Christ the Saviour Antiochian Orthodox Church is part of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York, of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The Diocese of Ottawa is led by His Grace Bishop Alexander and includes 18 churches and missions in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and New York. Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church started as an Orthodox Christian Mission in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region.
Our Metropolitan Joseph
His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on June 30, 1991 at St. Mary Cathedral in Damascus, after many years of serving as a deacon and priest. His Eminence was born in Damascus, Syria, in 1950. He completed his basic schooling at the St. John of Damascus and al-Assiyeh schools in Damascus and then at Our Lady of Balamand Monastery in Koura, Lebanon. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Lebanese University in Beirut and then earned his Master of Theology (M.Th.) with special studies in music and languages from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from St. Tikhon Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania in May, 2010.
Metropolitan Joseph is fluent in English, Arabic and Greek and is conversant in other European languages.
Our Bishop Alexander
Bishop Alexander was ordained to the Diaconate on January 9, 2000 and to the priesthood on April 9, 2000. Bishop Alexander served as priest of St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Hunt Valley, Maryland from 2000-2004. He was elevated to the Archimandrite on July 4, 2004.
His Grace Bishop Alexander was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on December 5, 2004. His consecrating bishops included His Beatitude Ignatius IV at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus, Syria. He was enthroned as the first Diocesan Bishop of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York at St. Elias Cathedral in Ottawa on June 12, 2005.
Our Priest, Father Christoper Rigden-Briscall
Fr. Christopher was born in Penticton, British Columbia. He was raised by pious Christian parents in the Anglican Church. His father was a priest in the Anglican Church and his grandfather was a missionary priest of the Anglican Church.
Fr. Christopher was involved in youth ministry, organizing conferences and missionary trips. He began working in the L’Arche Community in Vancouver, while attending university on a part-time basis. This was the beginning of nearly seventeen years in the field of social work: in classrooms, group homes, prisons, secure psychiatric facilities; in child protection and youth addictions; working with numerous young people and their families with a myriad of difficulties and struggles.
Father Christopher met his wife-to-be, Khouria Kimberly, and marrying young, the new family began fostering children before they had their own. Father Christopher and Khouria Kimberly now have four children: Elijah, Esmé, Nikolai and Margaret.
Fr. Christopher and Khouria Kimberly began searching in earnest for a spiritual home. Having spent time reading about the Desert and Apostolic Fathers, Fr. Christopher learned about the ancient Church during his involvement in youth ministry in the Anglican church. Him and Khouria Kimberly spent time in various Christian traditions (Anglican, Vineyard, Non-Denominational, and Roman Catholic), still searching for the unchanging Church. They entered the Orthodox Church in 1996. Here is an interview with Father Christopher talking about his journey to and in Orthodoxy.
As a young child, Fr. Christopher felt called to the priesthood. After entering the Orthodox Church, Fr. Christopher began the St. Stephen’s Course Program at the Antiochian House of Studies. He completed this program in 2000, and in 2002, he completed the Late Vocations Program of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on the Feast of the Meeting in the Temple (February 2nd) in 2002. Soon after his ordination as a deacon, Fr. Christopher and Khouria Kim petitioned their bishop to go to seminary to become a priest. In 2004, the family moved to St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, New York. While at St Vladimir’s, Fr. Christopher was ordained to the Holy Priesthood (again on the Feast of the Meeting in the Temple) in 2005. Upon returning from seminary, Fr. Christopher served as the 2nd Priest at Holy Resurrection Sobor in Vancouver, establishing an Orthodox Chaplaincy at University of British Columbia (UBC). One year later, his Bishop asked him to begin an English Mission to Vancouver. He served in this capacity until June 2008, when Fr. Christopher joined the Antiochian Archdiocese to serve in Waterloo, ON, as the first priest assigned to Christ the Saviour Mission.
As a priest, Father Christopher pastors his flock at what became Christ the Saviour Antiochian Orthodox Church in Waterloo, while serving four regular services at the church (Holy Liturgy and Orthros on Sundays, Vespers on saturdays, Akathist on Wednesdays). He also serves as the Orthodox Chaplain at the two universities in Waterloo, and is the president of the Chaplain Association at the University of Waterloo. Father Christopher serves as the Christian Education Coordinator for the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York. He has also served the Diocesan Camp Transfiguration since 2010, and has recently been appointed as the Senior Camp Priest. He is just finishing his Master’s of Divinity at the Lutheran Seminary, Wilfrid Laurier University.
Fr. Christopher’s hobbies and interests include gardening, camping, canoeing and science fiction.