"America's Best Kept Secret"
Do you know that there are some 300 million Orthodox Christians in the world today and more than 5 million right here in the United States?
It’s the second largest body in all of Christendom. Yet in spite of its size, relatively few Americans are aware of the Orthodox Church. It’s been called America’s “best kept secret.”
What is the Orthodox Church?
The Orthodox Church began on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles. It was the apostles Peter and Paul in particular who established the Church in many of the major cities throughout the Mediterranean world: Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and Rome. Those churches never ceased to exist and today are collectively known as the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Many are surprised to learn that for the first 1000 years of Church history, there was just one Church. In the 11th century a disastrous split occurred, resulting in the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman Catholic) Churches separating from one another.
During the centuries that followed, missionary priests took the Orthodox Faith into Slavic lands and throughout the known world arriving in America in 1794 when monks from Russia brought the Orthodox Faith to Alaska.
Today, particularly with the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, Orthodoxy is gaining greater attention in the West.
Many names have been used throughout the centuries to describe this church: Eastern, Orthodox, Greek, Russian, Serbian, One – Holy – Catholic and Apostolic. These names add to an understanding of its history and doctrines. However, the Church is perhaps best understood simply as the Orthodox Church. The word Orthodox means “correct belief” and indicates the Church’s conviction that it has believed and worshiped correctly for over 2000 years according to apostolic tradition.
St. Brendan is a Mission within the Orthodox Church in America. It formerly met in Longview, Washington but relocated to Astoria 2011. We meet at the historic Finish church at 820 Alameda. Great Vespers (Saturday evening) and Liturgy (Sunday) are served on the first and third Sundays of each month by Fr Kevin Lien, our Priest in Charge. A Reader’s Vespers (Saturday night) and Typica (Sunday, without a priest) are served on the second Sunday of each month. All are welcome!