November 2-4, 2007: Bishop THOMAS Visits Centreville, Va., Parish
His Grace Bishop THOMAS visited St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Church, Centreville, Virginia, on the weekend of November 2-4, 2007. On Friday evening, His Grace visited Metropolitan Philip, Fr. Joseph Rahal, and the congregation of St. George, Washington, DC, for a special dinner in honor of the congregation’s Centennial. On Saturday, Bishop THOMAS presided at Vespers at the congregation’s regular meeting place at Compton Village, followed by a special evening of dinner and music. On Sunday, Sayedna presided over Matins and celebrated the congregation’s first hierarchical Liturgy. His Grace expressed his thanks for the warm reception the congregation had accorded him. He congratulated the congregation on its progress since his last visit (The congregation doubled its membership during the year.). He encouraged the congregation to find a larger, permanent facility and to provide the resources for Fr Thomas to serve full-time. He also commended the parish choir, under the direction of Marie Hyder, for its outstanding musical support of the parish’s worship. The day’s activities concluded with a generous spread of food and an opportunity for the members and guests to speak with Sayedna THOMAS. His Grace reminded the congregation to look to its Patron, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, as an example of one who went out, spread the Orthodox faith, and built congregations. He charged the congregation to go out into the community and bring new people into the Orthodox Church.
Special guests who participated in the Divine Liturgy: Deacon Mark O’Dell of Holy Cross, Linthicum Maryland, and Subdeacon Jerome Atherholt of St. John Chrysostom, York, Pennsylvania. Also pictured is Subdeacon Michael Rudloff of St. Raphael mission.