Parish News


Christ the Savior Mission Suffers Damage

Fr. "Barry" ThibodeauxFr. "Barry" ThibodeauxChrist the Savior Mission in Jacksonville, Texas, has suffered heavy damage due to the recent rains and flooding in the nation's central regions. Reports His Grace, Bishop BASIL in his newsletter, "During the recent heavy rains here in the Heartland several of our church temples sustained various levels of flooding and water damage, but none has been damaged as severely as the Church of Christ the Saviour/Jacksonville, TX where our brother Fr. Finbar Thibodeaux is proistamenos."

Adds Fr. Finbar, "It seems than when the building next to ours was undergoing repair of its roof and renovation of its upper storeys, much of the construction debris - as well as the personal trash produced by the workers (soda bottles, cans, plastic bags, candy wrappers, newspapers, etc.) - was simply tossed on to the lower, flat roof of our church building. During the recent storms all of that debris and trash completely clogged the downspouts, gutters and drains of our building resulting in the pooling of a massive amount of water on the roof of Christ the Saviour Church. As was to be expected, the weight of the water finally proved to be too much for the structure; the water began not only to seep into our building but literally pour in, eventually causing ceilings to collapse and severe interior flooding coming from above....We continue to try to facilitate the drying of the building by running the AC units, fans and dehumidifiers. The humidity in the building remains extremely high and we continue to see more and more damage to the building. My vestments were taking on the stench of the building so I moved them to my home. The pew missals and hymnals are warping due the humidity."

Father or Kh. Linda may be contacted at: bearfam@ckswireless.com.

Metropolitan PHILIP, Bishop THOMAS Celebrate Groundbreaking Weekend With St. George Faithful

The weekend of June 4th through the 6th proved to be a joyful and historic event for the community of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. Starting with the arrival of His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, His Grace Bishop THOMAS and Archdeacon Hans on Friday, June 4, a weekend of celebration was set in motion for the groundbreaking of the new St. George Church.

On Saturday, June 5, our beloved Hierarchs began the day by meeting with some of the parents, teachers and children of our parish. The morning consisted of a dialogue between Metropolitan PHILIP and our children, and a special arts and crafts project. The groundbreaking Ceremony was celebrated at 11:30 a.m. on the land where the new St. George Church will be constructed. Metropolitan PHILIP and Bishop THOMAS blessed and planted a wooden cross on the land where the church will be built.

Bishop Thomas Visits Holy Trinity Mission

Lynchburg, Virginia

On May, 29, 2010, His Grace Bishop THOMAS was solemnly received at Vespers service by Father Alban Waggener and the members of Holy Trinity. Following Vespers, His Grace spoke to the members present about his vision for the church and the mission in Lynchburg. He noted that this region of the country is a difficult area to introduce people to Orthodoxy, however, “nothing is impossible with God”. He encouraged everyone to continue to preach the Gospel everywhere they go.

Following Vespers, His Grace joined the mission council for dinner at the Waggener home. Many topics were discussed including the future of the mission in Lynchburg and how it can reach out to others in the community. His Grace is positive about the the Mission and the future of Orthodoxy in Lynchburg.

Two Diocese of Wichita Parishes Have New Church Homes

St. Luke Orthodox ChurchSt. Luke Orthodox ChurchFr. David Mustian  (frdavidmustian@yahoo.com) reports that over 200 people attended the first Divine Liturgy in the new home of St. Luke Orthodox Church, Erie, Colorado, on Sunday, May 23rd. The new iconostasis and some other items are yet to be delivered and installed. In other Holy Ascension Orthodox ChurchHoly Ascension Orthodox Churchgood news, a second parish, Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Norman, Oklahoma, has finished building their new church as well. Fr. Justin McFeeters (justin41148@gmail.com) says that the congregation hopes to begin worshipping in their recently completed church temple following the Parish Life Conference next month. As is the DOWAMA tradition, the iconostasis crafted for the chapel at the Parish Life Conference is gifted to a mission or small congregation within the Diocese. This year the iconostasis will be gifted to Holy Ascension in Norman. The formal blessing of this new facility is scheduled to take place in conjunction with the Diocesan Fall Gathering in October.

Video Celebrates Parish's Fifteenth Anniversary

Recently, a video celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of St. Joseph Antiochian Orthodox Church, Houston, Texas, was released via YouTube.

Created by videographer Doug Burns, "The Beginning" includes vintage photographs and clips, and chronicles the story of the lively, multi-ethnic parish. The parish is led by the Very Rev. Fr. Matthew B. MacKay.

Heavy Flood Damage to Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, KY

Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky has received heavy damage to its mission chapel from the recent flooding in the region. No further services are planned in the current location. Weekly Bible studies and Vespers on Saturday evening will be held in members' homes. The Mission is currently working to secure a new location for services.

Donations to may be sent directly to the Mission:

c/o Kevin Burt (Mission chairman)
357 Cedar Ridge Rd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101

Read about the flooding and see pictures in the Bowling Green Daily News

Youth Events in Oklahoma City

YES in OKC

Following Bright Week, 30 Orthodox teens and chaperones gathered in Oklahoma City at St. Elijah to participate in the YES program. (YES stands for Youth Equipped to Serve and is a program sponsored by FOCUS North America that gives Orthodox youth the opportunity to participate in hands on ministry in cities across the United States.) Facilitated by Katrina Bitar, Director of the YES program, and Christina Saad, YES intern, this weekend gave teens from St. Eljah and St. George Cathedral a chance to see a different side of Oklahoma City.

Bishop THOMAS Visits Holy Spirit Church + Huntington, WV

On April 17-18, 2010, Bishop THOMAS made his annual pastoral visit to Holy Spirit Church in Huntington, West Virginia.  Sayidna THOMAS was consecrated bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic in 2004, and this was his first visit to Huntington that did not involve discussions of building planning and construction.

In 1999, our parish made the decision to sell our church building, which had been our home since the early 1970’s, and move to a new location.  Being a community of fewer than 100 members, it was a huge challenge.  The existing property, however, was in need of significant renovations and concern was raised over the decline of the surrounding residential neighborhood. The church property was placed on the market for sale and a committee was established to raise funds and search for a suitable location. In a surprising move, a buyer was found for the current church building before a new location could be agreed upon. In the spring of 2000, the parish voted to accept a purchase offer and moved into temporary quarters that were graciously provided by Fifth Avenue Baptist Church. The parish utilized this chapel for the next three years.

In 2001, in order to encourage the parish to move ahead with planning and free up additional funds for construction, parishioner Richard Dixon was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, taking the name of John.  He would continue his secular employment until the parish could once again afford a full-time priest. On August 1 of that year, he was assigned as pastor of Holy Spirit. That same month, parish Deacon Mark Hagan was ordained to the priesthood and assigned as pastor of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Iron Mountain, Michigan.

Elevation and Ordinations at St. George Church + Niagara Falls, NY

l-r:  Fr. Paul Solberg, Reader Kevin Boddecker, Bp. ALEXANDER's Assistant and His Grace Bishop ALEXANDERl-r: Fr. Paul Solberg, Reader Kevin Boddecker, Bp. ALEXANDER's Assistant and His Grace Bishop ALEXANDERSt. George Church in Niagara Falls, New York was truly blessed to welcome His Grace Bishop ALEXANDER during the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

A Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was concelebrated on Sunday by Bishop ALEXANDER, with four priests, five deacons and two subdeacons in the nave of the church, which was filled to capacity with the faithful.  During the Liturgy, the parish celebrated three joyous events: Fr. Paul Solberg was elevated to the dignity of Archpriesthood, Deacon Raphael Barberg was ordained into the Priesthood and Kevin Boddecker was tonsured as a Reader.  

Sayedna Alexander's visit also included meetings with the Order of St. Ignatius, the Antiochian Women, and Teen SOYO and concluded with a banquet luncheon at Antonio's Restaurant in Niagara Falls.

Fr. Constantine Nasr Offers Church History Timeline

The Very Rev. Archpriest Fr. Constantine Nasr of St. Elijah Church in Oklahoma City has created a banner for parishes, Sunday Schools, and inquirers to the faith titled "Timeline of the Christian Church." Subtitled "Find Your Roots," the chart sketches out the Church's timeline from the Nativity of Christ up to the present day. Available in two different styles, "East/West" and "Original Orthodox," the timeline enables viewers to see how each denomination began and the age of each current Christian tradition. All proceeds from the sale of the timeline will be donated to underprivileged school children in Taybeh, Palestine. To order, download the flyer below.

Click here to download flyer.