Half way through their first year as Church Planting Grant recipients, the faithful of Saint John of Chicago Mission, Rogers, AR, “have experienced, by the grace of God, a good year thus far,” according to Priest John Wehling, Priest-in-Charge.
“Great Lent and Holy Week were marked by beautiful services, a strengthening of our community, and new members attuning themselves to the life of the Church,” Father John noted. “The joy of the Paschal season was heightened by the celebration of a wedding, only the second in our mission’s short history. This brought numerous guests to our church and another opportunity for the deepening of affections among the faithful as we celebrated together with the newly crowned couple and their family and friends.”
Established in 2011 in northwest Arkansas—a region that had previously had a minimal Orthodox Christian presence—Saint John’s has grown rapidly, and not just through conversions to the Orthodox Christian Faith.
“We have three babies on the way, which is always a cause of expectation and happiness for all of us,” Father John said. “It is a joy to see people of all ages in the services and to see the line for Holy Communion running the gamut from babies to grandmas!”
The community also has witnessed an increase in the number of visitors and serious enquirers in the past few months.
“We continue to pray for them and hope that they find a home in the Orthodox Church and at Saint John of Chicago Mission,” Father John concluded. “The Church Planting Grant, thus, continues to make possible the ongoing work and life of the Church in Northwest Arkansas.”
Visit Saint John of Chicago Mission’s website to follow the community’s growth and recent activities and ministries.