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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Icon among items to survive blaze at Greek Orthodox Church

 Plastic covering the icon melted away revealing the face of Christ.

(WBIR - KNOXVILLE) - In the rubble of the sanctuary, members of Saint George Greek Orthodox Church have found more than debris.
The building was gutted by fire on Sunday morning. As they begin the long rebuilding process, members are thankful for the community's embrace during this tough time.

And there are other blessings, like the icon that hung in the church that survived Sunday.
"In spite of the fire some things cannot be touched," said Father Anthony Stratis. remarking on the icon, with its plastic melted away to reveal the face of Christ.

"What the lord blesses or puts his hand on, even fire can't hurt it."

It's that message members of the Kingston Pike church are using to pick up the pieces and begin what could be a 14-month recovery process.
It appears likely the cause was accidental, church members say, either from candles or perhaps an electrical short.

"We had people coming out of the woodwork that aren't parishioners trying to help out and volunteer. It's heartwarming to see. I've said many times, even in the midst of tragedy you see God's hand at work," said Stratis.

Over 100 volunteers came together to help the church, which hosts the popular Greek Fest event every fall. For the time being services are being held in the church's gym because the sanctuary is still unsafe.

"It's been great seeing the people who came out on Monday and since then cleaning up," Stratis said.
The church has enough insurance to cover the fire damage, but that hasn't stopped the community from giving to a congregation in need of help.

"It's phenomenal how people have come together and helped out and been supportive and of course offered their prayers."

If you'd like to donate you can learn more here.

Father Stratis says other congregations have also offered Saint George parishioners space to worship and help in their rebuilding process.

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