Welcome to an ecumenical sharing of life, faith, and ministry in what many call the Great Land.
We have chosen Newarchangel as the name of this journal for what it might suggest. The name is taken from a small town on the west coast of Southeast Alaska. The first people to make that location home were the Tlingit. Their name for their village is Sheet’Ka. Once the Russians arrived and made the site the capital of their American possessions, they named it Newarchangel. Finally, when Alaska was transferred to the United States, the Americans adapted the Tlingit name and have known this town on its snug Pacific harbor as Sitka.
From its beginning this place of many names has been blessed with abundance and diversity. That has been true in nature and humanity. Many peoples have gone there and participated in trade, exchanges of cultural riches, and have been exposed to new ideas.
This village of triple heritage has played the same role for the Christian Churches. It began with the arrival of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1816. The church grew under the later leadership of Bishop Innocent. The Finnish Lutheran Church arrived with the tradesmen hired by the Russians. These technicians built the first Lutheran church on the west coast of all the Americas in 1843. The balance of the 19th century saw the arrival of the Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and the Episcopal churches. The leadership of each of these communities contributed greatly to the growth of our shared faith in Alaska. As is true in all of Alaska and the United States, Newarchangel continues to host an ever expanding wealth of Christian traditions, perspectives, and understandings.
It is in this spirit that this journal has been established. The clergy and laity of the Church in Alaska are invited to use this journal as a place to get a glimpse into the Christian experience of their brothers and sisters in faith. In this time of great cultural and technological change it is beneficial to our shared faith that we learn from each other. All of us face the same challenge of being the most effective presence and witness for Christ as possible in this Great Land. We will do this best when we do it together.
You will find links to contributions arranged by category in the column to the right. Simply click the category that interest you to find what has been offered.
Fr. Dave Elsensohn