One of the biggest issues I am having in my move towards the Orthodox Church is whether or not to invest in the Coptic Orthodox Church or an Eastern Orthodox Church (specifically the Antiochian Orthodox Church). My difficulty is that, although I currently live near a current Coptic Orthodox Church, there are only pockets of Coptic churches throughout. My fear is that I would join the Coptic Orthodox Church and then in a year (when I finish my Master's degree) I will have to move somewhere where there is no Coptic Orthodox Church nearby. If this case arose I would not be able to attend the liturgy or participate in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
However, there are many Antiochian Orthodox Churches across the U.S. and if I had to move where one was not close by I could always attend another Eastern Orthodox Church as they are not divided as are the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches.
What advice would you all lend me in making this decision?
if, in a year, you need to move, let us know, some of us have quite a few contacts.
oh, and, of course join our church! ;)
may God guide you :)
You would also be able to receive the sacraments in any Oriental Orthodox church, not only Coptic. Where are you thinking of studying? Is it somewhere remote?
I am already studying for my master's in Denver, CO. I am thinking ahead about when I graduate in a year's time and will have to move where I am able to find employment in my field. When I search for Coptic Orthodox Churches in the U.S. the majority are located around the larger cities and I will not be guaranteed that I will be working in a big, metropolitan area.
Orthodoxy in itself is beautiful, but there is a different between East in West not only in terms of traditions, but more importantly in theology. If you are not already aware of it, do the research. They are not the same thing so that should also be an important factor in your decision.
God be with you.
but if you have to move house, then it's normal to go to another church there!
thank God there were coptic churches available for my last 2 house-moves (in the 2 1/2 years i have been orthodox), but if there weren't, i would go to an eastern orthodox church, attending a coptic church maybe once a month if i could for the Holy Communion.
i pray in our lifetime we will have communion with the other orthodox churches, then moving house won't be a problem at all. the theology is really not significantly different, although i prefer our oriental orthodox practice of having the Holy Communion in a manner which is easier to see (no preparation behind a screen with the deacons singing psalms in front) and encouraging everyone to participate regularly in it.
so, just as i would recommend a EO church if there was one nearby, i now recommend the coptic church near you.
of course it's hard to move house, but it didn't kill me yet! ;)