Our church was started in the early 20th century as an attempt to attract English speaking people in the USA to Holy Orthodoxy using English as the language of the Liturgy. Tikhon the Metropolitan Bishop of Russian Orthodox Church approved and sanctioned our church and modified a Western Rite liturgy used in the Episcopal Church Book of Common Prayer while adding substantive Russian Orthodox elements toto the Liturgy to make it Orthodox. Metropolitan Tikhon died suspiciously under Bolshevik and Communist persecution and His support of our Holy Church died with it - and lest we forget - the chaos of the Russian Revolution and Communism impacted all Russian Orthodox worldwide - leading to the fracturing of the fabric of Russian Orthodoxy.
The original goal was to establish an American Orthodox Church.
We were probably the first Orthodox Church on this continent to implement english into our services although there were attempts in England in 19th Century paving the way for our own quest for a proper liturgy compatible with the culture of the USA
Therefore we practice a Western Rite Liturgy and also the Traditional Liturgies of Orthodoxy.
We now pray in English, Spanish, Greek and Slavonic.
To become an Orthodox Christian is not easy = in fact it is difficult. Even our Liturgy is prayed with full participation of the Laity - standing (no pews)
You have to want to be Eastern Orthodox to become an Orthodox Christian
If you think you have what it takes to undertake the most serious decision in your life - we are available for counseling and catachism and you are always inviited to come to our services.
May “The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord [a]lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
The Russian Orthodox Church in America (ROCIA) is a Russian Orthodox Church with valid succession to Christ that claims continuation from the Russian Orthodox Church. As stated in Wikipedia "The Russian Orthodox Church in America, in its predecessor body, chose not to be a member of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. The Russian Orthodox Church in America is a walled off Church that holds a policy like other Churches listed as in resistance, communing the faithful but not con-celebrating among the other Local Churches.
The Russian Orthodox Church in America's status is unclear to most Orthodox hierarchs and clergy, although many ROCIA faithful and priests have been received into other Orthodox Churches including the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). As the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church in America do not seek to con-celebrate with the hierarchs of other Churches (in fact avoiding sacerdotal contact, seeking to remain walled off), " Our Hierarchy has been historically recognized as "canonical" Orthodox bishops being invited to SCOBA.
Metropolitan Symeon, Archbishop of Denver and the West was the chair of the Holy Synod, being the successor of Metropolitan Vladimir of the Carolinas, who was retired. Metropolitan Symeon was consecrated by Archbishop Paul of Philadelphia with the assistance of all the members of the Church's Holy Synod in Delaware in June 1988 and enthroned as Primate by the Holy Synod meeting in South Carolina in June 1989.
He left a beautiful legacy of fruitful works and acceptance of all people. There was no judgement in Symeon ... only the Love of Christ extended to all.
His life work was to develop this Holy Church of God and to pass it on to future generations.
His eulogy reads
" His Beatitude Symeon, by the Grace of God, Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church in America, has fallen asleep in the Lord. May his memory be eternal.
Metropolitan Bishop Symeon was born Steven Mark Holdridge to Clyde and Mary Holdridge in Roswell, Oct. 6, 1953, and graduated from Roswell High School prior to continuing his education at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. Starting his sophomore year, he was catechized in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Megolohari, Tinos, Greece (taking the Christian name, Stephanos), by the Atrchimandrite Paul, a hieromonk from the island of Tinos, Greece, and exchange professor at Phillips. He received orders, including the Sacred Presbytery, from Patriarch +MARKOS’s Auxiliary Bishop +DAVID in 1975 pm October 8th.
In 1983, having been recommended by Archimandrite Paul of Tinos, Greece, Priest Stephen Holdridge of Roswell, NM was consecrated Bishop by +MARKOS, Patriarch +DIODOROS, and Archbishop +NATALINO.
In 1996, he was made a Great Schema monk by Metropolitan VLADIMIR, being given, as is traditional, another name, this time honoring St. Symeon, the God-receiver.
Metropolitan SYMEON became increasingly active in healthcare and was chaplain of an AIDS hospice and of HIV patients at Denver General Hospital and was on Mayor Welington Webb’s committee on HIV/AIDS services. He chaired the committee that wrote the three-year plan for HIV services for the City and County of Denver.
Metropolitan Symeon cofounded various counseling organizations in Denver with Mr. Stephen Lee, who has recently also relocated to the Roswell area.
In October 2006, Metropolitan SYMEON moved his primary residence from Denver, Colorado to Roswell where he stabled the Monastic Skete of Saint John the Wonderworker and the parish of Holy Protection Church which relocated to their current building at 337 East Sixth in Roswell in May of 2016."
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in America views the subject of canonicity differently than the viewpoint of the major Orthodox Churches in the United States. Although invited to join the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the early 1960s, the Synod maintains that since it was given sole oversight of the Orthodox Christians in the Western Hemisphere, it cannot yield that responsibility by joining what is merely a working group. According to reliable sources quoted in Wikipedia.
Our current Metropolitan Bishop is Gregory Athanasius.
He was elevated to be the Metropolitan Archbishop of Mexico City in 1998 and let a vibrant community of clergy and laity and Orthodoxy that has spread throughout Mexico despite Mexico being almost completely Roman Catholic.
Prior to the death of Metropolitan Symeon - Bishop Gregory Athanasius was asked to take over as the head of all the Russian Orthodox Church in America and was discussing the future of our Church with Metropolitan Symeon who was very ill.
After the death of Metropolitan Symeon the Russian Orthodox Church in America elevated Metropolitan Gregory Athanasius to be the Primate of ROCIA per the wishes of Symeon.
Metropolitan Gregory Athanasius leads us into the 21st Century with love and a vison of evangelizing the America's per our original charter. Axios Axios Axios! May God be His guide and may he have many fruitful years.
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