Our Church building is housed in what used to be the granary--the oldest building on our small farm. Thirty years ago our Bishop and his monks came and built us a beautiful Church. In three weeks, and with $3000, they put new walls inside and wood siding outside so that the old building was sandwiched inside a totally new structure. They used the rest of the money to furnish the Church and as they were coming to the end of the three weeks they found that they were running out of money. Then an envelope appeared in the mail. It contained a check for $1000 with the words, "Heard you were building a Church, wanted to help" No one recognized the name, but later they did meet our generous benefactor when he showed up at their monastery. With that money they finished the Church and the interior. At the time our Bishop told us, "We built you a Church, it is up to you to make it holy." It was small, but so was our congregation. Many people came and went over the years, but our core of parishioners remained small.
Our children grew up, got married, and started having children of their own. More people came, and suddenly our Church was bursting at the seams. About 15 years ago we began adding to the Church because it was getting truly claustrophobic inside. First we expanded on one side to give more room to the choir. The next year we took down the windmill, broke through the back wall, and doubled the space for the congregation to stand. It is now a reasonably roomy Temple with a Mother's Room and a Storage Room. It is cozy and beautiful, and people that come are touched by its holiness and warmth.
We have a core group now of about 25 parishioners, sometimes more, sometimes less. We live in a very rural area, although there has been an Orthodox presence here for some 40 years....even before we came. We have often thought that God brought all these folks together for a reason. We don't know what it is, but the love and caring and dedication here is something that we all cherish.