St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

St. George Church Celebrates Fifty-Fifth Anniversary
November 1, 2009

Fifty-five years ago parishioners of the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church experienced the joy of worshipping in their own parish church for the first time. The St. George Church has served the parish very well.

Every year the parishioners gather to celebrate the Anniversary of the Consecration. Prayers are offered for living and departed members of the parish. An anniversary banquet and program are held.

Settled in Greene County in rural Southwestern Pennsylvania on the border of Fayette County and very near the West Virginia border, the St. George Church draws parishioners from surrounding areas including Washington County.

Most parishioners must drive a distance to attend the Divine services. At least one parishioner drives one hundred and twenty five miles each way and times she is joined by another couple living near her.

The Anniversary is one of the highlights of the year in the parish. Friends of the parish make it a point to attend the anniversary banquet and program.

When the mines and mills were working well and economic conditions were much better, St. George Church had a much larger active congregation attending the Divine services. Children and adults abounded to a much greater degree.

With the decline of the steel industry and the increased use of machines to mine coal, employment conditions changed. Many young men and women from St. George Church moved away for college and better jobs.

Priests coming to the parish through the years and parishioners remaining faithful to St. George Church, by the grace and blessings of God, have kept the parish active and meetings the needs of the faithful.

St. George Church is blessed with not only faithful parishioners but friends also interested in the parish. Improvements continue to be made to St. George Church. New members including children are added blessings for the parish.

The list of departed members read each year on the Anniversary continues to increase with the passage of time. The St. George Cemetery located on the church grounds records the number of graves of faithful parishioners growing each year.

Counties to the north and south of Greene County appear to be growing and some growth is taking place in Fayette and Greene Counties. Eventually, the population should increase and hopefully bring more people interested in attending the St. George Church.

The parish continues to reach out to the nearby communities through the radio, internet and newspaper. A full weekly schedule of Divine services, church school classes and parish activities are available throughout the year.

This year's Anniversary celebration was held on a recent Sunday. Beginning with former priest, Father Djokan Majstorovic for the past twelve years, the Anniversary program and banquet following the Divine Liturgy have been held at Dolfi's Restaurant in nearby Masontown.

Executive Board President Stan Brozik spoke at the banquet about the importance of supporting the St. George Church. Executive Board Vice-President Mildred Bezjak described the parish adult education classes and invited attendees of the banquet to experience the classes.

Sonia Janson, Choir and Kolo President, spoke in behalf of these two vital organizations which contribute continually to the life of the parish. Parish Nurse Practitioner created an original poem describing milestone happenings in the parish.

Attorney Linda Chambers spoke of the Christian backgrounds and interests of the founders of this nation's Declaration of Independence. Attorney Chambers did extensive research regarding the Declaration of Independence to speak with authority about the references to God in the founding document.

Attorney Chambers spoke last year about the freedom of religion afforded by the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. This year she added to the context with the talk on the Declaration of Independence.

Parishioners need to know the legal foundation and background of religious freedom in this nation in which the St. George Church is located. Attorney Linda Chambers' talks provide that context in very understandable terms.

During the Anniversary program, Dr. Radoslav Dimitric, Dr. Ivko Dimitric and Aaron Carson read several writings by St. Nikolai (Velimirovic) on God's Holy Church.

Father Rodney Torbic thanked the Executive Board for providing stability and leadership in the parish. All of the program speakers thanked the attendees, parishioners and friends of the parish for coming to the celebration.

The Anniversary celebration is a time of joy with the Divine Liturgy being of primary importance. The banquet and program provide further opportunity for parishioners and friends of St. George Church to reflect on progress made and to look to the future with certainty.

God continues to bless the St. George Church. Everyday is a day to give thanks for the past fifty-five years and to pray for the parish to continue and thrive until the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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