A Red Deer congregation is hoping the community will help support fundraising efforts to see a permanent building by later next year.
Morris Brese, parish president of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Parish here in Red Deer, said the goal is to have funding in place so construction on the building can begin in the spring.
The site where the building will be situated, in Vanier Woods East, has already been purchased. For the past 14 years, the congregation has met in various locations around the City, and are currently meeting for services in the Clearview Community Hall.
“We’ve met in funeral homes, community centres – the odd time at the College. But we’ve managed to stay around,” he said, noting that it’s been a challenge at times. Having a permanent meeting place would certainly make a difference, he added.
Meanwhile, a priest comes from Calgary twice a month. “It’s time to have a permanent home. So we just want to get the word out for now.”
Services usually run the second and fourth Sunday of the month, he said, adding that the church has an inclusive approach. “Our church is actually multi-cultural.”
Anyone is welcome to attend, and membership consists of Ukrainian immigrants, Ukrainian-Canadians, Romanians, Russians, Serbians and converts to orthodoxy.
“We also have Vespers, which is a Friday night prayer service.” That runs usually twice a month as well.
Brese said that the campaign includes fundraising presentations to parishes and lay organizations across the province. The parish was also able to purchase the land due to a donation by Jules and Theresa Klepak who are parishioners of St. Vladimir’s in Calgary. They donated most of the cost of the half-acre plot of land in Vanier Woods East.
Holy Trinity has also received large donations from St. Anthony’s Ukrainian Orthodox Parish in Edmonton and St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Congregation in Calgary. Due to this, the parish will be undertaking a mortgage of about $450,000 for their church.
These days, the Red Deer parish is served by Rev. Fr. Timothy Chrapko.
A church brochure explains that without a proper church building, there’s been barriers to the mission as “We have low visibility in the community and so have a difficult time promoting ourselves to the Red Deer community.”
For more information about the church, or about contributing to the fundraising initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-700-9947.
Donations can also be sent to the parish post office box at PO Box 24038 (RPO City Centre) in Red Deer. The postal code is T4N 6X6.
For the congregation, it’s good to be moving forward with plans for a brand new building. “It’s an exciting time.”
The parish will issues tax receipts as well.