NEWS AND EVENTS - Tuesday, August 1, 2017
BISHOP MAXIM ORDAINS READER NEKTARI RODRIQUEZ TO THE DEACONATE
St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church in Reno, Nevada, celebrated the elevation of one of its own beloved members to the diaconate on Sunday, July 30.
The parish celebrated the ordination of Nektari Rodriquez to the diaconate with calls of “Axios.” Deacon Nektari was previously a reader, tonsured in 2012.
His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America made his archpastoral visit to the Reno parish over the weekend accompanied by Deacon Dragan Stojanovich and his wife Victoria from St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Jackson, California. Bishop Maxim conferred the ordination during the hierarchical Divine Liturgy. After the ordination, His Grace reminded those in attendance that in the Byzantine iconographic tradition deacons have long been compared to the angels who perfectly carry out God’s will and that becoming a member of the clergy is not an individualistic achievement or attainment for the one being ordained, but is a part of the communal life of the church, for the benefit of that communal life.
Deacon Nektari, in addition to being a reader and altar server, has also been integral to the parish’s ministry to prisoners at the Lovelock Correctional Center, a state prison in the desert about an hour to the west of Reno. He and Fr. James Barfield make monthly visits to a growing group of prisoners, some of whom have been baptized in recent years.
After the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Maxim joined St. John’s parish members and visitors for a barbecue feast. The festivities included songs from several different people, including a beautiful selection from the bishop.
Deacon Nektari spoke during the feast, expressing love toward everyone gathered and thanking them for their support. He also introduced his two sisters, who he met for the first time only a few months earlier and who came from California to witness the special event.