Featured Mission: Saint Barnabas + Columbus, Ohio
What do you get when you mix together one hundred people who live in a forty mile radius around the capitol city of Ohio, with a range of ages from newborns to those long retired, from almost every populated continent on the earth? You get St. Barnabas Mission in Columbus, Ohio. Many more people have come and gone with moves and job transfers in and out of a city that contains one of the largest universities in the country, major facilities of large financial institutions, major retail businesses, and large manufacturing enterprises.
It was because of the potential for growth of a new mission that five families began meeting in 1999 to begin the mission. Meeting in homes for a short while, the new group began renting the church of St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church and meeting on Sunday evenings. Fr. Gordon Walker, with a special love for Columbus, was appointed to shepherd the new mission. Divine Liturgies were held on Sunday evenings with visiting clergy and Fr. Gordon when he was able to get to Columbus from Tennessee. New families began to come and slow growth began to occur.
Fr. Athanasius Dresdow came with his family to Ohio from Illinois in 2002 to become the first priest of the mission. The people have grown spiritually under his ministry, having observed his desire for prayer and spirituality. Under his leadership we now have regular Sunday classes for children, preschool through teens. Many people have volunteered to serve as teachers and assistants. Currently there are two weekly Bible studies, one in Westerville, near the church, and the other rotating from homes forty miles east and west of the church. Plans are underway to begin a reader’s vespers and study in another community forty miles north of the church.
Since the rental of the church building where we meet at 11:30 am for Matins and Noon for the Divine Liturgy is not what we need, we are looking for property that can be used for church development. This is an ongoing and active search with many parishioners involved. Please pray with us that the Lord will reveal the place He wants for us.
St. Barnabas Mission is not just the church we come to for services. It is home. It is family. It is the Kingdom of God on earth. It is not yet perfect for we are in it. It is the place where we are growing together in the likeness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.