On Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th of November, His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, paid an archpastoral visit to the Church of Our Lady "Joy of All Who Sorrow" in Cumming (Atlanta), GA. His visit was timed to coincide with celebrations of the parish’s patronal feast day, which had taken place on November 6.
Prior to the start of All-Night Vigil on Saturday evening, His Grace was given a tour of the parish school, where the children are currently studying the Church feast days and learning about icons via a practical, artistic approach. The iconography lessons are focused on the Protection, Iveron, and "Joy of All Who Sorrow" Icons of the Mother of God.
At the evening service, the Eastern American Diocesan vicar was co-served by Archpriest Dimitri Oselinsky (retired; attached to St. Mary of Egypt Church in Roswell (Atlanta), GA) and parish clergy: rector Priest Eugene Antonov and Deacon Anton Kouznetsov. His Grace noted that the difference in number between those in attendance at the start of the service versus those still present at the end. This was true; families with children and certain other parishioners, owing to circumstance, could only stay for a limited time, but it was nevertheless wonderful that they felt the need to be present at Vigil. After the service, the sisterhood offered tea with blintzes and cookies to those who stayed to the end.
On Sunday morning, Bishop Nicholas celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by the above-mentioned clergy, as well as Hieromonk Alexander (Lisnichuk; cleric of St. Mary of Egypt Church). Serving in the altar and singing and reading on the kliros were clerics and acolytes of both Joy of All Who Sorrow and St. Mary of Egypt parishes. The parish choir earned the praise of His Grace and the clergy, and the service was attended by a large gathering of the faithful.
In his sermon on the subject of that Sunday’s Gospel reading, Bishop Nicholas underscored the danger of secularization (becoming accustomed to the world) and becoming like the dwellers of the country of the Gadarenes who, owing to their attachment to worldly cares, rejected their own Savior. His Grace called on believers to always turn to Christ and to the Most Holy Mother of God in search of aid, and to always follow the Gospel.
The service concluded with a procession, and the day wrapped up with all those present being attended to a festal luncheon.