On Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th of December, the feast of the Holy Hierarch and Wonderworker Nicholas of Myra in Lycia, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan paid an archpastoral visit to St. Nicholas Church in Fletcher, NC, to officiate the divine services in honor of the parish’s patronal feast day, accompanied by the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.
On Friday evening, His Grace and the Kursk Root Icon arrived at St. Nicholas Church. Before All-Night Vigil, Bishop Nicholas inspected the new temple under construction on the parish property. He then officiated the festal Vigil, co-served by parish rector Priest Steven Webb, Archpriest Matthew Williams (rector of St. Tikhon Church in Blountville, TN), Archpriest Mark Tyson (rector of Holy Prophet Elijah Mission in Pigeon Forge, TN), and Deacon Dmitri Pavlenkov (cleric of St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon Church in Pompano Beach, FL). During the Vigil, the faithful venerated the wonderworking icon and the icon of St. Nicholas. After the service, the clergy, servers, parishioners, and visitors enjoyed refreshments and received updates on church life and the building project.
The following morning, Bishop Nicholas celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by parish clergy. Prior to Liturgy, His Grace tonsured Anthony Watkins a reader.
During his sermon on the Kursk Root Icon, Bishop Nicholas explained that it is the Mother of God who decides where she visits. He detailed the icon’s history and the many miracles that God has performed through the icon, especially during difficult times. After the dismissal, the faithful once again had ample opportunity to venerate the icon.