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St. James the Apostle Orthodox Church of Westminster, Maryland Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

O holy James
As a disciple of the Lord you received the Gospel
As a martyr, you displayed an unyielding will
As a brother of the Lord you have special power with Him
As a hierarch you have the right of intercession
Intercede therefore with Christ our God
That He may save our souls!

With these words, the faithful of St. James the Apostle Orthodox Church celebrated the tenth anniversary of their founding as the first canonical Orthodox Church in Carroll County, Maryland. Sayidna Thomas, joined by Fr. Gregory Mathewes-Green and clergy and faithful of local parishes of many jurisdictions, entreated our Holy God to look down with favor on His Church in our locality.

After Vespers and a festive banquet, His Grace challenged the parish to press on to the future with “holy discontent” – not to be satisfied with surviving, but to embrace the challenges of the future and press on, particularly in securing our own church facility, which can be sanctified to the worship of God “until the second coming of Christ.” He gave as example his own family experience, in which his father led the family in sacrificial giving, laying aside earthly goals for the building of the Kingdom.

Father Raphael Barberg, immediate former pastor, recalled the familial flavor of the parish. Even in the face of potentially destructive forces, we had received grace from God to press on together as a family. Father David Jacobs, new pastor of the parish, reminded us that we face a new day. Old challenges have been overcome, and now it is time to press forward to proclaim the Gospel in the place where God has called us.

At a celebratory Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, the faithful were again presented with a vision to claim our county for Christ and His true Church. Our father in Christ Bishop Thomas took the opportunity to impress his imprimatur on Fr. David Jacobs before the assembled parish, and adjured us to build community under the leadership of our new pastor. Receiving together the unifying and strengthening feast of the Eucharist, the faithful were empowered to perform that to which we are called.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ, pray for us!

Sayidna Thomas, pray for us!

O holy James, pray for us!