St Vladimir Church of Ann Arbor, MI, Marks its 30th Anniversary

The parish of the Holy Equal to the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir in Ann Arbor, MI celebrated its 30th anniversary July 26-28, 2011. On July 26 His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, His Grace Bishop Peter, and His Grace Bishop George joined the parish family and friends for an informal reception and “fund raiser” to help raise awareness of the parish’s plans to build a new church and social space for the growing community’s needs. The reception was held at the home of the parish Assistant Starosta, Konstantin E. Poplavksy, and gave the community the opportunity to interact with the hierarchs in a comfortable atmosphere. A short slide show regarding the new building plans was presented by the head of the new building project team, Nathaniel Longan for the hierarchs and other guests. Renderings of the planned parish church can be seen here:


On July 27 Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop Peter, and Bishop George were met by a peal of bells as the All-Night Vigil began at the parish church. The hierarchs were joined at the vigil service by the Rector of the parish, Priest Gregory Joyce, Archpriest Roman Star of St. Innocent Church (Redford, MI), Archpriest Martin Swanson of St. Basil Church (St. Louis, MO), Priest Victor Trotskyy of Dormition Cathedral (Ferndale, MI), Protodeacon Vadim Gan of Holy Protection Cathedral (Des Plaines, IL), Deacon Alexander Kichakov of Holy Protection Cathedral (Des Plaines, IL), and the parish’s Deacon John Feloniuk. The choir sang magnificently under the direction of Julia Easson-Meyer

On July 28, the feast of the Holy Great Prince Vladimir, the parish Starosta, Karl (Mercurius) Meyer and a group of the parish children greeted Metropolitan Hilarion with the traditional bread and salt as the parish bells rang out a trezvon. Metropolitan Hilarion, having been vested in the overflowing parish church, was joined by Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America, and Bishop George of Mayfield, Abbot of Holy Cross Hermitage. Also participating in the Divine Liturgy were the clergymen who served at the All Night Vigil, as well as Priest Nicholas Kotsis of St. Nicholas Greek Church (Ann Arbor, MI) and Priest Kristijan Petrovich of St. Petka Serbian Church (Troy, MI).  The parish’s surviving founding members prayed at the Liturgy.  During the reading of the Hours the parish’s Reader Rafael Scrochi was elevated to the order of Subdeacon. At the small entrance Priest Gregory Joyce was elevated to the rank of Archpriest. Following the consecration of the Holy Gifts the parish’s Subdeacon Zacharias Martinchek was ordained a Deacon by Bishop Peter. As at the service the evening before the parish choir sang beautifully under the direction of Julia Easson-Meyer. After the communing of the laity of the parish, the traditional moleben and procession was held under the open sky, but with a slightly non-traditional detour. After the blessing of the northern side of the parish church the procession moved to the open field still further north of the church where the Metropolitan blessed a cross on the spot where, with God’s help, the community plans to build its new parish church and social space.

Following the Divine Services the parish family and its guests traveled the short distance to St. Nicholas Greek Church where a reception in honor of the visiting hierarchs was held. The parish women’s dance troupe performed two traditional dances and one of the parish’s original members, Natalia Vasilevna Dale, who has been a violin teacher for 64 years, performed a duet with one of her young pupils and St. Vladimir’s parishioner (and bell ringer), Angelina Noll. At the banquet several of the parish founders as well as present active members were honored with gramotas. As the festivities came to an end many parishioners and guests, young and old, lingered in the hall reliving their memories of parish life from the first 30 years of the parish. But the choir and the clergy (as well as several parishioners) returned to the parish church to begin the Evening Services for the feast of St. Julia of Carthage (the patron saint of the parish’s choir director), celebrated the day after the feast of St. Vladimir. These Evening Services marked the first of seven days of Divine Services at St. Vladimir’s Church allowing the newly ordained Deacon Zacharias to become more familiar with the Church’s Divine Services. The parish deeply and sincerely thanks Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop Peter, and Bishop George for leading the community in prayer on this significant anniversary, and further thanks all those who worked so hard to make this anniversary such a success. Photos of the anniversary services and activities can be viewed here:


A Participant


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