NY Episcopalians open doors to burned out Serbian congregation

May 5, 2016

[Episcopal Diocese of New York] In a spirit of Christian friendship and unity with its roots deep in the 19th century, the Episcopal Church in New York has stepped forward to ensure that the congregation of the fire-gutted Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava  will have a place to worship each week until they have a new permanent home.

The 10 a.m. service May 8 will be held at Calvary Church on Park Avenue South at 21st St., and the congregation will worship at St. George’s Church, located nearby at 4 Rutherford Place, on May 15

St. Sava’s Cathedral was gutted by fire on May 1.

“It is particularly fitting,” New York Bishop Andrew M.L. Dietsche said, “that we Episcopalians, of all people, should be blessed once again with the chance to stand by our Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters and provide them with a roof under which to worship. Our diocese’s relationship with the Orthodox Church, and with St. Sava’s in particular, goes back over 150 years. In 1865, Trinity Episcopal Chapel on West 26th St, which would later become St. Sava’s Cathedral, was the site of the first ever Orthodox liturgy in America. Nearly 80 years later, in 1942, my predecessor, Bishop Manning, oversaw the sale of that same building — the very one that on Sunday was so tragically gutted by fire — to the recently-organized St. Sava’s congregation.”

Calvary and St. George’s Churches, where the Serbian congregation will worship this Sunday and next, together make up the parish of Calvary-St. George’s. Now under the direction of the Rev. Jacob Smith, the parish is particularly known for its connection with the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous, to which its rector from 1925-1952, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Shoemaker, contributed most of its spiritual principles.

“The Parish of Calvary-St. George’s, in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of New York, is honored to open our doors to Fr. Djokan Majstorovic and the people of St. Sava’s,” says Calvary-St. George’s priest-in-charge, the Rev. Jacob Smith.