Entire Oregon community accepts Orthodox Faith
POKROV NOTE: This article appeared in the December, 1995, issue of The Orthodox Church.
Bishop Tikhon receives 150 new members into the Church
MILWAUKIE, OR – An entire parish community in this Portland suburb was received into the Orthodox Church in America by His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco and the West on September 16,1995.
Bishop Tikhon presided at the Office of the Reception of Converts, the Rite of Holy Chrismation, and the Divine Liturgy at which over 150 people accepted the Orthodox
Faith. The new parish, the Church of the Annunciation, becomes the newest community within the Las Vegas Missionary Deanery which oversees and coordinates mission efforts throughout the Diocese of the West.
Annunciation parish is one of many communities that had set out on the road to Orthodox Christianity years earlier, and the first to complete its journey to the canonical Orthodox Church. The community emerged from an experiment that included “New Age” tendencies, but in their search for truth they ultimately encountered the Church Fathers and contemporary Orthodox authors, which led them from the vague and “disincarnate” spirituality that typifies much of the New Age movement to an acceptance of Orthodox doctrine, moral teachings and spiritual life.
During the week prior to the community’s reception, Bishop Tikhon ordained the community’s existing pastors, Matthew Tate, Kevin Lien, and David Shank, to the Holy Priesthood, while Paul Erickson and Mark Story were ordained to the diaconate. The ordinations were celebrated at Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in Los Angeles.
On Friday, September 15, Vespers was served in the presence of Bishop Tikhon, after which the community’s entire membership made their life confession through several priests. Eleven people received the Sacrament of Baptism prior to the Saturday morning Chrismations, and Bishop Tikhon tonsured three Readers and ordained one Subdeacon for the parish prior to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
The community has its own beautiful home, a large, roomy temple with traditional iconostasis, choir loft and knotty pine interior, which is slated to be consecrated in the near future. The basement serves as a parish hall, while an attached Church School and office wing completes the physical plant.
Many priests, deacons and laypersons from as faraway as California and Canada were present at the reception of the new members.
Attending from the Diocese of the West were Archimandrite Nicholas [Soraich], Chancellor; the Very Rev. lan MacKinnon, Dean of the Las Vegas Missionary Deanery; and clergy from the Pacific Northwest Deanery. Clergy and laity from the Greek and Antiochian Orthodox Archdioceses and the Moscow Patriarchate also participated. Responses to the services were sung by the choir of Holy Trinity-Resurrection Church, Wilkeson, WA and singers from Saint Nicholas Church, Portland.