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Reverend John Whiteford at St. Jonah Orthodox Church, in Spring, on December 10, 2023.On a recent Sunday morning, parishioners shuffled into St. Jonah Orthodox Church, a beige clapboard building topped by a blue onion dome. Tucked down a wooded lane far from road noise in the Houston suburb of Spring, the house of worship drew a crowd of congregants, many of them sporting floral headscarves, chest-length beards, and cotton or gingham dresses that fell past the knee. Beeswax candles flickered in a blast of air-conditioningthat dispersed an invisible cloud of incense. As the Reverend John Whiteford, wearing a ceremonial cape, stood with his back to the congregation, a small choir chanted three times, “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.” Parishioners crossed their foreheads, shoulders, and chests with three fingers and then bent down to touch…

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