Renea

I have not always been Eastern Orthodox. In fact, I was not even raised in a Christian home. In my late teens, my eyes were opened and I became a believer in Christ. A few years later I met and married my husband. He grew up Roman Catholic but was no longer practicing it. After we were married we started to attend a couple different protestant churches. We finally found one we really liked. It happened to be a huge mega church with a band and skits during the services. It was fun and easy to attend. We dove right in, joined a cell group and went to as many services and activities as possible.

". . .slowly we started to attend different churches, still not knowing what we were looking for. . . "

We were very happy and content there for a couple years. But, after awhile, we both started to feel that something was missing. We had no idea what, so slowly we started to attend different churches, still not knowing what we were looking for. During this time we had our first baby and if that wasn't enough, we decided to pack up everything and move down to Tennessee to live a more simple life in the mountains.

Within a year we made our way down south. While looking for a new house in Tennessee, we were staying with my family who recently converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. Not knowing anything about Orthodoxy at the time, we were able to see it up close and personal. We could see how it was lived out at home. The beautiful icons, morning and evening prayers, fasting and the love for the services. We attended weekly services and witnessed some of our family being baptized into the church. We prayed and learned about the history of the first Christians. It didn't take long for us to realize that we had found what we were looking for, what had been missing- the Holiness of the Orthodox Church was what was needed in our lives.

". . .I never experienced services that were so rich in scripture, so serious about Christ, and so full of tradition. . ."

It's been nine years since I started this journey. The more I learn about Orthodoxy and the history of the Church, the more I believe in it with all my heart. I know I could never go back to the way things once were. Up until I was Orthodox, I never experienced services that were so rich in scripture, so serious about Christ and so full of tradition than that of every single Orthodox service. I am so thankful to be part of the Church that was created by Christ himself. Becoming Orthodox wasn't a onetime done deal. It is a life long journey toward my salvation. The icons, the fasting and the daily prayers are all tools the church gives us to lean away from our earthy passion/desires and to live a more Christ like life.

"My children love it and always feel welcome."

Saint Mary Magdalene has been an integral part of our lives since our move back to Michigan seven years ago. We’ve watched the church grow and really develop into a family. I am so grateful to call this church my home and the wonderful people here my family. My children love it and always feel welcome. And I'm so thankful my kids will always have a home parish to rely on, now and when they are older.