"'Kyrie eleison,' the congregants intone, while at the altar, a retired cop-turned-Orthodox priest performs rituals as old as Christianity. When he steps down to face the crowd, he delivers a sermon like a country preacher, sweat beading on his forehead. 'Some of us here are former Methodists,' says the Rev. James Hamrick, wearing white vestments over a black cassock, addressing two-dozen worshippers scattered sparsely through the pews. 'Some of us were former Lutherans. Some of us were former Episcopals. Evangelicals. Non-denominational Christians. Pentecostals. But the one single factor that is common to all of our journeys — no, not where we come from — is that fact that we pursued the truth of God’s self-revelation.'"
Welcome to the Western Rite Vicariate, a part of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese in America. Effective May 18, 2012, by appointment of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, His Grace Bishop John serves as the only Auxiliary Bishop to oversee the Western Rite Vicariate. Assisting His Grace is the V. Rev. Edward Hughes, Vicar General of the Western Rite Vicariate. The Vicariate includes more than 20 churches and missions located throughout the United States.
His Grace Bishop John visited Holy Trinity Mission in Lynchburg, Virginia over the weekend of November 23-24, 2013. After an unexpectedly prolonged sojourn at the Charlotte, North Carolina airport, Bishop John arrived in time to preach at Vespers after his solemn reception. On Saturday evening, His Grace was guest of honor at a dinner with the lay leadership of the mission. At Sunday Matins and Liturgy, His Grace eloquently wove all the Scripture readings together into their theme of Eucharist, answered questions at a festive coffee hour afterwards, and later treated Fr. Alban Waggener and Kh. Helen to dinner. It was a joyous weekend. We are greatly blessed with Bishop John's leadership and charisma as the overseer of the Western Orthodox churches of the Archdiocese.
On Saturday in the Fourth Week after the Octave of Easter on June 8, 2013, His Grace Bishop John ordained Subdeacon James Tochihara to the office of Deacon at St. Mark's Orthodox Church in Denver, CO, . Deacon Patrick is assigned to St. Mark in Denver. Three young men were also ordained Readers. Father John Connely celebrated Mass following the ordinations. Axios! Ad multos annos! Many Years!
On the Feast of Pentecost on June 23, at St. Peter's Orthodox Church in Ft. Worth, TX, His Grace ordained Deacon Robert Weber to the Holy Priesthood. Father Robert is the non-stipendiary curate at St. Peter, and Fr. Daniel Keller sponsored Father Robert for ordination. Axios! Ad multos annos! Many Years!
On Ember Saturday in Pentecost, June 29 at the Parish Life Conference (PLC) for the Diocese of Worcester and New England, His Grace Bishop John ordained Subdeacon Benjamin Kjendal to the Holy Diaconate. Then on Trinity Sunday, June 30, His Grace ordained Deacon Benjamin Kjendal to the office of Priest in the Orthodox Church. Father Benjamin is assigned to St. Stephen Orthodox Church in Springfield, Massachusetts.