Last Saturday Fr Mark returned from NYC after meeting with our new Metro- politan. They visited for two hours and talked about our mission in SC. In the news on the Synod website there are photos of the Metropolitan touring and serving at parishes here and there around the country. One I saw brought tears to my eyes because the church was so tiny. That the Metropolitan would serve liturgy in a church the size of a two walk-in closets led me to hope he recognizes the need for serving the missions.
This isn't a criticism of anyone at all--only a hope for the future.
Fr Mark stayed at the Holy Cross Monastery on Long Island. His bestest friend, Fr Maximos, is the abbot there. They hung out together like old times, and the way Orthodox people usually do (reading, talking, drinking cognac, and attending the Services--although not at the same time, I'm pretty sure).
They also took a trip to Ellis Island. Fr Mark found a photograph of a Greek priest and his family among the many pictures of the immigrants coming through Ellis Island. It would be interesting to find out where this priest ultimately served. Certainly there is a record of it in a Greek church somewhere.
After Ellis Island they went to an Orthodox homeless shelter in Harlem called Emmaus House. The founder was a priest-activist who was originally a Baptist then a Melkite. He converted to Orthodoxy in 2004, a few years before he reposed. Emmaus House provides temporary housing to homeless people and offers job training as well as services to people with AIDS. It is also a food pantry. It appears to have declined somewhat since the founder passed away, but Fr Mx is coordinating an effort to revive it.