His Grace Bishop Thomas made his annual visit to Holy Ascension Mission  in West Chester, Pennsylvania on the weekend of October 7th–9th, 2011. Sayedna Thomas celebrated Great Vespers on Friday evening followed by dinner with the parish council. The dinner featured dialog on the growth of Holy Ascension as well as stories from Bishop Thomas’ experiences as a young priest. On Saturday the day began with a Divine Liturgy commemorating St. Pelagia the Righteous, with the baptism of Paul Meyer, Fr. Daniel’s son, immediately following. His Grace administered the sacrament with the assistance of the Fr. Andrew Damick of St. Paul Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Following the divine services, the Women of St. Thekla Group hosted a light meal in a beautifully decorated hall.
On Saturday evening, we celebrated Great Vespers followed by a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday. During the sermon on Sunday, Sayedna Thomas challenged the congregation to tell their friends and family about Orthodoxy. Sayedna used the analogy that if you discover an excellent deal on a necessary item at a local store, you would call your family and friends about tell them how they may find this great deal too. Likewise, since God visits his people in the Orthodox Church, we must consider it normal to express to others the great gift of our faith in Christ. After Liturgy, we had a picnic lunch featuring hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixin's. The weekend with His Grace was as beautiful as it was filled with prayer and worship. It was good and right to have our chief shepherd with us!