Hello Everyone, I am new to this forum so please excuse my ineptness at writing. I am a convert Orthodox Christian. I converted in 2004 after years of being in the Lutheran Church. I love my Orthodox faith and all it's rich history. My home church was in the OCA (Orthodox Church of America) up until two years ago when I moved to Southern California. I am now finding that there really isn't a place for a convert in a Orthodox Church here in Southern California.
To make a long story short, I have been married to a wonderful Coptic man for almost 40 years. When we married there were no Orthodox churches where we lived, let alone Coptic churches. So, we went to the Lutheran Church since it has a liturgutal service. As many of you may know, the Lutherans accepted a very liberal agenda. Neither of us were brought up that way so we searched for another church. I found the OCA and we were active members for 6 years. We then moved to Southern California and found that the Orthodox churches here are quite ethnic in character. Don't get me wrong, I strongly support ethnicity since I am of Scandinavian descent. But, they are closed to non-ethnic people.
I have been a member the past two years at an Antiochian Parish. I want to talk about my walk with Christ, church theology, prayer, fasting, etc. and it's not there. So, I ventured to look at other churches. I am quite familiar with the Coptic Orthodox Church. I went to a Coptic church yesterday and not "one" person said "hello" to me? Can you explain this? I was ready to go to Sunday liturgy - I had my Coptic liturgy book along with my head scarf with a design of St. Mena? I feel as soon as they saw me, they looked away. As I mentioned, I am of Northern European descent. I do not look Coptic. But, unknown to them, I understand their theoolgy, have studied their church and my own children and grandchild have been baptized in the Coptic church in Egypt.
I came home crying. I am able and willing to be a contributing member(s) of a Coptic church. My husband is willing to go where we feel welcome. Why was the door closed? Any insight you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
On a side note, I understand the ramifications of being "Eastern Orthodox" vs "Coptic Orthodox". I was willing to do what was needed on my my part to become part of the Coptic community.