I was born into an Orthodox family and was baptized at a very young age, thereby making me a “cradle” Orthodox. In looking back on my formative years, I now realize how green the grass was in my own backyard, but at that stage in my life, I did not take full advantage of it. Being a native Oregonian, the bulk of my years, minus a handful during which we lived in California when I was very young, were spent attending Holy Trinity here in Portland. As a child and through my teenage years my ... [Read more]
Please enjoy these very personal stories by parishioners who have come to the Orthodox Church from a variety of backgrounds. If you are a parishioner and would like to write your own journey story, please talk with Fr. Matthew. If you wrote one that was published in a past newsletter, but it is not on the Web site, please contact the Webmaster.
I was raised in a loving but nominally Christian home. I remember irregular attendance at various Lutheran and Presbyterian churches before the age of twelve. By that time I think my parents had stopped going to church. As a result, my teen years had little to do with Christ. I was just an average kid who (generally) stayed out of trouble, and who was blissfully ignorant of any need for God. One sadly amusing memory from those days was throwing my morning paper route with my cassette player ... [Read more]
My father was raised an Orthodox Jew. As a child, I remember visiting my grandparent’s home as they prepared for the Passover holiday. They kept a Kosher home, which meant that they followed Jewish dietary rules. During the eight days of the Passover season, we would go down to their storage area and exchange their normal set of kitchenware for the special kosher kitchenware. I didn’t understand why we did this, at that early age, but it was tradition. I also experienced going to their synagogue ... [Read more]
My father was raised Catholic by his Irish immigrant mother. His father, who was a kind and spiritual man, never attended these services. My mother was raised Presbyterian. When my parents began dating, my father had many unanswered questions about Catholicism, including the demand that my mother convert in order for their marriage to be recognized by the Catholic Church. Because of this, they were married in a Presbyterian church in Cleveland, Ohio and soon moved to Seattle where my father ... [Read more]
The story of my journey to Orthodoxy is not one involving a major conversion. Instead, since I was born into the faith, my journey has been discovering how important the Orthodox Faith is in my life. My mom took me on my first pilgrimage when I was three-years-old, to a women’s convent in California. Although I don’t remember this pilgrimage, it was the first among many pilgrimages that I would take with my mom and family. The first pilgrimage I remember was a trip to a women’s monastery in ... [Read more]
My journey to Orthodoxy begins with a large family tree of Christian relatives. Attending church was the best part of my week even as a toddler. I had a tiny Bible that I ‘read’ constantly. It was my treasure until my own daughter “baptized” it, which made it no longer readable. My first church was the First Methodist Church. As a teen I attended the Methodist Church and the Latter Day Saints Church (part of my Dad’s family have a century long history in the LDS). I was like a dry sponge, ... [Read more]