LAWRENCE, KS [OCA] — The mission recently hosted a visit by Priest Christopher Foley from Holy Cross Mission, High Point, NC—itself a former Planting Grant recipient. He visited on behalf of the OCA’s Department of Missions and Evangelization to encourage the faithful in their growth and offer presentations on life in a mission parish. Priest Joshua Lollar, priest-in-charge at Saint Nicholas Mission, and Father Christopher were classmates together at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary.
“I was very encouraged to see the excitement and the zeal that the faithful have at Saint Nicholas,” Father Christopher said, “and we had a great discussion on some areas that they want to focus on and we brainstormed together about how to help the mission grow and become more visible in the community.” While in Lawrence, Father Christopher met with Father Joshua and the parish council to discuss in detail the joys and challenges of mission life. Father Christopher also gave a short talk on the Orthodox spiritual path and finding God in the midst of one’s work.
On Sunday, Father Christopher gave the homily on the Publican and the Pharisee and, at coffee hour, reflected on his experience serving a mission parish that recently “graduated” from the Planting Grant. At the Divine Liturgy, they were joined by Priest Justin Matthews, who is currently serving at Saint Mary of Egypt Church, Kansas City.
“It was a great blessing to have Father Christopher in our midst to encourage us with his experience,” said Father Joshua. “It is very important for us to be in touch with communities that are a few steps further down the path on which we find ourselves.”
A photo gallery can be found here.