The United States is a nation of immigrants where millions of people from different parts of the world arrive every year for many different reasons.
Recently there has also been internal migration in America from north to south, as well from urban to rural areas.There are many reasons for this, most recently the Covid pandemic. This trend has impacted the Orthodox churches as well. In many major cities the number of parishioners in large churches and cathedrals has declined, creating a need for establishing new parishes outside the metropolitan areas.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, October 3, Archimandrite Alexander, the Vicar of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate of America, announced the creation of a new mission parish. It will be headed by Archpriest Mikhail Gutsul, a clergyman of the Vicariate currently serving at the Cathedral of St. Matrona of Moscow in Miami.
Archimandrite Alexander wished Fr. Mikhail God’s help in his efforts to expand Orthodox Christianity in America, giving him an antimension for the church altar. An antimension is a special sheet signed by the head hierarch of a church (Archbishop Elpidophoros for the Slavic Vicariate) on which the holy communion is consecrated during a Divine Liturgy.