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Church of the Redeemer Hosts Sunday of Orthodoxy in Northern California - 02/25/2007

Los Altos Hills, California

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The Antiochian Orthodox Church of the Redeemer hosted Orthodoxy Sunday in the San Francisco Bay Area. His Eminence, Metropolitan GERASIMOS of the Greek Archdiocese and His Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN of the Orthodox Church in America presided over the service. Father Samer Youssef welcomed the bishops and clergy from all the jurisdictions. People from the various churches in the area attended the service. It was estimated that about 400 hundred people attended the service. The choir was made up of members from various jurisdictions and were all under the direction of Nancy Bitar Godfrey. They sang Byzantine and Russian hymns in English with such spirit and beauty. The chanters chanted Byzantine hymns in English with a little Arabic and Greek thrown in for flavor.

His Eminence ended the evening with an inspiring sermon about the many varied styles of iconography we have in Orthodoxy. He then likened the various styles of iconography to the diversity we find in our various Orthodox traditions. But he said in our diversity we are unified as one Orthodox Church. Father Samer asked that a collection be taken for IOCC to further bind us together as brothers and sisters in order that we might help those in need around the world. The ladies of Church of the Redeemer graciously served a delicious Arabic Lenten meal to all who attended. The evening was sweet moment for Father Samer Youssef and the members of Antiochian Orthodox Church of the Redeemer to remind the parish of the victory over evil they have won through love in the aftermath of the fire that destroyed their parish five years ago.

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