Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Christian Mission Church: Come and see!


Above: Port Arthur Icon of the Triumph of the Theotokos

Come join us in worshipping the Lord at Vespers on Sat. Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. in the Lewisburg Club, 131 Market St., and then at Divine Liturgy on Sun. Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. (Prayers of the Hours at 9:40), at the Lewisburg Club. Liturgy will be followed by fellowship, food, and Sunday School. From 3 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 29 we will also continue our study of the Old Testatment at the Orthodox Spirituality Reading Group in the Bucknell Bookstore Cafe.


Above: Our Pastor, Fr. Claude Vinyard, marking his 50th anniversary in the Priesthood this month. Axios and Many Years, Father!

We are the only Russian Orthodox Christian parish in Central Pennsylvania, tracing our worship and teachings back to Byzantium and the Holy Land. All are welcome to “Come and see” the ancient living tradition and beauty of Christianity, the Apostolic Church of the first millennium, unbroken to this day, at our services.

At our Orthodox Spirituality Reading Group we monthly explore the riches of biblical tradition in the Old Testament through the Orthodox Church and the ancient Church Fathers. Provided texts are The Orthodox Study Bible, based on the Septuagint and New King James texts, from Thomas Nelson Publishers, and The Law of God: An Introduction to Orthodox Christianity by the New Martyr Fr. Daniel Syosev, the latter a popular Church-approved book for education in the faith in Russia, newly translated into English (Fr. Daniel Syosev was a well-known evangelist in Russia who was martyred in 2009). No prior attendance, knowledge, or reading is needed; reading materials will be shared at the discussion. If you would like your own copy of The Orthodox Study Bible, see here, or of the commentary book, see here, or let us know and we can supply you with copies.

Please consider supporting us as we move into our next phase of acquiring land and a permanent temple, https://www.gofundme.com/holyprotectionmission
Donations large or small are welcome, and can be made anonymously. Most of all we humbly request your prayers!

About our Parish

We are an English-language American parish of the worldwide Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, our mission parish began services in September 2015, near the Confluence of the Susquehanna River Valley in central Pennsylvania. Holy Protection is the first Orthodox parish to be established in Union County, PA, and in the immediate region of the confluence in Union, Snyder, and northern Northumberland counties. Services are led by the Very Rev. Archpriest Claude Vinyard, appointed as Acting Rector by Metropolitan Hilarion. We are near the campus of Bucknell University, and also help to support the services and activities of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Bucknell.

Holy Protection includes families of diverse backgrounds and ages, including both converts to Orthodoxy and cradle Orthodox, who identify as American Orthdox Christians. All are welcome to come and visit and experience the ancient Liturgical life of the Christian Church in Orthodox form, and to learn about the living tradition of the Apostolic Church. Initially, services will be held on two Sundays each month.

Our parish is under Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (one of the ancient patriarchates of the One Holy and Apostolic Church, derived from the cradle of Christianity in the Eastern Mediterranean) and Metropolitan Hilarion of New York, first hierarch of ROCOR, and is in the Deanery of Pennsylvania under the Very Rev. Archpriest John Sorochka of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Mayfield, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Please feel free to contact us for more information at

Holy Protection Orthodox Church
P.O. Box 591
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Part of the worldwide Orthodox Church

Our Parish is part of the worldwide Orthodox Church, which began in Apostolic times and includes the ancient Patriarchates of the Holy Land and Eastern Mediterranean. Holy Protection is a mission parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), under the Moscow Patriarchate, which traces its origins to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the other ancient Apostolic Patriarchates of the original Christian Church in the first millennium. Russian Orthodoxy first came to North America in the 1790s in Alaska and the West Coast. It then became established in Pennsylvania’s coal and steel country with immigration of Slavic peoples in the 1800s and later refugees from communism, leading to the formation of the ROCOR Eastern Diocese, of which Holy Protection Mission Church is a part, with Metropolitan Hilarion currently also serving as our diocesan bishop. Upriver from our region at the Confluence of the Susquehanna River, at the main Headwaters of the Susquehanna Valley, Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary  in Jordanville, NY, severs as the historic center today of ROCOR and of the Russian Orthodox Church in America.

The mission in Union County is an outgrowth of the renewal and outreach program of Christ the Savior Church in Sugar Notch, PA (near Wilkes-Barre), which is also served by our Acting Rector, the Very Rev. Archpriest Claude Vinyard. Fr. Claude has services in many long-time Orthodox parishes in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. 

About our Parish name

At a time when ancient Christian communities in the East are under severe persecution, and in an era of rising secularism in the West hostile to traditional faith, seen on many levels including the recent shooting of Christians in Oregon and threats to religious freedom, many Americans of all backgrounds are turning to the Orthodox Church as the living and growing tradition of the Apostolic Church. This is reflected in our name. The Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, in Orthodox tradition is known to intercede for the faithful with Christ our God in times of severe trial, from the Byzantine era to those of communist and fascist persecutions, into the present.

May the Most Holy Mother of God intercede for the protection of us in Union County and our American land, to her Son the Lord Jesus Christ our God!

For more on the “One holy catholic and apostolic Church”

For more of an introduction to the Orthodox Church, please see these three short videos:


For a deeper look at Orthodox theology, please see this course of lectures: htbtp://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjSOZQqHxpi8em2jWyzrKjNDOFMwtd5JI

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