Indianopolis, IN - Glory be to God; thanks be to the Theotokos and the saints; health, prosperity and salvation to all of the faithful. The dedication of our new St. Nicholas Church and fellowship hall took place September 21-23, 2007. The weekend was awesome. In fact, it was the most memorable weekend ever in the history of this parish.
It all started with the welcoming of His Grace Bishop Longin on Friday evening for the Akathist service in front of a myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God. This icon, which recently began flowing myrrh, was jointly commissioned in the year 2000 by the Orthodox Churches of Central Indiana, and many of their clergy were present on Friday: Fr. Nabil Hanna of St. George Church, Fr. Stevan Bauman of Joy of All Who Sorrow Church, Fr. David Wey of Sts. Constantine and Elena Church, V. Rev. Stephen Rhudy of St. George (Terre Haute) and Fr. Joseph Gibson of St. John the Forerunner Church. The nuns of St. Xenia Metochion Monastery and at least 80 souls, most of whom are our parishioners, were also present. After the service we had time for fellowship and, thanks to our dear sisters, a variety of foods to munch on. At 8 p.m. our bishop, some of the clergy, and the past parish council presidents who are presently active in Church life gathered at the home of Rick and Kim Suder for their Slava celebration. There, after a royal meal, the past presidents and I met with the bishop and asked for a blessing to establish a symbolic building committee to dream and very, very slowly work on gathering information for the building of a Srbo-Byzantine style church sometime in the future. I hope and pray it doesn’t take too long, but the building committee for our present Church which we just dedicated was first established on January 5, 1958.
I should mention that the Church on this day smelled, looked, and felt unbelievably holy and sacred, the fellowship hall someone said compared to the midnight buffet on a cruse ship, and the set-up under the tent was like that of a 5-star restaurant. The weather, too, was absolutely perfect. The playground behind the Church was filled with children, and the 10-acre field was packed with cars. Over 400 souls were under the tent.
There were quite a few other people who were not recognized – who work behind the scenes – and we take this opportunity to thank you, our dear brethren. May God reward and recognize all of us at the Great Judgment.
The banquet was crowned by a dance till midnight in our fellowship hall. The weekend, however, was crowned by the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. Prior to the service the new Altar Table was consecrated. The K.S.S. Slava and anniversary celebration followed the Liturgy. Thank you, dear sisters, for all you do. Of all the blessings for our community this weekend, the greatest were the presence of a particle of the Life Giving Cross, the myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God, and the fact that the relics which were placed in the Holy Table were of the Holy Serbian King Lazar (14th century) who gave his life for the Precious Cross and the Golden Freedom.
Rev. Dragan Petrovic, Parish Priest
St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Indianapolis, Indiana