Presvytera Vassi Makris Haros is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. She is the owner, designer and photographer of V’s Cardbox, In Service and Love. a greeting card company featuring cards with an Orthodox voice. She strongly feels that experiencing the Orthodox Faith through the church’s cyclical calendar of feasts and fasts is a gift that is too often overlooked.
I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and I found a most intriguing post. Several of my clergy friends liked and commented on a new online dating site called Orthodox and Single. My first reaction, typical for me, was skepticism. Who is this guy and what kind of a website is he selling? Online dating? Is it safe? Is it sincere? Isn’t there a better way?
So, true to my nature, I emailed his Facebook page and asked him if we could talk. He responded almost immediately and as we chatted, I couldn’t have been more thrilled!
The owner of Orthodox and Single is Adam Lowell Robert and this is what I’ve learned:
Adam is connected in Orthodox ministry.
Adam is employed by the Antiochian Archdiocese. He is their Outreach guy. (There is a book he wrote on the subject of evangelism, 100 Natural Ways to Grow A Church.) He’s so good at what he does; he even has a podcast and a blog on the subject. So I was comforted to know that Adam wasn’t an obscure man selling an elusive online product. He was a real person with a reputation to protect.
Adam understands ministry.
Adam has worked in youth ministry as a camp director through the Antiochian Archdiocese. He understands that sometimes people need help along their journey. He hopes Orthodox and Single will help people find someone that will strengthen their faith and spiritual life. And matchmaking isn’t easy. At least, I’ve never been good at it. Very few people are.
Adam is educated in the Orthodox faith.
Adam is in the Saint Stephens Certificate Program, an intensive three-year course is for laymen or clergy interested in a rigorous introduction to Orthodox faith and practice. In other words, he understands that what he learned as a kid in Sunday school isn’t enough to make it through adulthood.
Adam loves being married.
Adam loves being married so much that he wants all of his friends to be married too. But it’s so hard for professional Orthodox young adults to meet one another.
I remember being single. And although I worked in youth ministry, it was still complicated when it came to dating. Our parish culture isn’t always merciful when young adults date. Being seen on a date with another Orthodox Christian in a church setting implies instant engagement. That’s just too much pressure on a budding couple. As a result, dating someone from church has become the least attractive option.
Adam understands that Orthodoxy is universal.
Orthodox and Single is Pan-Orthodox. Besides the OCF Winter Conferences or the mission teams with OCMC and IOCC, I don’t know of another national, pan-Orthodox event for young adults to meet.
Adam is careful.
He understands that for something like this to be successful it needs to be able to protect the user and the business. Orthodox and Single is a registered corporation in TN. Adam has an advisory board of clergy and lawyers to be sure everyone is safe. He also is sure to screen every photo personally to be sure they are decent and appropriate.
Online dating for Orthodox Singles might not be a bad idea.
With the challenges of meeting other single Orthodox Christians, it seems that Orthodox and Single is a good way to find someone. I look forward to seeing where Orthodox and Single goes. It surely is intriguing.
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