Sons of Holy Resurrection Orthodox ChurchPosted: May 11, 2016
The Church can be thought of as a hospital — a spiritual hospital. We participate in the life of the Church to be healed, to become whole, and holy. At this spiritual hospital Christ, the Physician, administers the medicines for the spirit, and even eternal life to his patients. We receive our medicines via the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist, by the reading and hearing of the Scriptures, and by the work of God done deep within us by our participation in the worship given God via the Divine Liturgy.
Now, modern hospitals all have maternity wards. Here, at the end of (usually) nine months of gestation, a mother gives birth to her child (or children). You may not have thought of this, but every Orthodox Church also has a maternity ward. In this spiritual maternity ward spiritual births occur. (Additionally, the Church serves as a uterus in which spiritual lives are formed.) The parish which I serve as a priest has given birth to several clergy from the ranks of the faithful: the sons of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (HROC).
These spiritual sons all have as their spiritual father, Fr. John Pierce. Fr. John, together with the ministry of his wife Mka. Catherine Pierce as choir director, has faithfully served HROC since the last half of the 1980s. We all have had his support and advocacy to be moved by God to our own ordinations.
HROC has six sons ordained to holy orders: Rev. Deacon Luke Fordice (ordained 2003, serving as first deacon at HROC), Fr Barnabas Powell (ordained 2005, serving St. Katherine’s Church in Kirkland, WA), Fr. Daniel Armatas (ordained 2005, serving as assisting priest at HROC), Fr. Irenaeus Williams (ordained 2007, serving as assisting priest at HROC), Fr. James McKee (ordained 2008, attached to HROC), and Fr. Joseph Ramos (ordained deacon, 2013, then ordained priest 2016, he will soon serve St. Susanna’s Church, Sonora, CA). It is not unusual for one parish to put forth many clergy, but it is unusual for six men to be ordained within a span of 13 years from one modestly sized parish (typically 115 communicants each Divine Liturgy). But, HROC is a parish blessed by the presence and activity of God. She is blessed by the ministry of Fr. John. She is blessed by the love and care shared by and given by all parishioners. The clergy serving HROC (also including Fr. Joseph Velez, retired military chaplain, and attached to HROC) have great love, care, and respect for each other — we see each other as dear brothers and friends, and I call them all my best friends.
Each Divine Liturgy is a joy as we share in this ordained ministry as celebrant or concelebrants as we gather around the altar in the worship of God. We are blessed to serve loving, generous, and faithful parishioners. Here, the birth of spiritual sons has not stopped at the number six, God willing, two more sons will be ordained! I give thanks to be blessed to be counted in this company of brothers in Christ!