Holy Apostles Mission in Bowling Green, Kentucky has received heavy damage to its mission chapel from the recent flooding in the region. No further services are planned in the current location. Weekly Bible studies and Vespers on Saturday evening will be held in members' homes.The Mission is currently working to secure a new location for services.
Reader Thomas Kevin Burt writes:
Thanks be to God; we were able to save with NO DAMAGE ALL of our icons, liturgical items, acolyte robes, furniture, etc. The flood waited until just after Liturgy, and yet before we all left, so the timing was perfect. Everything and everyone is safe, and we were no longer under any lease contract, so we are free to go through this door into whatever God has in store for us!
We put a lot of work into this Mission.... all the work was done by our small group of people. However, we are learning that this flood changes nothing. Our service then was to God, not for ourselves, so we cannot view this is "our loss." Our Mission grew by 100% or more over the last 18 months, and we are all excited to transition into new possibilities.
I don't know if anyone thought to take pictures in the rush to pump out water and save icons, etc. If we could take a picture of the odor, that would tell the real story!
Thank you again. Please send our love and respectful appreciation to His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP. In the past 2 years, we've seen a small group of Americans, Greeks, Serbians, and Lebanese bond together very tightly to begin this Mission. We are all resolved more than ever to continue Christ's work in our city. We are most thankful for the oversight of His Eminence, Bp MARK, and both Fr. Alexander Atty and Fr. Robert Sanford for the tremendous pastoral care they have all faithfully shown to us.
Bishop MARK writes:
Holy Apostles was founded in the spring of 2008. You may read more about this vibrant mission and view photos of their prior labors just a short time ago to transform their rental property into a place of worship at http://www.holyapostlesbg.org/photos.html. Sadly, the fruit of their previous labors is gone, with the exception of those who have embraced the faith through their faith. They will now begin the search for a new place of worship. Given the tremendous financial loss for a small community, I ask your support for the work of Holy Apostles Mission. Just last week we were discussing the possibility of assigning their first priest to the mission and now they must also retain a new place of worship as well.
Reader Thomas Kevin Burt writes further:
First, thanks to so many who have helped in various ways, from knowledgeable information on how to proceed, to strong backs, to prayer, to trailers and trucks, to bringing food for others, to sending out encouraging e-mails, etc.
I do not think the restoration of the Mission is feasible at this point. Several have looked it over and I believe feel the same way. We have carpet that is already suffering, multiple damaged drywall sections, and the altar subflooring is quite wet and would have to be torn out. It is likely that the only way to adequately cleanse the Mission would be to gut it, or at least most of it, and go through a lengthy and costly disinfecting process. THEN rebuilding it all.
Almost everything is out of the Mission. We'll need to get the two long folding tables (on which we normally put food), the refrigerator, the chandelier, and perhaps a few other odds and ends. But everything that could be damaged is safely out. If anyone wants to get their fans, let me know. I'll bring them back to the house so you don't have to go into the mission to get them.
I would recommend not going to see the Mission. The smell is extremely noxious, and I suspect there are likely many germs growing in the building, as well as the possibility of harmful mold.
Bishop MARK called tonight, and encouraged us to move forward looking for a new space (both he and Fr. Bob agree that we should leave our current location rather than rebuild). At His Grace's recommendation, we will also be contacting several other churches in town to inquire about possible rental/use of their extra facilities.
The urgent need is simply a place to hold Liturgies in the next few weeks. But, we need to also find something to be more "permanent." I think we all feel agreed in also finding something less prone to problems (flooding, AC malfunctions, heating malfunctions, etc.). It would also be very nice to have an actual kitchen area with sinks and a better bathroom facility.
Feel free to be looking online and in the papers. Bishop MARK will be in contact with us to see how things are going.
....I sense that the "sad stage" over this was very brief, and that many of you are expressing excitement and hope and faith in what God will bring about through this "misfortune. In all things, God works for good for those who love Him. Pray for one another to trust Him, to cling to one another, to work together.
Sunday, we lost the building. We gained four new catechumens. I told Fr. Alexander that I thought this was a very good trade on our part. Like Wes said, we, our children, our catechumens, our inquirers.... are the future of the church here. Glory be to God, who allows us these times to be reminded of the core truths of our Faith.
Thanks again, everyone.
Christ is Risen!
Rdr Thomas Kevin
Until further notices, please contact Kevin Burt (270-791-8639 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on weekly services, events, and locations.
This mission is dear to our heart. It began after I left Bowling Green for Bloomington, but it is full of dear friends. Reader Kevin and his wife were Chelsea and I's koumbaro/koumbara and some of our best friends. Please pray or provide some monetary help!