Fire Recovery, Ionian Village and IOCC

Fire Recovery, Ionian Village and IOCC


Welcome to “This Week in Orthodoxy”, the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church. I’m Emmy Louvaris and these are some of the stories making headlines Friday, August 12th, 2016.
• Rising from the ashes, Holy Trinity learns parish life goes on after million-dollar blaze

• A day in the life of Ionian Village 2016


Church recovers from Fire

First Up, from Manitoba, Canada – Fire broke out at Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, last month on the evening of July 14th causing one of Winnipeg’s biggest and most architecturally stunning churches, more than $1,000,000 in damage. Fire crews were called to the scene around 9:30pm where the 2 alam fire was raging. There were no injuries, however police deemed the fire suspicious and called in the arson unit to investigate.

The churches frame was burned and charred along with smoke and water destroying pews, icons, walls and stained glass.

Although destruction of a place of worship is devastating, the parish will flourish after this disaster, say others who have experienced similar trials by fire.

The people of Young United Church had a similar experience after arson destroyed their 80-year-old church in 1987. Faced with an almost total loss of their building, the congregation spent years exploring how to best develop their property and met in borrowed space at nearby Westminster United Church for five years.

“There’s a great deal of good feelings and camaraderie which came out of a sad event,” Says Margaret Porter, of the joint services and shared choir between the Lutheran and United congregations.

The building now known as Crossways in Commons on Furby St., houses community drop-in
programs, a housing co-op, a daycare and two congregations.

Holy Trinity Parish priest, Fr. Eugene Maximiuk, said “I think it makes you reflect on what you’re about because you have an opportunity to re-create, what the church is and
what is really important,” referring to how Young United rebuilt to meet the needs of the community.
Fr. Maximiuk was overwhelmed by the many offers of support from area congregations, with Anglican, United, Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox churches all opening up their doors to them. With restoration stretching out for at least a year, “We thank all congregations for their support, but we didn’t want to disrupt them on Sundays”. He said of the decision to move Sunday divine liturgy in the Orthodox tradition — at Cropo Funeral Chapel.

Ionian Village

And next up, from Greece, Ionian Village, the summer camp ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in Greece, is having another very succesful year, with campers reporting they “are having the best summer of their life.”

Located on a beautiful Ionian seafront campsite on western Peloponnesus, the camp facility accommodates 200 campers and 50 staff members. Developed and built with the intention of fostering an Orthodox Christian community and providing a Greek village experience for all participants, the facilities are centered around a traditional white-washed Chapel. The mission of Ionian Village is to enrich the lives of its participants by bringing campers and staff into close contact with their Orthodox faith and Hellenic heritage. Ionian Village provides the opportunity for young people of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to foster a life-long appreciation and love of Greece, Orthodoxy, and Hellenism. Participants travel across Greece, venerate the relics of saints, walk in the footsteps of the Apostles, and visit significant sites of Greek history and culture. At the end of each program, campers and staff return home with strengthened faith, life-long friendships based on Christian love, and an expanded appreciation for the Orthodox Church and Greek culture.

IOCC Offers aide in West Virginia

And next up, West Virginia towns are slowly recovering one month after torential floods killed at least 23 people, left hundreds stranded and thousands without power and has been called the “one in a thousand year event”. The clean up seems daunting, the re-building and full recovery may take years but Greenbrier County convention and visitors bureau wants everyone to know they’re back open in business. Slowly things are becoming more operational. However, challenges are nevertheless evident. Four, flood affected, schools won’t begin school this week as originally planned and debris collection sites are still operational while the FEMA deadlines are quickly approaching.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) remains on the ground providing emotional and spiritual care and deploying IOCC volunteer clean-up crews to the hard hit towns of Clendenin and Rainelle.

His Grace Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic visited the affected area to offer encouragement and called upon the Orthodox faithful to extend a helping hand to their neighbors in need by supporting IOCC’s flood relief efforts. “From the very beginning of Our Lord’s ministry, the Church has existed both as a community and within a community,” stated Bishop Thomas.

IOCC Frontliners, a team of trained emergency responders, continue assisting FEMA and the local Red Cross by providing crisis counseling to survivors at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers and relief distribution centers. IOCC is also participating in early stages of the long-term recovery committee being established by community leaders in Greenbriar County and the West Virginia Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster (VOAD).

To help the victims of disasters in the United States, like the West Virginia floods, visit for more information on making a financial gift to the United States Emergency Response Fund.

News from OCN

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That brings another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy,” to a close. Wishing you a Blessed Week, for everyone here in our OCN studios, I’m Emmy Louvaris. Let’s go forth in peace.



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About author

Emmy Louvaris

Emmy Louvaris is the host of This Week in Orthodoxy, the first weekly news show to cover the international Orthodox Church and community.