St. Andrew House Discussion Forum
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"We have concluded that when the principle of phyletism (i.e. ecclesiastical nationalism) is juxtaposed with the teaching of the Gospel and the constant practice of the Church, it is not only foreign to it, but also completely opposed, to it. We decree the following in the Holy Spirit: 1. We reject and condemn racial division, that is, racial differences, national quarrels and disagreements in the Church of Christ, as being contrary to the teaching of the Gospel and the holy canons of our blessed fathers, on which the holy Church is established and which adorn human society and lead it to Divine piety. 2. In accordance with the holy canons, we proclaim that those who accept such division according to races and who dare to base on it hitherto unheard-of racial assemblies are foreign to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and are real schismatics."
Re: Here's a theory about Chambesy...
Posted by David Adrian on 5/14/2010, 10:19 pm, in reply to "Re: Here's a theory about Chambesy..."
My short answer is, in marketing terms, the Orthodox Church has a unique selling proposition – it is THE Ancient Apostolic and Catholic Faith – that supersedes local traditions. Moreover, Orthodoxy is no more handicapped by its eccentricities than its non-Orthodox Christian competitors, including Roman Catholicism.
Obviously, I believe unified national church and diocesan evangelism programs are essential. Ultimately, however, they must support parish-level evangelism efforts led by laity as well as clergy that enable and encourage individual Orthodox men and women to bear witness to their faith to their families and friends.
As I recall from my work in the Episcopal Church before converting to Orthodoxy, approximately three out of four people who visit a new church do so because they are invited by a family member or friend. And they stay at those churches if they become involved in a small-group activity (choir or Sunday school, for example) within six weeks of their initial visit.
To draw an analogy with the secular business world, car buyers can be drawn to a particular nameplate by national advertising and marketing campaigns, but they must buy the actual cars from local dealers, and they become repeat customers in large measure by how they are treated by those dealerships.