A Meeting of Mennonites and Orthodox

By Glick, Kenton | Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

A Meeting of Mennonites and Orthodox


Glick, Kenton, Journal of Ecumenical Studies


Jingling censers of pungent incense sweeten the air as the droning chant of morning prayers reverberates throughout the hall. Black robes rustle as fingers fly through the metania, the Orthodox sign of the cross, as an icon of Christ peers solemnly at the worshipers from center stage. What in the world are Mennonites doing here? For most of us, the Eastern Orthodox Church is not even a blip on the radar screen. Are the Orthodox not just a far away, ancient Christian sect that are something like Catholics, just weirder?

A group of Mennonite clergy and interested persons from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, feel differently. They have met monthly for several years with, as member Leon Miller states, "an intense desire to encounter God in the same transformative way that the early church did." Their search into the Orthodox theological writings has led them to the conviction that the Orthodox faith "contains a powerful depth that is so often lacking in modern Christianity."

The members formed a relationship with local Orthodox priest Father Demetrius of Reading, PA. Interest grew in opening a more serious conversation between the faiths. Thus, on March 5 and 6, 2004, at Alvernia College in Reading, a historic event called "Traveling the Tradition: An Orthodox-Mennonite Conversation" was attended by over fifty Mennonite and Orthodox clergy and laity.

A gregarious and humble Orthodox priest, Fr. Joseph Gibson, spoke on the first evening. Memorized scriptures tumbled from his lips as he passionately witnessed to his faith. With refreshing honesty and humor, he described growing up in a Protestant home and faith that he left, disillusioned, as a teenager in the 1960's. His intense search for meaning led him through agnosticism, Eastern religions, and charismatic Christianity, but he did not fred satisfaction until he discovered the depth of the Orthodox faith. Gibson noted that the very things of Orthodox worship that seem strange to us--incense, read prayers, a regularly followed church calendar--come directly from the rhythm and structure of the Jewish faith from which Christianity came and from the scripture as recorded, for example, in the Book of Revelation. They believe their practices come directly from the most ancient forms of the church established by the Apostles--the original New Testament church.

Though Protestants broke from Rome, the Orthodox consider Protestants to retain a core Western outlook that has significant differences from theirs. The Western outlook places emphasis on the cross and Jesus' sufferings as giving payment to an angry God; the Orthodox place emphasis on the risen Christ who came to show us the way to his Father through suffering. "God is so in love with his bride," asserted Gibson, "that he went to hell to get her. It's not that he needed to have his son beat up to satisfy his judgment and anger." He also noted that "the Bible is an Eastern book. The original founding communities of faith were Eastern. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

A Meeting of Mennonites and Orthodox
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.