Welcome to St. Nicholas and Christmas...

...where I am currently "visiting" churches from around the world that are dedicated to Nicholas of Myra. If you know of any St. Nicholas churches that you'd like to see featured here please let me know.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church - Grand Junction, Colorado U.S.A.

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
Grand Junction, Colorado U.S.A.
All Images Courtesy: St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
Winter Photo
I know it probably isn't snowing in Grand Junction so early in the season but I just couldn't resist this gorgeous winter shot of this lovely Byzantine-style Orthodox church found on the western slopes of the amazing state of Colorado. After all, aren't pristine snow covered mountainsides and valleys what most of us think of when we think of Colorado?
The church's website's "History Page" opens with this moving statement:
Atop the hill at the southwest corner of 12th Street and Horizon Drive in Grand Junction, Colorado stands Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The Byzantine-style building was erected in 1991 for congregational worship, but the building represents much more than that. It stands as a visible testament to the faith of an immigrant community that came to Colorado in the early 1900s.
Those first immigrants came from the country of Greece that had recently shed the yoke of Turkish rule, and many were eager to take advantage of their newly-found freedom by coming to America. Sadly, the nearly 400 years of Turkish occupation precluded any educational opportunities for the enslaved Greek people, and also precluded free worship; all learning was by word-of-mouth.
The Greeks who traveled across the Atlantic were therefore without formal education, but they were willing to work hard. One skill they brought with them was raising sheep, work that would provide many of them with a living in Colorado.

This church is a bit different from most churches dedicated to St. Nicholas for the simple reason that it isn't located close to a major body of water. Being the well-known patron saint of sailors this is quite often the case with churches called after St. Nicholas. But the reason for dedicating this lovely church building to St. Nicholas is extremely interesting. It has to do with the fact that those Greeks who settled in Colorado were sheep farmers. Let's see what the website has to say about the name of the church in conjunction with sheep farming:
Saint Nicholas was chosen as the patron saint for the community because his feast day falls in December, a time of year when sheepmen traditionally could be in town for religious observances.
I think that is something that would make the dear old saint very happy!
Something else that would make him happy is this statement found on the home page of the church's site under WHO ARE WE?:
Our congregation consists of the descendants of immigrants from Greece to western Colorado, but also of others whose ancestors came from various traditionally Orthodox countries. In addition, many parishioners are simply "Americans" -- generally converts from the Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations.
"The American Way!"
Now that's an invitation! I have been to Grand Junction before...but next time, I plan to stop in for a visit!
Please visit the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church website for more information about services, etc.


K9 Katastrophie said...

What a beautiful church! How is Edward doing?

K9 Katastrophie said...

Concats on your new book!!!!!! I am so excited for you!! I am going to buy a copy right now!!!!!!!!


Lois Evensen said...

How very lovely! :) And, I love their statement about who they are. :)

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Very modern looking church, but I love that first shot in the snow, gorgeous. Have a good week. Diane

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Ann,
I too, love the first photo.. Such a beautiful chruch.

Out on the prairie said...

Love the rounded roofs

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I so love your dedication to the history and memory of this saint my dear; as you mention the sheep, it gave me chills and happy goosebumps for it signifies so many good things to me...for as sheep, we certainly need a shepherd, and we got Him. WE HAVE HIM and soon, we will be celebrating in grand style, in humble fashion and in wonder and need, the time when He came to us!

OH! you never got my email??? I will try again my dear! Anita

troutbirder said...

Thanks for visiting my little nature blog Ann. It's been awhile and I aways enjoyed you visual and written portraits of all those beautiful churches...:) Indeed Baron is doing well and always my faithful hiking companion.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

GOod morning sweet Ann!!!! Thank you for passing by last night! I am working as a substitute several days a week now and also rushing to get some art orders done! I will read with PLEASURE your work when I get a chance, SOON! THANK YOU! Anita

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Beautiful church.

God bless.

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

Here's a link to one of our local St Nicholas churches in Canada
and another in the country near us ~

mike said...

just out of curiosity does the church or grand junction offer greek food for sale throughout the year?