Saint Elizabeth Orthodox Church exists for the salvation of her members and the world around them.
We belong to the Orthodox Church in America, one of the world's autocephalous (or "self-governing") national Orthodox churches that maintains sacramental unity with all others (such as the Russian, Greek, and Antiochian churches). We are the first Orthodox parish of Kitsap County, having been planted as a mission by Seattle's Saint Spiridon Cathedral in 2000. After years of borrowing space from other local churches and renting a storefront, we have grown to the point where we now own a permanent, two-acre property just north of central Poulsbo off of Highway 3.
Many of our members are converts to the faith, and others were raised in it. We come from a diversity of social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds, reminding us of Saint Paul's statement that"there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). What is common to all of our members, though, is a commitment to unity in the faith.
Unity is cherished by our parish and is secured by our common commitment to the Orthodox faith. We are a socially diverse community, but in the matter of faith we enjoy complete unanimity. "Let us love one another," we declare at every Divine Liturgy, "that with one mind we may confess Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: The Trinity, one in essence and undivided." We are one because God is one. And we are undivided because God, existing in three persons, is undivided.
Each of our members is committed to supporting one another lovingly in the faith as it was given once and for all by God to the Apostles and has been handed down unchanged for twenty centuries. Questions of doctrine, morality, and worship can actually divide many non-Orthodox Christians today, but for us they have long been resolved by our saintly predecessors in the faith who worked them out in the ancient councils of the Church. We do not suffer divisions within our parish in the face of modern innovations to Christianity. Our people, guided by our bishop and the clergy he assigns to serve us, humbly hold fast to what we have been given: the faith of the Apostles.
Every year on the first Sunday of Lent, known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy, we as a community commemorate this fact during an outdoor procession when we proclaim, repeating the words of our ninth-century forefathers, that it is this very faith that has "established the universe."