As is the recent tradition of the Deanery, clergy and the faithful gathered to pray the Moleben for those Who Have Departed into Error and Vespers on the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.
This year, St Andrew Russian Orthodox Church in East Lansing kindly hosted. Father Dean Joshua presided at these services and concelebrating with him were Father Basil (Rector of St Andrew), and Father James (Rector of St John Chrysostom in Grand Rapids). Also serving were the Hierodeacon Seraphim (cleric of St Innocent), Father Andrew (cleric of St Andrew), and Fr Michael (cleric of St John Chrysostom), along with numerous servers. A choir comprised of members of the three parishes added beauty to the prayers.
A special blessing was the presence of the relics of St John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, before which many of the faithful wrote letters to the living Saint! Following the services, the clergy, Matushki, and faithful enjoyed a delicious Lenten meal prepared by the parishioners of St Andrew. It was noted several times that these parishes are growing both spiritually and numerically, particularly with younger families. Moreover, the common joy in the Gospel and fidelity to the Russian Church was palpable! The future is bright for these parishes and the whole Central States Deanery!