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The Tradition of Icons
In the Orthodox Church the icons bear witness to the reality of God’s presence with us in the mystery of faith. The icons are not just human pictures or visual aids to contemplation and prayer. They are the witnesses of the presence of the Kingdom of God to us, and so of our own presence to the Kingdom of God in the Church. It is the Orthodox faith that icons are not only permissible, but are spiritually necessary because “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1.14). Christ is truly man and, as man, truly the “icon of the invisible God” (Col 1.15; 1 Cor 11.7; 2 Cor 4.4).
The East Wall
In 2020, our parish was blessed to receive the first gift towards the installment and completion of the Panagia Platytera in our sanctuary. With this initial gift, we were prompted to come up with the plan and design of the Playtera. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, we hired Iconographer Bessie Zgourides to help us not only develop a plan for the Platytera, but a plan for the completion of our entire East wall. The installment of the plans were divided into two Phases; Phase 1 for the completion of the Platytera in our sanctuary, and Phase 2 for the completion of the remainder East wall.
Bessie Zgourides, with the help of her assistant Deaconisa Kyriaki, completed and installed the Panagia Playtera and the two half figured angels in June 2022. Members of our parish were able to help with the installation of this beautiful, hand painted icon.
"Our Orthodox Church places the icon of the Theotokos above the sanctuary which symbolizes that she is between the Pantocrator (Christ blessing us in the dome) and His struggling church, that is because she is our most powerful intercessor; our mother in heaven who hears the prayers of all and know the misfortunes and expectations of all."
A message from Bessie to our parish after the completion of the Platytera.....
"I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all that the Sts. Peter & Paul community has done for Deaconisa Kyriaki and I as we installed the Panagia Platytéra in the church.
For Father Jordan and Presbytera Marika’s hospitality and love. ForPresbytera’s calming and God centering singing while we worked.
For Jim Azar and his quick responses in communicating, organizing the scaffolding, and helping with the installation of Panagia. For all the parishioners who helped lift up and hold the most Holy Theotokos. And for Christina Louwers, who prepared delicious meals for us and for the beautiful photos that Rick Leonidas has shared.
You truly have a wonderful parish, and it has been an honor for me to have met so many of you.
– Your servant in Christ, Bessie Zgourides
Phase 2 of our inconography project includes the completion of the East wall. Icons planned for this phase includes The Resurrection, The Nativity, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Holy Napkin, and the 10 Apostles Medallions.
Sketch of completed Phase 2
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