The New England Patriots and the Eastern Orthodox Church are planning a baptism ritual that will mark the end of a long and painful journey.
The church’s church, which began as a Greek Orthodox congregation in Boston in the 1970s, is located in Bellevue, Washington.
The denomination has grown from a small congregation in Massachusetts in the 1950s to about 1,400 members in the last decade.
The process began in February with the baptism of the parishioners of Bellevue’s First Baptist Church, a small Orthodox congregation.
It’s a rite that is more common in Orthodoxy and other Orthodox denominations.
“I think this is the first time in the history of the church that the church will do it,” Rev. Joseph Stavros, pastor of First Baptist in Bellevues, said in a phone interview.
“The church is a small church, so we didn’t have to hire a lot of people.
We did what we had to do.”
Stavros said he chose to baptize all the parishions because of the proximity to the airport, where most of the worship is held.
He said the process began the day after the Patriots played the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 1.
“It’s going to be a very special day for all the church members, both the baptized and those that haven’t been baptized yet,” he said.
A New England iconA new statue of a man in a white hat, a blue jacket and a white robe has been placed in the center of the Bellevues Cathedral.
The statue, created by the city of Bellevue’s Historical Society, will be erected at the cathedral on Jan., 30.
The statue was commissioned by the Rev. Stephen Siegel, the cathedral’s pastor.
Siegel said the statue, made from wood and bronze, was inspired by the late Rev. George Fox, the church’s first pastor.
The memorial was built in honor of Fox’s life, Siegel said.
The Rev. Paul Sorensen, the founder of Bellegue’s Bellevuis Orthodox Christian Community, said the church and the statue were designed to honor the Revs.
Fox and Fox family.
“When the statue is up, it’s going up in a very good way for the church,” he told ESPN.com.
“It’s not just a tribute to the Rev., it’s a tribute of the Rev.”
Sorenseng said he believes the statue will become a symbol of the community, and the church may even get a national stamp of approval.
“We think the statue’s going do something for the community and help to show people that the Rev George Fox was a hero,” he added.
Stavres, who is also the church director, said he’s planning a large gathering to celebrate the statue.
He’s not sure when the event will be held.
“Maybe next weekend,” he joked.
Bellevue, which is about a 20-minute drive north of Seattle, has been struggling with the economic downturn.
The city has seen a drop in population and an increase in the number of businesses and schools in recent years.
Stavres said he hopes to have a more stable economy than the one that followed the Great Recession.
Sorentsen said he was inspired to start the Belleguis community because of a letter he read in a church newsletter, which read, “There is nothing worse than a man that has gone down the wrong path.
When a man does not learn from his mistakes, the consequences are much greater.”
Stamens, the Revd. Paul N. O’Neill, the current church director and the Rev J.H. Brown, the congregation’s president, attended the ceremony.
Brown said the experience was “very touching” for all of the congregation.
The ceremony, held in a private chapel, included a blessing from the Rev Joseph Smith, the former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and prayers from church members.
Brown also noted that the statue was made from local wood and the sanctuary was made of local stone.
“For me personally, this was a very spiritual experience,” Stavre said.
“We are all here because of what Fox did for our church.
It made us want to be like him and do the same thing.”