Sunday, October 19, 2008

Long Journey Home

Yesterday My wife Laura, and I were fortunate to witness the Chrismation of over 100 people from Emmanuel and St. Stephen's into the Orthodox Church. Emmanuel is located in Warren MA a short drive from here, while St. Stephen's is in Springfield MA. This brought to mind our own conversion to Orthodoxy some 20 plus years ago. Back then I remember Fr. Stephen Siniari telling us that all over the country whole congregations from various faiths were coming into the Orthodox Church. I never thought we would see this in New England. We happened upon their community shortly after they decided to enter the Orthodox church, We have met several of the parishioners at Emmanuel as well as Fr. Ken and Deacon Chris, and were pleased we could be there to share in their love for God, their joy of finding the original unchanged church founded by our Lord and and his apostles.

God calls all of us to Himself through his Son Jesus. It is up to each of us to find our way to Him, so we can share in His love and glory. It is a journey that for many will last a lifetime. The people of Emmanuel and St. Stephen's began their journey several years ago when they decided to find the church founded by Jesus. The Church that is the same today as it was for the first 1,000 years. They had no idea where they would land when they began, through God's grace they were led to the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church. They will be celebrating the oldest Liturgy in the world that of St. Gregory. This Liturgy is the pre-Vatican II Liturgy or Mass. This Liturgy is different than that of the Byzantine Rite, St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil more commonly seen in the Orthodox Church and is just as beautiful.

Laura and I want to welcome home all from Emmanuel and St. Stephen's to the Orthodox Church. May you continue to grow in your love for God and may God grant you all many years.

To learn more about Emmanuel and St. Stephen's click here!

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