St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church

Motorists buzzing by the intersection of Highway 13 and Silver Bell Road may be surprised to learn there is a Byzantine chapel just yards away.

To borrow a phrase from The Beatles, it has been a long and winding road for the tiny congregation of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church.

In 2003, Fr. Marc Boulos and a handful of parishioners set out to build a mission church in Eagan. 

In the early days, they met in a conference room at the Microtel Inn on Lone Oak Road, where they had to cover the sprinklers with plastic bags so incense used during the liturgy wouldn't result in a deluge.  

From there, the congregation of about 30 families moved to the Klecatsky and Sons Funeral Home on Yankee Doodle Road and prepared to build a church of their own.

Their first capital campaign resulted in a fully-paid-for parcel of land on which to build and an architectural firm was enlisted to draw up plans for a modest church building. 

Then the credit markets dried up. 

Although it was somewhat poetic to be meeting in a funeral home - considering the early church met in the catacombs -  a hold on building plans sent the congregation in search of someplace of their own; a place where they didn't have to set up and take down each week. 

A more permanent solution turned out to be warehouse space in the Silver Bell Business Center at 2020 Silver Bell Road.

There, they got busy with paint and wood and, beneath industrial beams and ductwork, created an eastern orthodox chapel in the Byzantine tradition.

As is common for orthodox priests in the United States, Fr. Boulos holds a full-time job as an IT manager, in addition to shepherding his little flock.

St. Elizabeth's has attracted an eclectic group of parishioners and Boulos says "on any given Sunday you will hear Arabic, Russian, and Greek being spoken in addition to English." 

Although the congregation still hopes to build someday, for the present, they are content to have have a church home where they can meet and worship. 

Afterall, Boulos says, it's not about the building but very much about "making sure the priority is the Gospel."

Visitors are always welcome to the Saturday afternoon bible study, Saturday evening Vespers, and the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy.

Twice a year, the church hosts the Minnesota Bible Lecture Series, a full weekend dedicated to reading the bible as literature and understanding what it has to teach the modern world. 

St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church
Fr. Marc Boulos, Rector
2020 Silver Bell Rd, Suite 5
Eagan, MN 55122
website: www.seocc.org 

Saturday 4 - 5  p.m., Bible Study
Saturday, 5 -  6 p.m., Great Vespers
Sunday, 10 a.m. - noon, Divine Liturgy 

mary kujawa July 13, 2011 at 08:54 AM
good for those people


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