The citizens of Victoria, Texas, are sure getting a lesson in Orthodoxy these past few weeks as the news articles and media coverage continue for the newly constructed All Saints Orthodox Mission. As a follow-up to his sermon preached during the dedication service on March 6th, the Very Rev. Fr. Dimitri has an article published today in the Victoria Advocate outlining the spirituality of Orthodox church architecture.
Fr. Dimitri’s article focuses, as it should, on the spirituality of Orthodox Church architecture. But I can see another secondary effect of a traditionally constructed Orthodox Church – it’s evangelization potential.
I’ve been thinking recently about the many advantages with starting a mission in a smaller community. Victoria has about 65,000 residents (about 115,000 in the greater county area); it’s the county seat and the nexus for shopping, medical care and college education in a 3 or 4 county area. It has only one major newspaper that reaches a multi-county area. Evangelization and advertising efforts are concentrated and not so drowned out by competing media and “every other game in town”. All Saints’ new church, built in a distinctively eastern style has become a source of discussion and interest. Everyone entering Victoria from Highway 87 sees the three-bar cross on a large domed roof and knows it’s a church with something different. If that’s enough to draw the curious visitor inside, thanks be to God. If they stay long enough to experience the Word of God preached and the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, Glory!