A Little about Our Parish

 
 

St. Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a parish of the ancient Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.  Locally, we belong to the Eastern Eparchy (diocese) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA which has its headquarters in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, and are led and served by the archpastor of our Eparchy, His Eminence Archbishop Antony.  Our parish was founded by Ukrainian immigrants and this heritage is revered to this day.  Yet, people of all nationalities are warmly welcomed here.  The Orthodox faith is the unchanged faith of the Apostolic Church, the church of the seven ecumenical councils and, as such, we believe it to be the true Christian faith.  Orthodoxy, alone in Christendom, has not accepted new theological fads or ideas but keeps the teachings of the Apostles and the Church Fathers in a pure and unadulterated form.  Orthodoxy, the “one thing needful”, is the sure road to salvation in Christ Jesus.

The Reverend Anthony Perkins is the current pastor of this parish.  Father Anthony would enjoy meeting you. As you come up to venerate the cross at the end of Liturgy, please introduce yourself.  At the coffee hour, held in the church hall after services, you can get better acquainted with him and our parishioners.  Father Anthony may be contacted by e-mail (father.anthony@yahoo.com) or by telephone for further information or to arrange for a meeting.

The Eucharistic Divine Liturgy is the central act of worship in the Orthodox Church.  Most Sundays, the Liturgy is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. 

In respect to the historic Ukrainian heritage of this parish, on the first Sunday of every month most of the music of the Liturgy is sung in Ukrainian language.  Liturgy books are provided in the pews to help you follow the service in English.  This provides our choir the opportunity to sing unique choral arrangements in the Ukrainian language.  Yet, even on this Sunday, the Epistle, Gospel, sermon, and Communion prayers are always in English.  On the remaining Sundays of the month, the Liturgy is 99% in English so that you may fully understand the prayers and worship.

In this parish, the communal Service of Repentance is scheduled on the first Sunday of the month at 8:30 a.m..  It has scriptural material and litanies arranged to help remind us of the gulf we place between ourselves and God, as well as His immanent desire to transcend it.  It is followed by the individual sacrament of confession and absolution.  Father Anthony is also available to hear confessions ten to fifteen minutes before every Liturgy, on Saturday evenings after Vespers (held at 5:30pm), and by appointment.  If you desire to come to Confession, please sit in the first pew on the right side of the church.

Holy Communion in the Orthodox Church is reserved for Orthodox Christians who have prepared themselves through the Church’s disciplines of prayer and fasting.  Communion is not the means to an end of Christian unity, but is the culmination and celebration when such unity is achieved.  Of course Christ desires that all should come to Him and be fed – if you would like to become a communicant of the Holy Orthodox Church and participate in all of her salvific and sanctifying mysteries, please see Father Anthony!  As we receive the Body and Blood of Christ in Communion, it should not be received casually.  All are required to prepare themselves through the Church’s disciplines of prayer and fasting, supplemented by the purifying sacrament of Confession when needed (at least once a year).  This includes preparatory prayers and – for those whose health would not be put at risk - abstention from food and drink for several hours preceding communion.  

As you enter the church, you may give an offering for vigil (prayer) lights and either light your own in the front of the church or have an usher light them for you. Suggested donations are listed in the vestibule.  The candles are lit as we offer up one another to the Lord in prayer.

During Liturgy, you will note two collections.  The first, which occurs after the sermon, is for vigil lights.  The second, occurring later, is either for the maintenance of our iconography or some announced special purpose.

Join us!  If you would like to make Saint Michael’s your parish home, ask to see a Parish Officer at coffee hour.  They will provide you with additional membership / stewardship information.   If you have enjoyed today’s experience and would like to be added to our mailing list, please leave your name and address to receive special schedule and event information.  Our website is also a good place to keep up to date of services and special events.  We would love to have you as a regular member of our parish.

Parish organizations provide a social aspect to our church life and you are welcome to join. 

Our Choir is a crowning glory of our parish.  The choral excellence always receives high praise by our visitors.  If you sing, please join the ranks of our choir and help amplify the beautiful singing to the Lord Jesus

For those of you with children, please note that this is a child friendly parish!  We like to have children worshipping with us, and the crying of babies is music to our ears.  During the school year, Religious Education classes are provided from nursery thru high school age.  

The Junior Chapter of the Ukrainian Orthodox League provides a venue for our youth under the age of 18.  They sponsor our weekly coffee hour and meet regularly to grow in the Faith.

Our Ladies’ Sodality generally meets monthly after Liturgy on announced dates.  The fruits of their work provide vital funds for the functioning of the parish.  They are known for the tasty food produced in their Ukrainian Kitchen.  For our Parish Picnic in late Summer, during Great Lent, and at other specified times, a full menu of Ukrainian food specialties are on sale.  A great amount of time is entailed in food preparation.  Helpers are always needed.  Won’t you come?

Parishioners are always sought to volunteer to serve on the Parish Council.  This group is responsible for the fiscal management of the parish community.

Our parish does not just look in on itself, but is outward looking.  As our diocese is a member of the
Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America (SCOBA), the national and international institutions of that organization are duly supported.


www.scoba.us


College students will find that Orthodox Christian Fellowships exist on some local campuses.  See Father Anthony to make connections with active campus fellowship groups.

Tragedies, famines, wars, and other disasters occur around the globe and it is the International Orthodox Christian Charities that has an excellent track record for delivering aid to those in need.  Their website tells of the scope of their work.

www.iocc.org

International Orthodox Christian Charities

P.O. Box 630225

Baltimore, Maryland  27263


We have the mandate for spreading the Gospel message of salvation from Jesus Himself, both here in Woonsocket and around the world.  The Orthodox church is actively doing mission work in various parts of the world.  The Orthodox Christian Mission Center has many programs for doing mission work and nurturing local churches.  Several of our parishioners have taken part in international mission work.  For an awakening to the mission possibilities, and how they are addressed by the OCMC, check out their informative website.   

    

www.ocmc.org

Orthodox Christian Mission Center

P.O. Box 4319

St. Augustine, Florida 32085


Our own diocese has an excellent website that has much pertinent information for the enquirer.


www.ukrainianorthodoxchurchusa.org


At the church entrance, please take a copy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Word, which is our diocesan magazine containing many articles of interest.


[This  webpage is based on our welcome brochure]

Interesting facts


Founding Date:

Our church was built in 1941.  It was one of several parishes that our broader Slavic/Ukrainian immigrant community founded in the area over the past 100 years.


Our Music Tradition:

Our music program has always been top notch.  While we no longer have an active men’s bandura chorus, our mixed choir - under the direction of Donna Eichorn, continues to praise the Lord in tremendous fashion.  Our newly trained corps of cantors lead the singing at the smaller services, to include our weekly Vespers and Moleban.   The music we use is a mix of western Ukrainian, Kyivan, and Obikhod melodies, many of which were put into western notation for the first time by past priests (e.g. Fr. Hallick) and parishioners.  Our parish is full of musicians of every age, and our festivals and celebrations take advantage of their talent.  For instance, our youth perform both vocal and instrumental numbers at many of our parish celebrations.


Our Iconography:

We are blessed with traditional iconography on our ceilings, walls, and iconostasis.  In addition to four sets of saints, our walls include murals of the Theophany and of the Baptism of Rus’-Ukraine.  At the far east, directly below Christ enthroned and facing the altar table, is a beautiful icon of the “Hospitality of Abraham”.  A moving icon of the Nativity surrounds the Table/Alcove of Preparation in the altar.  Our stained glass includes traditional Christian themes and, above the choir loft, a fabulous Trizub/Trident/Trinity.


Our Building:

Our temple is built in the traditional arc design, with a narthex at one end and the altar at the other.  Two golden domes adorn the western end of the building, one of which covers our large bell.  This bell figures prominently in many of celebrations.  The combination of gray hewn granite and bright golden domes is a reminder of God’s glory and our call to serve Him and offer Him the very best of what we have.


Our Ladies’ Sodality:

While our parish life centers around worship, we are also very active in service.  Our Ladies’ Sodality works incessantly to support our church and community.  While it is (justifiably) famous throughout the region for its “Ukrainian Kitchens”,  the food is only the most visible aspect of this blessed society.


Education:

We love our faith and always want to learn more and share it with others.  Children and Youth Church School meets each Sunday after Communion.  Our youth group (Jr. UOL) meets at least monthly for movies, discussions, and activities.  We also run regular adult education series throughout the year, and a yearly Vacation Church Camp, “Heritage Days”, in the Summer.


Our Priest:

Fr. Anthony is a dynamic and loving pastor.  He brings with him a real zeal for Christ and a deep love for His people.  A new priest, he prepared for his vocation through 20 years in the Army Reserve, and almost that many as a professional student/academic and researcher.  He and Pani Matushka Tina Marie have been married since 1990.  Pani Tina is an active part of the parish, teaching Church School, chanting, and watching after Fr. Anthony (who is a bit absentminded) and their three children.  Fr. Anthony and Pani Tina met in Georgia and spent their first few years together there.  While they had never even really been in New England before being assigned to St. Michael’s, they love the area and even have roots here: Father’s family (the Perkins) came to New England in the early 17th century and lived here until the end of the Revolutionary War.  At that point, family lore describes how they took advantage of a land grant from President/General Washington to move to upstate New York.  Pani’s maternal grandfather (Warren Rogers) was a Connecticut native.


Father Anthony also maintains a personal website, podcast (iTunes: Orthoanalytika) and blog at:

www.orthoanalytika.org

About St. Michael Ukrainian
Orthodox Church