St. Elias Church's 50th Anniversary - 10/15/16
On October 15, 1966, the founders of St. Elias Eastern Orthodox Church in Battle Creek, MI, celebrated their first Divine Liturgy. Fifty years later, to the day, on Saturday, October 15, 2016, the small, but vibrant parish of St. Elias gathered to celebrate their Golden Anniversary. It is wonderful that God granted many of the founders and other decades-long parishioners - many of whom are in their 80's and 90's - to be present. A large group of parishioners and friends of the parish, joined their bishop, His Grace Bishop John, St. Elias' Pastor, Archpriest Lawrence Bacik and the Dean of the Central States Deanery, Mitered Archpriest Roman Star, plus 10 other priests of various jurisdictions, (including Moscow Patriarchal Parishes, OCA, Romanian, Antiochian and ROCOR), to concelebrate the festive Hierarchal Divine Liturgy. They were assisted by two deacons, one subdeacon and a number of altar servers from various parishes. An excellent choir of singers from Metro-Detroit, conducted by Elizabeth Star Hatfield, greatly enhanced the prayerful and spiritually-uplifting celebration by beautifully singing the responses.
His Grace, Bishop John honored many parishioners with Bishop's Gramotas for their great devotion and work for Christ and His Holy Church, and for 30-40-50-55-60-65 years of marriage. Many of these Gramotas were long-over-due for people in their 70's, 80's and 90's.
After the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, cross-procession around the church, awarding of gramotas, group photos, and refreshments in the church hall, a wonderful gala banquet was held at the Battle Creek Country Club, followed by ethnic line-dancing to the live music of the Blue-Tones ensemble from Canada.
In the words of the Pastor, "St. Elias' Golden Anniversary was indeed a truly inspiring and memorable occasion!"