On October 20, 2009, our iconographer Fr. Andrei (Erastov) came to work on the next phase of our church iconography project. This phase had two main goals: 1) paint the icon of the Holy Evangelist Luke on the last remaining pandentive and 2) adorn the arches with icons of saints and ornaments.
Vladika Hilarion, our Metropolitan, visited our parish on October 17-18 to join in the celebration of our parish feast, Protection of the Mother of God
The Myrrh-streaming Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God “Softener of Evil Hearts” visits our parish. The Myrrh-streaming icon is not old, but contemporary to our times; it was made by iconographers from “Sofrino”. The icon started to exude myrrh in the apartment of a very pious woman in Moscow. In the year 1999, before the detonation of houses in Moscow, the face of the Mother of God depicted in the icon changed. Under its eyes dark circles started to appear and the the smell of incense began to be felt in the room where the icon was kept. On August 12, 2000, on the day when the submarine “Kursk” perished underwater, small amounts of blood started to flow from the icon. Since then, the icon has streamed myrrh and blood continuously.
The Myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God “Softener of evil hearts” reacts to everything that happens in the world. Myrrh streams from her so abundantly that it is gathered by the liters. Also, just before tragic events will happen, the icon streams blood. The blood which flows from her has been tested, and the tests have shown that it is human blood.
Those who come to venerate the icon are met by her in different ways. Some are healed by the icon, others are helped by it, and some people are not able even to approach it… Those who are possessed are as if held by a superhuman force, and cannot even approach the icon. But, with each time, this opposing force weakens. At the dependency of the Optina Hermitage, in Iasenev, where the icon often stays on Sundays, one woman always asks that she be forcefully taken to the icon to venerate it.
The icon of the Mother of God chooses herself the places which she will visit: more than once it was just impossible to take her to a previously assigned place. As they say, “they walked around in circles” and forgot the way there, where until then they had been several times. “The icon does not go”, they say.
Hundreds of the faithful come to pray before the icon, asking that she will soften the hearts of enemies, diminish the suffering of relatives and close ones, and they receive consolation.
The icon of the Mother of God “Softener of evil hearts” has already visited several churches in Russia and abroad, giving to those who are present the possibility of feeling God’s grace. The icon has visited churches in Moscow and in the Moscow region, as well as other cities in Russia (St.Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Smolensk, Orel, Ekaterinburg, Izhevsk, Cheliabinsk and others), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Tatarstan, Germany (Berlin, Nurberg, Munchen), and now, the United States of America.
On Wednesday Sept. 30, 2009 the Myrrh-streaming Icon visited our Parish. A moleben service with Akathist was served at our church at 6:30 p.m. Copies of the Hymns were passed out to the faithful, so the entire congregation joined in the singing. Fr. George Sachevsky from Toronto Canada and Fr. Peter Jackson from Buffalo con-celebrated with our Fathers Gregory and Andrej. The church was filled to capacity. A great multitude of people came from all over to pray, honor the Most Holy Mother of God, to venerate her Holy Icon and to be anointed by the holy Myrrh which abundantly streams from the Holy Icon. Veneration of the icon ended at about 9:30pm. It was a once in a lifetime experience for most who came. We are grateful to God and to His holy Mother for this great visitation. It was truly a gift from God.
Our parish church is being featured at the American Institute Design Awards Exhibit, running from September 1-12 in the Sears Wing of Eastview mall. One of the stores that is closest to the exhibit is the Yankee Candle Company. Once again we thank God and are grateful to our Architects, Barkstrom and LaCroix for the wonderful design of our beautiful church.
On Sunday June 21, parishioners coming for Sunday morning Liturgy found a great obstacle in their way. A tree had fallen during the night and was completely blocking entrance to our property. Our parishioners had to park their cars on the nearby streets and walk to church from there. On the next morning, parishioners and some neighbors joined forces and cleared the way into our church property. We thank everyone who came to help. The road was clear by evening for our Monday evening Adult Education classes.
Summer 2009 Orthodox Education Classes begin at our parish. Classes in Russian are held on Mondays at 7 p.m. Classes in English are held Tuesdays at 7 p.m. If you would like to participate, please let Fr. Gregory right away.
Each year, on the last Sunday before the Apostles Fast, our parish holds its annual parish picnic. This year’s picnic was enjoyed by all.
Our parish celebrates Holy Pentecost.
Наш приход празднует день святой Пятидесятницы.
The Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God unexpectedly visited our parish on Sunday May 31, 2009.
Чудотворный образ Kурской Коренной Иконы Богоматери неожиданно посетил наш приход в воскресенье 31 мая 2009г.
Mrs. Galina Garris and Subdeacon Paul Naumov, our prosphora bakers at work baking prosphoras for our church. Prosphoras are baked once a month. Each session produces about 600 prosphoras.
April 2009. Our parish celebrates Pascha
Our church celebrated Lazarus Saturday on April 11, 2009. In the morning Jim Frankunas, husband of our sisterhood treasurer Marina Frankunas, has joined the Orthodox Church thru the Chrismation and took his Holy Communion during Liturgy. Traditionally, the liturgy was sang with participation of parish youth and children. And after the Liturgy children prepared palms and pussy willows for the upcoming Palm Sunday celebration.
At the end of January Fr. Andrei our Iconographer came for 4 weeks to continue our church iconography project. The lower portion of the main dome was adorned with medallion icons of the Mother of God, Angels and Saints which in essence formed the upper tier of the Protection of the Mother of God Icon. Fr. Theophan and Fr. Eugene came from Holy Trinity Monastery to assist Fr. Andrei. Fr. Andrei also painted three of the four Evangelists onto the pandentives below the main dome.
Pictures from our annual parish Yolka – Christmas Paugent on January 11, 2009
Hear are some pictures of our youngest parishioners taken on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord on January 7, 2009