Greeks offering Romanian service
- 2005.04.29 The State: Holy Trinity Church to welcome second priest
The State - Columbia, SC Posted on Fri, Apr. 29, 2005
Holy Trinity Church to welcome second priest
New pastor to help with growing membership, expanding liturgical needs
By CHRISTINA LEE KNAUSS
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in downtown Columbia recently observed a
For the first time, regional patriarchs in the Greek Orthodox Church have
approved a second full-time priest to serve in a pastoral capacity at the
church, with a membership of about 500 families.
The Rev. Yanni Vernikos will be ordained as a priest on May 8 during
worship services at the church on Sumter Street.
Metropolitan Alexios of the Archdiocese of Atlanta will officiate at the
Vernikos, who was born to Greek parents in Ethiopia, was ordained as a
deacon recently in Charlotte. Once he is ordained as a priest, he will
assist the Rev. Aris Metrakos, the church's pastor.
Metrakos celebrated his 10th year as pastor at Holy Trinity in early
December. Since beginning work at the church in 1994, he has seen the
number of families grow steadily and also has seen changes in the
liturgical needs the church is asked to fill.
He said there were two reasons why Metropolitan Alexios, the regional
bishop governing Holy Trinity and other area Greek Orthodox churches,
created another full-time clergy position at the church.
"A second priest position has been opened here because of our growth and
because the bishop wants to use Columbia as a place for newly ordained
priests to get assimilated to the priesthood before moving on to churches
of their own," Metrakos said.
Metrakos said Vernikos will likely be at Holy Trinity for at least 18 months.
While in Columbia, he will help serve a congregation that has grown in
recent years because of both an influx of new Greek-American members and
other Orthodox Christians moving into the area, Metrakos said.
Along with its regular worship services, he said the church has also
recently begun offering a monthly worship service in Romanian.
"We have an interesting subpopulation of Romanian teachers who have come to
South Carolina to teach and live within two hours of Columbia," Metrakos
said. "We wanted to offer them a specific liturgy in Romanian."
New members have also come to Holy Trinity in recent years from a wide
variety of religious backgrounds, ranging from Roman Catholic to mainline
Protestant, Metrakos said.
Holy Trinity is probably best known in the Columbia area for its annual
Greek Festival. The festival, in September, has been held for 18 years and
regularly attracts several thousand visitors.
Metrakos said one of his main goals now will be to expand the church's
liturgical offerings. Currently, besides weekly worship services, Holy
Trinity offers a Tuesday morning breakfast and prayer group.
Metrakos also works with the Orthodox Student Fellowship, a group of
Orthodox Christians based on the University of South Carolina campus.
Reach Knauss at (803) 771-8507 or cknauss@....
� 2005 The State and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
Nina Tkachuk Dimas
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