A couple of months ago, as I was looking for a Lenten fish fry to document for the Religious Sounds Project, I stumbled upon the St. Stevan-Dechani Serbian Orthodox Church in Columbus. When I arrived at one of the fish dinners on March 25, I didn’t know anyone, and I didn’t know what exactly to expect. Although I’ve been to Eastern Orthodox churches before (including a Ukranian Orthodox Church in Centralia, PA), I’m not as familiar with Orthodox Christian traditions as I am with others. What I discovered was a welcoming community with a rich cultural heritage and strong social ties. Some of the congregation members I’ve met are resettled refugees from the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. Although I recognize that I still have much to learn about the Orthodox Church, I’ve enjoyed hearing different people’s stories, and learning about the role of St. Stevan-Dechani in this tightly knit Columbus community. I joined the congregation for Easter Sunday, and I’m looking forward to going back soon.
Thanks for looking!