On the evening of Thursday, 14 November 2013, the faithful of Holy Apostles Mission Church in Lansing NY welcomed Bishop Michael and faithful from several area churches for a monumental and historic event in its young life. Having worshipped for three years with two icons on temporary panels, Holy Apostles raised funds for the construction of an iconostasis which was delivered several weeks ago, stained and sealed, and installed by the faithful.
His Grace came to see the work of the faithful and to bless the new iconostasis. Parishioners were joined by clergy from Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott NY (“mother parish” to the mission) including: Archpriest Alexey Karlgut, Archpriest Timothy Holowatch, Priest John Bohush and Deacon Symeon Peet. Also joining in on the joyous celebration were faithful from that parish and Saint Katherine's Church in Ithaca. Both of these parishes have contributed in a multitude of ways since the founding of the mission.
The evening began with a festive meal full of sumptuous foods - for the Nativity Fast was close at hand! Then, with the arrival of His Grace, the service commenced. The Molieben, or prayer service of intercession (“Before the Beginning of Every Good Work”), was celebrated. Added to the prayers were those for the blessing of the new iconostasis. When the appropriate time came, Bishop Michael was escorted by Bob West, Sr. (parish warden) along the iconostasis with the holy water. His Grace blessed the beautiful woodwork with copious amounts of water, hoping and praying that just as many blessings will continue to be poured out from our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, on this parish and diocese.
When the blessing was completed, the congregation retired to the social area (no social hall yet, but it will come soon enough!) and had a dessert reception while basking in the joy of the blessings which the Lord has offered to this small yet thriving mission.
Father James Worthington and the faithful of Holy Apostles Church thank everyone around the diocese who helped to make the dream of building an Orthodox community in Lansing/Ithaca NY a reality. “God willing,” said Father James, “our next project is to build a new temple to the His Glory!”