Building on the foundations of our original status as an Orthodox mission, Saint Joseph of Optina Russian Orthodox Church continues the traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church from our parish in Virginia. With the blessings of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York and the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, our parish represents the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in the Hampton Roads region.
Our congregation began as an Orthodox Mission when Father Seraphim Stephens and his wife Matushka Zenobia opened the doors of the first Russian Orthodox Church in Hampton Roads, Virginia almost three decades ago. From our humble beginnings as Saint Ignatius the God-Bearer, the church has moved locations, changed our name, and we have grown from our orignial status as a mission. Father Seraphim continues to perform the Divine Liturgy and Matushka Zenobia continues to lead our Sisterhood, but as our community has continued to grow, so has our story.
After two decades of service in the name of the Lord, Father Seraphim Stephens asked for and received the assistance of Father Richard Reed who became the Rector of Saint Joseph of Optina Russian Orthodox Church at our location on Kempsville Road in Virginia Beach. Father Richard and Matushka Mary faithfully served our community of Orthodox Christians for many years before hearing the Lord's calling and moving on to continue his studies and practice of Orthodoxy. We are thankful to Father Reed for his years of service to our parish and faithful practice of the Orthodox faith in all of his travels.
To better serve the needs of our congregation, our parish asked for the assistance of the Metropolitan and the Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia which has assisted us in locating a priest fluent in the Russian language. To be able to provide church services in Church Slavonic to our community of Orthodox Christians, Father Sergiy Kosov answered our prayers accepting the position as Rector at Saint Joseph of Optina Russian Orthodox Church. Father Sergiy and Matushka Elena have relocated their family to the United States in the service of the Lord and we invite everyone in our community to support them as they continue to learn the English language and become familiar with the local area.
We are honoured by the service of Father Sergiy and the sacrifice of his family and their children. Thanks to their guidance and sacrifice, we are now able to provide a Russian Orthodox Sunday School at Saint Joseph of Optina Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox Christians of our parish are blessed to have two priests serving our community at this time offering church services in a combination of English and Church Slavonic.
Visitors are invited to attend services at our church and to take the first steps into the Orthodox tradition with us. Join us as we continue to grow, we welcome you to join us for the experience of a Divine Liturgy in the Russian Orthodox tradition or to attend any of our scheduled church services or events. As we continue to write the next page in the story of the Saint Joseph of Optina Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Christian community in Hampton Roads, we look forward to sharing our faith in the Lord with you. With our continued determination and sacrifice in the name of the Lord, we pray for the ability to construct the first Russian Orthodox Church in Southeastern Virginia.
Русская Православная Церковь Святого Иосифа Оптинского, Русская Православная Церковь Заграницей