The Very Rev. Wayne Wilson and the Very. Rev. Michael Reagan officiated as over 75 friends and family members of the former catechumens witnessed the blessed and joyful occasion. St Barnabas previously received 27 new faithful in 2007, 28 in 2006, and 18 new members in 2005.
Each catechumen underwent a thorough and mandatory series of catechism classes that began in October 2007. The curriculum included the Nicene Creed, church history, scripture and tradition, as well as a movie night where the class watched the acclaimed Russian film Ostrov (English – Island).
A new class on financial stewardship was added to the curriculum in 2008. Fr. Wayne Wilson and Fr. Michael Reagan taught the classes except for the class on stewardship, which was taught by the Rev. Dn. Tom Braun. The group enjoyed the catechism classes so much they have requested classes to continue throughout 2008 on additional theological and ecclesiastical topics.
A special meeting with His Grace Bishop Joseph, Bishop of Los Angeles and the West was a highlight of the class on Sunday, April 6. His Grace spoke with the catechumens and answered their questions for two hours after a hierarchical Divine Liturgy and a luncheon in his honor. The catechumens were especially grateful to receive His Grace's blessing a few short weeks before their reception into the church. During His Grace’s visit, one catechumen remarked, “Accountability in the Evangelical world we came out of is entirely missing. It was a real eye-opener to see our bishop there in person, speaking with us and knowing so much about what is going on at our parish.”
St Barnabas Antiochian Orthodox Church (www.stbarnabasoc.org ) is a local parish of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Its outreach and media ministries include The Illumined Heart pod cast, broadcast weekly on Ancient Faith Radio, and Death to the World, a quarterly journal for seekers and subculture youth.