Westlake’s Greek festival brings fun, fellowship and faith
, 2022-05-22 15:06:43,
Perched on a hilltop off St. Stephen’s School Road is Austin’s only Greek Orthodox church. This faith community’s journey began in 1985 in a borrowed worship space. In 1990, 4.2 acres of land was purchased in Westlake to build a Byzantine style stone church, with arched windows, red tile roof and views reminiscent of Greece.
Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church welcomed worshipers in 2004, and is a colorful jewel filled with inspirational icons illustrating sacred scriptures.
Since opening, membership has exploded and now includes 250 families.
“We are mostly a convert church, at least 65% are converts. They come from all backgrounds … and are looking for a church that has significant roots in history and truth and doesn’t change. They love the ritual, the holistic approach to worship, utilizing all of their senses … sight with iconography, smell with incense, taste with Holy Communion, and touch with kissing of the icons and warmth of a close-knit community,” said the Rev. Vasileios Flegas.
One of the congregation’s most joyful activities is hosting its annual Austin Greek Festival every Memorial Day weekend, this year from May 27-29 at the church.
Flegas said the Greek Festival is about “extending the love and fellowship of our community to the broader community through our love of hospitality, food, dance and just plain old fun.”
Guests come for the fresh and homemade Greek food, such as spanakopites, gyros, souflaki kebabs, lamb shanks, pastitsio, baklava, and more, including Greek wines and beer. Parishioners spend many hours preparing the mouth-watering food in the community center kitchen.
During all three days of the festival, chains of dancers will snake through the crowd accompanied by a live band from Greece. The church’s young…
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