The morning began with the faithful of the community from St. John’s, as well as those of its sister churches St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church (Milwaukie, Oregon) and St. Martin the Merciful Russian Orthodox Church (Corvallis, Oregon) gathering at the gate to welcome the bishop. With bells, singing, and loving joy the bishop was greeted on his return to Eugene.
Preceding the Liturgy, Bishop Maxim tonsured Professor Alexander Polishchuk a reader. Professor Polishchuk is a mathematics professor of the University of Oregon and has faithfully served as St. John’s choir director for six years. He is the husband of Dr. Maria Nemirovskaya, the president of St. John’s Executive Board. They are the parents of three children. The parish rejoiced to witness the solemn tonsuring and prayers of the Bishop for its new reader..