Libraries have always been the foundation of learning. Books on almost every subject can be found. As well, it is possible to meet people with similar interests. Smaller, rural areas may not have the various volumes found in large cities. Without a major Greek or Russian community, finding people who know about Orthodox Christianity can be difficult if not impossible. But, the light of the ancient faith can be seen now in Deltaville and West Point.
Fr. Adam Sexton, the pastor of St. Andrews in Ashland and the St. Peter & Paul Mission in Culpepper is reaching out to the Northen Neck and Middle Peninsula area to establish another Orthodox community. He is in the Orthodox Church of America jurisdiction while I am Antiochian. Being in full communion with each other, it made sense for us to work together and see what God may have in store for this region. Our next meeting will be Monday, November 7th at 6 pm. We will meet at the Deltaville Library.
Before becoming Heiromonk Alexi, Fr. Paisius Altschul authored a staple of many African-American Orthodox Christians and others involved in the Fellowship of St. Moses the Black. Wade in the River: The Story of the African Christian Faith gives a very descriptive history of Orthodoxy in Africa from the Ethiopian Eunuch (St. Djan Darada) to the Church in Kenya as the nation fought for independence from England after WWII. This book and my Become All Flame: Lent with African Saints are in circulation at the West Point Library. Other titles are soon to come and at other branches as well.
I have made a home at the West Point Library as the community room has become my virtual classroom. I’m there teaching Early African Christianity for the St. Athanasius Academy. If this goes well, if God wills, I will offer this class and meetings to the general public. Who knows what an Orthodox ministry in this region will look like? God does. My job is to move according to the Holy Spirit and see what develops.