Directions to a good strong parish in Appalachian area?

Oda Mae

Chicken
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
Since I am not taking the vaccine, I submitted my retirement papers last week with a retirement date of 31 March. This is about two years ahead of planning, but worth it rather than subjecting myself to whatever new thing they'll think up next. I have just enough sick time and leave time to ride it out until that date, TBTG.

I am NEW to the Orthodox faith, not yet a member of a church but praying every morning and night and reading everything I can get my hands on through webpages, books and podcasts. I can't describe what a help it has been at work to maintain my serenity and focus. I was raised Southern Baptist, and lived in a very Catholic part of Germany for over 10 years.

My question - after retiring, my husband would like us to move to the North Carolina or Tennessee area in the mountains. Less humidity than our Armpit of Satan, as we call Columbus, GA. I know that studying alone is not enough, I need to worship within the Church. I would like to be a half hour or less from a strong Orthodox parish. (Not necessarily a big one, but one with good attendance where I can have help as I continue to study.)

There are ROCOR parishes, Greek Orthodox parishes and even a Carpatho-Russian parish. I have no idea if there's a huge difference between them. Or whether there are some that I have missed. Thinking I could also consider some right over the border in VA or KY. I have prayed about it and we have a year to make the decision because we're staying put for a year after the retirement date to pack, pick a location, and get the house into sale condition.

I would love some help with the variations in Orthodox churches and personal direction from those of you who live in the areas. Thank you and my apologies if not knowing the differences is offensive in any way. ( Locally, we have Greek, but they are still masking and I cannot wear the thing longer than 10 minutes without a rash. And there's no newcomer class, too small. But they are FRIENDLY, have provided some direction and included me on the mailing list each week, so major points for that. ;) )
 

Mike Contro Rossi

Sparrow
Orthodox
Since I am not taking the vaccine, I submitted my retirement papers last week with a retirement date of 31 March. This is about two years ahead of planning, but worth it rather than subjecting myself to whatever new thing they'll think up next. I have just enough sick time and leave time to ride it out until that date, TBTG.

I am NEW to the Orthodox faith, not yet a member of a church but praying every morning and night and reading everything I can get my hands on through webpages, books and podcasts. I can't describe what a help it has been at work to maintain my serenity and focus. I was raised Southern Baptist, and lived in a very Catholic part of Germany for over 10 years.

My question - after retiring, my husband would like us to move to the North Carolina or Tennessee area in the mountains. Less humidity than our Armpit of Satan, as we call Columbus, GA. I know that studying alone is not enough, I need to worship within the Church. I would like to be a half hour or less from a strong Orthodox parish. (Not necessarily a big one, but one with good attendance where I can have help as I continue to study.)

There are ROCOR parishes, Greek Orthodox parishes and even a Carpatho-Russian parish. I have no idea if there's a huge difference between them. Or whether there are some that I have missed. Thinking I could also consider some right over the border in VA or KY. I have prayed about it and we have a year to make the decision because we're staying put for a year after the retirement date to pack, pick a location, and get the house into sale condition.

I would love some help with the variations in Orthodox churches and personal direction from those of you who live in the areas. Thank you and my apologies if not knowing the differences is offensive in any way. ( Locally, we have Greek, but they are still masking and I cannot wear the thing longer than 10 minutes without a rash. And there's no newcomer class, too small. But they are FRIENDLY, have provided some direction and included me on the mailing list each week, so major points for that. ;) )
The ROCOR parishes in Southern Appalachia are totally solid and coof-insanity-free. Lenoir City, TN, Pigeon Forge, TN, Blountville, TN and Fletcher, NC all have solid ROCOR parishes.
 

Ah_Tibor

Kingfisher
Woman
Orthodox
ROCOR has good liturgy, Greeks are generally blue-pilled, and Carpatho-Russians have bad choirs but nice people (my childhood background is a split between that and OCA). I think in the South there's more converts in general and there's more defacto unity than people think.
 

Mike Contro Rossi

Sparrow
Orthodox
ROCOR has good liturgy, Greeks are generally blue-pilled, and Carpatho-Russians have bad choirs but nice people (my childhood background is a split between that and OCA). I think in the South there's more converts in general and there's more defacto unity than people think.
Our choir director is Carpatho-Rusyn..lol.
 

Max Roscoe

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
I drove past an absolutely beautiful Orthodox church outside Nashville TN. I am pleased to say when I searched for it online, I could not find the name, as there were TEN churches listed (various Coptic, Greek and Russian varieties). For a city that size to have so many orthodox congregations is very exciting.

The church I saw was Russian, and of recent construction. While the most beautiful churches in the world are invariably old, one thing you can glean from a new church building is that it has a healthy, active congregation funding it (in contrast to many amazing works of art in Europe that are now mostly empty during services).

One thing I do find odd about many church websites: so few of them have photos of their building. I don't think I've ever seen an orthodox church that wasn't beautiful, but beyond showing that off, a photo of the building is probably the most useful thing you can show to people you want to come worship there.
 

Mike Contro Rossi

Sparrow
Orthodox
I drove past an absolutely beautiful Orthodox church outside Nashville TN. I am pleased to say when I searched for it online, I could not find the name, as there were TEN churches listed (various Coptic, Greek and Russian varieties). For a city that size to have so many orthodox congregations is very exciting.

The church I saw was Russian, and of recent construction. While the most beautiful churches in the world are invariably old, one thing you can glean from a new church building is that it has a healthy, active congregation funding it (in contrast to many amazing works of art in Europe that are now mostly empty during services).

One thing I do find odd about many church websites: so few of them have photos of their building. I don't think I've ever seen an orthodox church that wasn't beautiful, but beyond showing that off, a photo of the building is probably the most useful thing you can show to people you want to come worship there.
St Petka Serbian Orthodox Church in Nashville is good
 

Mike Contro Rossi

Sparrow
Orthodox
I drove past an absolutely beautiful Orthodox church outside Nashville TN. I am pleased to say when I searched for it online, I could not find the name, as there were TEN churches listed (various Coptic, Greek and Russian varieties). For a city that size to have so many orthodox congregations is very exciting.

The church I saw was Russian, and of recent construction. While the most beautiful churches in the world are invariably old, one thing you can glean from a new church building is that it has a healthy, active congregation funding it (in contrast to many amazing works of art in Europe that are now mostly empty during services).

One thing I do find odd about many church websites: so few of them have photos of their building. I don't think I've ever seen an orthodox church that wasn't beautiful, but beyond showing that off, a photo of the building is probably the most useful thing you can show to people you want to come worship there.
Also an FYI: Coptics aren't fully Orthodox but monophysites and aren't in communion with us.
 

Mrs.DanielH

Robin
Woman
Orthodox
Since you have time to decide I'd suggest going on some weekend trips to visit the locations people have suggested. Hope you find a location that is a good fit! God bless you!
 

Oda Mae

Chicken
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
Since you have time to decide I'd suggest going on some weekend trips to visit the locations people have suggested. Hope you find a location that is a good fit! God bless you!
Headed up next week for a three day trip. I found some nice property that has two churches nearby. One is 45 minutes west, the other the same distance east. I don't know if anyone can meet with me, but at least I can see the outside!
 
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