On Saturday May 2, 2015, a prayer service and fundraiser banquet was held to raise funds for the construction of a church to house the Iveron-Hawaiian Myrrh-streaming Icon of the Mother of God on the Hawaiian Islands.
The fundraising event was a pan-Orthodox endeavor bringing together priests and laity from all Orthodox jurisdictions in the Bay Area. The Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross in Belmont, CA, opened its doors to provide a venue and the parish’s Rector, Reverend Peter Salmas, and his parishioners where the hosts.
Orthodox Americans, Arabs, Greeks, Romanians, Russians and Serbs, both clergy and laity, gathered together in prayer, under the leadership of their priests the large church filled nearly to capacity. After a Russian-style molebin, Father Peter invited the faithful to approach and venerate the icon and be anointed by the priests with the miraculous myrrh.
When the veneration had been completed, the clergy processed with the icon to the parish’s banquet hall which had been prepared for 300 guests. Two slide shows presented the Iveron-Hawaiian Icon’s holy sojourns to the country of Georgia and to Alaska. At the end of the banquet talks were given explaining the great value and importance that the Holy Mother of God has in our lives and how She works through Her holy icon. Priest Dimitri Jackimowicz, Rector of Saint Herman of Alaska Church in Sunnyvale, CA (ROCOR), spoke of the sojourn in Alaska and Reader Nektarios, Guardian of the Icon, spoke on the history of the Holy Icon’s appearance and his commission through our Ruling Bishop, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill, to perform a ministry to the Orthodox Church through this miraculous image.
Many thanks to the inspired organizers of this first fundraiser, who have undertaken such a monumental task of constructing a church in the Western American Diocese on the Island of Oahu, HI. Many thanks to Father Peter Salmas and his community for opening their doors and hosting this event. Generous donors covered the food and catering of the banquet to maximize the profits for this construction project. And the fundraiser banquet brought in over $36,000.00.
More information on this initiative and means for making donations can be found here.