The Parish of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God in Dover, Florida welcomed His Grace, Bishop DANIEL, and seminarian Andrij Matlak, who accompanied the bishop, to the Parish on the weekend of September 6th and 7th. Among many other things, Saturday's itinerary included a stop to the nursing home to visit longstanding member George DeHaven after his long surgery, at which time Bishop DANIEL anointed him for the healing of soul and body and offered the words of comfort.
On Saturday at Vespers, His Grace was greeted at the door by parish council members and their wives to welcome him with bread and salt. Vespers was celebrated with His Grace presiding and Fr. Harry serving, and His Grace had a wonderful message to those who were present. Following Vespers there was a reception in which members present were able to speak with the Bishop.
On Sunday morning there was a procession from the parish rectory to the Church where, on the porch, the Bishop was greeted by youth flanked on the walkway throwing flower pedals at his feet, and well as more children and adults to greet him on the porch and two of the youth presenting him with flowers: 5 year old Sachita Johns in her traditional Indian dress and 6 year old George Yuschak. This was accompanied by those gathered on the porch welcoming the Bishop in 14 different languages, each welcoming him in the language of their ethnic heritage, and completed by all stating “Welcome Your Grace” in English. Fr. Harry, together with Fr. Steven Ivanoff of St. Michael Parish in Pinellas Park, greeted Him at the door of the temple, as is customary, with the cross asking Him to lead the community in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. At the Divine Liturgy, the faithful gathered to participate in the Holy Eucharist with His Grace Bishop DANIEL, gave an illuminating and inspiring sermon on becoming more active in the Orthodox Christian faith, that it is a living faith that reaches out to others and through us touches the world with God’s grace. The Mysteries were given by the hand of His Grace to those who had prepared themselves. Afterwards, a banquet in honor of Bishop DANIEL was prepared with an array of foods.