The Orthodox Church of the Mother of God in Mays Landing NJ celebrated its 47th Anniversary with a visit by His Grace, Bishop Michael, the weekend of 2-3 November 2013. Services included Vespers on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy on Sunday. Father Daniel Hubiak and Father Matthew Searfoorce (temporary rector) concelebrated with Bishop Michael. The parish faithful welcomed many visitors to the celebrations.
The Gospel reading for the day was Luke 8:41-56 and included the story of Jarius’ daughter, who died while Jesus was speaking to the woman with an issue of blood. His Grace spoke of two deaths: reminding the faithful that we have a choice to accept life from Christ or choose spiritual death by rejecting Him. It is in our hands. The other death is bodily, known as being “asleep in the Lord," and this was redefined by Christ’s action on the cross. One day He will awaken our bodies from that “sleep.”
At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, Bishop Michael was greeted with the traditional bread and salt presented by the Parish Council President, Mrs. Hala Dawson, as well as brightly colored flowers presented by two brightly dressed children.
The afternoon was spent in fellowship at an anniversary luncheon hosted by the parish's sisterhood led by Mrs. Lore Stefy. Many traditional treats were served and enjoyed.
At the conclusion of the luncheon, His Grace expressed his sincere thanks to God for the very, very warm welcome he received from all present and especially the love and spiritual restoration he witnessed after many difficult years. He encouraged all of the faithful to "go to church to see Christ, not the bishop," and to continue bringing the love of Christ to Mays Landing and the surrounding communities with the love and faith exhibited that day.