Arson at my parish.
#1
Prayers for my parish and the Orthodox parish next door. Fires were set by an arsonist last night; police are not allowing congregants on the properties, so I don't know the extent of the damage, though I do know that our pastor who lives at the church is OK. The suspect is in custody, but nothing is known yet about the "whys" yet.
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#2
I feel like I ought to say something, but I don't know what. I hope and pray the damage isn't too bad.
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#3
The Orthodox parish escaped damage to their church; some trees between the two churches did catch fire. At our church, the loss of part of the south wall of the nave and a few icons was the worst of it; the iconostasis seems to have escaped damage. We have been blessed to have several area churches, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant, offer space for our Sunday liturgy - it is always nice to see Christian charity extended across jurisdictional and confessional boundaries.
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#4
Could be much worse, then! I hope it doesn't cause you too much inconvenience.
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#5
We had our first Liturgy in our temporary space, a local Roman Catholic academy's chapel that is not in use on Sundays. We are free to use it at our regular time and without time constraints, and will be able to have our customary Christmas schedule, as well as Presanctified Liturgies should reconstruction carry us into the Great Fast. Several churches offered space, and Father Scott said that four Orthodox bishops had contacted him and offered the use of their churches, which had obviously greatly touched Father. In particular, the fact that St. Elizabeth Mission (ACROD) had offered was particularly moving. Thank you for your continued prayers for our parish and for all those who extended their support to us. May God continue to warm relations between the churches!

Remember also in your prayers Juan Carlos Ramirez, who set the fire. He is a young man facing 20 years in federal prison and is obviously deeply troubled.
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#6
:pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:
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