Thursday, December 6, 2012

New home for some old friends..finally

A few years ago, the parish of St. John Greek Orthodox church came to an impasse and part of the parish left to establish a mission church in the western part of the city. Starting out from nothing with just a few borrowed items, the church did not have the traditional feel of an Orthodox temple.  I felt like it needed a little something to help it along so Brenda and I lent a few icons of our own to the parish. As time went by I was asked to paint the traditional icons for the front of the church which I did gladly. Those icons traveled with us to our new temporary home on 90th and Q.

A year after the move,  the Grand Island Greek Orthodox Church Holy Trinity folded and shutdown. All of their stuff came to us at the All Holy Spirit Greek Church and the priest decided (unilaterally) to remove my icons and replace them with some "real Greek" icons. I don't think anyone in the parish even noticed.

When things like this happen I start to seriously question my mission in the church. I am absolutely sure God meant for me to do this and has guided my hand as best he could in this vocation but these events trouble me more than you would know.  Sadly, I do not have a lot of support from Orthodox clergy regarding iconography and frankly I am a mediocre painter at best.
These, now discarded, works came back into my possession. I lent them to a struggling mission in Ames, IA for a while but the church did not take off and I picked them up again. They have been in my front room for the last few years leaning against the wall. My lovely bride is very, very tolerant. I have a lot of icons in my front room that serve various purposes through out the Liturgical year. She is a saint,  really.

I called the Antiochian Bishop to see if he had a place for them and he did have a mission in Texas that would take them. I had several conversations by email with the mission. The priest was thrilled but the parish  was less so and made a statement to the effect of being "stuck" with icons they did not want to endure for the next 20 years. How's that for a vote of confidence? I could not even give them away....really? *Sigh*

 I debated selling them on Ebay but I wasn't  I could verify they would go to a Christian home and then I finally got in touch with a wonderful Catholic priest (who had commissioned me in the past) and asked if would have a place for them and he gladly accepted the icons from me. I feel like at least the are going to be in a place where they will be used for their actual purpose.  So its time to say goodbye to these old friends who have been standing in my front room for quite some time.  Thank you Father Carl Salinitro for taking these for me. God Bless.

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