"Pascha, Easter, must fall on the Sunday after the first full moon
after the vernal equinox," said Father. Wayne Wilson, pastor of St.
The rules for calculating the date of the feast are essentially the
same throughout Christendom, but the calendars used for the calculation
Western churches -- Roman Catholic, Anglican and Protestant -- use the
reformed Gregorian calendar to arrive at the date for Easter. The East,
however, still figures the date based on the Julian calendar.
"In some years, like last year, the feast falls on the same day, but
in other years the dates are much farther apart, like this year," Wilson
said. "Easter in the West was on March 31."
Great Lent, a nearly seven-week difficult pilgrimage of prayer and
fasting that paves the way to Pascha, is sometimes described as a "bright
sadness." It is a journey from sorrow and repentance to the bright,
transcendent joy of Easter.
It has been more than 20 years since Wilson and many of the early
members of St. Barnabas embarked on a journey of another sort that
brought them to where they are today.
"In the 60s and 70s many of us were involved in Christian work and
evangelism. I was involved with Campus Crusade for Christ," said Wilson.
He and the others were fervent about their faith, yet they began to
wonder if there was something more to it than they knew. Their questions
set them on a quest that ultimately led them from their evangelical and
Protestant roots to Orthodoxy.
In the 1970s the congregation joined a larger, loose federation of
like-minded churches called, at the time, the Evangelical Orthodox
Church. The small group of about 15 met for home-based Bible studies in
Huntington Beach. They took the name of St. Barnabas early on.
"We would get visitors from everywhere," Wilson explained.
People began tell him the church was an encouraging place to be. When
it came time to pick a patron saint for the congregation, St. Barnabas,
whose name means "son of encouragement," seemed natural.
"We hoped that through his prayers and intercessions we would maintain