UOC of the USA Establishes New Mission: St. George Community in Alamogordo area, New Mexico
УПЦ США Відкрила Нову Місійну Громаду Святого Юрія в околиці місті Аламоґордо, штат Нова Мексика
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA formally established a new community - St. George Orthodox Mission, located at 532 Laborcita Canyon Rd, La Luz NM (southern NM). The mission, which is just outside of Alamogordo, celebrated its first formal service with the baptism of four catechumens on June 6, 2020, the Eve of Pentecost. The mission has been meeting informally for Vespers since last Fall in the home of Deacon Theodore Brinegar.
The mission is an outgrowth of St. Anthony of the Desert Orthodox Mission in Las Cruces, NM (80 Miles away). The mission will serve the Alamogordo, Holloman AFB, and surrounding communities of the Tularosa Basin and Sacramento Mountains. Deacon Theodore Brinegar and his family are currently hosting the mission at their home. As they have already outgrown their living room, the St. George community, along with help from the St. Anthony community and members of the Alamogordo community, have built a greenhouse chapel in which to grow the parish until they can build a more permanent temple.
Upon formal reception of Deacon Theodore into the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA from OCA in 2019, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel gave a blessing for the exploratory steps and feasibility study of the new mission community under the omophorion of the Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA.
Very Rev. Fr. Gabriel Rochelle, pastor of St. Anthony of the Desert Ukrainian Orthodox Mission in Las Cruces, NM, provides priestly services for the mission, while Deacon Theodore cares for the day-to-day administrative and pastoral needs of the newly established community.
Deacon Theodore states, "The mission has been in our hearts and prayers for many years. We desire to serve this community and to raise our children with a fuller liturgical life, so we are immensely grateful to God for this opportunity." Deacon Theodore and his wife, Pani Elizabeth, have 5 children. During the day, Deacon Theodore works at Holloman Air Force Base as the Suicide and Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinator. He continues, "The surrounding community is a ripe field ready for harvest, as evidenced by our first formal service being the baptism of four adult catechumens."
The Mission can be found on Facebook at “Orthodoxy in Alamogordo.” Currently they are serving Great Vespers each Saturday at 6:30 PM. Deacon Theodore can be contacted at email@example.com or (575)491-8116.