Altar Feast for Christ the Saviour in Winkler, MB

August 16, 2023

Although the Christ the Saviour in Winkler has been serving at various locations for the last few months (as they are without a space of their own) their desire to serve the Lord has not been quenched. This desire of theirs was manifested in the celebration of the festal Vespers for their Altar feast (Icon not made by hands). A local Protestant church was secured to serve at, and clergy and faithful from other Orthodox churches joined them for the evening of thanksgiving. Attending the service was the Archpriest Gregory Scratch (priest in charge of the Mission), Archpriest Anthony Esterbooks (Holy Trinity Sobor, Winnipeg), the Igumen Vladimir (Lysak) (St George's ROEA, Winnipeg) and Priest William Rettig (Holy Resurrection / St Nicholas, Fargo, ND).

Father William and his family's participation in this feast was truly a blessing. Although Fargo, ND is only a little further away from Winkler than Winnipeg, the fact that it is in another country, another diocese, with different bishop, made their presence all the more wonderful, as it manifested the unity of our faith and Church that stretches across this continent. Indeed on the surface this might all seem insignificant, after all it is only a little further than Winnipeg, and the same language is used to commemorate the same primate (Metropolitan Tikhon), but on a deeper level, it is the kind of encouragement that helps a mission understand that they are part of something beyond Manitoba, indeed part of the universal church.

Fr William gave a beautiful homily (while holding his young son) about the iconographic tradition of this feast, and its profound importance for our witness of Orthodoxy, and following the service, a bountiful feast of traditional Mennonite food was shared.

May the Lord continue to bless this understanding of the Body of Christ - The Church - as being truly something bigger than is often experienced; and may the Lord continue to bless the members of the Christ the Saviour Mission in their witness of God's saving love throughout the Pembina Valley.