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Parish Hall Building Project, Phase 2 - Moving towards Groundbreaking

Special Benefit Concert coming on March 2, 2024

 

Join Us!

Saturday, March 2, 2024, 12:00 Noon

Concert with award-winning classical pianist Elena Swensen.

 

Elena is an accomplished Russian pianist, former Associate Professor at Saratov Sobinoff Conservatory, and winner of international piano competitions.

  • Program includes works by Mozart, Chopin, Ravel, Rachmaninov
  • Free Admission - Suggested Donation: $35
  • Donations above $35 receive tax receipt*

 

Steinway Piano Gallery
11611 Old Georgetown Rd


North Bethesda, MD 20852

 

 

All proceeds to benefit our Parish Hall Building Fund

 

* Cash, check and credit/debit cards accepted.


Visual History of our Historic Chapel and Parish Hall

Updated for 2024, providing an overview and current update on our Parish Hall Building Project as we advance towards groundbreaking.

Hover over images to pause the presentation.  

Clicking on an image opens the presentation in gallery view, revealing in some cases additional notes,

and with the ability to play the slide show or view individual slides.


Special Presentation on our Historic Chapel (VIDEO)
Admiral Daniel Ammen
Admiral Daniel Ammen
Admiral Daniel Ammen
Aug. 19, 2023

 

Admiral Ammen, President Grant, and the Uncreated Light:

Context for our Historic Chapel

A Talk by Dr. Geraldine Fagan

Now available as a two-part video series on our YouTube channel. Scroll down or use these links (new tabs will open). A summary is provided below the videos.

Part 1  |  Part 2

Dr. Geraldine Fagan is a parishioner at Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Beltsville, Maryland.  She graduated in Russian and German from Oxford University in 1995, and is a writer and editor.

U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant
U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant
U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant

 

Summary for Dr. Fagan's talk:

At Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Beltsville, Maryland, on August 19, 2023, we commemorated our Lord’s wondrous Transfiguration on Mount Tabor.  After the divine liturgy, our devoted parishioner, Dr. Geraldine Fagan, presented numerous revelations under the title, “Admiral Ammen, President Grant and the Uncreated Light - Context for Our Historic Chapel.”

She reinforced and enhanced our understanding of the history of our nation, of two national heroes, and of their legacy through their devoted and lifelong friendship, and yet more in the lives of their descendants; all of this causing our God-given property to glow yet brighter in our hearts.

In 2009, our parish was given the historic St. Joseph’s chapel, on two beautiful acres of land on Ammendale Road in Beltsville, Maryland.  We are going on to live our parish life in the light of an ever more complete understanding of the meaning of this miraculous gift.

We learned that Grant’s devoted steed, “Cincinnatti,” which bore him through the Civil War, and one time saved his life, may be buried on Admiral Ammen’s “Ammendale” estate, it being possible that our property might hold the animal’s resting place.

We learned that Admiral Ammen named one of his sons after the President: “Ulysses Grant Ammen.”

We learned that Grant, in his post-presidential world tour, visited holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Holy Sepulchre.

We learned that Grant’s granddaughter Julia married a Russian Prince, Michael Cantacuzène Speransky.  They were married in America by a priest who would go on to become a Russian New Martyr, Fr. Alexander Hotovitsky.  He was a young Russian priest who went on to found 12 Orthodox churches on the East Coast, including St. Nicholas Russian Cathedral in New York.

Julia Grant helped Russian refugees, fleeing from the Bolshevik revolution.  She became and remained active in refugee matters for the remainder of her 99 year life.

We learned at last that Prince Michael is descended from a Byzantine imperial family among who was one who called a local council to proclaim the Orthodoxy of St. Gregory Palamas’ teaching on the uncreated light, the same light that shone on Mt. Tabor on the day of the Lord’s Holy Transfiguration.

We have come through these revelations to understand the fullness of that which God has given to us.  This understanding is not to be mere intellectual knowledge, but is fuel for spiritual energy to sustain us as we move to establish our life in this very holy place. 

May our own holiness and devotion grow, so that we can more nearly approach the spiritual greatness of the gift.


Groundbreaking Match Exceeds Goal, Raises over $56,000!
July 16, 2023

 

Holy Apostles reports over $100,000 in Building Fund,

ready to begin construction of New Parish Hall

 

Our $27,000 Groundbreaking Matching Grant ended July 16. By raising $29,680, we exceeded our goal by 10%, easily passing the target, and with the $27,000 match raised a total of $56,680 to enable construction to begin.

We invite you to donate to the Building Fund at any time and help us build our New Parish Hall and move to our beautiful campus and historic chapel! 

$29,680.00 raised of $27,000.00
110%

Donate Direct to our Building Fund

Donate via PayPal


Summer 2023 Update
Architect's Elevation Renderings
Architect's Elevation Renderings
Architect's Elevation Renderings
Aerial view with Parish Hall (left), Garden Courtyard, and Chapel (right)
Aerial view with Parish Hall (left), Garden Courtyard, and Chapel (right)
Aerial view with Parish Hall (left), Garden Courtyard, and Chapel (right)

God will build the Church

In September of 2008, Metropolitan Hilarion of blessed memory visited our little parish, Holy Apostles Orthodox Church.  We showed him the historic St. Joseph’s church, along with the two acres of serene land: a perfect location for our parish’ permanent home.  We did not yet know whether the church would be ours, but we were fervently praying for it, if it be the Lord’s will. The Metropolitan walked contemplatively around the beautiful old church. He said, "Don't worry, God will build the church. I am praying that God will grant it to the parish. It would be a wondrous occurrence.”

On June 3, 2009, the parishioners of Holy Apostles witnessed a pure miracle.  It would be just as our Metropolitan had prayed:  A wondrous gift was given to us: the beautiful brick country church situated on two acres of land in Beltsville. 

We immediately began the necessary restoration of the chapel, applying for and receiving approximately $400,000 in grant money available from the county.  However, after  we complete the restoration and renovation of the beautiful old church,  without  bathrooms, kitchen, Sunday School rooms, and all of the things necessary for parish life, we could not move there.  We realized that we need a parish hall.

Stakes mark the corners of the New Parish Hall
Stakes mark the corners of the New Parish Hall
Stakes mark the corners of the New Parish Hall

Andrew Gould designs our future Parish Hall

In 2017, we hired renowned architect Andrew Gould to design our future parish hall.  He designed a surpassingly beautiful building, which is in the same spirit as the historic chapel gifted to our parish.  Since then, we have had weekly meetings with our local architects and engineers, and with the recent hiring of our general contractor, we have raised and spent over $250,000 in pre-construction design, planning, permits and property surveys and tests.  We are now ready to begin building our parish hall.

Moving towards Groundbreaking

The land work must be done first; the solid success of this matching grant fundraiser enabled us to raise the money necessary to move forward with the groundbreaking.  Watch for news on the required land work, and on scheduling the Groundbreaking Ceremony.

The Icon beside the simple cross marking the entrance to the New Parish Hall
The Icon beside the simple cross marking the entrance to the New Parish Hall
The Icon beside the simple cross marking the entrance to the New Parish Hall

Visitation of the Hawaiian Iveron Wonderworking Myrrh-streaming Icon of the Mother of God

On May 23 of this year (2023,) we had a visitation from the Mother of God’s miraculous Myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon.  At the prayer service at our office park church, the holy Icon streamed myrrh abundantly, soaking the analogion cover with the fragrant myrrh.  Then the wonderworking icon was brought to our historic property, where the Icon streamed myrrh abundantly again.  We have adopted our most holy Theotokos of Iveron as the protectress of our future parish hall, which is dedicated to her.

The holy Icon was touched to the four markers in the ground which mark the borders of the future parish hall, along with the Cross marking the front door of the building.  Then the Icon was brought across the future courtyard garden to our chapel and as the Icon was touched to the front door, so much myrrh began to stream that two of the women used their headscarves to soak up the myrrh.

Article continues below photos...

BELOW: Photos from the 2022 and 2023 visits of the myrrhstreaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon to Holy Apostles.

(Left) His Beatitude, Metropolitan Nicholas, Chief Hierarch of the ROCOR, holding the Icon during their joint visit in 2022.

(Right) Co-rector Fr. Christopher Johnson processing with the Icon during the same 2022 visit.

(Center) The Icon on our central analogion in our current chapel at Twin Chimneys Office Park, May 23, 2023.

“As my Father hath sent me, so send I you”

The Lord said “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, so send I you.”  (John 20:21) And again, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...." (Matthew 28:19) The Greek root of the word apostle means sent.  After the miracle of Pentecost, the apostles went out into all the world, as it says in the prokeimenon for the holy apostles: “Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.”  Our holy Orthodox Faith has come to Beltsville, Maryland, and we, too, are sent by the Lord.

It is the hope and prayer of the people of Holy Apostles, to establish our parish in its new home in Beltsville, Maryland, from which the parish can continue to thrive and grow, in its soul-saving mission. 

Once we have built the parish hall, we can move out of the office park and will worship in the dining room of the parish hall, until we have completed the restoration of the chapel so that we can worship there. 

Our Groundbreaking Matching Grant was indeed a great success, but fundraising continues as we press forward to build the new Parish Hall.

We are asking you, the friends of our little parish, to prayerfully consider contributing towards our Parish Hall Building Fund.  We ask you to join us in our missionary work, so that after we break ground we can complete the new hall in a timely manner, and build the Lord’s church in Beltsville, Maryland.  Pray for us, and consider generously contributing  towards the building of the parish hall. 


Met. Hilarion of blessed memory serving at Holy Apostles.
Met. Hilarion of blessed memory serving at Holy Apostles.
Met. Hilarion of blessed memory serving at Holy Apostles.

 

“May the Lord bless everyone who will contribute to the building of the new parish hall, and the growth of Christ’s vineyard, in Beltsville, Maryland.”

 

– Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (2021)

 

Here are some ways to donate to our building fund:

Or, mail your checks written to Holy Apostles Orthodox Church (put "building fund" on the memo line) to: P.O. Box 594, Beltsville, MD 20704

Let's start building!

In Christ’s love,

Archpriest George and Priest Christopher Johnson, Co-Rectors; 

the fundraising and building committees of Holy Apostles,

Mariya Petrenko, Treasurer


Watch our Parish Hall Fundraising Video

 

The Mountain of God in Beltsville, Maryland

Watch the video, then scroll down to learn more, and to see how you can help our vision be fulfilled. Use the Donate buttons at right to contribute your gift.

 

Thank you for your prayers and support!

This video represents the hopes and prayers of the people of Holy Apostles, to establish our parish in its new home in Beltsville, Maryland, from which the parish can continue to thrive and grow, in its soul-saving mission. In order to do this, we need to build our new parish hall, designed by Andrew Gould. Then we can move to the property, and continue the restoration and renovation of the beautiful historic chapel, given to the parish in 2009.

 

Our prayer is that those who view this video will join us in our missionary work, by praying for us, and by generously donating towards the building of the parish hall.

 

“May the Lord bless everyone who will contribute to the building of the new parish hall,

and the growth of Christ’s vineyard, in Beltsville, Maryland.”

 

~ Metropolitan Hilarion,

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

 

Watch the video, then scroll down to learn more about the project. Visit our sub-pages detailing the history of the Chapel and New Parish Hall, check out our special page on Andrew Gould, view architectural renderings, and donate via the buttons at right and below.

Learn more through these special pages:


Become a Church Builder, like St John Maximovitch!
St John holding the Cathedral 'Joy of All Who Sorrow'
St John holding the Cathedral 'Joy of All Who Sorrow'
St John holding the Cathedral 'Joy of All Who Sorrow'

 

"In building churches here on earth, we create for ourselves eternal habitations in heaven."

 

From St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Zealous Builder of Churches

by Nun Nectaria (Lees):

St. John loved God’s house so intensely that wherever he served, he would remain in the church long after the service. The Lesna nuns recalled that when St. John was visiting, they often did not sit down to evening trapeza until midnight, waiting for their archpastor to emerge from the church. Everywhere he went he either oversaw the building of churches or supported the same with his attention and prayers.

He wrote about the godly work of building churches:

Some people are saying: “The time is not come to build the Lord’s house.” Among them are many who are buying houses for themselves, who live in their own houses in full satisfaction of their material needs, or who are selling their homes to move into better and better dwellings, increasing their assets. It is understandable when such words are heard from unbelievers…But how can they be repeated by believers who themselves go to church?

A church is a place that is consecrated, holy, in which there always dwells the grace of God. At the consecration of Solomon’s temple, the glory of the Lord in the appearance of a cloud filled the house of God. So it was in the Old Testament temple. How much more powerfully does the grace of God act in the temples of the New Testament where there is offered the true cleansing from sin, where we partake of the true Body and Blood of Christ, where during the Divine Liturgy, the Holy Spirit continually descends upon the gifts being consecrated and upon the people present? One can pray anywhere, and God hears prayers from everywhere. But it’s much easier to pray in a church where everything is conducive to prayer. From there our prayers ascend to God, and the mercies of God are sent down upon us.

Become a Church Builder!
Become a Church Builder!
Become a Church Builder!

The construction of a church is a sacrifice to God; to allocate a parcel of land for church services is to sacrifice unto God a part of your own property, but most of all it is a gift of your love, your zeal. Churches are not needed by God Whose throne is heaven and Whose footstool is the earth; it is we who need them. It is we who benefit from donating toward the building of churches, although the Lord accepts not so much the substances of our alms as much as He does our zeal—the quality of our effort. Christ approved the widow’s mite, saying that she had given more than anyone else, for the rich cast in a great deal from their abundance, but she gave all she had, all her livelihood. Those alms we give in the name of God are received by God Himself. Spiritually, our alms are laid up in the treasuries of heaven, God’s treasuries, from which no one can steal them away. If someone steals any church possession, he steals from God Himself.

At each Liturgy, those who contributed to the building of the church are commemorated. In building churches here on earth, we create for ourselves eternal habitations in heaven. Decades will pass, our bodies will decay, perhaps our very bones will turn to dust, but our souls will live eternally. Happy will he be who prepared for his soul a dwelling in the heavenly mansions. Even if the churches that are built should fall to ruin, the names of those who contributed to their construction will be written in God’s eternal books, and the prayers which arose from within these churches will be sealed.

Read the inspiring full article...


Recent Highlights of our Parish Hall Building Project

This section shows recent news and updates from 2022 forward in reverse chronological order (most recent at top), including building updates and fundraising, where we have experienced dramatic growth year over year.

 

Help us by using the DONATE NOW buttons at right or above. Thank you for your prayerful and generous support!

 

July 16, 2023: Our Groundbreaking Matching Grant Fundraiser ends, raising $29,680, exceeding our goal by 10%, easily earning the match amount, and raising a total of $56,680 to enable construction to begin. With the success of the Matching Grant Fundraiser, our Building Fund has over $100,000, and we are poised to start the land work, officially break ground, and begin construction. Watch this page for news on the next steps!

 

June 3, 2023: $27,000 Groundbreaking Match begins, aims to raise over $54.000 by mid-July to begin construction of our New Parish Hall.

 

April 9, 2023: Palm Sunday Building Fund Match EXCEEDS GOAL, hits $19,140, raises over $34,000 for our Building Fund!— Thank you for your generous contributions and Glory to God! 

 

March 13, 2023: Building Fund Match Launches, aims to raise $30,000 by April 9 — We have 2 contributors who are offering a $15,000 Matching Grant this year, for the building of our parish hall. The grant closes on Palm Sunday. We hope we will make the match and go beyond it, with God's help.

 

March 10, 2023: General Contractor selected — We have recently taken a big step in the process of preparing for the ground-breaking: signing a contract with a general contractor, for about $10,000, to begin initial work. It may seem like a small step, but it has taken a lot of work, putting our trust in God and taking step after step towards the goal of building the Lord's church, establishing His vineyard in Beltsville, Maryland.

July 11, 2022: New Feature video interview with our architect, Andrew Gould — Conducted by Jonathan Pageau (The Symbolic World podcast and YouTube channel), this 44 minute video presents a visual survey of some of Andrew's architectural design work, and discusses his vision for "how to integrate the past with the present regarding Orthodox creative endeavors." We felt this was also the opportune time to provide a feature page for Andrew Gould on our parish website, as he has been a key figure in our story since 2017 with his visit to the parish and subsequent design of our New Parish Hall. Proceed to Our Architect, Andrew Gould...

June 6, 2022: Site Development Concept Plans Approved — Kimberly Morgan of LandTech (our Construction Engineer) notified us that Prince George County  has "approved the Site Development Concept Plans and the Approved 'Black Stamp' Erosion and Sediment Control Plans.  Once our mechanical engineer determines the water line size we can submit the WSSC plans for review." These two approvals mark a major step forward. You can see the "blueprints" of the approved Concept Plans (8 detailed pages) and ESC Plans (7 detailed pages) at church. One example page of the Site Development Concept Plans showing the red approval stamp is posted on this page. Glory to God as we continue to move towards our groundbreaking in (hopefully and God willing!) Spring 2023!

 

May 15, 2022: Parish Hall Building Committee Updates — Two major areas of activity were reported to the parish on Sunday, May 15, after the Divine Liturgy:

 

  • Our Construction Engineer, Kimberly Morgan of LandTech, has been coordinating with our local Architect of Record, Spire Architects, to advance the Parish Hall building plans through the multi-stage approval process.
  • We have narrowed our search for our General Contractor to three final candidates; interviews will begin soon.
  • Watch for updates on both these important steps.

 

April 28, 2022: Palm Sunday Matching Grant Fundraiser exceeds goal, raises over $60,000 for New Parish Hall Building Fund.  Our final total donations reached $35,046.95, exceeding our goal by 41%, giving us a final total (including the match) of $60,046.95. This empowers us to continue the pre-construction preparation (building permits, plans, scheduling, etc.), especially our search and selection process for our general contractor, moving us a giant step forward towards our next goal, the actual groundbreaking for the New Parish Hall, which we hope to achieve in Spring 2023. Our thanks to all our supporters, and to the Lord and His Most Pure Mother for this tremendous success.

 

March 7, 2022: Palm Sunday Building Fund Match Launches, aims to raise $50,000 by April 17 An anonymous contributor is offering a $25,000 Building Fund match, with the deadline being Palm Sunday, April 17, 2022. Every dollar donated to our building fund during Great Lent will be matched, up to $25,000. Use the Donate buttons in the right side panel or on our Donate page.

 

February 8, 2022: The 1-Year Anniversary of the premiere of our Parish Hall Fundraising Video — 'The Mountain of God in Beltsville, Maryland' is the perfect time to reflect on how much progress we've made over the last 12 months, not just in fundraising (over $50,000 in 2021!), but in terms of permits, logistics, meetings with contractors, and positioning us for actual groundbreaking and construction. Watch for more updates coming soon! And take a few minutes to watch (or watch again!) this beautiful video, which so perfectly presents our vision and our hope for the historic chapel and property.

 

______________________

Follow these links for more in-depth history:

Thank you for your support!


Letter to Converts (and Cradle Orthodox!)

Mariya’s Letter to Converts

Originally posted October 14, 2018

Our treasurer, Mariya Petrenko, has written a most beautiful and profound letter, addressed to an Orthodox convert, from a cradle Orthodox Christian.  With Mariya's permission, we are sharing it with you, here.


Thank you, Frederica Mathewes-Green!

We wish to extend our sincere thanks to Frederica Mathewes-Green for helping us launch our Capital Fundraising Campaign on June 10, 2018. Frederica delivered an inspiring talk, 'Towards an Orthodox America', which perfectly resonated with our vision for our English-language Orthodox mission here in Beltsville, Maryland.

Watch the video from Frederica's talk and our June 10, 2018 Capital Campaign Launch Event on our YouTube channel...

Frederica Mathewes-Green is a wide-ranging author and speaker, whose work has appeared in numerous top-tier publications. She has been a regular commentator for National Public Radio (NPR), and has published 10 books to date, including her most recent title, Welcome to the Orthodox Church (Paraclete Press, 2015). She has published over 700 essays, and given over 500 talks...

To learn more, visit Frederica's website at Frederica.com.

 

We've raised
$316,456.18

(Want to contribute to our General Fund?

Please scroll down ~ Thank you!)


Watch our Video!

Become a Church Builder!

 

From 'St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Zealous Builder of Churches'

Everywhere he went he either oversaw the building of churches or supported the same with his attention and prayers... He wrote about the godly work of building churches: 

"In building churches here on earth, we create for ourselves eternal habitations in heaven."

 

Read the full article here...

Become a Church Builder!
Become a Church Builder!
Become a Church Builder!

General Fund Contributions

Historic Chapel Restoration

Since 2009 we have been restoring our beautiful chapel, gifted to our parish that year by the Christian Brothers. We have received and administered grants of approximately $400,000 so far, and continue to apply for the grants as they become available.

Chapel Restoration Funds
We've raised
$400,000.00

 

 

EPISTLE BOOK, published by Holy Apostles Orthodox Church

 

The only Orthodox Epistle Book using the KJV text.

Includes the Acts and the Epistles, arranged for liturgical use according to Russian Orthodox practice. An appendix features all relevant prokeimena and readings for the whole year. Rubrics, introductory notes and monthly calendar for the Church Year are also included. Hardbound with full color dust cover, 632 pages. Published by Holy Apostles Orthodox Church and St Polycarp Press.

Full info and links to order on this special page.


St Romanos the Melodist Society

 

The St. Romanos the Melodist Society produces and publishes English language music of the Russian Orthodox Church.

 

The St. Romanos website is the online extension of A Church Singer's Companion, a project started in 1998 with the blessing of Metropolitan (then Archbishop) Laurus. Inspired by the Russian Sputnik Psalomshchika, the Companion is envisioned to contain the music necessary for every service a parish choir might need to sing, while staying simple enough so that any parish choir can sing it.

The St. Romanos Society produces music in both printed and recorded formats, and conducts seminars and workshops on the proper performance of that music. The Society is a sodality of Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, Beltsville, Maryland.

To get started looking at music, proceed to the Church Singer's Companion and begin familiarizing yourself with the content. You'll find there are a few more challenging settings mixed in, marked “difficult” or “very difficult”. Audio or video examples accompany some of the music. In addition, the Introduction provides valuable advice about proper church singing and related topics.

Detailed Reviews and Endorsements by clergy and choral professionals are provided for your consideration.