Saturday, August 1, 2015

Holy Family Catholic Cathedral, Anchorage Alaska

This is Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage Alaska, although as of 2013 a co-cathedral in Anchorage serves the archdiocese for many functions, this downtown location having been determined to be impractical for some of them.. The Cathedral was built in 1948 as a parish church, and became a cathedral in 1966 when the archdiocese was established.

Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church, Ninilchik Alaska

This is the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Church in Ninilchik Alaska.  This community has had a Russian Orthodox Church since 1846, but this structure dates to 1901.  It is a regular Russian Orthodox Church in the Orthodox Church of America's Diocese of Anchorage.

Again, while we do not generally delve into such topics here, some explanation is again in order.  This church is a conventional Russian Orthodox Church, but its subject to the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America, which is one of two bodies that formed in the U.S. to govern Russian Orthodox Churches following the Russian Revolution.  The Orthodox Church in America is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church that started to govern its affairs separately when Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow directed all Russian Orthodox churches outside of Russia and was originally the Russian Greek Orthodox Church in America.  It was granted autocephaly by the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia in 1970 and changed its name at that time, although the validity of that action is disputed by some.

Church of St. Nicholas, Old Believers Russian Orthodox, Nikolaevsk Alaska

This is the Church of St. Nicholas in Nikolaevsk Alaska. The church is an Old Believers Russian Orthodox Church.

I've generally avoided describing doctrinal matters on this blog, but because there are Russian Orthodox churches that appear hear, and because this stands to be confusing, I will here, although only very briefly.  The Old Believers descend from Russians who separated from the main Russian Orthodox Church when they refused to accept certain reforms that came about in the 17th Century.  By almost any outside standard, the reforms were very minor, but the Old Believers rejected them and separated from the Russian Orthodox.  Some priests were included in the group, but no bishops were, so within the lives of those priests the clergy died out, as there was no valid way to ordain new ones.

To add to the confusion, however, starting in the 20th Century various Old Believer groups have come to have priests once again, as they've located bishops willing to ordain priests for them.  Not all have accepted this, however, and today there are Old Believer Russian Orthodox churches with priests, and without, as well as some that are in communion with Rome, while most are not.  

This church in located in an Old Believer community, as almost all of them are.  Nikolaevsk, which is outside of Homer, once had two churches, one priestless, and this one, but the other one burned down at some point (I'm not suggesting fowl play) and the parishioners relocated to another town near Homer.  

These photos fail to show the entire church, which is being added to, as the vegetation in the area is so dense.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Seward Alaska.

This is St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Seward Alaska.  It was built in 1906.  The architectural style is apparently called "Bungalow/Craftsman", the first church so identified as such here in this blog.

Seward Memorial Methodist Church (and Resurrection Lutheran church), Seward Alaska

This is a Methodist Church in Seward Alaska.  Other than that, I can't relate anything else about it including age, etc.  Resurrection Lutheran Church, which I didn't otherwise photograph, is visible immediately behind it.