Fr. Steven led a parish retreat at St. Innocent Church, Macon, Georgia, on Saturday, April 9th. The focus of the retreat was: "The Parish Community: Our Life in Christ." Fr. Steven prepared parish feedback sent to him in advance on various aspects of parish life using an approached he developed, while previously serving as a mission parish pastor, from materials originally prepared on this topic by Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko. Fr. Steven initially shared the results with all attending the retreat, and then facilitated a discussion where those present offered very heartfelt reflections and thoughts related to parish life. Later he reviewed some material from St. Innocent's Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven. The faithful perceive their calling to follow St. Innocent, their patron saint, in his evangelization of and ministry to the Native Aleut and Tlingit peoples in Alaska, by offering the same presence and ministry to those residing in the greater Macon community.
Fr. Steven concelebrated with Fr. Theophan Buck (STS Class of 2010) at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. St. Innocent Church, as a mission parish, with their pastor of now over five years, is making remarkable progress, and this retreat is only part of the ongoing work within the community to foster healthy and robust parish life and ministry. Fr. Steven had opportunity to meet and talk with many of the core members that began this mission, and who continue to inspire others to get involved by offering their gifts and talents. May God bless the pastor and faithful of St. Innocent Church!