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After a year of fruitful ministry to the small mission parish of St. George here in Prescott, Presbytera Denise and I come to Arizona by way of the Assumption Cathedral of Denver where, for 11 years it was my privilege to serve the faithful there, the first five years of which as the Assistant Priest to two Cathedral Proiestamenoi, and the final six years as the Dean of the Cathedral. As you may imagine, it was my blessing to benefit greatly by the sage pastoral wisdom of His Eminence, Isaiah, during my tenure in Denver.
My pastoral journey over the years has taken me to a number of memorable places and has provided a fertile seedbed in which the seeds of ministry God placed in me as a child could grow and mature; from street preaching as a teenager in Indianapolis, forming a very successful Contemporary Christian band in the early 1980’s, serving as a deacon and as a Youth Minister in my parish before entering Holy Orthodoxy, and once taken into the embrace of the Orthodox Church, serving variously as a Psalti, briefly as a choir director, Parish Council Vice-President, Adult Catechist, Sunday School Teacher, Diocese Youth Director under Bp. Basil Essey of Wichita in the Antiochian Orthodox Church, and finally as a Deacon for 15 months at St. John the Baptist GOC in Omaha, NE before being ordained to the ranks of the priesthood and sent to Denver.
Youth Ministry has consumed a tremendous amount of my energies as a priest and I have been blessed to serve the Denver and San Francisco Metropolises and the Archdiocese in a host of pastoral settings; trips to Greece and Guatemala and LA’s Skid Row with OCF on Real Break Mission excursions, to Greece again in ’04 and ’05 as the Papa for Ionian Village, at Camp Emanuel and, for the first time this year, at All Saints Camp here in Prescott, along with innumerable meetings, retreats, service projects, and outings with the GOYA, OCF, Joy, and Hope children.
Our four children are pursuing their own academic and professional goals in Germany, Washington DC, Colorado and Iowa. We miss them terribly but take some solace in knowing that they are following the path God has laid out for each of them. And now Denise and I enter into this new experience of the “empty nest” and pray that Christ will give us the grace to walk this new path as well.
Presbytera Denise and I are very grateful to be part of this parish family.