Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 23, 2015
When Frank Harrison moved to Cranberry and started looking for an Orthodox Christian church, he found he had to travel about 10 or 15 miles for the nearest one.
He eventually became a member of St. Anthony Orthodox Church in Butler, but as time passed he noticed more people of the Orthodox Christian faith moving into his community.
Now members of Mr. Harrison’s church and his pastor, the Rev. Bogdan G. Bucur, have started a weekly outreach in the Cranberry Township Municipal Building to allow other Orthodox Christians a place to meet in their community.
The group is open to anyone interested in the Orthodox religion and meets from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday nights in the Brush Creek Room of the township building.
“There were no churches between Butler and downtown Pittsburgh, except for Allison Park. We thought there was a need,” Mr. Harrison said.
Father Bucur, whose church is part of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, said they are conducting a pan-orthodox service in Cranberry. He said that Orthodox churches traditionally have been built along ethnic lines with each following the same religious principles, but services and traditions vary slightly from group to group. The pan-orthodox service is meant to encompass all Orthodox Christians.
In that spirit, Father Bucur said they have welcomed members of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church from Pittsburgh’s North Side, which is part of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, to the Thursday services. St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church is looking to relocate in Cranberry, he said.
“The idea is to meet consistently and persistently, so people will hear about it and come,” Mr. Harrison said.
Each Thursday they spend about half an hour in a service and another half hour in discussion, he said.
He said they hope to continue these meetings through the end of the year and then assess the interest.
“I’m very excited about this. We are starting something which is a little bit like the parable with the mustard seed,” said Father Bucur. “We are hoping it will flourish, but if not at least we will have tried.”