My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
A PROSELYTE TO THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH
The person wishing to become Orthodox of their own free volition, without any direct or indirect pressure from anyone, should first meet with the priest of the church.
Conversion to the Holy Orthodox Christian Church from another Christian denomination, or from a non-Christian religion is a serious matter for both the Orthodox Church and for the person seeking to convert to Orthodoxy. It is essentially, a lifetime mutual commitment.
Consequently, the matter should never be taken lightly. Changing one's faith is the most crucial choice in life. Converting to the Orthodox Christian Faith cannot be treated with frivolity and superficiality. It cannot be as a routine or a mechanical procedure conducted like a 'production line.'
Conversion to the Orthodox Church must be a one hundred percent conversion. Past religious loyalties must be left behind and erased from memory if the conversion is true. Otherwise, there will always be an inner conflict taking place in the heart of the newly converted person. Simply put one cannot remain a Roman Catholic or Protestant Christian while he or she claims to be Orthodox. One must free himself from the older religious identity and accept the new one with his whole heart.
For a newly converted person, the challenges are many and difficult. As a 'new' Orthodox Christian your understanding, your mindset, your attitude, your motivation, your way of thinking is much different. One must be willing to adjust and to practice his or her new Faith with sincerity, honesty, and conviction.
Worship of the Almighty God is at the center of Orthodox Christian life and spirituality. Worship is not only an experience of learning but a way that God's mystical grace comes to us touches us and changes us. A newly baptized and/or Chrismated person is expected to attend Sunday Divine Liturgy each week as well as special divine services throughout the year, to adhere to the various and special Orthodox seasons such as Holy and Great Lent, the Apostles Fast, Holy Dormition Fast, the Holy Nativity Fast, and other traditions throughout the ecclesiastical year.
In the Orthodox Christian Faith, one does not determine and follow their own spiritual path without the advice and guidance of Spiritual Fathers and Mothers. Personal accountability is essential to growth in Christ along with intellectual knowledge and church attendance. In a spirit of love, the spiritual guide watches over the spiritual growth and progress of the spiritual child. The Orthodox priest will help the new member of the Church to participate in the Mystery (Sacrament) of Repentance/Confession by teaching him or her how to prepare himself/herself through a spiritual self-examination.
It is imperative that all Orthodox Christians have not only a prayer life/discipline but also, a Mysteriaki Zoee (Sacramental life). Orthodox Christianity is not a theory but a way of life. Unless one's faith is translated into life, it is simply an illusion or fantasy.
May we all be inspired by God the Holy Spirit to abide by the Divine Commandments of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
With sincere agape,