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American River Blessing on Theophany - 01/15/19

On Sunday, January 6th, the Theopany of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as His baptism in the River Jordan by John the Forerunner, the Reverend Timothy Winegar and faithful of Elevation of the Holy Cross Parish in Sacramento gathered at the banks of the American River for the Great Blessing of Water. The American River is a 120 mile waterway that originates in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and is known as the site where gold was discovered in 1848 that started the California Gold Rush. It flows into Folsom Lake just outside of Sacramento, and eventually confluences with the Sacramento River. By this confluence, the waters of the American flow into the San Francisco Bay Watershed. By flowing into the Bay, these waters then eventually join the Pacific Ocean and through the Pacific, reach the rest of the world. Thus, by blessing the river off of this rainy, rocky bank, the Orthodox faithful seen in these pictures invoke God's blessing on the living waters on the whole of His creation! "Great art Thou O Lord, and marvelous are Thy works, and there is no word sufficient to hymn Thy wonders!"  

(photos courtesy of Melissa Dubovik)


Thanks from Chico - 01/04/19

Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

All of us here at Sts. Cyril & Methodius are deeply grateful for the amazing outpouring of love, prayers and generous financial support that we have received. We have been able to not only help our own parishioners, but also many others from our surrounding community impacted by the fire. We are still actively contributing to those in need with the funds we have left over. May God bless all of you for your love, prayers, kindness, and generosity in the face of this tragedy.

With much love in Christ, 

Fr. Ian

50th Anniversary of Autocephaly and St. Herman Celebration - 01/01/19

Join your fellow Orthodox believers in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of St. Herman of Alaska’s glorification and the 50th Anniversary of the OCA’s autocephaly in 2020. There will be weekly trips to Alaska over the summer of 2020 sponsored by each of the dioceses of the OCA. The Diocese of the West will sponsor their trip July 8-14, 2020. This will be a special trip for all Orthodox believers. Sign up early and reserve your space. Final cost to be determined.

Core package includes:

*          7 days/6 nights accommodation

*          Round trip air fare to Kodiak from Anchorage

*          Excursion to Spruce Island

*          Touring and sightseeing as listed in itinerary

For terms and conditions, passports, visas, baggage fees, air, additional taxes and travel insurance information visit 6yw9rqt2j8tsqz2ay6m2dq5da4qlfkq or email 713-688-6793.

Download the flyer here.



To the Reverend Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the West

Dearly beloved:

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  (Luke 1:30-33)

These words of the Archangel Gabriel, while belonging to our knowledge and celebration of the Annunciation, speak eternal truths about our celebration of the Incarnation of the Son of Mary. The first truth is that the pre-eternal Son of God, existing from before time with the Father and the Spirit, takes His flesh from the Virgin Mary. He took our flesh.

The second eternal truth is that the One who took that flesh from the Virgin Mary is in very fact the Son of God, uniting in Himself the divine nature which He had from the beginning with the human nature in which He humbly clothes Himself. He assumes the fallen human nature completely, so that we can be clothed by Grace with the Divine. “Flesh” seems to be the painful source of so much sin from the beginning, so much corruption. Gluttony, drunkenness, promiscuity, even a disgust for the flesh that God clothed me in — seeking to alter it surgically or hormonally. St. Paul uses the term “flesh” to generally describe the fallenness of our world, and each of us individually. But it is, ironically, precisely “Flesh” that saves us, if we but clothe ourselves in that flesh transfigured by Him.

Updated Numbers - 11/16/18

By now many of you have heard of the "Camp Fire" which has been raging here in Northern California. This fire has now become the deadliest and most devastating wildfire in California history. As of this writing, the death toll is at 71 and is bound to rise considering the number of missing persons. The fire has burnt 146,000 acres, it is currently 50% contained. So far 9,844 residences, 336 commercial, 2,067 other buildings have also been destroyed. Sts. Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Mission, here in Chico, is only 15 minutes from the town of Paradise, the town which has been completely devastated by this fire. The two towns of Chico and Paradise are closely intertwined, as many people live in Paradise and work in Chico. 

Along with thousands of other people, five of our own parishioners have lost their homes as well. Most importantly, we are thankful to God that they all made it out alive! Their stories are harrowing! Many of them drove through flames while evacuating. The fire advanced very quickly and they received no advanced warning from any official source, and fled their homes with very little! We are glad that they are safe and being taken care of by friends, relatives, and fellow parishioners, but they are now left with the task of having to rebuild their lives. 

We look forward to helping our parishioners and others within our local community get back on their feet. It will be a long road, but we know that tragedy also has the capacity to bring us closer together and remind us of what is truly important: our unity in Christ and our love for our neighbor. We are setting up a "fire relief" fund to help our parishioners and others affected. We appreciate your prayers and donations to those suffering in our community.

Donations may be sent to:

So. Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church
2956 Cohasset Rd
Chico, California 95973-0921

Fr. Ian Shipley

Diocese of the West Video Now Available - 07/30/18

A video highlighting the work going on in the Diocese of the West, prepared for and debuted at the 19th All-American Council held July 23-27 in St. Louis is now available online. If you wish to view the video, click


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