HOLLYWOOD, SOUTH FLORIDA: “Let us be smaller than the temple of God” said Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius of the Diocese of South West America. The Metropolitan was speaking after the consecration of the newly built St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of India, South Florida.
Consecration and dedication of the St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of India, South Florida took place on Friday and Saturday, 14th and 15th January 2011.
Members of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of India, South Florida accorded a grand reception to the Metropolitan on January 14th, 2011, which sounded the prelude to the Church consecration service. Following the traditions of Kerala, Metropolitan Mar Eusebius cut the ribbon and entered into the church, whereby declaring the Church open to the goodness and to humanity at large.
Fr. George John, the Vicar, welcomed the Metropolitan by handing over a lighted candle and the Metropolitan lit the oil lamp. Following this ceremony, the first part of the consecration began with evening prayers. The first part of consecration included laying of the foundation stone of the Church. The evening concluded with a gathering of food and fellowship for all who attended.
On Saturday, January 15, 2011, Morning Prayer started at 7:00 am followed by the second part of the consecration, Holy Trimass, Procession and Benediction.
Metropolitan Alexios Mar Eusebius, Fr. Thampan Varghese and Fr. George Paulose were the main celebrants. Fr. Thampan Varghese, Fr. Dr. Joy Pyngolil, Fr. George Paulose, Fr. George Daniel, Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew, Fr. Sam Mathew, Fr. Thomson Chacko, Fr. Vartan D. Joulfayan, Fr. Nersess Jebejian, Fr. Shibu Yohannan, Rev. Jose Abraham, Rev. Thomas Mathew and Fr. Zachariah Thottuvelil attended the consecration service. The consecration service was followed by a lunch time gathering of all participants.
Metropolitan Mar Eusebius presided over the public meeting, which took place in the afternoon. In his presidential address, the President of the Diocese of South West America provided a detailed and informative explanation on the significance of the consecration of a Church.
Hon. Peter Bobber conveyed well wishes on behalf of the Mayor of the City of Hollywood. The City Commissioner Hon. Linda Sherwood also spoke on the occasion.
The Metropolitan released the souvenir by handing over the first copy to the Vice Mayor of the city of Hollywood, Hon. Heidi O’sheehan.
Rev. Jose P. Abraham, Vicar, Marthoma Church of South Florida, Heidi O’sheehan, Vice Mayor of the City of Hollywood, Biju P. John, Treasurer, St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, Samuel Thomas, Abraham Varghese Vadakara, and Tara Thomas spoke on the occasion.
Fr. George John was honored for his exemplary leadership with a plaque. Plaques were also handed over to Mathai Skaria, Biju P.John, Georgy John and to the contractor Natalya Golyk and Valery Vorozheykin.
Melodious singing from the Sunday school students added color to the proceedings. St. Gregorios Church Choir performed a number of religious songs throughout the meeting.
Mathai Skaria, Convener of St. Gregorios Construction Committee, welcomed the gathering. Rejit George moved the vote of thanks. Georgy John, the Parish Secretary, was the master of ceremony.
St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of India, South Florida is located at 2850 Taylor Street, Hollywood, FL 33020
News sent in: Samuel Thomas