St Matthew Orthodox Church

While our temple was being renovated, we had Liturgy at Cathedral Gardens. One of the Sundays I went to St. Matthew.

St. Matthew and I have a long history together.  Back in 1986 or 1987 I told Tim Fedak that I will visit his parish on a particular Sunday.  For some reason I was unable to do so and when he saw me, Tim told me that I specifically said that I would visit and I did not.  He made it absolutely clear that he was disappointed.

A month or so later I visited the parish.  They were having a picnic that day, but I did not know that.  At this time I was a chapel manager in the Air Force Reserves.  So I went there in uniform and assisted with the set-up and taking down after the Liturgy and when I reported to my monthly training, this was a part of my report.

Fr. Constantine and I go back to 1983 when we both sang in the choir together at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington DC.  He has just come back from Japan and I did not know anything about him, but I knew that John Stupenchak was returning and I've heard only good things about John.  So I went up to him and said, "John, I'm glad to meet you."  He said, "I'm not John.  I'm Jeff!"  So I had the blessing of meeting two wonderful men that day. 

When Fr. Constantine was ordained a deacon and a priest, I photographed his ordinations.  Eventually with the advent of Windows, scanners, and digital photography, I was able to scan the negatives and give him a DVD of the pictures.

Protodeacon Sergius and I probably met for the first time when Metropolitan Herman was installed as the primate of the Orthodox Church in America.  Over the years we developed a great friendship.  He and I have several friends in common and he himself is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to Liturgics.  I am really blessed to have him, Bishop Jerome, and Reader Daniel to consult.

When Tm's sister arrived at the church, I was already in the Altar and the look of joyful surprise on her face was precious.  Tim, Susan, their father Steve, their mother Ann, and I all sang in the choir together at St. Nicholas before John and Fr. Constantine returned.  Steve used to make fantastic home-made root beer.

When I arrived jokingly I told Protodeacon Sergius that he and Fr. Constantine will make me look like a pauper because of the very beautiful vestments that they were wearing.  He took me into his office and handed me a set and said, "Can you wear it?"  It was perfect.  At the end of the Liturgy he asked me, "Do you like them?" and I said yes. He replied, "They're yours!"  Now I have a gorgeous set light weight white vestments. 
 

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