St. Elias Greek Orthodox Church with Fr. Dustin Lyon

Why did your congregation decide to start selling pastries at the Winter Market?
As a small congregation, we’re always looking for ways to do community outreach. We are also trying to raise money to do some repairs on the roof of our church. As you may know, we’ve had to relocate our worship services while repairs are taking place at our church on Rockdale Road, so the extra funds are needed to speed the work along. We hope to be back in the church sometime this spring. For now we are holding our weekly services at Hadley Chapel on the Hillcrest Family Services campus.

Do the pastries you offer reflect the cultural heritage of your congregation?
Yes, we have several different traditional Greek pastries including baklava and kourabiedes, which are small shortbread cookies coated with powdered sugar. We also have some families that fled Syria due to the unrest there, so we may be offering some other Middle Eastern delicacies soon.

What is the history of your congregation?
Our church was established in the 1930s by Greek immigrants in Dubuque. We have about 25 families that come from all different backgrounds. Our services are conducted in English. We have a Sunday school, bible study classes, field trips and many other activities that keep our church community active. I’m not Greek myself, but I am a sixth-generation Iowan and I’m very interested in connecting our church to the larger community. I’ve been with this congregation for two years, and I’m the first full-time pastor they’ve had in 25 years. We participate in the Dubuque Area Congregations United ecumenical group and welcome people of all backgrounds to join us.

What are your plans for the future?
We’ve had such good success with our stand at the Winter Market that we’re thinking about having a stand at the summer market, too, and offering other Greek foods like gyros.

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