In conjunction with the National Independence Day of Republic of Bulgaria March 3rd, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Simeon Djankov visited St. George Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian community in Orlando, Florida. The visit was the first of its kind of a high ranked Bulgarian government official in the state of Florida.
In the morning of March 2nd Minister Djankov and members of the Parish Council attended an official meeting with representatives from the Economic Development Commission, City of Orlando and the Mayor’s Office. The meeting was followed by a working luncheon with the Parish Council, during which Minister Djankov was presented with a brief history of the church along with ideas for establishing of a cultural and educational center in Orlando. The attendees discussed the need of continuous preservation of the Bulgarian traditions and culture abroad. It’s a fact that between Washington DC and Florida our parish is the single functioning Bulgarian Orthodox Congregation. As of now the Church does not possess property, but yet manages to lead an active parish life.
In the early afternoon, Mr. Djankov visited St. Petka Serbian Orthodox Church where he was acquainted with the construction plans of the new church building. The site is where the Bulgarian laity regularly attends Holy Liturgies serviced by Father Ljubisha Brnjos.
The Evening Meeting with the Bulgarian community in Central Florida commenced with lament at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, lead by Father Ljubisha, and helped by Father Konstantin along with readers Vladan from St.Petka Serbian Orthodox Church and Atanas from St. George Bulgarian Church. The requiem to the fallen heroes for the Bulgarian Independence was followed by prayer for the well being of all of Bulgarian folk around the world.
The festivities continued with a greeting performance by the children of “Sonya Rhythmic Gymnastics” and Club “Az Sum Bulgarche”. Minister Djankov held an inspiring speech, filled with useful information in which he congratulated the community of Central Florida for their spirit and ongoing preservation of the Bulgarian culture and traditions. A speech dedicated to Independence Day was held by Mr. Philip Koussev in which he cited His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph: “March 3rd is a day for a prayer for all freedom fighters and those who lost their lives for Bulgaria. It’s a day we need to remember the faith and the endurance of our people.”
The Parish Council of St George Bulgarian Church is diligently working to unite and bring all Bulgarians together as well as to raise funds necessary for the establishment of Holy Temple, Cultural Center, and Educational Facility in the region.