Mission Planting And Temple Building

Orthodox Christians know, of course, that the real “building” or “temple” of God is the Church, the people of God and we see that in the larger Orthodox Church.  That said, we also have a theology of the sacramental presence of the Kingdom of Heaven within our physical temples.  Therefore, whenever we plant parishes, we also desire to build temples.

In that light, I thought I would share with us some insights from a parishioners and building committee member of a small mission in Indiana:


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  2. Bless, Father! Thank you for the link. As for being a “small mission”, I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective — we’re about 100-120 people on a regular Sunday and ~160 at Pascha. It certainly feels small to me (coming from a norm of parish size being around 300-400 or so), but I know people who come from ROCOR parishes who think that we’re huge. We also are a full parish, although particularly given our proximity to Indiana University we’re frequently referred to as being a “mission to the university”. And, while I’ve discussed this before at length, it may not be clear to people who only read that post — we do have our own building that we built on our own property, but it was intended as a “temporary” building from the get-go, we actually outgrew it several years ago, and we’ve been trying to find a way forward to building a permanent church building since probably 2005. I’m hopeful that we’re now actually closer towards taking a real step forward than we ever have been before, but God only knows. I’m told that our community is an experiment to see if one can actually establish an Orthodox church somewhere where there have never been the usual reasons to have one in this country; to the extent that that’s the case, a lot of the “usual ways” one might move forward on these kinds of projects have been seen as not appropriate to our circumstances. It’s been a challenge, to say the least, and the principles that I posted have emerged from the various conversations we’ve had over the years about our challenges and how we might address them. All that is to say — please pray for us! Thanks again, and I hope that you and your community are well as we all enter Holy Week.

    1. Richard, thank you very much for this! I was not aware of your property situation nor your true size.

      It seems you’re similar to Fargo in the origination of the founding of a mission–can one be truly, truly “planted,” without the normal “reasons.” That lies behind Fargo, too. 🙂

      In light of both, I’d say “yes”! Such a venture is not without it’s struggles, obviously, but it seems to me that both of our missions/parishes are making real progress (though our Sunday attendance is more like 40, which is also our regular membership, so we’re a third, maybe a fourth of yours).

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