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Wonders of the Small Church

The small church has incredible importance and value, although it may not carry the pomp of churches in Europe and elsewhere. I have one particular small church in mind: ours.

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The Holy Trinity Church Community would like to extend its most sincere gratitude to Very Fathers Sergius Halvorsen and John Bacon who served the Divine Liturgy on October 8 & 15 during the absence of Holy Trinity Rector, Father Marc Vranes, who was rehabilitating after recent total right knee replacement surgery and unable to serve. Both Father John and Father Sergius have served at Holy Trinity previously, so it was a homecoming of sorts for both, who it should also be noted, traveled a great distance to be with our community on these two Sundays.

"It is important to maintain liturgical continuity, and I was pleased to learn that both Father Sergius and Father John were so willing to to serve in my absence," Father Marc said. "I am grateful for the brotherhood in Christ I share with them. I know that both men share with great joy and love for the Lord."

For Father Sergius, serving at Holy Trinity always carries a special grace for him.

"More than thirteen years ago when I was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, the first time I served a Divine Liturgy entirely by myself, it was at Holy Trinity in Willimantic," Fr Sergius recalled. "During the Entrance Prayers a priest makes prior to Liturgy, we ask God to 'strengthen me for this appointed service', and that really resonates with me when I able to serve the Holy Trinity community. It did then, as it did once more on October 8."

Below are brief biographical sketches on Father Sergius and Father John.

Reverend Dr J. Sergius Halvorsen: He received his M.Div. from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 1996, and completed his doctoral dissertation at Drew University in 2002. From 2000 to 2011 he taught at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell Connecticut, where he also served as Director of Distance Learning. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1999 and to the priesthood in February 2004. Fr Sergius is currently the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and Assistant Professor of Homiletics & Rhetoric at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY.

Archpriest John T. Bacon: A native of Cape Cod, Father John has been involved with Scouting since 1961. He became his unit’s first Eagle Scout in 1965. He finished priestly studies at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1985, receiving the degree of Master of Theological Studies with high distinction, was ordained Deacon in 1983, and priest in 1985. From 1985 to 2014, he was assigned as Rector of Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church, Chelsea. He continued his studies and earned the degrees of Master of Theology (Holy Cross 1991), and Master of Education (Cambridge College 2006). Father Bacon was appointed liaison for Scouting by the Orthodox Church in America in 1997, an Outreach Coordinator for the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting in 1991, and a member of the Northeast Region Religious Relationships Committee since 1999. Although retired from the active pastorate, he continues to teach as an Adjunct Professor at three community colleges.

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