Beloved in the Lord,

“You have made the earth tremble; You have broken it; Heal its breaches, for it is shaking.” Psalm 60:2

Earlier today two very strong earthquakes measuring 7.0 and 5.7 struck near Anchorage, Alaska. Aftershocks continue to be felt in the area. There have been reports of damage throughout greater Anchorage as well as disruption to electricity. The water system is also being tested to certify its safety. Several roads also sustained significant damage creating large and dangerous sinkholes.

I have been in direct contact with Rev. Father Vasilios Hillhouse, pastor of Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Anchorage, Alaska. Father Vasili shared that there are some noticeable cracks in the nave of the church. Pieces of a chandelier also fell to the ground and shattered but no one was injured. Other damage was discovered in their secondary building which is used for administrative offices and parish education programs, but it is still too early to assess the extent of the full impact of these powerful earthquakes. Until the church grounds can be fully inspected, divine services will be held at an off-site location.

Anchorage Bookstore

The Holy Transfiguration parish was founded in 1953, with the first church being built in 1958. Construction on the current church began in 2010 and was completed in 2014. The parish currently serves over 100 families.

Father Vasili informed me that there are no reports of injuries to parishioners and there is minor damage to their homes. We pray for the Lord’s calming hand on this land to cease any further damage or destruction. Please remember this faithful congregation and all those in the Anchorage area in your supplications to God, seeking His grace, peace and mercy!

With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco