Holy Cross Orthodox Christian Church
Serving Midland and the Permian Basin
The Self Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Orthodoxy in a Secular Age

Welcome to Inquirers and Inklings. This is not your Ya Ya's catechism class. This is a contemporary discussion group where anyone interested in Orthodox Christianity (True Believing & Right Worshiping)  can meet with like minded, cross-bearers to discuss topics relevant to living a vibrant, Christian, witness in a secular, postmodern age. We realize that many faithful, believers struggle to live as authentic Christians in fidelity to the Gospel while conforming their lives to the New Testament, Apostolic, way of life and prayer. Some of these will seek membership in Orthodox Church. We also realize that others will come seeking the knowledge and wisdom of the Early Church Fathers preserved within Holy Orthodoxy in order that they may carry this treasure with them to enrich their lives while remaining within other faith traditions. Still others may join our group out of a deep concern for the direction of modern, western civilization and culture finding comfort and enjoyment in the company of like minded people. Whatever the motivation may be, we welcome all. We believe that anything that make the world a little more true believing and right worshiping is a good thing.

If Christ called the people of his day a "sinful and perverse generation," what do we have to say to the world in which we live?

We start with the Word of God, add a heaping measure of Church History, a healthy dose of Theolgy and Doctrine, a sprinkle of Book Club, soak with Prayer and Fasting, pour into the mold of the Church Fathers and bake in the holy fire of Ascetic Struggle and there you have it.

Please Join Us!

Becoming Truly Human: The Ultimate Goal of Every Life
The One Story Universe: A Teaching Series by Fr. Stephen Freeman















The heresy of progress



Orthodoxy, History and Postmodernism
Orthodoxy, History and Postmodernism


Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Who We Are...

What is an Inquirer?

We use the term “inquirer” for any non-Orthodox person visiting with us regularly.  The assumption is that such inquirers are seeking to learn more about Orthodox Christianity, and are open to the possibly of becoming Orthodox Christians themselves.  A person may remain an inquirer for an indefinite period of time, but most will commonly move from this informal stage of inquiry to the more formal stage of catechumenate after a few months of regular attendance

What is an Inkling?

The Inklings were a literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, England. Its members, mostly academics at the university, met between the 1930s and the 1950s.

The Inklings were literary enthusiasts who praised the value of narrative in fiction, and encouraged the writing of fantasy. Prominent members were C.S.Lewis, and J.R.R Tolkien. Affiliated thinkers of the era were also such notables as Hilaire Belloc, Dorothy Sayers and G. K Chesterton. For our purposes, an Inkling is one who thinks deeply and cares passionately about theology, philosophy, high culture, great literature and the Christian Intellectual tradition.

What is a Catechumen?

Catechumen refers to a person who has entered into an intentional relationship with the Church in preparation for formal reception in the Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation, and first Holy Communion; the catechumenate is the period of learning and preparation for reception into the Church.   Both terms are closely related to the word catechesis, which is the instruction given to impart the basics of the Christian faith, but may also refer be any formal instruction given to the Christian people for the deepening of their understanding of the faith.

Transition

When an inquirer believes they are ready to become a catechumen, the first step is to discuss that desire with the pastor.

The second step is to identify, with the pastor’s help and blessing, a sponsor from among the parishioners.  The sponsor (godparent) will be a companion along the way, both praying for the catechumen and offering encouragement as needed.

The third step is to set a date to be received into the catechumenate.  This involves a simple prayer by the priest over the individual,  standing at the doors of the nave, which is usually done at Orthros on Sundays, just after the Great Doxology.

It is our practice at Holy Cross, during Divine Liturgy, to invite all catechumens forward shortly after the homily for the brief Litany for the Catechumens.  One of the great blessings of entry into the catechumenate is to be formally included in the intercession of the Church in this manner.

Expectations

Although The Orthodox Church is a treasure house of knowledge and has books without limits, Orthodoxy is not a set of ideas learned from a book.The foremost expectation for someone in the catechumenate is faithful attendance at the divine services of the Church, especially the services of the Lord’s Day (Sunday).   Orthodox Christianity is learned principally through living the life of the Church.

Duration

In the ancient Church, the catechumenate often lasted several years as adults who had lived their entire lives as pagans passed through stages of conversion. Today, the exact timing is worked out on a person-by-person or family-by-family basis in ongoing personal consultation with the pastor.  At Holy Cross the combined time of inquiry and formal catechumenate typically lasts about a year, sometimes less, sometimes more.

Sacraments of Initiation

The Sacraments of Initiation are Baptism, Chrismation, and first Holy Communion.   These three are administred together in immediate succession both for infants, children, and adults.   Following the traditon of the ancient Church, whenever possible, we receive converts at the Vesepral Divine Liturgy which is served on Holy Saturday morning.  However, there is not firm rule about this, and the pastor may choose to receive a particular person or family at some other time of year, with preference being give to great feast days.

Baptismal Economy

Although the norm is to be first baptized, then chrismated, and then to receive Holy Communion for the first time, many adults come to the Orthodox Church having already been baptized in another Christian tradition.  It is the long-standing practice of the Orthodox Church to approach such previous baptisms, assuming certain conditions were met when administered, by a principle known as economia, in which case the baptism is not repeated, but is completed by the ‘seal’ of Chrismation.

Inquirers and Inklings meets every Monday evening a 7:00pm. Please check the calendar for details.
Saturday, December 16th
5:00 Great Vespers followed by Confession in preparation for the Sunday Divine Liturgy. 1616 W. Golf Course Rd., Midland, Texas 79701
Sunday, December 17th
9:30 Orthros
10:30 Divine Liturgy Hospitality Hour Following 1616 W. Golf Course Rd., Midland, Texas 79701
Monday, December 18th
7:00 Inquirers and Inklings
Monthly Calendar >
Good Reads
A great place to begin

Here are some title recommendations for those new to the group.

When Your Ready for the Next Step: Basics of Orthodoxy for Catechumens with Fr. Evan Armatas