What Does an Orthodox Christian Look Like?

This week’s podcast was recorded live at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver’s Clergy-Laity Conference, hosted by St George Greek Orthodox Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico – May 13, 2011.

So there I was, a few years back, standing in the food line at the Houston Greek Festival, minding my own business, when the guy in front of me — a man with long white bushy sideburns, green John Deere cap, with his name on his work shirt — turns to me and says:

You a priest or something?

Y’all …

I am, of course, dressed as a priest and, sinner that I am, my first impulse was to say:

Yup! You a farmer or something?

“Yes,” I said.

He glanced at my family behind me, then back at me.

I said, “Oh! Yes, well, Orthodox priests can marry and have families.”

“Hooray for the Orthodox!” he said.

He related that, although he was a lifelong Houstonian, it was his first time at a Greek Festival – and he’d never been inside an Orthodox church.

He then said, “You Greek?”

“No,” I said, “I’m a CON-vert.”

(Silly of me. He obviously had no idea what I was talking about! I mean, what? I converted to … Greek?)

“Well,” he said, “You look Greek! At least, I think you do!”

He looked behind me and said, “Your whole family looks Greek.”

Continuing to speak like a silly man, I said: “Nah, we’re from North Carolina.”

I realized, even as I was speaking, that this fellow was talking about culture and ethnicity and I was rattling on about something completely different!

My new found friend in the food line at the Greek Festival then said …

The Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio!

PS – I was tempted to title this: Orthodoxy in “John Deere Greek”.

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