To Be Black and Orthodox: Part of my story

The Modern Monastic Order Of Saint Simon of Cyrene

I have a friend who is considering becoming an Orthodox Christian.  She is African-American and is concerned that by joining the Orthodox Church that she would be turning her back on black culture.  While she likes everything about the ancient faith, she notices the lack of Negro spirituals and the preaching style of the church we grew up in.  Also, except for me, I am the only native black American in the parish.  While she is used to being the only black in some circles in her upbringing, that she would be a little more comfortable making the same plunge that I did if she saw more of us in the same pool.  How is it possible to maintain a strong black identity in this white church?

As I have written in a previous article, the Orthodox Church is the white church that is not.  Much of its spirituality comes…

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