The St. John's Mission Station community kept the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple with a Vesperal Liturgy on the Eve of the Feast.
St. John's was honored to welcome Fr. Timothy Hojnicki and his eldest son Nicholas on Saturday, January 15, 2022. On Saturday afternoon, Fr. Timothy gave a rousing presentation focused on strategies for mission growth based on his experiences growing Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Mechanicsburg, PA. Holy Apostles has grown from a small mission to a vibrant community of 85 families under his leadership. Approximately 30 people came for the presentation and the dinner that followed, including some from our sister missions in Alexandria, VA, and Culpepper, VA. We were overjoyed to welcome His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to the presentation as well.
Following dinner, Fr. Timothy served Great Vespers assisted by Dn. Matthew Prentice and servers Nicholas Hojnicki and Gabriel Woodill. Following vespers, Fr. Timothy generously gave our community a beautiful icon of the Touching of Thomas. In recognition of his visit, Dn. Matthew presented Fr. Timothy with a card and icon of our patron, St. John the Theologian.
On Sunday, January 16, our community gathered to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with Metropolitan Tikhon. Upon his arrival, he was greeted by Mr. John Bilyeu, Parish Council President who welcomed Vladyka back to his mission station. Serving with His Beatitude were Archpriest Joseph Woodill-Retired, Priest Alessandro Margheritino-OCA Secretary, Deacon Matthew Prentice-Mission Station Administrator, Subdeacon Larry Basalyga, Victor Lutes, and Gabriel Woodill. Also in attendance was Mr. Andrew Smith-OCA Treasurer. During the Divine Liturgy, the choir sang two settings of Eis Polla Eti, Despota that were composed by members of the mission station community for Metropolitan Tikhon. At the conclusion of the service, Deacon Matthew presented Vladyka with a framed print of the sheet music to commemorate the occasion.
Our community gathered on the eve of the Great Feast of Theophany to celebrate Vespers, hear 13 Old Testament Readings appointed for the feast, and to participate in the Great Blessing of Water
On December 24 and 25, the community of St. John the Theologian Mission Station gathered to celebrate the Great Feast of the Nativity of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Both the Festal Vigil and Divine Liturgy were celebrated by Fr. Joseph Woodill assisted by Dn. Matthew Prentice. On December 26, the second day of the Feast, Fr. Joseph celebrated the Divine Liturgy assisted by Dn. Igor Panyutin, a deacon of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, DC.
On the eve of the Thanksgiving Holiday, Fr. Joseph and Dn. Matthew led a brief Service of Thanksgiving (molieben) to give thanks for the many blessing bestowed on us by God. Fr. Joseph spoke briefly at the end of the service before reading the sermon given by Fr. Alexander Schmemann on Thanksgiving Day in 1983. Lastly, John Bilyeu, parish council president, took the opportunity to recognize Dn. Matthew for his work at St. John's as well as his birthday. Before many years was intoned, a gift of velvet orarion and cuffs was presented to Dn. Matthew. Many years!
On Saturday, November 20th and Sunday, November 21st, the mission station community gathered to celebrate the Great Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. It was a great blessing to have the ability to celebrate our first Sunday Divine Liturgy in over a year and a half. Fr. Joseph Woodill presided at both services assisted by Dn. Matthew. At the conclusion of the liturgy, "Many Years" was sung on the occasion of Fr. Joseph's 75th birthday and the 41st anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood.
On October 16th, we celebrated our once-a-month Saturday Divine Liturgy. We were blessed to have Fr. Constantine White, a friend and great supporter of the mission station, lead the Divine Liturgy with the assistance of Dn. Matthew. Also assisting in the altar was Gabriel Woodill who served for the first time at a Divine Liturgy today. We were overjoyed to welcome friends from our sister mission in Alexandria, All Saints of America, as well as non-Orthodox visitors. At the conclusion of the liturgy, Fr. Constantine offered congratulations to Dn. Matthew who celebrates the ninth anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate this week. Before "Many Years" was intoned, Dn. Matthew noted that the mission station also celebrates its three-year anniversary this coming Wednesday.
The mission station faithful gathered on the Eve of Theophany to celebrate the Great Blessing of Waters. This was also Fr. Sean's final service with our community. We wish him well!
On Saturday, December 2, 2020, Metropolitan Tikhon joined us for Fr. Sean's last vespers service with our community. Following Great Vespers, those present gathered outside and Metropolitan Tikhon offered words of appreciation for Fr. Sean's work at the mission station as well as encouragement for our community. An icon of St. John and gifts were then presented on behalf of our community.
On December 24th and 25th, 2020, the mission station faithful celebrated services for the Nativity of Our Lord at St. Mary's Historic Church. At the conclusion of the Festal Divine Liturgy, Fr. John Vitko awarded Fr. Sean the gold pectoral cross on behalf of Metropolitan Tikhon.
After Great Vespers on Saturday, February 15th, members of our community gathered to enjoy good fellowship and their favorite meat and cheese dishes before Great Lent begins.
The Fairfax Mission Station choir was invited to sing the responses at the Divine Liturgy for the 2019 Archdiocesan Assembly at which Metropolitan Tikhon presided
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