The newly-formed Orthodox Christian Mission in Potsdam NY had the honor, pleasure and blessing of having His Grace, Bishop Michael, visit on 30 August and 1 September, accompanied by Subdeacon Nilus Klingel. The Watertown Daily Times/Courier Observer featured Bishop Michael's visit. See the news article HERE! The Mission is on the "look-out" for students attending SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton, or other Orthodox moving to the area. Contact Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday night Vespers on the campus broke the mission’s attendance record for an evening service. Hieromonk David Edwards of the Monastery of Saint Silouan the Athonite served with the bishop presiding. Father David serves as the Mission’s priest and spiritual leader. More people joined the worshippers for Bishop Michael's lecture, “Are you saved? An Orthodox Perspective.” Bishop Michael answered probing questions from Orthodox and non-Orthodox members of the audience both formally and also during the reception that followed.
The assembly for Sunday morning liturgy also was the greatest ever for the mission parish. In his homily Bishop Michael spoke of the mission as a body rather than as a congregation and encouraged people to "tell their story" regarding Christ and the Church in their lives to those who are unbelievers or are un-churched in order to bring them to the faith. He prayed for their growth in God's love. At the conclusion of the liturgy Bishop Michael presented the mission with an antimension ~ the essential cloth on which a liturgy is celebrated.
A bountiful lunch and stimulating fellowship followed during which Bishop Michael spent several hours getting to know the mission and answering many questions, including those about his vision for the future of the parish. He proposed that the mission host a miracle-working icon or saint's relic later this year in conjunction with a healing service open to anyone of any faith.
The Orthodox Christian Mission in Potsdam celebrated its first liturgy in February 2012. With the blessing of both Bishop Michael and Bishop Irénée (locum tenens of the OCA Archdiocese of Canada) the mission has a symbiotic relationship with the Monastery of Saint Silouan the Athonite, whereby two liturgies a month are in Potsdam and worshippers who are able to cross into Canada attend liturgies at the monastery chapel on the remaining Sundays (the monastery is about a one hour drive from Potsdam). North Country Public Radio, the local NPR affiliate, aired a feature story on the Mission last Pascha (LISTEN HERE!)
The mission conducts services either on the SUNY Potsdam campus or in a private chapel in Potsdam. Generally, there are 15-20 worshippers on Sunday.