgichard Shipmate
    I too can recommend the Orthodox Community of The Archangel Gabriel in Glasgow. The services there are in a lovely small catacomb-like chapel with beautiful icons by Katherine Saunders and lit entirely by candlelight. I found them to be very welcoming and I really liked Fr Augustine.

    Be aware though that their Sunday Liturgy starts early as they have to vacate the premises before the upstairs Wellington Church congregation arrives, but they do gather for coffee afterwards,and I think there are also some services during the week. Best to email Fr Augustine for their current service schedule. It would be wonderful if you could be there for Pascha.

    I was a once-off visitor from Australia on my way home from Mull but found myself fully accepted.

    Nearer than Cyprus, you might also consider a visit to the Monastery of St Antony and St Cuthbert, fairly nearShrewsbury.
  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    Excellent, thank you, I think that’s where I’ll be going 👍
  • cgichardcgichard Shipmate
    Good. It would be well worth the cost of an overnight B&B (assuming you don't have family in Glasgow).
  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    I can go there and back in a day, just a longish drive ! Roughly 3 hrs each way....not so bad ! Would like to go for Pascha but I’d hate to get in the way or displace anyone given that numbers are limited and space is very small by the looks, I think I’ll wait until later this summer when things might have opened up more and returned to normal👍
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    I find it impossible to think of myself as a member of a church and not be a member of a regular physical community in and through which I express my membership. For me that would be more important than the denomination.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Well, you ARE the organist, after all
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Sojourner wrote: »
    Well, you ARE the organist, after all

    ?
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    It’s the ultimate physical connection, don’t you think?
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    While each one of us has indeed an individual connection with the Holy Trinity the Church is the sum total of believers and the People of God. Were I to be cut off from the liturgy which I am used to, I would happily join with other Christians in communal worship.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Depends on the subspecies...

    Traddy Triddies? Definitely not

    Hillsong? Nope

    Westboro Baptist? Wild horses would not drag me there
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Sojourner wrote: »
    It’s the ultimate physical connection, don’t you think?

    Not sure. For me they are my friends and community, the people I worship with. Being the organist is only the cherry, it certainly isn't the cake.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Nope but it gets you there
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Where?
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    To church, to church!
  • Sojourner wrote: »
    Depends on the subspecies...

    Traddy Triddies? Definitely not

    Hillsong? Nope

    Westboro Baptist? Wild horses would not drag me there

    In fairness, places with only one or two churches those churches tend not to be from the extreme fringes of their denomination.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Sojourner wrote: »
    To church, to church!
    I go even when I'm not playing. They are my community, my friends - and thats my point.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Sojourner wrote: »
    Depends on the subspecies...

    Traddy Triddies? Definitely not

    Hillsong? Nope

    Westboro Baptist? Wild horses would not drag me there

    In fairness, places with only one or two churches those churches tend not to be from the extreme fringes of their denomination.

    Same in my city ( pop 4 million thank God)

  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Sojourner wrote: »
    To church, to church!
    I go even when I'm not playing. They are my community, my friends - and thats my point.

    Very good. But would you go elsewhere, where you aren’t indentified as the organist?

  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Sojourner wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Sojourner wrote: »
    To church, to church!
    I go even when I'm not playing. They are my community, my friends - and thats my point.

    Very good. But would you go elsewhere, where you aren’t indentified as the organist?

    Of course.
    Why ever not?
  • AngusAngus Shipmate Posts: 34
    No extremists here, just the SEC, of which I was a member for years, and The Kirk.
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