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The Transformative Power of Community

His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios dedicated last weekend visiting the historical community of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. This beautiful church was established by dedicated immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century and has since served as a spiritual home for thousands of Greek immigrants and attracted many seeking the truth of the Gospel.

The parish has completed a seven-year process of planning, designing, fundraising, and construction, extending the life of the century-old buildings for another hundred years. Structural improvements and complete mechanical updates have made in all buildings, including the church and the Christos S. Karavitis Cultural Center. The upper (George Dilboy) and lower (Heritage) halls are modernized and ready for fellowship. The crowning jewel is the exquisite new iconography depicting images of New Testament parables, and miracles of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As well asimages of saints. The holy icons open windows to heaven for those who worship at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church in Somerville, MA. The project’s completion was celebrated by a Gala Banquet on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.

His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios led the faithful in prayer and thanksgiving at both Saturday’s Gala and Sunday’s Divine Liturgy and Luncheon. During the Gala Dinner, after the symbolic ribbon-cutting and presentations by Real Estate and Development team chairman Andrew Galbadis, the president of the Parish Council, Diane Karavitis, Council General Symeon Tegos, and the parish priest Father Anthony Tandilyan. His Eminence bestowed "George Dilboy" humanitarian medals on Diane Karavitis, fundraising team leader Nicholas Chakos, and Community Credit Union’s CEO Nicholas Sarantopoulos in gratitude for their pivotal roles in the process of this renovation.

In His remarks to the faithful who were present at the Gala Dinner, His Eminence called this Historic Church "Jacob's well, that is called to quench the thirst of all who seek the life-giving water." His Eminence expressed his gratitude to the Master of Ceremonies, Bill Galatis, who played an essential role in this magnificent renovation from day one, becoming one of the most generous donors and the Grand Benefactor of the George Dilboy Hall. In his thanksgiving remarks, Fr. Anthony announced that the community had established a "Ten Thousand" dollar scholarship honoring His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios. All children of the Dormition Church who desire to attend the Metropolis of Boston Camp in Contoocook, NH, will receive a full scholarship.

On Sunday, His Eminence tonsured nine altar servers and blessed members of the Dormition Music ministry led by Richard Barrett. After blessing them, His Eminence encouraged all to deepen the spirit of service and dedication in their hearts. During the Divine Liturgy, the cantors of Dormition Church were accompanied by the Choir of the Holy Archangels Church of Watertown, MA.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence elevated Fr. Anthony Tandilyan to the Distinction of the Economou of the Orthodox Church, wishing him many years of service at the Altar of the Lord and to His people. His Eminence inspired everyone to remain faithful servants of God and to follow the path of the Cross of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as He bestowed crosses on all altar servers and Fr. Anthony. He calls the transformation “The Miracle of Somerville.” Every miracle is a work of God, and we are to respond to the miracles in our lives with unwavering faith and love for God and one another. This journey is over, but building the true Church of God, the Body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, continues with renewed enthusiasm and great vision.

Written by Fr. Anthony Tandilyan and the Photographer Areti Bratis