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Author Topic: Are there any small town Orthodox Churches out there?  (Read 1106 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2014, 04:04:36 PM »

The way I grew up, we never thought of suburbs as small towns, is all, no matter what their population. A small town is encircled by miles of farmland or woods. There's an entirely different cultural and material situation between suburb and town.

Yes.  A small town or a village or hamlet usually is the major town in its area, not a subset of another.  It is usually defined by its own economy.  I think of small towns as having an industry or two and with far less transience.  Someone lives on a property because it was part if his grandfathers farm that was split off for his parents to make a home.  The people across the valley with the same surname are perhaps descendants of his grandfathers brother.  The institutional memory is such that directions are given by way of landmarks such as turn right where John Parker's barn used to be, and people can tell you the story of what happened at Pioneer Rock in the big train accident even if they're too young to remember.  In short, small towns are self sustaining and have a strong institutional and communal memory which is perpetuated.  They are hard to fit into unless you were born there or connected by marriage to someone who was, or if you're lucky enough to be likable to those already there and build good ties over time.   But if you can become accepted and persist, you will "belong" to them or they to you in a way that is warm and special and is truly a delight.   

And such villages comprised the bulk of churches in the Old World. ... I trust the Church here is not taking American propaganda at face-value and supposing we are an urban nation the old rural backbone of which has been broken and completely discarded.

We have been a mainly urban and industrial church here of necessity.   The Orthodox Church was mostly brought to North Americs to serve clusters of immigrants of (insert nationality here) who themselves were recruited, mostly in the 1880-1920 timeframe, to work the mills and mines, factories and railroads, or who came here to engage in commerce with those who did by running restaurants, bars, boarding houses, etc.  Of course there are well known and important exceptions such as the Russian Church's early work in Alaska.   

Now that those pioneers are gone and their descendants assimilated (again, with prominent exceptions such as the Ukrainian diaspora now in a hearty fourth wave of migration which is felt in some, not all, parishes) services have become English, we are talking about evangelism and jurisdictional unity.  A good thing.  And I think they as we go down that road we certainly see that many small town moral and spiritual values are oftentimes Orthodox Christian values, even if they (and we) don't know that yet.   
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« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2014, 04:07:37 PM »

Quite right, and I look to the future and the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2014, 04:34:44 PM »

Holy Annunciation OCA in Berwick, PA.

http://oca.org/parishes/oca-ep-berhac


Berwick, PA home of the Berwick Theater

http://theberwicktheater.com/
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« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2014, 04:56:56 PM »

Check out OCA's Diocese of the South website; there are several small-town parishes.  www.dosoca.org

Right on the website and going through my memories of road-tripping through small towns, there's one in Edenton, NC; North Augusta, SC; Beaufort, SC; Toccoa, GA; Rincon, GA; Helena, GA; Nicholasville, KY.

Good luck!

Nicholasville, KY is small but close to Lexington and Cincinnati, as well as Louisville. You also have two options for Orthodox churches within an easy drive--one in Nicholasville and one in Lexington--Antiochian. There is also about an hour or hour and half a way Cincinnati a Russian Orthodox Church if you have any Russophile tendencies. But that is an hour or more drive, perhaps something to visit on occasion. UK-Chandler Hospital is also a good hospital in Lexington--the university hospital. Healthcare is important, especially when you are old. We also did not opt out of the Affordable Healthcare Act, so depending on your financials, Kentucky is a great option for healthcare. Also it's beautiful and the best state. Nicholasville is right there near all the nice horse farms.
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« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2014, 06:39:28 PM »

My town is roughly 35,000 or so. The entire Roanoke metro area is much larger. OP come to SW Virginia. You will never want to leave.

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« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2014, 06:46:20 PM »

My ideal population would be 8-10K. Any less everyone would either be related and/or know your business.
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« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2014, 06:48:00 PM »

My ideal population would be 8-10K. Any less everyone would either be related and/or know your business.

Isn't that how church works anyway? Wink
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« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2014, 06:53:46 PM »

My ideal population would be 8-10K. Any less everyone would either be related and/or know your business.
I think Pella is 10K. Unfortunately not in the South, though.
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« Reply #53 on: July 17, 2014, 07:02:05 PM »

Berlin, MD has 4,500 people.  There's an OCA church in town and a GOA church in nearby Ocean City, MD (which is a small town with population of 7,100 in the tourist off-season) - although MD may not be far enough south for the OP.

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« Reply #54 on: July 17, 2014, 07:15:57 PM »

Berlin, MD has 4,500 people.  There's an OCA church in town and a GOA church in nearby Ocean City, MD (which is a small town with population of 7,100 in the tourist off-season) - although MD may not be far enough south for the OP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason%E2%80%93Dixon_line Wink
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« Reply #55 on: July 17, 2014, 07:23:00 PM »

Berlin, MD has 4,500 people.  There's an OCA church in town and a GOA church in nearby Ocean City, MD (which is a small town with population of 7,100 in the tourist off-season) - although MD may not be far enough south for the OP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason%E2%80%93Dixon_line Wink

MD's Eastern Shore has experienced an increase in growth due to retirees fleeing high tax states like NY & NJ - who want to be within a few hours drive of their former residence.

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« Reply #56 on: July 17, 2014, 07:31:43 PM »

Is Bowling Green KY too big?   They have a mission:
http://holyapostlesbg.org/

Just checked the population, 60,000. twice as much as where we are now. I need smaller. Thanks.
Does it have to be Eastern Rite? Eustis, FL (pop. 19,129) has a WRO Church, St. Andrew.
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« Reply #57 on: July 17, 2014, 07:39:32 PM »

Move to California and you can attend St. Christina of Tyre's in the modest town of Newark/Fremont Smiley
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« Reply #58 on: July 17, 2014, 07:47:22 PM »

Move to California and you can attend St. Christina of Tyre's in the modest town of Newark/Fremont Smiley

A population of 220,000 does not make Fremont a small town and CA is not in the south.   Smiley
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« Reply #59 on: July 17, 2014, 08:24:12 PM »

Move to California and you can attend St. Christina of Tyre's in the modest town of Newark/Fremont Smiley

A population of 220,000 does not make Fremont a small town and CA is not in the south.   Smiley

Poopoo, SoCal is the south. More Mexicans than Texas!
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« Reply #60 on: July 17, 2014, 08:26:29 PM »

The proposal to divide California into five states sounds like it finally has a real chance. I'm sure one or two of those states will be pretty Southern.
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« Reply #61 on: July 17, 2014, 08:27:22 PM »

Southern (used as an adjective) and the South are not the same thing.




The example town of Fremont is NEITHER in Southern California nor in the South.
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« Reply #62 on: July 18, 2014, 12:22:30 AM »

Given that I live in a metro area with well over 100,000 people and not a single Orthodox parish, I am jealous of all the small towns I am hearing about that have parishes.

OP could move to Alaska. There are a lot of small towns with parishes there.
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« Reply #63 on: July 18, 2014, 12:39:21 AM »

As much as I like PA, it's not the South.
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« Reply #64 on: July 18, 2014, 08:44:12 AM »

As much as I like PA, it's not the South.
Praise be to God.
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« Reply #65 on: July 18, 2014, 10:36:23 AM »

OP could move to Alaska. There are a lot of small towns with parishes there.
Don't let my wife hear that.  Wink She lived in Alaska before it was a state while her dad was in the Air Force and might decide she wants to go back.  laugh
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« Reply #66 on: July 18, 2014, 10:55:26 AM »

As much as I like PA, it's not the South.
Praise be to God.

Amen! Wink
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« Reply #67 on: July 18, 2014, 12:20:33 PM »

There's a small ROCOR mission parish in St. Francisville Louisiana I know of called St. John the Theologian.

http://saintjohnmission.org/
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« Reply #68 on: July 18, 2014, 03:07:32 PM »

OP could move to Alaska. There are a lot of small towns with parishes there.
Don't let my wife hear that.  Wink She lived in Alaska before it was a state while her dad was in the Air Force and might decide she wants to go back.  laugh

Hey, Alaska would be nice if you don't remind the remoteness. There's part of me that would love to live in Alaska. Except I am an urbanite or whatever. I like the city. Vancouver would be ideal if I moved up that way. But Anchorage, I don't know. If I am going to move to Alaska, might as well do it right. If I had my private pilot I might consider it.
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« Reply #69 on: July 18, 2014, 03:11:57 PM »

OCA parish in Delta, CO would likely qualify as "small town" - only 8900 as of the 2010 census.  Montrose is 30 miles south and has nearly 20k, while Grand Junction is 40 miles north and has almost 150K.  GJ also has a GOA parish I think.  The Delta parish was started by a somewhat well to do Episcopalian family if I recall correctly.  They basically invested a bunch of money to build (or convert) a church, import a priest, etc.
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« Reply #70 on: July 18, 2014, 04:37:58 PM »

Why don't you give small town Pennsylvania a try?  You might like it.  There is a lot of natural beauty and charm to PA's small towns and a nice four season climate.
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« Reply #71 on: July 18, 2014, 06:02:30 PM »

OCA parish in Delta, CO would likely qualify as "small town" - only 8900 as of the 2010 census.  Montrose is 30 miles south and has nearly 20k, while Grand Junction is 40 miles north and has almost 150K.  GJ also has a GOA parish I think.  The Delta parish was started by a somewhat well to do Episcopalian family if I recall correctly.  They basically invested a bunch of money to build (or convert) a church, import a priest, etc.

Btw, while cold in the winter, there isn't much precipitation (i.e. not too much snow to deal with).

Climate should be similar to Grand Junction:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Junction,_Colorado#Climate
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« Reply #72 on: July 18, 2014, 08:15:08 PM »

As much as I like PA, it's not the South.

Yeah you can keep ice storms and 100 degree days.
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« Reply #73 on: July 18, 2014, 09:18:25 PM »

As much as I like PA, it's not the South.

Yeah you can keep ice storms and 100 degree days.

Will do.   Wink  OP wants to move to the South and people are offering up Alaska, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.  I guess I should suggest someplace in South America, because it has the word "South" in it at least.
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« Reply #74 on: July 18, 2014, 09:37:12 PM »

Midwest bordering on South. Below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Ash Grove, MO. Population 1,477. In the middle of nowhere. Rural.

Unexpected Joy Orthodox Church. OCA Old Calendar. My current parish. Just perfect.
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« Reply #75 on: July 18, 2014, 09:55:55 PM »

Why don't you give small town Pennsylvania a try?  You might like it.  There is a lot of natural beauty and charm to PA's small towns and a nice four season climate.
I kinda want 1 1/2 seasons, warm & warmer. Cheesy
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« Reply #76 on: July 18, 2014, 10:15:06 PM »

Why don't you give small town Pennsylvania a try?  You might like it.  There is a lot of natural beauty and charm to PA's small towns and a nice four season climate.
I kinda want 1 1/2 seasons, warm & warmer. Cheesy
lol!  Well, PA is probably not for you then.  laugh
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« Reply #77 on: July 18, 2014, 10:25:35 PM »

Midwest bordering on South. Below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Ash Grove, MO. Population 1,477. In the middle of nowhere. Rural.

Unexpected Joy Orthodox Church. OCA Old Calendar. My current parish. Just perfect.

That's the name of the parish? Forgive me but sounds like the name of some Protestant church. "Unexpected Joy Prayer Center"
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« Reply #78 on: July 18, 2014, 10:26:09 PM »

Under whose patronage is the church?
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« Reply #79 on: July 18, 2014, 10:26:49 PM »

It's named after an icon of the Theotokos.
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« Reply #80 on: July 18, 2014, 10:35:07 PM »

It's named after an icon of the Theotokos.

Icon of Unexpected Joy:



From www.oca.org:

The “Unexpected Joy” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is painted in this way: in a room is an icon of the Mother of God, and beneath it a youth is kneeling at prayer. The tradition about the healing of some youth from a bodily affliction through this holy icon is recorded in the book of St Demetrius of Rostov, The Fleece of Prayer [See Judges 6: 36-40].

The sinful youth, who was nevertheless devoted to the Theotokos, was praying one day before the icon of the All-Pure Virgin before going out to commit a sin. Suddenly, he saw that wounds appeared on the Lord’s hands, feet, and side, and blood flowed from them. In horror he exclaimed, “O Lady, who has done this?” The Mother of God replied, “You and other sinners, because of your sins, crucify My Son anew.” Only then did he realize how great was the depth of his sinfulness. For a long time he prayed with tears to the All-Pure Mother of God and the Savior for mercy. Finally, he received the unexpected joy of the forgiveness of his sins.

The “Unexpected Joy” icon is also commemorated on January 25 and May 1.
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« Reply #81 on: July 19, 2014, 10:31:48 PM »

It's named after an icon of the Theotokos.

Icon of Unexpected Joy:



From www.oca.org:

The “Unexpected Joy” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is painted in this way: in a room is an icon of the Mother of God, and beneath it a youth is kneeling at prayer. The tradition about the healing of some youth from a bodily affliction through this holy icon is recorded in the book of St Demetrius of Rostov, The Fleece of Prayer [See Judges 6: 36-40].

The sinful youth, who was nevertheless devoted to the Theotokos, was praying one day before the icon of the All-Pure Virgin before going out to commit a sin. Suddenly, he saw that wounds appeared on the Lord’s hands, feet, and side, and blood flowed from them. In horror he exclaimed, “O Lady, who has done this?” The Mother of God replied, “You and other sinners, because of your sins, crucify My Son anew.” Only then did he realize how great was the depth of his sinfulness. For a long time he prayed with tears to the All-Pure Mother of God and the Savior for mercy. Finally, he received the unexpected joy of the forgiveness of his sins.

The “Unexpected Joy” icon is also commemorated on January 25 and May 1.

Do you know who painted that particular icon?
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« Reply #82 on: July 20, 2014, 05:31:03 PM »

That's the name of the parish? Forgive me but sounds like the name of some Protestant church. "Unexpected Joy Prayer Center"

Technically the best way to render these types of names in traditional English would be "Our Lady of Unexpected Joy Orthodox Church".
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« Reply #83 on: July 21, 2014, 01:07:37 PM »

Hiram, Georgia, is a town of only about 3,000 or so, although it's a part of the 4.5 - 5 million population Atlanta area. It has a rather small church called St. Stephen's Orthodox Church buried in the woods just south of it. It's the nearest church to my house, so I attend it every Sunday. Here's a YouTube video of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yiohgl8pvJg
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« Reply #84 on: July 21, 2014, 01:28:11 PM »

The parish of the Moscow Patriarchate in Brookside, Alabama.
At population 1,300 and something Brookside is way smaller than your ideal, but it is fairly near Birmingham, which also has some major health care centers.

http://www.stnicholasbrookside.org/

My family and I visited there one Sunday, and we felt right at home.

We also enjoyed visiting that Greek Orthodox church in Ocean City, MD.
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« Reply #85 on: Yesterday at 04:01:12 PM »

All Saints of North America Orthodox Church in DeQueen, Arkansas.

http://allsaintsofamerica.com/
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