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Afew Questions - trespaser5 - 30-03-2010

Hi my name is Kyle. I am fairly new to christianity as a whole but came to church about a year ago and have taken a rollercoaster ride of a journey since. I have thought hard about the basic questions and now feel in my heart that Christ is in my life. However the church I am going to is Anglican with strong evangalistic leanings and although I love the spirit of worship and the fact that the church is a local community centre I felt I wanted more, especially more in deeper theological direction. It was then that I stumbled accross a Podcast by Father Thomas Hopko and I have been listening to these daily and absolutly loved the insight he has given me and as I have researched Orthodoxy more and more the more it strikes a chord in my heart. However I am worried that Orthodoxy would not view me in such a favorable light. I am 22 and I got married last july a woman 10 years my elder, she has been married before and was divorced because of infidelity on her ex's behalf would this be ok within your church tradition ? We had also been trying for a baby before that (that was before we knew any better) and had found out I was infertile, we had waited a long time and eventually had IVF. I'm not sure how your church stands on this but I have another four embryos frozen and we can't think of not going through another cycle as we're not willing to let any die. I did ask for guidance on this from our current vicar and we prayed about it and to be honest I find it a miracle that it even worked and allowing it to be successful could have been God's way of answering out prayers. I just wanted to get some ideas about if we'd be accepted as if we do start to get involved in the orthodox community in Bristol I don't want any skeletons in our closet.
Take Care

- John Charmley - 30-03-2010

Dear Kyle,

First, welcome here; good to have you with us.

On the specifics it would be more appropriate for a priest like Fr. Simon to comment, but in my experience of the BOC it is a real Christian Church - that is it welcomes repentant sinners and it does not place too heavy a yoke on us.

I hope you, and your wife, will both find within Orthodoxy a deeper understanding of the Faith once given.



- Simon - 30-03-2010

Dear Kyle,

This being Holy Week (I'm just back from one of this evening's prayer services with more still to come) so I cannot hope to do justice to your questions in any reply I might offer your refrshingly honest questions. I feel I also want to say that some of these issues might be better discussed at a personal level one to one rather than in an open forum. For now I will take these things that you have shared and make them matters for prayer.

If you wanted to discuss any of this with any of the British Orthdoox clergy you will find our contact details (email and phone) in the clergy section of the website.

I also have a whole series of lectures on DVD by an Orthodox priest with related reading material I have put together that I can post if you are interested.

One last comment for now - we don't go in for condemnatory judgmentalism as Orthodox... and if we do then to the extent that we do, then to that extent we are not being Orthodox. (I've got more than enough of my own skeletons rattling around without getting over excited about any you feel you have).

Please be assured of my prayers for you both,


- John Charmley - 30-03-2010

Dear Fr. Simon,

Many thanks for such a swift response.

Perhaps, Kyle, I can assert how true I have found what Fr. Simon says.

What matters is not whether we have sinned - after all, if any man says he has not he has not the truth in him - but whether we have repented and whether we have amended our lives; yes, we shall stumble and fall and be hurt; but the Orthodox Church is not a court, it is a hospital in which we find the salve for what ails us all.

In Christ,


- Simon - 31-03-2010

Dera Kyle,

Could I ask you to clarify which Orthodox in Bristol?



- Antony-Paul - 31-03-2010

Dear Kyle,

Welcome to this forum.

As one of Father Simon's flock, I can endorse all that has been said to you. I have only recently been baptised into Orthodoxy. At no time have I been required to justify my past, only to accept the Orthodox faith. We are all sinners, and one aspect of Orthodoxy is the constant acknowledgement of this and begging God's forgiveness. No-one can point a finger at another, indeed you will be supported with amazing love by all in the Church.

So, please don't worry about your past. For now, rest assured of our prayers for you both.

With love and prayers

- John Charmley - 31-03-2010

Dear Antony-Paul,

Since I was received into the Church four years ago, I can say just the same.

Of course it matters that we sin; but we are called to repentance and amendment of life. In this the Church and its sacraments are our great ally. If we trust in it and them and we pray, we can begin to amend our lives with God's help.

Of course it is a life long process - theosis as the Orthodox call it - but it begins with us and our willingness to help the Church help us.

Truly He says that all who are heavily laden should come to him and lay their burden upon Him. He died that we might have life in abundance through His glorious resurrection. Here, in the middle of Holy Week, it is good to remind ourselves of that - and your post does just that.

In Christ,


- trespaser5 - 01-04-2010

Thankyou very much for all your love and encouragement. All your comments have been very comforting and helpful. I hope you all have an enjoyable Easter weekend.

Kyle and Nicola

- John Charmley - 01-04-2010

Dear Kyle and Nicola,

May the blessings of the Lord be with you both this Easter, and always.

In Christ,


- Antony-Paul - 02-04-2010

Dear Kyle and Nicola,

You were particularly remembered in out Pascha liturgy when we celebrated Our Divine Lord's triumph over sin and death on His Cross.

Never forget He will always forgive us whatever we have done, and never stops loving us so deeply and so far beyond our understanding.

With sincere good wishes for Pascha,

Love and prayers,


- DanielM - 04-04-2010

Dear Kyle and Nicola.

I would also like to extend my welcome to you o this forum.

I am a Catechumen of the Church in Portsmouth, attending with Antony-Paul and Fr. Simon, and can safely and honestly say that I have found myself extremely comfortable with all here. I, as well as many people here I imagine have done things in our lives that have made us worry about being judged by the church. As John already said, we are a a Church, a spirtual hospital, not a inquisition.

Remember that though you may seem nervous about how you are recived you are among equals, all human. I for one welcome you with open arms, and pray you will find in Orthodoxy what you are looking for.

With love and Prayers,