Conversion Process for a Jew

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Katie McGinnis, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Katie McGinnis

    Katie McGinnis New Member

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    Hey everyone.

    I'm a 22-year-old woman.

    I've been considering conversion to either Catholicism or Anglicanism for the past two and a half years. I've read, studied, and most importantly, thought. While studying abroad in London and backpacking through Europe, I made it a point to visit as many churches/cathedrals from both faiths as possible. I've sat through quite a few masses! (But, I'm Jewish.)

    I've been waiting because, one, I didn't want to be pressured, and two, I was worried no one would take me seriously. I also wasn't sure where I felt more at peace: Catholicism or Anglicanism.

    I'm leaning toward Anglicanism, because the theological issues I have with Catholicism aren't a problem in Anglicanism. I first intended to start RCIA classes but then, with deeper thought, wondered why on earth I'd try to change myself to fit somewhere, when I already fit somewhere else.

    My question: I intend to start going to an Anglican church in my city. Mainly to get the feel for it as a community, but also for the possibility of conversion. How does the process of conversion work? For example, I know that if I wanted to convert to Catholicism, part of "getting to know the community," would be attending RCIA classes, which is also apart of the conversion process.

    Thank you.
     
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  2. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

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    I completed my post after Adam. I agree with all that he posted.
    ======================

    I was brought up as a Jew, became a Christian in my 30's, and have been a leader in the Baptist, Catholic and Anglican churches. I mention this only so that might understand that your situation is not unusual.

    What you can or will do depends a lot on where you live. Anglicans allow much freedom to their bishops, and the priests.

    Almost all churches of The Episcopal Church in the US really live their motto "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You". Non-Christian and Christian visitors are always welcome and are welcome to come for years without becoming a member of the Episcopal Church Church or the local church.

    Our church has monthly dinners for newcomers or seekers. We also have a welcoming series of talks/dinners that are meant to meant to help non-Christians understand us. We call it "alpha". We also have confirmation classes, a series of talks/dinners that introduce Christianity, Anglicanism and our local church. Also one can ask questions through our office or website, or can set up a meeting with one of our priests, deacons or other leaders. Any church office can set this up. Some have formal mentoring/welcoming programs where someone will be assigned to you (if you wish).

     
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  3. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

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    Great questions and welcome to the forum! I think Adam and Mark have covered the bases pretty well on this one.

    When I decided to join the Anglican Church, I went through an 8-week newcomer/inquirer classes. Due to the nature and time constraints of my work and coming from a Christian background, I was allowed to take study material home and review it for a week and then ask the parish priest questions I had after Sunday services. I did that for 8 weeks and was baptized and confirmed by our bishop.
     
  4. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Great question and I am sure you will find all here will take your questions seriously. Mark and Adam have pretty much explained the process, then it is entirely up to you. Here in Australia we have a series of classes called an alpha course which is and introduction to Christianity and what Anglicans believe.

    Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like and we would love to hear your input from a Jewish perspective on the some of the things we discuss in here...
     
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  5. mark1

    mark1 Active Member

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    I highly recommend an alpha course if it available.

     
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  6. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Katie,
    Welcome to the forums. Everyone has given great information. I'm sure you will find an Anglican Parish very welcoming. Just take your time. Get to know the people. Ask questions as they arise. Make an appointment with a Priest, when you feel comfortable. Everything will eventually fall into place.

    And, of course, ask us questions. We're glad to help in any way we can.

    Peace and blessings,
    Anna
     
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  7. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

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    That's one of the ways I knew God had led me home. The Episcopal Church is the most welcoming Church that I have ever visited or been a part of. The slogan, "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You," is not just some cute slogan or catch phrase, it is something that is taken very seriously.

    Another aspect of my parish, and TEC as a whole, is that the Church is deeply involved and committed to the community and local mission work. Our tiny parish does as much or more charitable work in the community as churches with 1200 members! Despite our differences and disagreements at times, many of us find that committment to the community and to local mission really unites us.
     
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  8. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dear sister Katie ! you are most welcome to this forum and to call on the Name of the Lord Jesus, the long-expected Mashiach, awaited of the ages. If you ever find it in your heart to speak to Him, He is listening. This is the very first part of conversion. :)

    Never forget that your life & sense of peace are not the goal - but the Truth. If you seek the truth in all honesty and good will, you will be granted peace by GOD, because His truth is the only truth, and knowing it is blissful joy.

    As a person who took less than a year to be catechised (taught the faith) in the Roman Catholic church (and subsequently doubted many things), I must caution you against moving too quickly in any direction. Though the grace of the holy ADONAI is able to make anyone run and leap joyously, it is best for us to be cautious and patient. The ancient Church of Christians sometimes took 4 or 5 years to admit a person into the baptismal rites.

    It is a very very good idea to test yourself for a while: 1. to see if you are ready to hold this faith, 2. to give up anything that is an obstacle to His Majesty, and 3. find out whether any sins or long-held habits attach you to your old self, rather than to the holy Messiah of our souls and life!

    Never forget that as His creation, you are precious to the Maker and Sustainer and Lord of us all. Pray for at least a year before making any leaps.

    Seek out the three Creeds which affirm what all Christians of every age have believed - especially The Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Creed of Athanasius. The first is simple, the second is the highest expression of our faith, and the third is the deepest penetration of the mysteries of God's being and the holy Incarnation of our Master as a man. First and foremost, ask yourself if you can accept the belief that GOD, the ABSOLUTE HOLINESS of ETERNITY, took on our human nature for your sake, out of love for your person.

    If you have been a practicing Jew, especially read the New Testament's Letter to the Hebrews (search "Hebrews 1" here). It deals with all the sacrifice, Passover, and priesthood in "our" terms.

    If you feel you must move quickly for some reason, speak to one of the greeters or ushers (usually men wearing suits near the front door ;)) and ask about the Rector of the parish. He, being the priest or minister of the congregation, is in charge of helping people toward being included in the community, and in receiving them there.
     
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