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SPRINGFIELD, MO -- September 24, 2012 -- With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Matthias, Deacon Joel Wilson, a recent graduate of Saint Tikhon's Seminary, South Canaan, PA, is working to inform the public of an effort to establish an Orthodox mission in Rolla, MO and to invite them to join the effort in whatever way they are able.
 
"We're Working to Bring Ancient Christianity to Rolla, MO" is the opening caption that can be seen on the homepage of the new web site, orthodoxyinrolla.org.
 
"Rolla is about a two hour drive from the closest Orthodox parish of any jurisdiction and we'd like to change that," said Deacon Joel. "We realize that we can't do this alone and we're hoping this web site will be a means of keeping the Church informed of the mission's progress while also providing a way for people to participate in the ministry in whatever way they feel led."
 
Rolla is just off I-44 in south-central Missouri at the northernmost part of the Ozark Mountains. With a small-town feel, the city is well-established and growing with the presence of Missouri University of Science and Technology. The US Geological Survey has a large regional facility and the headquarters of the Mark Twain National Forest is also in Rolla. It is also only a 25 minute drive from a nearby Army base, Fort Leonard Wood.
 
With the help of Priest Andrew Moore and the parish of Saint Thomas the Apostle in Springfield, MO, Deacon Joel and his family are taking the initial steps to move toward planting a mission in Rolla within the next two years. A handful of Orthodox Christians have already been identified in the Rolla area and various donations have been given toward the effort. Additionally, six ways to get involved are now outlined on the new website. To learn more, visit orthodoxyinrolla.org.
 
Deacon Joel may be contacted at deacon@saintthomasoca.org; 417-413-1413.

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