On February 5/18, Seeker of the Lost Orthodox Mission (Vsiskanie Pogibshikh) in North Little Rock, Arkansas celebrated its patronal feast, for only the third time, with great festive joy, in their new location. The mission received notice 30 days prior to the feast that they needed to vacate their former location and find a new one. Glory to God, a new and larger location was found in a nearby area. Dramatic renovations were required to prepare the new property for the celebration of divine services and much construction and remodeling will continue.
His Eminence, Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America was greeted by the parish priest, Fr. David Carder, in the afternoon of February 4/17 and attended the All-Night Vigil with the parish, instructing and encouraging all present through the entire service. This was the first time that the service to the icon of the Mother of God "Seeker of the Lost" was ever served in English, thanks to the tireless work of translator Priest Nathan Williams of St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church in Richmond, Maine. Following the Vigil, a simple trapeza was enjoyed by all present.
The following day, after the Greeting of the Bishop, Archbishop Peter led the Divine Liturgy. Joining His Eminence were: Archpriest Seraphim Holland of McKinney, TX, Priest Samuel Seamans of Mountain Home, AR, Deacon Nicholas Olsen and Subdeacon George Gawrieh of De Queen, AR, and the parish Rector Priest David Carder. Nearly all present communed of the Holy Mysteries, and a festive trapeza followed the Liturgy. Vladyka gave an encouraging word to the parish both on their physical work in building a church and the spiritual work of striving toward salvation in the Orthodox Faith. He reminded us how very blessed we are to have been brought into the Orthodox Church and to have a physical space to participate in the sacramental life of our faith. His Eminence encouraged us to cleave to God above all else. After spending generous time visiting with the faithful, offering an encouraging word to each and all, and thanking everyone for their efforts, Vladyka bid goodbye to his flock in North Little Rock. We were greatly edified and encouraged by the visit and look forward to the next opportunity to celebrate the Divine Services of our holy Orthodox Church with our beloved shepherd.