With my wife, I run a small company in Oslo, Norway.
Baptized as child into the Church of Norway, a Lutheran Christian Chruch. My father and my mother are devote Christians in the pious traditions of Protestantism in Norway. When I was to be go through the ritual of Lutheran Confirmation, something special happened: When the priest, a temporary guest in the parish, was to lay his hands on my head and pray for me, he missed and prayed once more - mentioning my name - for the boy next to me. Eventually, he put his hands on me and just repeated my name, as if nothing had happened.
Later in youth, I felt challenged by the so called «New Age» movement — a very vague term indeed, but this was much used term then — and still not quite worn out. The challenge from New Age for me was their emphasis on meditation and on ecology. For me, this began a journey that ultimately took me to the Orthodox Church. I remember especially that I read an article by father Johannes (Johannesen), the then only orthodox priest of Norwegian nationality. In the article, he wrote that the Christian answer to yoga and meditation, is prayer. Of course, prayer in the Orthodox Church, can be said to be related to meditation — just think of the Jesus prayer. And so I moved to Oslo — one motivation being that the parish of father Johannes was here. In Oslo I also started to study Theology. Though the Theological Faculty was of the «modernist», protestant kind, I knew that father Johannes had studied there too. I also visited father Johannnes in his little skete, and the rituals felt good to me. But before I met him for real, I was able to buy his prayer book, in Norwegian, and I can remember quite vividly the first times I prayed them, especially the prayer to the Theotokos. I quickly learned many prayers by hearth — if only I had stayed that pious! But it was very important to me to get things in my mother tongue, because, I knew the — rather traditional and Anglican like — liturgy of the Church of Norway by hearth. I was taken up as orthodox christian through Chrismation by father Johannes.
To cut the story short, in the parish, I met my Russian wife, an emigrant from just before the dissolution of the USSR, who struggled to discover her religios roots — in some ways I had come longer than her, in other ways she of course had better access to the rich traditions of Russia than I had. Also, though I have so much to thank father Johannes for, we became estranged. I blame myself for that. And pray for reconsiliatinon. On the other side: It is nothing new that that one must leave — just think of the saints that left their monastary because of a disagreement. And so, after a short period in the Moscow Patriarchate’s new Oslo-parish, today we belong to the parish of Saint Alexander Nevsky in Copenhagen - where we thrive. God willing, we will find a way to become more active in Norway's Orthodox community again — which has grown tremendeously with several new parishes, thanks to conversions and thanks to an influx of Orthodox immigrants.
In that regard: One motivation for me to partake in the Orthodox Wiki, is the hope that I can contrinute to the Orthodox knowledge landscape not only of English orthodoxy, but also the Orthodox knowledge landscape of my mothertongue. Btw — I really like OrthodoxWiki’s knowledege landscape vision.
A final note: Today, we see that many traditional Christian values and virtues — and Christianity as such — is challenged. This, and perhaps just getting older, has lead me to a more positive attitude to all struggling, conservative Christians, regardless of their denomination.