We hoped to arrive at the monastery yesterday by noon so we left early, real early. We left at four in the morning and even though we made only one stop, with all the road work we encountered (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in W. Virginia mostly) and the fear of being pulled over, we made it by a quarter to one. Close. Later that evening at the hotel, following a little pool time I was ready to go to sleep when the local priest called to tell me that the bishops had arrived (Bishop Mitrophan of the East and Bishop Vasilije of Srem) and a few priests were at a nearby restaurant and I should join them. I didn’t know where it was and there was a terrible storm outside but I still put my faith in the GPS and ventured out.
Needless to say, I slept in this morning. We relaxed a little today. This evening, however, the festivities began. Vigil began at 5pm at the church which is to be consecrated tomorrow. I didn’t serve but instead was sent with a parishioner to go pick up two more hierarchs that were arriving at around that time (Metropolitan Christopher of Libertyville-Chicago and Bishop Maxim of Western America). By the time we came back the service was half over. A Russian choir sang the responses. They sounded very nice. Afterward we went to the nearby Greek church where a banquet was prepared in their hall. Besides the air conditioning not working and it being extremely hot, it went very well.
Tomorrow is another busy day with the consecration. A lunch and program will be held at the church pavilion so if it gets hot, which it is bound to do, I will not be able to blame it on the air conditioning.