KENTUCKY: Parish celebrates groundbreaking
Over 150 people gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony at Saint Athanasius Church’s recently acquired property in Nicholasville, KY.
“This event has been a long time in coming,” said Priest Justin Patterson, Pastor. “For the past 11 years, since its founding as a mission of the Orthodox Church in America, Saint Athanasius’ faithful have met in a shopping center storefront. Our new location has been effective in helping us grow from those early days, although we always understood that at some point, we would need to procure our own facility to continue and expand the work we are already doing and hope to do in the future. Part of the Orthodox Christian faith is developing a physical space that tells everybody, ‘Here we are; this is the Church.’”
His Grace, Bishop Mark of Baltimore presided at the service. In his remarks, he challenged the faithful “not to be too enamored with the work of their hands. Never forget that the Church is not stones and mortar. The Church is made of the People of God.” He concluded by encouraging the faithful to be “living stones” of the Church in Nicholasville.
Faithful from neighboring Orthodox parishes joined the celebration, including Priest George Wilson of Panagia Pantovasilissa Greek Orthodox Church, Priest Thomas Gallaway of Saint Andrew Antiochian Orthodox Church, and Deacon Jeremiah Davis of West Virginia’s Holy Cross Monastery [ROCOR] also served at the ceremony. State and local officials congratulated the faithful.
The service ended with the burning of the property’s mortgage, which had been paid in full.
“Our people worked hard to pay off that debt, to save for building the church, and to engage a good architect,” Father Justin said. “The building committee and parish council worked with Lexington architect Tom Smith, a Greek Orthodox Christian, to develop cost-effective plans that could be implemented in phases to meet the parish’s growth needs for the next 25 years.
“The first phase of construction consists of an 8,000 square foot building with a walk-out basement,” explained Father Justin. “Final general contractor selection will take place in September. The second phase will include the formal temple and renovation of the first phase construction to serve as a parish hall and education facility. Construction on the first phase is expected to begin in early October 2013.
Groundbreaking photos and building project updates may found on the parish’s web site.
FLORIDA: Parish seeks youth director
Saint Justin Martyr Church, Jacksonville, FL, is seeking the right person to join its team to lead its vibrant Children and Family Ministries.
“The proper candidate will be an enthusiastic Orthodox Christian committed to Jesus Christ and ministry with young people and their families,” said Archpriest Ted Pisarchuk, Rector. “We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic, flexible, energetic, willing to learn, has good people skills, hard worker, a passion for sharing the Gospel, is creative, loves children and youth, team player and does things with a spirit of excellence.?? Saint Justin’s will provide opportunities for continuing education and a fair working budget.”
The Director of Children and Family Ministries reports directly to the Rector on all spiritual matters, program development, and all administrative concerns.
TEXAS: Fr. John Bacon receives Silver Antelope Award
Archpriest John T. Bacon, was presented with the Silver Antelope Award at the national annual meeting of the Boy Scouts of America at a special luncheon in Grapevine, TX on May 23, 2013.
“The Silver Antelope Award is conferred by the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America upon nomination by the region for distinguished service to youth,” said Father John. “The award is made for noteworthy service of exceptional character to youth by registered scouters within the territory under the jurisdiction of the Northeast Region.”
With 35 years of service, Father John, a life-member of the National Eagle Scout Association, has served as a troop committee member, crew associate advisor, unit commissioner, roundtable commissioner, district chaplain, youth protection trainer, council board member and chaplain, Friends of Scouting chair, area Order of the Arrow chaplain, Regional Relationships Committee member, camp visitation specialist, scouting liaison for the Orthodox Church in America, and National Camping School staff member. He has served the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting as Outreach Coordinator for New England since 1991.
His Scouting recognitions include the James E. West Fellowship, District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver Award, District Committee and Commissioner’s Keys, Distinguished Commissioner Service Award and Arrowhead Honor, Saint George Roman Catholic Adult Religious Emblem, Order of the Arrow’s Founders Award and Vigil Honor, Prophet Elias Eastern Orthodox Adult Scouter Recognition, and the Order of the Condor Inter-American Scouting Award. In 2009, the Old Colony Council presented him with the Michael V. Bhatia Humanitarian Award, while the Cape Cod and Islands Council honored him in 2005 with the Harry D. Evans, Jr. Good Scouter Award.
In community service, Father John is involved as Bridgewater Veterans Association Chaplain, Bridgewater Community Lions Club (charter member), Sons of the American Legion member, and American Hellenic Education Progressive Association member.
Father John and his wife, Matushka Elizabeth, have a son and a daughter, Daniel and Juliana, and two grandchildren, Zackery and Fiona. He has served as Rector of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church, Chelsea, MA, for over 27 years. He was elevated to the dignity of Archpriest in 2000 and granted the right to wear the jeweled cross by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America in 2010. He attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, from which he received a Master of Theological Studies degree in 1985, and a Master of Theology degree in 1992. He received a Master of Education degree from Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA, in 2006.
Father John’s proudest accomplishment was serving for 18 years as a National Camping School staff member and for 14 years as Chaplains Section Director. He also established Orthodox liturgical worship at the National Order of the Arrow Conferences for the first time in 2000. It is likely that he is the first Orthodox priest of any jurisdiction to receive the Silver Antelope Award.