Our presenter for this evening is Archpriest Pimen Simon J.D., The Church of the Nativity Archpriest, Erie, Pennsylvania.
Archpriest Pimen Simon who for over thirty years has been the rector of an Old Ritualist congregation in Erie, PA. Fr. Pimen challenges the stereotypical image of the narrow-minded Old Believer. His talk at the Fourth Pan-Diaspora Council in San-Francisco was a perfect example of Fr. Pimen’s honest and realistic approach to church issues. Fr. Pimen holds a degree in law, but for the past twenty years he has been teaching Russian Studies at Mercyhurst College in Erie.
Archpriest Simon was born and raised in Erie and attended East High School. He received his B.A. from Colgate University in 1969 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. He returned to Erie in 1972 and worked as an Associate first for the Elderkin, Martin & Kelly law firm and, later, for the law firm of Knox, Mclaughlin, Gornall and Sennett. During this time, he served on the boards of both the Erie Philharmonic and United Way of Erie County.
Beginning in 1974, Archpriest Simon and fellow Erie Philharmonic board member Tom Hagen led a successful campaign to attract funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to purchase the Warner Theater from a private owner who was considering tearing down the historic building.
In 1976, Archpriest Simon decided to leave his legal practice to become a priest. He became rector of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Nativity in November 1976, dedicating himself to the church and its community. For nearly 35 years, he and his wife, Jayne, have resided in the church's rectory on East Front Street and worked tirelessly to minister both to the parish and its surrounding community.
Having witnessed the decline of the inner city since his youth, Archpriest Simon began working with other local community leaders in the late 1970s to address the concerns of the East Bayfront, Erie's original neighborhood resulting in the creation of B.E.S.T. (Bayfront East Side Taskforce) in 1980. It was the first nonprofit in Erie focused on the revitalization of a single neighborhood. Archpriest Simon is the founding member of this organization and has served as Chair of the Board of Directors since its inception.
Archpriest Simon has continued to be actively involved throughout the Erie community. He was one of the original board members of the Erie Civic Center Authority and has served on the boards of the American Cancer Society and the Erie Historical Society. Archpriest Simon was part of the Governor's Commission for the Erie Maritime Museum and was a member of the City of Erie's Zoning Hearing Board. He served as a trustee of The Erie Community Foundation and as corporator for UPMC Hamot. He has served on the Jefferson Society's commission to commemorate the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie.
Archpriest Simon has touched the lives of hundreds of local students through his position as Professor of Russian Studies at Mercyhurst College, where he also served as Vice President of the College Faculty Senate. He has also continued to lead his parish to undertake numerous charitable activities. He formed Christians for Brotherly Love, the parish's community outreach program, and led the movement to create a Neighborhood Food Pantry that serves nearly 50 families each month.
His personal impact on his parish community, Erie's business leaders, local service organizations, the Mercyhurst College community, and some of Erie's neediest populations are the ultimate testament to the work and service that have been his life's work for nearly 40 years. In honor of the significant difference he has made in the lives of the people of Erie County through his dedication and service, United Way presented the 2011 Tocqueville Award to Archpriest Steven Pimen Simon.
Please join us on November 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm, for our pre-dinner cocktail and chat time and remember to bring your friends and acquaintances. Reservations are required.
Please remember to make your reservation at email@example.com.
An interview with Archpriest Pimen Simon, "There Is More to our Mission" ROCOR Studies Published June 23, 2010, select "ROCOR Studies" below:ROCOR Studies
Russian Orthodox Old Rite, Church of the Nativity, 251 East Front Street, Erie PA - Website, select "Church of the Nativity" below:Church of the Nativity