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Our Mission

At St. Innocent Orthodox Church, we seek to make Jesus Christ and His Gospel the center of everything we do,

glorifying God in the beauty of our worship and carefully preserving the faith practices of the Early Church, which was born at Pentecost. We press toward the goal of becoming more like our Lord and Savior, desiring to love and care for one another and for those in the wider community. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we pray that our parish would become a life-giving spring of the Orthodox Christian faith for the people of Middle Georgia.

In the Orthodox Church, we often hear the beckoning words of Philip as he talked to Nathaniel (John 1:46):  “come and see.”    Many have called Orthodoxy a ‘sensory’ experience, worship in which all our senses take part.  We invite you to “come and see”; come and experience. Come and hear the Scriptures sung by our own a cappella choir. Smell the fragrant incense as it lifts our prayers to God.  See the Gospel come alive in our iconography.  Experience the beauty of ancient Orthodox architecture.  And most importantly, make a life-changing connection with Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ.

"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman.  It isn't non-denominational, it is pre-denominational.  It has  believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the day of Pentecost 2000 years ago."

2012 Mini-Documentary
2019 Drone Pictures

Nice drone pictures from Allen's new toy!

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Don't Stress, be our Guest!
If this will be your first time in an Orthodox Church service you may feel a little overwhelmed. Orthodox worship is ancient, unchanging, and very unfamiliar to the average American. With that in mind, we encourage you to relax. No one is able to "get it" know what "to do" in their first visit. Simply pray, let the words of the scripture wash over you, and if you have any questions, at the end of the service feel free to ask.  
 
We love kids!

St Innocent enthusiastically pursues our mission to nurture our precious children in the Orthodox Christian faith. From our church school students to the littlest one in arms, you'll find a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for children during our services. Our parents understand that it can be a blessed struggle to raise children properly in the Christian faith, and that includes worship! At St Innocent, you will find a supportive family to help.

The Sacraments of the Church, such as Holy Communion, are offered only to Baptized and/or Chrismated (confirmed) Orthodox Christians.  However, all are invited to receive the blessed bread at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.  The blessed bread is not sacramental but is reminiscent of the agape feast that followed worship in the ancient Church.

After the Divine Liturgy, all are welcome to join us in the Church hall for fellowship and light refreshments.

Please know that we are here to serve you.  If you are interested in learning more about the Orthodox faith we frequently have Newcomers classes throughout the year.  If you have any further questions or concerns please contact Fr. Theophan and let him know.  

Orthodox worship can seem strange to someone who has never been to an Orthodox Church before. However, we belive that our worship must be in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24).

Our worship is Biblical

Orthodox worship is rich with scriptures -- not just the reading of the scriptures, but from the hymns to the petitions, everything we do in worship is based on scripture. The Book of Psalms is often called the Hymnbook of the Church, and we sing and read a lot of them! Orthodox Christians often memorize many Psalms simply from hearing them so often in our worship services. 

However, you'll not only hear scripture, you'll see it. The patterns of Orthodox worship, based in the Christian fulfillment of Jewish liturigical worship, is most fully a manifestation of descriptions we read about in the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews and in the Book of Revelation. We join into the worship that is eternally sung before the throne of God (Isaiah 6).

You'll also see that Orthodox Christians stand a lot during worship. While there are chairs and pews, able-bodied Orthodox Christians prefer to stand in worship, because they are in the very Presence of God!

The Sacraments Give Us Life

We participate in the new life of the Kingdom of God through the sacraments (mysteries) by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Baptism, we die and rise with Christ (Romans 6). In the Eucharist, we are sustained by Christ's Body and Blood (John 6). In Holy Anointing, our sins are forgiven for healing (James 5). Each sacrament is the way faithful Orthodox Christians participate in the Divine Life given to us as a gift here and now, and as a foretaste of our eternal inheiritance.

Icons

The most distinctive feature of Orthodox Churches is their use of iconography or holy images. Simply put, icons testify to the truth of the incarnation of Christ. He became a man, and therefore He can be pictured. Orthodox Christians would say, in fact, that He must be pictured. Otherwise, we can easily forget that He became a real human for our sake, and that He came to redeem humanity. He is, indeed, the God-Man, fully divine as the eternal Word of God (John 1). But He became truly human, like us in everything but sin (Hebrews 4).

We kiss the icons of Christ, His Mother, and the Saints, not out of idolatry (God forbid!), but out of honor. The honor we show passes to the person whose image is depicted.

The Sign of the Cross

You'll see Orthodox Christians trace the sign of the cross on their bodies frequently. This is the traditional way in which we bless ourselves, and in which we are blessed by others. Making the sign of the cross is one of the most ancient practices of Christians, and it is the sign par excellence of Christianity.

Singing

Orthodox Christians love to sing! Our singing is always unaccompanied by any musical instruments. This is another sign that our worship is joined to the heavenly choirs with the angels and all the saints who gather around the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Join in!

We want you to feel welcomed during our services. While Orthodox worship may seem somewhat unfamiliar, we believe fully and without reservation that Orthodox worship is the way worship is supposed to look like. This is worship as it was always meant to be. Discovering it for the first time has been an overwhelming sense of joy for people around the world, and we hope you'll come to discover that too.

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Lenten Retreat

This year we have Archpriest David C. Rucker coming to visit us and speak about having vision in the Christian life.  This retreat will be broken down into three sessions. 

Saturday @ 2 pm: Session I: My Vision for 2021
Saturday @ 4 pm: Session II: The Vision of our Parish

Sunday @ 12:30 pm: Session III: Living out the Vision in our home and parish

All are welcome. BYOB (Bring your own Bible), Pencil/Pen/notebook or paper, and a statement of “Mission” for your life.

More info will be posted as it comes available. This event will be held in person as well as a private link online for those who may need it. 


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Small Parish Forum

Fr. Theophan and Molly Croft participated in the Small Parish Forum in Toledo, OH. 


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St. Innocent Orthodox Church celebrating 20 years in Middle GA

On Saturday and Sunday, September 3/4, St. Innocent Orthodox Church celebrated 20 years since our founding in Macon, GA. His Grace Bishop Alexander was with us for the celebration. On Saturday we started with a Moleben of Thanksgiving followed by an informal get together and finished with Great Vespers. On Sunday we served the Hierarchial Liturgy. Three readers were tonsured and a Diocesan Gromata was given. It was a beautiful weekend. May God continue to grow and establish our humble church!


00000
image
Lenten Retreat

This year we have Archpriest David C. Rucker coming to visit us and speak about having vision in the Christian life.  This retreat will be broken down into three sessions. 

Saturday @ 2 pm: Session I: My Vision for 2021
Saturday @ 4 pm: Session II: The Vision of our Parish

Sunday @ 12:30 pm: Session III: Living out the Vision in our home and parish

All are welcome. BYOB (Bring your own Bible), Pencil/Pen/notebook or paper, and a statement of “Mission” for your life.

More info will be posted as it comes available. This event will be held in person as well as a private link online for those who may need it. 


00001
image
Small Parish Forum

Fr. Theophan and Molly Croft participated in the Small Parish Forum in Toledo, OH. 


00002
image
St. Innocent Orthodox Church celebrating 20 years in Middle GA

On Saturday and Sunday, September 3/4, St. Innocent Orthodox Church celebrated 20 years since our founding in Macon, GA. His Grace Bishop Alexander was with us for the celebration. On Saturday we started with a Moleben of Thanksgiving followed by an informal get together and finished with Great Vespers. On Sunday we served the Hierarchial Liturgy. Three readers were tonsured and a Diocesan Gromata was given. It was a beautiful weekend. May God continue to grow and establish our humble church!


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