Last Saturday, I was feeling a little melancholy on my 31st visit to the Orthodox Church. You see, Father Gary sent out an email the day before stating that Deacon Ken, who has been a sort of mentor for me in Orthodoxy, will be assigned to a different Parish. So seeing him leading in the prayers, for what I assumed be the last time, put me in a bit of a funk. It was a little over a year ago that I started attending this parish and from the very beginning, Deacon Ken has been very welcoming and encouraging. So you can see why I would feel a bit down.
It was hard to concentrate as Deacon Ken was leading the prayers because I knew I would miss him. He has been very helpful as I struggle towards Orthodoxy. I suppose it is only natural that I should feel that way. After all, we are all a part of the body of Christ and are in connection with each other. To be upset that he will be in another parish is understandable. It would be the same as when families whom I know very well in my protestant church and who were a big part of my life, suddenly have to move.
It turns out, though, that my melancholy was not totally justified. In conversation with Ken afterwards, he says he still plans on being at Vespers on Saturday nights because most Carpatho-Russian parishes do not have Vespers on Saturday nights because most of the parishioners commute so he plans on still attending this parish. "I am not going anywhere," he says. Plus, his children want to stay att this present parish and will still attend here since they drive.
After talking with Ken, Fr Gary walked by and I quickly told him I would like to visit with him (at IHOP, maybe). He said, sure! He is going on vacation so I will talk to him when he gets back.
Tammy realized that it has been a year since I have been attending. "Didn't I feed you the Litya last year at Pentacost," she asked. I said, Yes. "And now you are going up yourself to receive it. That's a blessing."
Today is Saturday and this post has been about last Saturday's visit. God willing, I will attend tonight as well.
Until then, God's blessings on you!