As Fr. Gregory and Our Mission Core Group continued Our Journey of Presence and Growth of the Holy Orthodox Faith downriver, we not only prayed a lot for strength and guidance, but for patience, as well. We wanted to be certain that as we structured this wonderful project, we would make smart decisions and be sure to be the Home-Based Parish that we were all looking for. As much as we have enjoyed helping out other Orthodox parishes and families - And we all did some excellent work in the name of our Lord - We also knew that it is Our Time Now!
Our primary objective was to continue assembling everyone together as often as possible. We needed to constantly renew our commitment to each other, as well as finding and welcoming new and exciting people that are looking for that same "Something Special" and of course, to do all of the work diligently for the future of our children.
So, it was so important to find that place - Clean and Safe - Our Place to Grow! We truly wanted place that would make people want to join us in our community, ministries and to enjoy that Great Life available to All of Us. The following questions were the basis of what we were searching for:
Can we envision our Orthodox Dream here?
Would we ALL be willing to invest in ourselves - even a little bit?
Could we get Prayer and Support for our Choices?
How can we get Families to Join and Grow with Us?
How can we be a part - to Help Our Community?
AND GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?
We Found a Wonderful Opportunity in an older community, who have dreams of their own, but a reputation to overcome. Being led by a mayor who grew up in this city and who works so hard to make it better; and a Police Chief who has proven through the years that she is the perfect advocate, who wants to create a safe and happy environment, and all of the Executives and Staff, along with the Volunteers who all work so hard to make a Difference. We found a place we can call home, because it is like having family around us at all times. We have decided to call the City of River Rouge Our Home!!!
Mayor Michael Bowdler and his Professional Caring Posse, including his City Council, Police Chief Deborah Price, and Community Relations Director Karl Laub, have presented a wonderful opportunity and have welcomed us with Open Arms.
City Officials and Directors including, Billy (DPW), Kelli (Finance), Shirley (Treasurer) and Bob her husband (retired from Building), Lopez (Police Inspector), Lou (Water) and his Brother the Cop, along with Mrs. Sharon Garrett (building owner), Darrelynn Bowers (her Realtor), Sid/Debbie, Willy, Penny and Jack Jackson (just some of our new neighbors), who have welcomed us so enthusiastically, as well as the US Postal Workers next door.
River Rouge, Michigan - A Hidden Jewel that we cannot wait to share with the World!!!
Our New Home and Our New Community!
After some intense bargaining with an awesome buiding owner and some really great meetings and projects with the City Administration, we have decided to pursue a nice 2 story building with almost 3000 square feet of open space right in the downtown area of River Rouge. This will present some really great opportunities for our small mission parish to grow, while bringing some business and training opportunities to the area through our ministries.
After structuring an affordable Purchase Agreement, we sent it to Archbishop PETER, who gave his blessing, then on to the Listing Agent, who presented it to the Sellers, who after reviewing the whole package, indeed signed and agreed to our Offer to Purchase (once it clears Probate), and pending some final inspections of the facility, research/clearing the title work and formally put it all together, we are optimistic that we made a Great Decision!
We have decided to make it a "Work in Progress" facility by cleaning up and preparing the entire second floor as our chapel (with some really great surprises coming here, too), and to sort out and create 3 main areas of the first floor: The front third will host our Flower and Gift Shop; most of the back two thirds will be a social area (with a classroom setting and kitchette); and an exclusive place for a satellite Real Estate Office (to be the only one in River Rouge).
Many details have yet to be finalized, however "With God, All Things are Possible" and we have a solid Business Plan to complete projects completely and with class. As always, donations would be so appreciated. We were able to fundraise a significant portion of the Down Payment and received a generous grant from our Diocese, but renovations could to be costly, too.
Please consider an End of the Year or Any Time of Year - Tax Deductible Gift to our Mission Parish. It would be so appreciated and used wisely. (We are even willing to accept gifts with recognition plaques).
Here are some Photos to show how it all Started (October 21, 2016)
We want to pay special attention and extend our deepest appreciation to the very nice folks at St. Mary Rockwood, who under Fr. James Rafferty and their Church Administration Secretary, Mrs. Beth Herzog, found generosity in their hearts to allow us to claim the old St. Victor Church (in Gibraltar) for a considerably long time. We were able to grow and continue to identify ourselves while enjoying the comfort and security of a physical home.
Please go to our YEAR IN REVIEW 2016 tab (at the top of this home page) to witness many photos of how we enjoyed our our Life in Christ and how we adorned the Sanctuary with our Our Orthodox touches.
Thank you so much!
We want to express our appreciation to Fr. Ilia Marzev and the generous communities of St. Sergius Cathedral (Parma) and St. Tikhon Mission Parish (Sandusky) for their generosity giving/loaning several items to our mission parish to enhance the surroundings of our beautiful facility. On our one day road trip, Claudia, Sasha and I were able to fill the back of our Odyssey and excitedly return to Gibraltar and set much of it up.
Please share a special prayer of Thanksgiving and Mnogalya Leta to our wonderful new friends there.
We wanted to take a special moment to thank the many generous parishioners of the former St. Catherine Orthodox Mission Parish of Ann Arbor and Fr. George Shalhoub (of St. Mary Basilica in Livonia and current Dean of the Michigan Antiochian Orthodox Churches), who have generously donated so much of their treasures from the old parish.
There are so many wonderful and useful items, from Liturgicals to Music to Icons and even Altar Boy robes. Please share our joy in the photos below and keep Fr. George and especially Fiona Gray and Eric Shanburn of FOCUS - Motor City. May God Bless you for all of your hard work in Holy Orthodoxy and for being a hero to our parish group.
We wanted to take a special moment to thank the many generous parishioners of the former St. Nicholas Orthodox Parish of Hobart, Indiana and Fr. Sergei Alexseev and Warden/Cantor Michael Petyo, who have generously donated so much of their treasures from the old parish.
There are so many wonderful and useful items, from Liturgical Funiture to Music to Icons, but the most generous beautiful piece is the gorgeous Iconostas that they disassembled and even brought to us (left). Please share our joy in the photos below and keep the all in your prayers. I am sure that it was a very difficult situation to make these tough decisions, and we appreciate everything you have done for us. May God Bless you for all of your hard work in Holy Orthodoxy and for being a hero to our parish group.
We would like to express our most sincere gratitude to the St. Joseph Caldean Catholic Church in Troy, Michigan, who with love and respect donated 3 beautiful candle stands to our mission parish in July; and a sincere Thank you to the Antypas and Valijan family, for connecting us up with them. Aren't they just so beautiful - Thank you so much!