New England community received into OCA
POKROV NOTE: This article appeared in the January/February, 1997, issue of The Orthodox Church.
BETHEL, CT [ONE] – On Saturday, November 16,1996, the faithful of Saints Peter and Paul parish here were joyously received into the Orthodox Church in America by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius.
Established several years ago as a group with ties to “new age” philosophies, the community continued its search for the true faith, eventually seeing Orthodox Christianity as the fullness of the apostolic faith. Having joined a Greek Old Calendarist jurisdiction, the group finally sought affiliation with the Orthodox Church in America.
“The acceptance of our parish into the Orthodox Church in America culminated many weeks, months and years of preparation,” says parishioner Russ Bush, who adds that the Very Rev. Michael Westerberg, Chancellor of the OCA’s New England Diocese, initiated instructions and discussions with the group’s pastor, deacon and entire community.
Finally, the community petitioned to be accepted en masse
into the Orthodox Church in America and, with the blessing of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Theodosius ordained the Rev. John Eissman and Deacon Jordan Vargas on November 15 at Saint Seigius Chapel, Syosset, NY.
The following morning, OCA faithful from throughout Connecticut joined the members of Saints Peter and Paul’s in celebrating their entrance into the Church.
“We anticipate an ever-increasing communion with our new brethren,” Mr. Bush adds, “and we look forward, as Saint Theophan wrote, ‘to an ever-deepening understanding of and feeling for the prayerful life of the True Church; to participate in Her services, venerate her icons and saints, to celebrate Her feasts, to contemplate Her teachings.'”