Archbishop Michael presented a wonderful and enlightening Christmas Retreat entitled "Christ in the Old Testament" at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Syracuse NY on 12 December 2015. The day-long retreat began with an Akathist to Saint Herman of Alaska followed by the presentation, luncheon, second presentation and Vespers. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy the next day (Sunday, 13 December), His Eminence blessed a beautiful new sign at the church entrance.
In addition, Archbishop Michael blessed new icons: Christ Blessing (from Mount Athos); an icon of the Mother of God (a copy of the weeping icon members of the parish continue to visit at Saint George Church, Taylor PA); and a parish patronal icon of Saints Peter & Paul. These icons provide a focal point for fellowship meals and talks. His Eminence also blessed a Cross and icons of Christ and the Theotokos (each one having a border of smaller icons of feasts related to them) in the parish basement/hall.
“The new sign lets people know who we are,” said a happy parishioner. “So also, the icons remind us where we are -- in God's Holy House, and where we are going -- His Heavenly Kingdom.”