Today, 09:41 AM
I've never been to Eastern Europe, but I find it strange how there's this notion in this thread that Russia and Orthodoxy are somehow synonymous.
As far as I know I'm the only Orthodox Christian on this forum attending a "Russian" church, and the parish is actually under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), which was formed in the US as a response to the Bolsheviks taking control over the churches in Russia. TER attends a Greek church, HB attends an Antiochian church, and I'm sorry RJB but I've never found out where you're going. Last week I attended liturgy at my brother-in-law's parish, which is an Albanian church in Philadelphia.
ROCOR still has problems with the churches in Russia as ROCOR still does not see them as having fully recovered (as HU hinted). And the situation in the US is an abject mess of immigrants all having started their own church bodies, which everyone today recognizes as a serious problem. This suggests Orthodoxy is something it is not - it is not a fractured mess. The POLITICS are an abject mess. But the Church is not.
I received communion at my brother-in-law's Albanian church last week. I could visit TER at his Greek parish and would be welcomed to communion (after a short verification of who I am and where I'm from, I'm sure). My pastor was a chaplain in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was regularly holding liturgies for Ukrainians and other Orthodox Christians who were in Iraq, because they didn't have another Orthodox chaplain present. And he speaks no Ukrainian.
(He has a touching story about how none of them came forward for communion, not one, because none of them had been to confession for a long time. So he had his translator announce to them that the language barrier made confession impossible, and that it was entirely possible it would be their last liturgy while they were alive... and he told them to come and receive communion, and that he would answer to God for it. And every one of them came forward.)
In my own parish, this ostensibly Russian parish, there is exactly one person of Russian descent. There is one Greek woman, one Romanian woman, and three other occasional attendees from other parishes, who are of "ethnic Orthodox" descent, though not from Russia. The bulk of the parish is American mutt converts like me.