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Like the topics. Surprised to see #1 seems exclusively negative and not looking for the positive....but that may be just my way of reading this. Forgive me. I suppose given the reference that you mean to discuss group conversion dynamics rather than the onesies, twosies more common to our parishes... the sort I see also have some of the negatives you list, but seem to not be 100% negative... I mean there are positives or my parish wouldn't exist.

Number 2 I understand... I think we're dealing with that. As a former Anglican... the faux Englishness began to wear thin on me there... so I think some of this is more of an American issue than necessarily Orthodox only. We can learn from everywhere. Number 4... this must be something very specific in your mind, but I missed it until the end... but I doubt we have only one audience and the luxury of one "it" that we should do. For me, patience is the "it" I would do perhaps... as the counter for an impatient but well-meaning people... still basically good by the way but often misled, though we forget and slip into harshness.

As to # 5, I wonder that we tend to look for the sort of "commissioned moments" in our American Orthodoxy that would match the storied moments of Church or European history... when what I tend to see in American history is much more of a spontaneous, anonymous little guy here and there doing the ground work that only later is lifted to recognition. But that may be my misread. If accurate, it may paint a challenge for a hierarchical church worth considering.

BTW, "spontaniety" might actually be facilitated more by our jurisdictional mess than some suppose. Thus ROCOR's recent toss of the gauntlet - to use a phrase that may overstate things for some, understate them for others) may have some very constructive American "chaos" to it... and oddly, I think of that in a good way ;)'s like wanting build a federalism after the laboratory of the states had seen the working of George Washington's Army in your nearby environs... and couldn't conceive of cooperation before or during that time.

Just saying.

Thankyou Mauricecyril: I have Ms Slagle's book. I think in it, the author supports her proposition fairly well. I have not yet read the volume of Frs Herbel and Elias, so I mean to.

Father Bless. There are two fascinating studies that have been published which resonate with the first two items on your list for the new year. First one is Amy Slagle's "The Eastern Church in the Spiritual Marketplace" and the second is D. Oliver Herbel's "Turning to Tradition:Converts and the Making of an American Orthodox Church"

There is also Fr Elias' book "Singing in a strange land" which discusses pluralism in America and the impact of ethnic culture in Orthodox Parishes

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