Last year, my family and I visited Pittsboro, North Carolina. We went shopping in their downtown area, and also drove around the area where Jordan Lake is (not being terribly outdoorsy people, though, we did not go on the Lake). I know two families that live in the area surrounding Pittsboro, and after my visit, I can see why.
Whenever I go to a new place, I pray for the people there that they will come to know Christ and the Church which He established: the Orthodox Christian Church. It is hard to imagine that residents of small towns like Pittsboro would have many opportunities to encounter Orthodox Christians, especially clergy. In my article “If Orthodoxy Is True, Why Have I Never Heard of It?” I give some reasons for why Orthodox Christianity is not well-known in the United States. However, it’s also true that Christ will ask each of us individually how we have worked to fulfill the Great Commission, and we will not be able to rely on any excuses.
A native of Pittsboro would have to travel 50 minutes in order to attend liturgy at St. Mark the Evangelist Orthodox Mission Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is currently a small group of faithful traditional Orthodox Christians meeting at my home chapel while we grow large enough to afford a building. Even the closest New Calendar Greek parish—St. Barbara’s in Durham—is 22 miles from downtown Pittsboro. It is highly unlikely that Orthodoxy will reach large numbers of people in Pittsboro and greater Chatham County until an Orthodox mission parish is established in Pittsboro.
Yet we also know that the Internet has been a great tool for linking people to other people, places, and institutions which would have been inaccessible a generation ago. Perhaps someone in Pittsboro is currently looking into the Orthodox Church after having read about it online. Perhaps this post may reach him or her at the time when he or she is thinking of moving from curiosity to commitment. Yes, it is quite possible that some day, you will be the one bringing Orthodoxy to Pittsboro! Send me an email or give me a call (919-827-4945) today if you are Orthodox or are looking into Orthodoxy and wish to bring the True Faith of Christ to your community. We at St. Mark’s will do everything in our power to help you!