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LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES
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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Congregation celebrates special day

Archbishop Ewostatewos, left, talks with Archbishop Henock, who traveled from Ethiopia to attend, during the opening Saturday of the permanent location of the Debre Mihret St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Rainier Valley. Ceremonies to inaugurate the church, which was previously at a temporary location near 26th Avenue and East Union Street, began at 3am Saturday with priests, deacons, clergy and the two archbishops. The church's main ceremonies continued until mid-afternoon. Many attendees chose to wear traditional white Ethiopian clothes, symbolizing the purity of Christ. The larger Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, which became autocephalous in the 1950s, has a membership of about 40 million people, most of whom live in Ethiopia. "Tewahedo" is a Ge'ez word (Ethiopic script) meaning "being made one" or "unified".