Holy Nativity of the Lord
Orthodox Church in America
5490 Barksdale Blvd, Bossier City, LA 71112 (Barksdale Federal Credit Union) PHONE: 318-455-4219
Welcome to Holy Nativity Mission - 318-455-4219

God is With Us!

Holy Nativity of the Lord Mission is a community of the Diocese of the South, Orthodox Church in America under the Omophorion of His Beatitude, The Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, and His Grace Bishop Nikon, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South. 'Holy Nativity Mission' is currently meeting on Sundays at the Barksdale Federal Credit Union South Branch Community Center (5490 Barksdale Blvd) at 10:00 AM to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and on Wednesday evenings at Fr. Jason and Mat' Ashely's House for Vespers, Bible study and dinner. There are two Orthodox Christian parishes in Shreveport, LA – St. George Greek Orthodox Church and St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church. Together, the Mission and the other two sister parishes are part of the greater Orthodox Church that is made up of over 300,000,000 Christians around the world. As one, we seek to bring the ancient faith and practice of Christ and His apostles to the people of Shreveport and Bossier. In doing so, we pray that those who join us will experience the fullness of life in Christ and His Church.

Holy Nativity is an eclectic mix of people from various backgrounds. Some are ‘cradle’ Orthodox, while others have converted to Orthodoxy as the result of a spiritual journey. Our former backgrounds include but are not limited to Southern Baptist, Methodist, United Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Charismatic Non-Denominational, Roman Catholic, Episcopalian and various Reformed faiths. Until recently, the majority of Orthodox Churches in the United States were made up of immigrants who brought the treasure of the Apostolic Faith with them from the Holy Lands, Greece, Turkey, Russia and other areas that once made up the Byzantine Empire and beyond. Fortunately, the theology and liturgy of the Church is now accessible to all as the original writings, like the New Testament, have been translated from Greek and other languages into English. Although the Mission uses English as the common language for teaching and worship, we still value and cherish the cultural traditions that protected, preserved and passed on the historic faith of the undivided Christian Church and seek to incorporate them in our liturgical life in order to enrich our experience together. 

We welcome all people to visit the mission. Also, because we understand worship to be a family affair, our older children, toddlers and infants join us in all services. If you are planning to pray with us one Sunday or attend another gathering during the week, please contact Fr. Jason so he can make sure we prepare a special guest packet for you. This will help you learn more about the Mission, and give us the opportunity to show you how much we appreciate your visit. 

We pray your journey of faith continues to move you more and more towards the likeness of Christ. Please know the heart, mind and hands of the Mission are available to assist you as needed on your pilgrimage. Our desire is show the people of Shreveport-Bossier the same love we continue to receive from God and, by His grace, demonstrate to each other.

Holy Nativity Newsletter

Pray for our Catechumens!

Please Pray for our Catechumens at Holy Nativity

Please keep Kevin, Mara, Travis, Jennifer, Jack, Jane, Murray, Dane, Elizabeth, Aubre, Jude, Steven, Jennifer, Charlie and David in your prayers as they prepare to enter the Church.


Our New Land on the Southern Loop

Our Land on the Southern Loop

Thanks be to God! On the Friday before Holy Week we purchased an 10.98 acre tract of land on the Southern Loop. This will be the future home of Holy Nativity. We are very thankful for Dr. Tom Siskron who gifted a large portion of the land to us, Jeff Norris for donating his legal services, Scott Adcock for the discounted appraisal work and Ioannis Petikas for doing our enviornmental study at no charge. Also, we want to thank Kayne  Pierce of Carter Federal Credit Union for financing the deal for us. 



OCA News Daily Scripture Readings

OCA News
OCA News

IN THE NEWS: Wisconsin, California, PA, Finland
30 Jul 2014 at 4:23pm
Kenosha, WI: A joint ministry, from South Carolina to Wisconsin! Kenosha Kenosha Kenosha Kenosha

Recently, a team of parishioners from the Nativity of the Theotokos Church, Charlotte, NC, made the 825-mile trek to Kenosha, WI, where they helped build an entrance ramp at Saint Nicholas Church.

“At the invitation of Charlotte’s Father Bill Mills, Sam Salloum and I started a conversation in March 2014 about a project that would make Saint Nicholas Church handicapped accessible,” said Kenosha’s Father Stephen Hrycyniak. “A team of five agreed to come to Kenosha and offer a week of their time to build a 100 foot ramp if our parishioners could come up with the cost of materials. I approached our council and parishioners; everyone was largely supportive and generously donated toward the project.”

The “Charlotte Five” arrived in Kenosha on Sunday, June 29, and within a week, the parish boasted a beautifully constructed ramp.

“Our parish in Charlotte is blessed with a young group of parishioners who are knowledgeable and handy when it comes to construction and property maintenance,” said Sam. “After taking care of our property for years, it was time to share our talents and skills to serve those who are in need of them, so decided to offer our labor as a gift to Saint Nicholas parish in Kenosha.

“None of us knew where Kenosha was,” Sam added. “On the Sunday we left, Father Bill told us not to worry—faith was our strength. Father Stephen and his parishioners took us in and loved us as their own. We pray that the handicap ramp is not only the physical means to enter the nave, but also to be the narrow road that leads to our Father’s Kingdom.”

“The ramp will meet the needs of our less mobile and differently-abled members and guests for years to come,” said Father Stephen. “It stands as an ‘icon’ of sorts that speaks powerfully that all are welcome at Saint Nicholas—and to the love and exemplary stewardship of the ‘Charlotte Five’ who made it possible!”

Pittsburgh, PA: FOCUS North America opens free health center FOCUS

FOCUS North America recently opened the FOCUS Pittsburgh Free Health Center to provide free, quality physical and mental health care and pharmaceutical and lab services to uninsured individuals.

The Center is the first, fully-accredited Orthodox Christian health center in the US. And FOCUS hopes that it will be just the first of many.

Patients are seen by Orthodox Christian physicians and health care providers who volunteer their time. The Center specifically targets and serves people who fall through the gaps in today’s health care system, those who do not qualify for government assistance, and those who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance.

Using this model, FOCUS hopes to launch more health centers in areas where Orthodox Christian physicians are available to donate their time and skills to serve the uninsured and working poor. Medical malpractice liability protection under the FOCUS model is provided by the federal government and the Federal Tort Claims Act for free to any physician or medical staffer serving at a FOCUS clinic. Physicians interested in learning more should contact FOCUS at info@focusna.org or 866-267-3083.

FOCUS North America is a national movement of Orthodox Christians, united in faith and joined by a desire to provide action-oriented and sustainable solutions to poverty in communities across America. FOCUS has operations and youth volunteer experiences in more than 25 cities in the US. To learn more or to donate, visit www.focusnorthamerica.org or visit FOCUS on Facebook and Twitter.

Manton, CA: “Those Beautiful Candles!” MantonFr. Sergiy (left), Mother Ermogena (center), and Fr. Cosmas (right). MantonFr. Innocent dipping candles with Fr. Andrew in the background, packing them into boxes. MantonFr. Cosmas wrapping frames.

One afternoon in March, Father Sergiy, an Orthodox priest from Gagauzia, was introducing Father Cosmas of the Monastery of Saint John, Manton, CA, to Abbess Ermogena of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Monastery, in Aleksandrovka, Ukraine.

“He’s an Orthodox monk from America,” explained Father Sergiy.

Mother Ermogena’s eyes widened. “There are Orthodox Christians in America?” she asked. “And monks?”

“Yes,” replied Father Sergiy. “He doesn’t speak Russian, though. But he does speak Gagauz.”

This surprised Mother Ermogena even more. “An American Orthodox monk who speaks Gagauz?” she said in amazement!

“That’s right,” said Father Cosmas in Gagauz, “and in fact, I wrote a letter to you two years ago in your language, in Gagauz.”

Mother Ermogena’s eyes widened even more.

“And along with the letter I sent a package of gifts from our monastery, the Monastery of Saint John, to your monastery. There was a CD of our monastery’s choir, some honey that our bees produced, and some candles we made…”

“Oh!” she exclaimed. “You are the one who sent those beautiful candles!”

She went on to say that her monastery made candles, too, but that they weren’t as beautiful as the candles from the Monastery of Saint John. Would Father Cosmas be willing to visit their candle factory, along with the nun who was in charge of it, and make some suggestions?

And so later that evening they did just that, and afterwards Father Cosmas wrote a little list of suggestions in her language about improvements they could make. And when he returned to the US, with the blessing of Father Innocent, a photographer went out to the candle factory and documented the steps of the candlemaking process that could help their sisters in Christ in Ukraine.

—Monk Cosmas [Shartz], Monastery of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Manton, CA

Santa Rosa Santa RosaSanta Rosa, CA: Celebrating the Feast of St. Seraphim of Sarov

On Saturday, July 19, 2014, Father Lawrence Margitich and the clergy and faithful of Saint Seraphim Church celebrated their summer patronal feast day. His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West welcomed His Grace, Bishop Alexander of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese at the celebration. The parish recently marked the completion of magnificent frescoes in the dome of the temple.

South Canaan, PA: 2014 Tikhonaire now available on-line STOTS

The 2014 edition of the Tikhonaire—the yearbook of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA—is now available on-line. The edition includes a variety of stories donated to Saint Tikhon’s Historical Initiative, which seeks to preserve stories regarding the life and history of the seminary for future generations. Access the Tikhonaire Digital Archive at http://stots.edu/tikhonaire.html. The seminary community extends its gratitude to all those who have generously sponsored Tikhonaire throughout its history, as well as those who undertook the monumental task of formatting, digitizing and compressing each volume for on-line publication. Printed copies of the 2014 Tikhonaire still are available for purchase on-line through Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Bookstore at http://www.stspress.com.

Helsinki, Finland: New book on icons a “first” Helsinki

In May 2014, the Finnish National Committee for Byzantine Studies published a new book titled Northern Byzantine Icons. The full-color volume traces the development of Orthodox Christian iconography in northern Europe and beyond; as such, it is the “first” of its kind.

According to Maritta Pitkänen, Phil. Lis., the book sheds new light on an iconographic tradition that has often been overlooked in the predominantly western-influenced Finland of today. The tradition of holy images that developed in Byzantium in the early Middle Ages spread northward in the course of the centuries, along with Christianity itself, reaching Kyiv, Novgorod, Karelia, Finland, and even Alaska.

Included is an article about Saint Herman of Alaska, one of the original eight missionaries to arrived in Kodiak, AK in 1794, written by committee member Dr. Matti Haltia. Saint Herman was a monk of the Valaam Monastery on Lake Ladoga in Karelia.

The volume may be ordered on-line at http://northernbyzantineicon.wordpress.com.

New church in Nicholasville, KY a “first”
29 Jul 2014 at 11:42am
Nicholasville, KYMoving Day the eve of our last Liturgy in the old church Nicholasville, KYMoving Day the eve of our last Liturgy in the old church Nicholasville, KYMoving Day the eve of our last Liturgy in the old church Nicholasville, KYFr. Justin passing out the holy things in the old church to the people to carry in Procession into the new church Nicholasville, KYFr. Justin passing out the holy things in the old church to the people to carry in Procession into the new church Nicholasville, KYFr. Justin carrying out the gifts and the antimension from the old church Nicholasville, KYA young parishioner holding an icon in our car Procession to the new church. Nicholasville, KYThe new church (without dome added yet) Nicholasville, KYEntering the new church Nicholasville, KYEntering the new church Nicholasville, KYEntering the new church Nicholasville, KYInterior of the new church during Moleben Nicholasville, KYInterior of the new church during Moleben

On Sunday, July 27, 2014, the faithful of Saint Athanasius Church here worshipped for the first time in their new church building.

Over 120 people were present at the final Liturgy in the parish’s storefront, for the procession (by car) to the new church after the Liturgy, and for the opening of the doors of the church with a Service of Thanksgiving marking the long journey that led to this day.  The move into the new church is but the most recent step in the 12-year history of this community.

Saint Athanasius community was founded in 2002 as a mission of the OCA Diocese of the South.  On the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, about 25 souls were received into the canonical Church from the Evangelical Orthodox Church.  With the granting of both the national and diocesan church planting grants, our first pastor, Father David Rucker, was able to devote himself to full-time parish ministry, and the parish grew rapidly.

Saint Athanasius graduated from the church planting grants in 2006, the same year Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory appointed a new rector, Father Justin Patterson, to serve the community.

In 2012, the parish purchased its current property, using the sale of another property to quickly pay down the mortgage and launch a capital campaign.  The parish family of Saint Athanasius, comprised of about 60 families, raised over $400,000.00 in the past three years.  In the fall of 2013, the parish body approved plans and received the blessing of Archbishop Nikon to break ground on the new $974,000.00 “Phase One” project.

Space has been set aside on our parish campus for future phases of construction, which will include a large traditional temple and additional office and educational space.

The building committee has worked diligently to stay within budget for this project and, as of this publication, is on track to meet that budget, as the project wraps up.  Saint Athanasius will host a fall open house for local community friends.  Archbishop Nikon has offered to preside at Saint Athanasius’ formal Dedication, slated to be held in early February 2015 in conjunction with the celebration of the parish’s 13th Anniversary.

The parish expresses its gratitude Archbishop Nikon for his support during this project, as well as to the OCA and the Diocese of the South for the support Saint Athanasius received, particularly during its formative years.  The parish family looks forward to supporting the institutions that have made the growth of Orthodoxy in Kentucky possible!

See related story here.

Visit Saint Athanasius’ Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Athanasius-Orthodox-Church/189523211170564.

FOCA President addresses 88th Annual Convention
29 Jul 2014 at 11:36am
FOCA Convention

As the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America convened during the last weekend of July 2014 in Gettysburg, PA for its 88th Annual National Convention, they were joined by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon; His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania; and His Grace, Bishop Mark of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania.

A weekend filled with fellowship, communion, and spirited discussion culminated with the event’s much anticipated Blue and Gray Banquet and Ball on Sunday evening, July 27, at which FOCA President Becky Tesar addressed the organization as a whole.

“Four score and eight years ago, our fathers brought forth to this country a new organization, conceived in brotherhood and dedicated to the proposition that Orthodox Christians should gather together in fellowship and service,” President Tesar began, echoing the tone of President Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.”  “Now, we are engaged in a great decline of membership, testing whether this organization or any organization, so beset by the distractions of what has become ‘everyday life’ can long endure. We have met today, not on a great battlefield, but at this 88th Convention.  We have come to rededicate ourselves as the bedrock of this organization, in remembrance of those who with foresight, strength of conviction and love for the Orthodox Church originally founded the Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But in a larger sense, it is not enough that we pledge dedication to our organization,” she continued.  “The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what we do, each and every day, to proclaim, share and reveal our Orthodox Christian Faith through service, fellowship and example.  It is for us, the living, to be dedicated to the unfinished work of those who came before us.  It is for us to be here, dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that we not bemoan our decline in membership, but rather reunite ourselves, refocus ourselves, and rejuvenate ourselves—that we here highly resolve that the work of those who came before us not be in vain, that this organization, this Fellowship, shall have a new birth through prayer, study, toil and temperance, and that all for one and one for all, it shall not perish from the earth.”

The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America is an official organization of the Orthodox Church in America with a mission to proclaim, share, and reveal our Orthodox Christian Faith through service, fellowship, and example.  We are a strong network and look to promote unity among all Orthodox Christians.  Visit the FOCA web site at http://OrthodoxFellowship.org.

A convention photo gallery is available on the OCA web site and Facebook page.

The Path
The Path Podcast

July 31, 2014
July 31, 2014

July 30, 2014
July 30, 2014