Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thank You

How did this happen?

Here I will try to connect the dots of what I am aware of that transpired to get Laura and I to this point.

Both Laura's parents and mine raised both of us to love and pursue God. It is because we were raised in such a way that we are able to make the journey we are on now.
Thank you Ken, Evie, Donn, and Michelle.
Around 1995 I went on a tour of the Holy Land with my church. Orthodoxy was all around me, but I noticed very little. My brain was already geared to avoid things that I assumed were not Christian practices.
In February of 2008, Laura and I went with Bill Thompson and Julie Foster to Balboa Park in San Diego. One of the museums was showing art for free. On of the displays was a series of Russian icons. We didn't fully understand what they were, but we couldn't keep our eyes off of them.
2 months later we would meet up with Forrest Fallows in Tucson and he would take us into an Orthodox Church for the first time. Without this initial interaction Orthodoxy would likely still be unknown to us.
Thank you Forrest.
A month later we would be in John Day, Oregon for 6 months. During that time I would watch this video on Pascha, investigate the early church, and decide that we would go back to an Orthodox Church when we arrived in Califonia.


In November we would go to Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Buena Park, CA. The church was beautiful but the service was all in Greek, so we looked elsewhere for an Orthodox service in English.
A week later we would go to Saint Barnabas Antiochian Orthodox Church in Costa Mesa, CA and keep going for months. Friends both in and out of Barnabas were willing to spend hours with us answering our questions about Orthodoxy. Because of their willingness to answer our questions, give of their time, and let us in to their lives we were able to move forward towards Orthodoxy. We stayed until Pascha of 2009.
Thank you Devon
Thank you Drew
Thank you Garten
Thank you Garrett
Thank you Jared and Claire
Thank You Gary
Thank you Josh
Thank you Drew
Thank you Will
Thank you Valeska
Thank you Turbo and Juliana
Thank you Mark
Thank you Keith
Thank you Jonathan
Thank you Kevin and Colleen
Thank you Robert
Thank you Christine
Thank you Gabe
Thank you Father Wayne
Thank you Father Michael

We then headed to see Bill and Julie in Pennsylvania by plane. At the airport in LA a girl smiled at us. That same girl would be on our flight, and give up her seat so Laura and I could sit together. That same girl was Orthodox. The unlikelihood of the experience was incredibly uplifting. More on this story can be found here.
Thank you Heather.
We came back from Pennsylvania and took to the open road for a couple of months then stayed in John Day, OR again. While in the Northwest, we had the opportunity to stay with Matthew Gallatin in Idaho for the night. We had been listening to his podcasts about Orthodoxy when we were on the road. While talking to him one on one he was able to put me at ease with some doctrinal issues. So, we decided to make it back to Saint Barnabas so we could start catechism by September.
Thank you Matthew and Alice.

After starting catechism we realized we needed to find a town that we could settle down in and had an Orthodox church. And any city in Orange County was not it. One day while looking at Facebook Jonah Van Tyl  (in Prescott, AZ) complained about long lines at In-N-Out Burger. I responed by, "What?! They have an In-N-Out in Prescott?" Laura jokingly said, "Wouldn't it be great if they had an Orthodox Church too?" So I looked, and they did, and here we are in Prescott.
Thank you Jonah and thank you In-N-Out.
When we first came into Prescott, Shaun let us park in his driveway for three weeks for free! We couldn't have made the trip without him. We had no money, no jobs, and no car. His little piece of driveway was all we had.
Thank you Shaun.
After the three weeks were up, Virgil and Jody let us stay in their house and have continued to do so. They have quickly became friends and I don't know how we could have stayed here without them.
Thank you Virgil and Jody.
Immediately after arriving here we were greeted warmly by our new church family at Saint George. We were able to spend 3 days with them right away working in the Gyros booth. This new church family has made leaving our family at Saint Barnabas easier. We are blessed with a new church family, friends, and two wonderful priests.
Thank you Father John and Father Bill.
Thank you George and Lola
(Laura's Godparents)
Thank you Raymond and Jill
(Kenny's Godparents)
My Uncle Brett's role does not fit nicely in this timeline as he has been in most of the various stages. But I am eternally grateful for his willingness to discuss with me all things Orthodoxy throughout this entire journey. An uncle who is closer than a brother.
Thank you Brett Scott.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us in both big and small ways to aid us on this journey.

10 comments:

  1. Great job! I love the photo journal!

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  2. Thanks Bob! It has been quite a journey!

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    Replies
    1. Accept the changes if it is for good, but if it is not change it again for the better.

      travesti

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  3. I am very late in replying to this post, but I feel such a connection to it. Our journeying to becoming Byzantine Catholics also involved many different people and experiences that we are truly blessed by and thankful for. Isn't God's hand at work throughout our lives amazing?

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