With the blessing of His Eminence Hilarion Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, a new church building is being built in Cross Keys, Virginia. Dedicated to the Holy Myrrh-Bearing Women, it will serve the cities of the Shenandoah Valley including Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro and the counties surrounding them.
The community purchased 7.9 acres just outside of town and have started to build His church. Ground was broken with the blessing of Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, accompanied by the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign,” on September 14, 2020, on the day of the Church New Year. Bishop Nicholas quenched the dry ground with holy water to make this dirt rich in spiritual fruit. His Grace then drove a shovel blade deep into the soil and blessed the new foundation of the church. On October 6, the excavators moved in and started to carve the new church out of the rich farmland.
The parish, under the rectorship of Priest Gabriel Weller, is currently worshipping in a rented space in Harrisonburg, but is being encouraged to vacate this property as the city continues to enforce new stricter building codes. The Holy Myrrhbearers Mission was started in 2014 by Archpriest John Moses and has continued to grow in attendance and spirituality. It is presently a small group of believers needing to raise $400,000 to finish this new ROCOR church building in the fertile Valley of Virginia.
Fr Gabriel humbly asks for financial help, as they cannot accomplish this enormous task without the loving donations of ROCOR members. In his words, donors will in their own way be “myrrh-bearers” themselves.
Donations can be sent to: Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Church, P.O. Box 2032, Harrisonburg, VA 22801