His Grace Bishop THOMAS visits Christ Church Orthodox Mission-in-formation in Lynchburg, Virginia
On May 16-18, His Grace Bishop THOMAS, Fr. Don Shadid and Deacon Gregory Roeber visited pastor Robert Waggener, his wife Nancy, and the other new catechumens from Christ Church Orthodox Mission-in-formation in Lynchburg, Virginia. The members of Christ Church, formerly a parish of the “continuing” Anglican Church, were received on March 5 as catechumens in the Orthodox Church. The parish will petition to be a Mission Church of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. The pastor of the parish, Robert Waggener, former Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Holy Cross, will, Lord willing, be ordained as an Orthodox priest at the conclusion of the catechumen period.
On Tuesday afternoon, Thomas Shannonhouse, pastor of the Church of the Ascension, Eastville, Virginia, and his wife Bonnie, who have also been received as catechumens along with their parish, arrived in Lynchburg to welcome Bishop THOMAS.
On Tuesday evening, Sayedna THOMAS was treated to a baseball game with Thomas Shannonhouse, Nancy Waggener and a few of the parishioners from Christ Church, while Bonnie Shannonhouse and the other clergy visited with Robert.
On Wednesday, after breakfast at the Waggener home, the clergy visited the bookstore where Robert works, and then posed for a photo under the sign for the local "Mount Athos Road", just east of town. From there to lunch at the downtown Mediterranean Deli, where it turns out Sayedna THOMAS knows the Lebanese owner from his tenure in Houston, Texas, where she worked at one of his frequent eating spots there. The comment was heard "Arabic food in Lynchburg, Virginia?"
That evening, all gathered at the local Riverside Park for a parish cookout of more typical Lynchburg fare, and time of fellowship. It was a great opportunity for several of the parish to spend some informal time with our new Bishop. His Grace encouraged us in our new pilgrimage, and exhorted us to be diligent in witnessing for Holy Orthodoxy in Lynchburg by inviting those we know and meet to visit our community, and be tireless in doing so.
Christ Church Orthodox Mission-in-formation Lynchburg, Virginia can be visited on the internet at http://www.christchurchlynchburg.org/ .