James Hargrave is a stay-at-home dad in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Have you ever worshiped in a barn?
What would you name a church that worships in a barn?
My church began in 2002 as readers’ services conducted in a converted sheep barn in Langley, British Columbia just north of the American border. Our congregation had been worshiping at a nearby parish in Washington State, but this became impossible after the increased border security due to September 11th, 2001.
Interior of the old barn temple (Photo: Emily Johnson)
When this group of Canadian Orthodox formed as a new mission in a barn, it received, fittingly, the patronage of the Holy Nativity of Christ our Lord.
Our priest, Father Michael Gillis, was a deacon in Los Angeles until His Grace Bishop Joseph (now His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese) ordained him in 2003 to be Holy Nativity’s founding priest. Father Michael and Khouria Bonnie are Canadians now, living in a Langley farmhouse where Khouria paints icons and raises vegetables, flowers and poultry. Her duck eggs are the best.
In 2010, we moved out of the barn into a proper temple, located at 4828 216a Street in Langley’s Murrayville neighbourhood. Serving the province’s Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, our parish is filled with people of all ages and backgrounds as varied as Romanian, Syrian, Greek, Ukrainian, and even American. The largest group are Canadian families that have converted to Orthodoxy from other creeds.
On Sundays, we have Orthros at 9:00 AM and Divine Liturgy at ten with coffee, food and fellowship afterwards. Saturdays there is Great Vespers at six and Wednesday Vespers is at seven. Most mornings we have Orthros at seven, but you’d better check the schedule atholynativitychurch.ca (click on “Services.”) The choir is lovely. Services are in English.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.