In two previous essays (“Starting from Cane Ridge” and “The Road to Canterbury”), I described these two early periods of my faith journey in largely chronological order. For these two periods of my life there have been relatively clear and distinct time markers. I grew up in and trained for ministry among the Restoration Movement churches. Toward the end of that training, while still at college, I began to investigate the Anglican tradition. And though for a time these two faith traditions overlapped, still the pathways are fairly clear.
The road markers for my journey to Antioch, my inquiry into the Orthodox Church, however, are much more muddled, scattered here and there along previous roadways, seen now as portents of things to come, but known then as only so much new experience, as simple signposts which I was then unable to read. The relating of my investigations into Orthodoxy, then, runs scattershot at first through the stages of my experience in the Stone-Campbell/Restoration Movement churches just prior to becoming acquainted with Anglicanism, then through my initial searchcing in the Anglican tradition, and finally to the culmination of my experience in that tradition as I turned away from the Episcopal Church to finally look with focused attention at the Orthodox Church.
My experience of Orthodoxy can therefore be roughly charted along three time markers: the years prior to the summer of 2000, the months from June 2000 to January 2002, and then from June 2002 to the present. (The “gap” from January to June 2002 will be addressed in due course.)
[Next: 1. Encounters with Orthodoxy prior to June 2000]