GOSHEN — In 1993, a group of Episcopalians lead by the Rev. Antony Bell traveled to Toledo to receive chrismation into the Orthodox Christian church.
Returning to Goshen, the group formed St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Goshen, becoming the first English-speaking Orthodox church in the area.
For years, the group of converts met in various places, including homes, the upper room of a local funeral home and store-front rental facilities. The parish grew, eventually purchasing property in Topeka where they stayed for several years before returning to their roots in Goshen with their second and current priest, the Rev. Matthew Wade.
On Saturday and Sunday, the parishioners of St. Mary’s, who have grown to more than 100, will celebrate 20 years as a church. Friends of St. Mary’s are invited to celebrate, and the community is also welcome.
At 3:30 p.m. Saturday, the Rev. Nabil Hanna of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Indianapolis, will speak on “Coming to Orthodoxy,” followed by evening prayers at 5. A catered meal will follow at 6 p.m., along with time for fellowship and a presentation of St. Mary’s history.
At 6:30 p.m., visitors are invited to tour the church building, where many iconography murals have been recently installed.
On Sunday, morning prayers begin at 8:45., followed by Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. A memorial service for all who have departed from St. Mary’s will take place at 11:30 a.m. and will be followed with a carry-in meal provided by St. Mary’s parishioners at noon.
St. Mary’s Orthodox Church is located at 65159 C.R. 33 in Goshen.
For more information or directions, go to www.stmarysorthodox.org or call 574-642-3312.