Suzanne Saric – Ascensiongoc – 5/6/19
LINCOLNSHIRE, IL Ascension of Our Lord Greek Orthodox Church announces that His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago will preside over an“Opening of the Doors” service in front of its newly- constructed church at 1207 Riverwoods Road, Lincolnshire, Illinois, on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. In the Orthodox tradition, a Hierarch conducts the short service, referred to in Greek as a Thyranoixia, to sanctify a church prior to worship in it. Following the Thyranoixia, the faithful are invited to celebrate the church’s Feast Day by attending Great Vespers, the first service to be held in the new house of worship.
“It is with great joy and elation that we welcome His Eminence and invite the faithful to witness this monumental event in the life of our parish,” said Fr. Sotirios P. Malamis, Ascension’s Parish Priest. “This has been a remarkable journey of faith and fulfills a dream held by the stewards of Ascension for a very long time. It is with God’s providence, steadfast prayer, and a collaborative spirit that this dream came to fruition. It’s very symbolic that we will be celebrating this glorious occasion on the Feast Day of our Church. I pray that the open doors of Ascension will open our spiritual eyes to see the Light of Christ.”
After the June 5th Thyranoixia and Great Vespers service, Ascension’s Philoptochos ministry invites friends and families to celebrate at a reception to be held in the repurposed fellowship hall, which served as the original church. On Thursday, June 6, the Feast Day of the Lord’s Ascension, His Eminence will preside over the first Divine Liturgy to be celebrated in the new church at 9:30 a.m., preceded by Orthros at 8:15. The Senior Synaxis ministry will host a celebratory luncheon immediately following the Liturgy.
The $9-million new construction and expansion project formally began with a groundbreaking service in September 2017 when clergy blessed the site’s foundation. The 18,600-square foot building includes a new 11,000-square foot Greek Orthodox church, chapel and adult baptistry based on a late 12th century Byzantine design. The art and architecture of the building are purposefully designed to create a distinctive atmosphere of worship that embodies many of the fundamental teachings of Orthodoxy. The additional 7,000-square feet of the building includes a redesigned fellowship hall with a kitchen, office space, and refurbished meeting spaces for its Sunday church school and growing ministries. In addition, the church added a 4,000-square foot basement to accommodate future growth.
According to Ascension’s Parish Council President, Nicholas Marino, “Our dream to build a Greek Orthodox Church in Lincolnshire started more than 20 years ago under the guidance of our founding priest, Fr. James S. Gordon. Our wait has paid off – literally! From day one, our goal was to build it debt-free and I am elated to announce that we achieved that goal this past March because of our generous stewards who never lost faith throughout this construction project. Now as we step foot into this tremendously beautiful new worship space, we can focus on the growth of all of our ministries without the burden of carrying a mortgage.”
The Ascension Parish held its first Divine Liturgy on January 11, 1998 with 30 families in attendance. The parish received its official charter from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese on April 24, 2002. Today, the Ascension community has grown to more than 320 families that actively participate in a wide range of ministries for all age groups from infancy to seniors.