Is There One True Church? ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* An Interview with Peter Jackson, a former Protestant missionary

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ORTHODOX HEART SITES

Is There One True Church?

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

An Interview with Peter Jackson,

a former Protestant missionary

Peter Jackson—a former Protestant missionary and the translator of several books of Holy Scripture into the language of the Kogi people of Colombia, presently a student at Holy Trinity Spiritual Seminary—tells of his road to Orthodoxy. This is an Interview conducted with him on the pages of Pravoslavnaya Rus’ [Orthodox Rus’] by R. Sholkov.

* * *

RS: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

PJ: I was an Evangelical Protestant from birth. My family attended Baptist and Presbyterian churches, and my parents were firm believers in [the concept of] the “invisible Church,” i.e., [the belief] that there has never been a single church on earth which could call herself the one True Church; i.e., [a church] possessing the fullness of the Truth. All that was necessary was “to believe in Christ” and to attend that church which was “convenient.” But I could never understand why there were so many different so-called churches, all of which considered themselves to be Bible-based?

When I was 12 years old, our community was visited by some preachers who were doing missionary work in Colombia and translating the Bible for the Indians. Because I had always been interested in languages, I was attracted to this work. I was astonished [to learn] that there are thousands of languages in the world into which the Bible has not yet been translated.

I began to study Greek and Hebrew, in order to prepare myself for working in translating the Bible into such languages; and, at the university, I studied linguistics. Later, I joined the Protestant Mission of Bible translators (Wycliffe Bible Translators), in order to obtain a more detailed education.

When I was in training at Wycliffe, I became acquainted with my future wife, Styliana; now we have two sons, Nicholas and Benjamin. Styliana’s parents were missionaries in Colombia, when she was yet 5 years old. They preached among the semi-savage Kogi tribe. Her parents were very happy to receive our Continue reading “Is There One True Church? ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* An Interview with Peter Jackson, a former Protestant missionary”

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Canada: The path of the Native American Mohawk’s Chief Frank Natawe led him to the bosom of Orthodoxy

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NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

CANADA OF MY HEART

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CANADA: THE PASSING OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN MOHAWK’S CHIEF FRANK NATAWE (1927-2000)

The path of the Native American Mohawk’s Chief Frank Natawe

led him to the bosom of Orthodoxy

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

by

Dr. John (Yanni) Hadjinikolaou

Rate Professor of  McGill University in Montreal, Canada

in the magazine Synaxis

“The passing of a Mohawk Native American”

 

Source:

http://www.orthodoxtoronto.ca

http://www.orthodoxtoronto.ca/secretpath.html

ORTHODOX TORONTO

Here is the story of Frank Natawe an American Native Mohawk’s Chief (1927-2000) who lived and died as an Orthodox Christian (Eastern Orthodox Church), at the same time defending his tribe’s tradition. He even began translating the words of the most holy ceremony of Orthodoxy into his own people’s language.

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

Saturday night. Very few lights were on.  In the Russian Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Vespers have just started. The shadowy silhouettes of the few faithful who were attending the service became more defined, as the candles were lit, one by one, in the candle stand. The iconostasis of the altar was very imposing; it was something that was carved by experienced craftsmen at the beginning of the century…….

It was my second time at Vespers, years ago… The words of the prayer “mirthful light” in Slavonic gave one a sense of inner peace and relaxation.  Everything seemed to be in prayer at that moment; for the day that passed and the day that was to come. After the madness of the day, this refuge of thankfulness actually calmed the wild beasts of the mind….

In the dim, half-light I could discern a few of the profiles there: an old Russian lady with her grandchild, a tall, skinny, middle-aged man, a young girl around fifteen, a young family with their two children… and suddenly, my attention was caught by a figure near the large window.  Directly below it, I made out a silhouette that was completely different to all the others.  It was a fifty-year old Native American with vivid, characteristic features, and his long hair tied back in a ponytail that reached his waist. My gaze stopped upon him… What a Continue reading “Canada: The path of the Native American Mohawk’s Chief Frank Natawe led him to the bosom of Orthodoxy”

Η πορεία του Frank Natawe φυλάρχου των Αυτόχθονων Αμερικανών Mohawk του Καναδά, στην αγκαλιά της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας

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CANADA OF MY HEART

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Η πορεία του Frank Natawe φυλάρχου

των Αυτόχθονων Αμερικανών Mohawk του Καναδά,

στην αγκαλιά της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Από τόν

Δρ. Ιωάννη Χατζηνικολάου, Καθηγητή στο Πανεπιστήμιο

McGill του Montreal, Καναδάς

“Το πέρασμα ενός Αυτόχθονου Αμερικανού Mohawk”

στο περιοδ. Σύναξις

Η ιστορία του Αυτόχθονου Αμερικανού Frank Natawe αρχηγού των Mohawk, που έζησε και πέθανε ως Ορθόδοξος Χριστιανός, υπερασπιζόμενος παράλληλα και την παράδοση της φυλής του. Άρχισε μάλιστα να μεταφράζει τα λόγια της πιο ιερής τελετής της Ορθοδοξίας στη γλώσσα του λαού του.

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

Σάββατο βράδυ. Λιγοστά φώτα. Στη ρωσική Μητρόπολη των Αγίων Πέτρου και Παύλου ο εσπερινός μόλις έχει αρχίσει. Οι σκιερές σιλουέτες των λιγοστών πιστών που παρευρίσκονται, παίρνουν όγκο καθώς ανάβουν τα κεριά στα μανουάλια. Το τέμπλο υποβλητικό, φτιαγμένο από έμπειρους τεχνίτες στις αρχές του αιώνα…

Είναι η δεύτερη μου φορά στον Εσπερινό, πάνε χρόνια τώρα… Το «φως ιλαρόν» στα σλαβονικά δημιουργεί μια αίσθηση εσώτερης γαλήνης και ανάπαυσης. Όλα δέονται τούτη την ώρα για την μέρα που φεύγει και για την μέρα που έρχεται. Μετά την τρέλλα της μέρας τούτο το ευχαριστιακό καταφύγιο καθησυχάζει τα θηρία του νου…

Μέσα στο ημίφως διακρίνω μερικά προφίλ. Μια γερόντισσα ρωσίδα με το εγγονάκι της, ένα ψηλό ξερακιανό μεσήλικα, μια κοπελλίτσα γύρω στα δεκαπέντε, μια νεαρή οικογένεια με τα δυο τους παιδάκια… και ξάφνου το μάτι μου πέφτει κοντά στο μεγάλο παράθυρο. Ακριβώς από κάτω διακρίνω μια μορφή αλλιώτικη από τις άλλες. Ένας πενηντάρης Αυτόχθονας Αμερικάνος με έντονα χαρακτηριστικά και Continue reading “Η πορεία του Frank Natawe φυλάρχου των Αυτόχθονων Αμερικανών Mohawk του Καναδά, στην αγκαλιά της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας”

Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA: From Unchurched Hawaiian to Local Orthodox

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USA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS OF MY HEART

HAWAII OF MY HEART

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Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA:

From Unchurched Hawaiian to Local Orthodox

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

I grew up unchurched. I became a Christian in high school through reading the Living Bible. I was active in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Hawaii. My home church was Kalihi Union Church (KUC), a fine evangelical congregation that was part of the United Church of Christ (UCC).

I was deeply troubled by the UCC’s liberal theology and wanted to help it return to its biblical roots. This led me to study at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for the purpose of preparing to become an evangelical seminary professor in the liberal United Church of Christ to help the UCC return to its biblical roots.

However, in a surprising turn of events, I became Orthodox!

It was my first week at seminary. As I walked down the hallway of Main Dorm I saw on the door of one of the student’s room an icon of Christ. I thought to myself,

“An icon in a Calvinist seminary!?!”

This was to be the first of many encounters with Eastern Orthodoxy.

After receiving my M.A. in Church History, I did doctoral studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. While there I attended Saints Kyril and Methodios Bulgarian Orthodox Church. I was drawn to the deep mystical worship of liturgical worship that was rooted in the historic Christian Faith. I also felt comfortable with its all-English services and a congregation that was made up mostly of converts. Orthodox worship presents a stark contrast to the emotionally driven entertainment that passes for contemporary Evangelical worship.

My journey to Orthodoxy began when little questions about Protestant theology turned into big questions, and the big questions turned into a theological crisis. Protestant theology holds up so long as one accepts certain premises but becomes problematic when considered from the standpoint of church history and the early Church Fathers. As a church history major I became painfully aware that much of what passes for Evangelicalism: the altar call, the symbolic understanding of the Lord’s Supper, the inductive bible study method, minimalist creed, the rapture, all have their origins in the 1800s.

This means that Evangelicalism is a modern innovation as is Liberalism.

But more troubling was my investigation of classical Reformation theology, e.g., Martin Luther and John Calvin. Two foundational tenets of Protestantism: sola fide (faith alone) and sola scriptura (Bible alone), were not part of the early Church and rely upon reading the Bible in a certain way. Moreover, these two tenets originated out of the theological debates of Medieval Scholasticism. In other words, the Protestant Reformation marks not a return to the historic Christian Faith, but rather a late innovation.

What makes Orthodoxy so daunting to an Evangelical is its understanding that to have the true Faith means belonging to the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church. If the Orthodox Church is the true Church, then that meant that I needed to resign my membership from Kalihi Union Church and become Orthodox. I was received into the Orthodox Church on the Sunday of Orthodoxy in 1999 at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Honolulu. I am very grateful for what I have learned from Evangelicalism but there is so much more to Christianity. Orthodoxy is the fulfillment of Evangelical theology and worship.

Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA

Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

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“NATIVE AMERICANS MAY BECOME

THE LARGEST ETHNIC GROUP IN THE AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.”

An interview with His Beatitude Jonah, Archbishop of Washington,

Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/33241.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

In early December of 2009, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of All America and Canada (Orthodox Church of America) visited Russia to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the OCA’s representation in Moscow. Correspondent Miguel Palacio took the opportunity to talk with Metropolitan Jonah about the OCA’s presence in Latin America.

– Your Beatitude, in which Latin America countries is the Orthodox Church in America represented?

– Our jurisdiction extends to Mexico. We used to have parishes in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela as well, but one of them joined the Russian Church Abroad, while others simply closed.

Several communities in Latin America want to join the American Orthodox Church. We would be happy to receive these faithful people, but there would be no one to take care of them because we have very few clergymen who speak Spanish or Portuguese.

One priest, who I hope will soon become a bishop, began a mission in Ecuador, in the city of Guayaquil, where there is a large Palestinian colony. Unfortunately, his good initiative has fizzled out. I have heard that many Palestinians also live in Central American countries, one of which is El Salvador. It is curious, but they do not go to the Antiochian parishes, and are requesting to be received under our omophorion.

The Constantinople and Antiochian Patriarchates prefer to pastor the Greek and Arab diasporas. We do not understand this. The Church should give pastoral care first of all to Continue reading “Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church”

The explosive growth of Orthodoxy in Guatemala

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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The explosive growth of Orthodoxy in Guatemala

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Whenever someone speaks of “American Orthodoxy,” there is usually an unspoken understanding that the term refers to North American Orthodoxy: the United States, Canada, and sometimes Mexico. This way of speaking is indeed convenient, considering that the majority of Orthodox parishes in the Western Hemisphere are still located in North America. However, in the past few years a great change has occurred in Latin America that makes it increasingly inaccurate to focus on North America as the western outpost of Orthodoxy. Just two years ago, in 2010, the Orthodox Church received a large group of Guatemalan converts numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Now Guatemala, and possibly all of Latin America, holds tremendous promise of becoming fertile ground for the Orthodox Christian Church.

The seed of Orthodoxy in Guatemala was planted by the nuns of the Hogar Rafael Ayau, an Orthodox orphanage in Guatemala City. Many people are familiar with the incredible work of Mother Inés, Mother Ivonne, and Mother María. In fact, just this year a group of seminarians from St. Vladimir’s Seminary traveled with the seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield to see the work of the nuns and to assist at the orphanage. It is through these nuns that the Guatemalan soil was first prepared for the Orthodox Church.

Now, with the recent chrismation of a new group of Guatemalan converts that numbers between 100,000 and 200,000, the Orthodox Church is ready to blossom in Guatemala. The magnitude of the event cannot be overstated. Almost overnight, Guatemala has become the most Orthodox country in the Western Hemisphere (by percentage of national population). Furthermore, the Orthodox communities in Guatemala continue to grow rapidly and attract attention throughout Guatemala. There is still, however, little information available to the broader Orthodox world on the history and character of these new communities. For this reason, I traveled to Guatemala this summer, spending two months visiting many of the Orthodox parishes, meeting the leaders of the communities, and accompanying the bishop of the Guatemalan Church—His Eminence, Metropolitan Athenagoras—as he made his historic first visit to the new parishes in Guatemala. I returned to the United States with the desire to share what I saw and the conviction that the Holy Spirit is at work with power in Latin America…

Two Quechua Women from Bolivia Accept Orthodox Baptism

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

RUSSIA OF MY HEART

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Two Quechua Women

from Bolivia Accept Orthodox Baptism

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Here is a story of the good work of the martyred priest, Fr. Daniil Sysoyev (+2009).

Immediately following Christmas services, in one of the Orthodox churches in the southern districts of Moscow, two women of the Quechua people of South America accepted Orthodox baptism.

“We talked with them about the faith, and they read the Creed of the Orthodox Church in Spanish, which I downloaded for them from the Internet”,

said Fr Daniil Sysoyev, the rector of the parish of St Thomas the Apostle in Kantemirov, in an interview with our Interfax-Religion correspondent, describing how he served the Sacrament of Baptism for these women.

According to Fr Daniil, the two women from Bolivia, a mother and daughter, who accepted baptism, were in Moscow pursuing studies. They learned about the Orthodox faith from one of their friends, who is of the Inca people from Peru and a long-term resident of Moscow.

In baptism, the women took the names of Maria and Yelizaveta, in honour of St Mary Magdalene and Grand Princess St Yelizaveta the New Martyr.

“Quite possibly, this is the first time in history that Quechua people embraced Orthodoxy”, Fr Daniil noted.