• For users new and old: the forum rules were streamlined when we transitioned to the new software. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. Continued use of the forum means that you (a) know the rules, and (b) pledge that you'll abide by them. For more information, check out the OrthodoxChristianity.Net Rules section. (There are only 2 threads there - Rules, and Administrative Structure.)

Storefront church in Hill District is Orthodox yet unconventional

RaphaCam

Patriarch of Trashposting
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
8,736
Reaction score
147
Points
63
Age
23
Location
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Website
em-espirito-e-em-verdade.blogspot.com
Father Abernathy is a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq War and a convert to Orthodoxy. He drew on his own experience recovering from post-traumatic stress to create FOCUS Pittsburgh, seeking to help the Hill District and other neighborhoods respond to the community-wide trauma of violent crime, poverty and inequality. [...]

Father Abernathy, 39, with close-cropped hair and a short goatee, speaks in a voice that mingles a military-like crispness with a pastoral warmth.

“This is a very deep expression of the Orthodox faith in action,” Father Abernathy added.  “Even our approach to community development is heavily informed by our experience of the Eucharist,” a quest to bring wholeness and holiness to the world. [...]

Many of the staff and volunteers have professional training in their fields.

“We have taken the knowledge of the world, we baptize it and use it in service to God,” he said.

For the first few years, he and a small group would ride by van to liturgy at St. George in Bridgeville.

“We were very clear we would only establish a church here if the people wanted a church here,” he said.

That happened in 2016 with the launch of St. Moses the Black Church, after Father Abernathy had married and was later ordained. He and his wife, Kristina, have a 16-month-old son. [...]

“There are people coming here mentally ill, homeless, people whose kids got killed or shot,” she said. “There’s a lot going on here beyond getting free clothes.”

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/faith-religion/2018/12/24/Black-Orthodox-St-Moses-Centre-Paul-Abernathy-FOCUS-Pittsburgh/stories/201812190161?fbclid=IwAR1SKEluZ6BYG6YhMO74ZO5afC1TcGjS6N_Hny7Gv60OMsGyc6ZqEnmfT_0
 

rakovsky

Toumarches
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
12,137
Reaction score
45
Points
48
Location
USA
Website
rakovskii.livejournal.com
Back when I was a student in that city about 10-20 years ago, there was a nice but near dead old St Michael's OCA church on the edge of that Hill District and downtown. It was a kind if semi abandoned part of the neighborhood except for residences. At the time, the OCA priest in the South Side was talking about buying properties around there and turning it into a complex that would care for people like the poor as well as gave a church or chapel. At the time, the idea of Orthodoxy expanding into that area felt like pie in the sky.
 
Top