The Holy Transfiguration Church Community actively prepared for the Pentecost Feast on multiple levels. These levels included the church itself through iconography underway and preparations for the feast, and the parish pastor and faithful through a very meaningful retreat! Please see the gallery of photos to reflect this preparation.
Archpriest Theodore Jurewicz, and his son John Jurewicz, arrived at Holy Transfiguration Church on Monday, June 3rd and will be with us through most of this month. John has become an accomplished icongrapher in working with his father. They have been working to complete iconography in the church that has been underway now for literally decades! It is nothing short of incredible to see their work take more definitive shape each day!
On Saturday, June 15th, Fr. Steven and parish faithful welcomed Archimandrite Sergius (Bowyer), Abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery. He led a retreat entitled, "Acquiring the Mind of Christ". Fr. Sergius shared that any effort to ascend spiritual heights is accompanied by descent into spiritual struggle. Referencing corporate worship (daily services) Fr. Sergius indicated this being half the effort of transformation, with the other half reflected in personal prayer of each of the faithful. Of the latter, Fr. Sergius spoke of relationship with Christ as even more important than the rule of prayer, inviting retreat partipants to enter into the inner movement of their heart in calling out to God. He quoted many fathers, including St. John Climacus in sharing that "prayer is converse and union with God". Later in the retreat Fr. Sergius shared a sample rule of prayer that includes actions, prayer, reading, to involve all aspects of our being in prayer.
Following the retreat, those gathered celebrated the Vigil for Pentecost. Archimandrite Sergius stayed to join in the celebration of the Litya during Vespers. With all of these active preparations, the celebration of the Festal services was even more full! Thanks be to God for Fr. Sergius being with us, and may this retreat day bear fruit through the Grace of the Holy Spirit!
(Photos by John Kruchok)