Since I recently got quoted on a popular Orthodox blog, I wanted to make a post recapping my journey (or at least linking to different points in it [in chronological order].
In the blogging part of my journey I started out as a Youth Pastor in a non-denominational Protestant Evangelical church.
The Emergent Convention
Tony Jones' The Sacred Way led me to the Jesus Prayer and (in the same post) I describe our plan to take our youth group on a "Faith Pilgrimage" to services of eight different Christian traditions.
First trip to an Orthodox Church (Greek Archdiocese)
Shortly after beginning this series of experiences I announced my resignation and plans to go back to college fulltime.
After my initial in-person experience with the Orthodox Church (I had been listening to the Divine Liturgy on the Greek Archdiocese website occasionally for at least a year), I found out we were blessed to live within driving distance of one of the original EOC parishes which were received into the Antiochian Archdiocese, St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis.
So, I visited.
Then, my family visited with me.
Some time around then, when I felt my conversion was imminent, but scary, I renamed my blog "peering over the eastern edge of the world"- translation= contemplating leaving everything you've ever known (and have done for a living)
My first attempt at home devotional use of incense
Then, after only visiting St. John four or five times we moved closer to my college (which was in the opposite direction from Memphis) and visited Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church (OCA) in Madison, IL where we met our future sponsors and our kids' future godparents.
Suddenly I felt comfortable seeking out Orthodox people in strangers
Our minds continued to be reshaped and reshaped
Here's my reflection on our first 'Forgiveness Vespers'
When we were finally both in agreement that were ready to pursue acceptance into the Orthodox Church, we started Catechism in August and we were received (through baptism and chrismation) December 9, 2006.
That's not our complete journey, but you get the gist of it.
Lord willing, I will graduate with my BA this December, then we will probably relocate so we can be more involved in a parish and start to seriously pursue/prepare for seminary.