Diocese: Diocese of the West
Deanery: Missionary District
205 Fern Valley Road
Phoenix, Oregon 97535
PO Box 823
Ashland, OR 97520
Ashland, OR 97520
Ashland, OR 97520
The parish of Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church is currently meeting in Suite Z of “The Shoppes at Exit 24″ in Phoenix, OR. Take the Phoenix Exit (Exit 24) off I-5. “The Shoppes” are on the west side of the freeway, and Suite Z is across the parking lot, in the north-eastern corner of the outdoor mall area. Welcome!
Schedule of Services
6:00 PM Great Vespers.
8:00 AM Matins, 9:30 AM Divine Liturgy.
6:00 AM Matins.
6:00 PM Vespers.
6:40 AM Hours, Divine Liturgy.
Services, Classes, Fellowship Meetings and Choir Practice during the week are subject to change. Changes are are announced in the bulletin each week, and on the calendar on our parish website.
St. Gabriel’s has had an active presence in Ashland since the late seventies, when a handful of Orthodox believers, with no place to worship, began to meet for readers’ services on days of major Church feasts. “We just took things into our own hands,” said Olga Kline, one of the founders. The group’s persistence attracted the attention of regional Orthodox clergy. Records show that a Saturday liturgy was served on November 2nd, 1985, by a visiting priest, Father Alexander Golitzen, with seven adults and one child in attendance. During this period, ads were run in the local paper, inviting worshippers from amongst the various Orthodox backgrounds that are commonly found in North America. An organizational service was held on November 30th of that year, to discuss the possibility of forming a church.
In 1988, Fr. George Gray, priest at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Portland, began an eight-year tenure of visit. He traveled with his family to serve liturgy for the Ashland community every six weeks. Services were held in the local Episcopal Church. The cycle of worship included a Friday evening and Saturday morning service. Members continued to meet at each others’ houses for mid-week worship and fellowship. At this time, they were known as “Ashland Orthodox Christian Mission,” but later changed their name to “St. Nicholas Orthodox Mission” to reflect their affiliation with the Portland cathedral.
In 1996, care of the mission was assigned to Fr. David Shank, another Portland area priest. He hosted bi-monthly liturgies for the nine adults and five children that then made up the congregation.
The church obtained its own priest in 1997, with the arrival of Fr. David Fox, a graduate of St. Tikhon’s Seminary in Pennsylvania. It was then that the parish received its current name of “Archangel Gabriel.” Fr. Fox’s tenure was cut short, however, upon his untimely death in December of 1998, leaving the church, once again, without a resident priest. Fr. David’s death was a catalyst for increased commitment and faith, and the mission continued to grow even without a resident priest.
Fr. Shank resumed service to the community until Fr. Isaac Skidmore arrived in July of 2000, with his wife and children. Fr. Isaac is a graduate of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in New York. He also has completed a Masters Degree in psychology and works as a substance abuse and mental health counselor in area agencies.
St. Gabriel’s has had a prominent presence in Medford’s Multi-Cultural Fair and Ashland’s 4th of July Festival for many years. The parish currently draws its members from the entire Rogue Valley region, with an equal number attending from Ashland and Medford.
Activities include weekly worship at SOU’s Newman Center, and mid-week services with periodic classes held afterwards. Many of the women parishioners participate in the Martha and Mary Fellowship. The men’s fellowship meets monthly. Children, attend Sunday school on Sunday mornings following the reading of the Gospel, re-entering the nave when the Creed is sung. Fellowship plays a large part in our education and edification of each other. Coffee-fellowships are held after each Sunday morning Liturgy, in nearby parishioners’ homes, at a park, or in our chapel space, depending on the weather and time of the year.
Since 2000, the local Catholic parish has graciously rented the Newman Center facilities to us for our use in worship. We continue to prayerfully look to the future regarding a permanent space. The parish desires to be a visible presence to those seeking spiritual support.