Hierarchical Visit to Lake Odessa
On Sunday, December 1, His Grace Bishop Peter visited the St. Herman of Alaska parish in Lake Odessa, MI. This vibrant parish community is located in a small hamlet approximately equidistant from Lansing and Grand Rapids. Upon his arrival Bishop Peter was greeted by the parish Starosta with the traditional bread and salt. His Grace expressed his pleasure to have the opportunity to again visit St. Herman’s. The parish was originally located in Grand Rapids, MI, but purchased a former Protestant Church in Lake Odessa and has been working diligently to turn it into a beautiful Orthodox temple. Their hard work has paid dividends. As the pictures of Bishop Peter’s visit attest, the parish has been beautifully adorned, especially by the iconography of Daria Carney, wife of the Rector of the parish, Priest Michael Carney. At the small entrance at the Divine Liturgy, in accordance with a decree of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Fr. Michael was awarded the Gold Pectoral Cross for his diligent and sincere pastoral work. Archpriest Gregory Joyce, Dean of the Michigan Deanery, and Deacon Ioann Feloniuk, cleric of the Dormition Cathedral in Ferndale, MI joined Bishop Peter and Priest Michael at the Divine Liturgy. Following the Divine Liturgy, sung prayerfully by the parish choir, and at which almost every parishioner of the parish partook of the Holy Mysteries, two parishioners were awarded Diocesan Thanksgiving Gramotas for their extraordinary work in assisting Fr. Michael in his pastoral duties: Marijo Den Braber and Oleg Lesovoy. The parish sisterhood hosted a meal in honor of Bishop Peter following the Liturgical celebration. At the meal the parish children performed several songs and dances for the gathered guests, after which all departed for their homes in a spirit of thanksgiving and anticipation of Bishop Peter’s next visit.