Dear Family in God,
Here is what is immediately upcoming:
9/11 - Saturday 5:00 PM Evening Vigil
9/12 - Sunday 9:40 AM Hours & Divine Liturgy - the 12th Sunday after Pentecost - St. Alexander Nevsky - Meeting of the Sunday School Faculty and Parents at 1:15 PM
9/13 - Monday 7:00 PM Parish Council Meeting
9/16 - Thursday 7-9 PM Choir Rehearsal
9/18 – Saturday 5:00 PM Evening Vigil
9/19 – Sunday 9:40 AM Hours & Divine Liturgy - the 13th Sunday after Pentecost - Miracle of Archangel Michael - Moleben for the Beginning of Instruction - Sunday School starts today with classes starting at 1:15 PM
9/20 – Monday 6:30 PM Evening Vigil
9/21 – Tuesday 9:40 AM Hours & Divine Liturgy - The Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos - One of the 12 Great Feasts of the Church
Our New Church Year and God's Grace
Dear Friends and Family in God,
We are in the centennial year of the establishment of the Russian Church Outside of Russia, and in the 14th year of our unification with the Church of Russia in which event I was blessed to participate. Following is an excerpt from our ruling bishop's epistle, focusing on this centennial.
With love in our all-redeeming Lord
"What exclamations are befitting for this centenary year? Of course, the exclamations of the lips of us sinners are by themselves insufficient to worthily glorify the labors and memory of the good vinedressers of Christ’s Vineyard in Serbia, who 100 years ago offered a warm canonical haven to the Most Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev & Galicia, the archpastors, pastors, and flock of the Russian Church Abroad, and blessed them with the venerable hands of the Eminent members of the Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which met at the end of August 1921, to secure their ecclesiastical life beyond the borders of Russia and pastorally nourish the Russian refugees.
"In this special year of the centennial of the first All-Diaspora Council – which took place from November 21 to December 2, 1921, in Sremski Karlovci – the Russian Orthodox people living in the Diaspora are called to augmented prayer, the doing of good deeds in all respects, and a private examination of the tablets of history, so that, by drawing from it much-needed strength and inspiration, they might continue in fortitude and renewal of spirit the patient bearing of their life’s cross. We unite ourselves in one common assembly and with great zeal confirm ourselves in Holy Orthodoxy, by no means shaming the memory of our ever-memorable forebears in the Diaspora, or the honor of our dear Mother – the Local Russian Orthodox Church.
"Commemorating the multitude of Russian Orthodox people who found themselves in foreign lands and finding there a place of rest, I offer a deep bow of gratitude to His Holiness, Patriarch Porfirije, and the Serbian Orthodox Church which he heads, and with which we have shared fathers and preceptors, as the ever-memorable Metropolitan Amfilohije (Radović; +2020) of Montenegro & the Littoral expressed when he addressed the IV All-Diaspora Council in 2006. Our Churches are connected with truly fraternal bonds, a fact attested to by the special relationships between the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of our peoples. The Most Holy Patriarch Varnava (Rosić; +1937) of Serbia often attended various Russian gatherings, memorial evenings, and émigré celebrations, but he always paid special attention to the "Society for the Care of the Spiritual Needs of Russians." In his address at his Patriarchal enthronement, he said: "We, celebrating the glory of our Church, our Patriarchate, must remember that the Russian Church participated with us today in the person of His Eminence, Metropolitan Anthony, the great theologian. I bequeath you to commemorate the Orthodox Russian people, which is suffering, persecuted by the antichrist." Regarding the elevation of the Most Holy Patriarch Varnava to the Primatial Throne, Metropolitan Anthony, in addition to all of his other statements, also wrote: "His mind and heart contain within themselves the positive influences of Yugoslavia, Russia, and Greece. I was well acquainted with him during my time as Archbishop of Kharkov; we lived in one apartment together, and we performed the divine services regularly, alternating one after the other." Archpriest Peter Belovidov, who enjoyed the love and respect of both Russians and Serbs in Belgrade, once presented the Most Holy Patriarch Varnava a white klobuk after Divine Liturgy in one of the Russian churches, saying: "Accept, Most Holy Master, this white klobuk as a sign of the sincere dedication and noble love of the Russians." In response, His Holiness clarified that the white klobuk is the attire of Russian metropolitans, the color of which symbolizes purity, while the diamond cross is the cross of the sufferings of the Russian Church.
"Remembering with love the historic path of the Russian Church Abroad and the cherished names of the holy fathers we share with the Serbian Orthodox Church – the Most Holy Patriarchs Dimitrije and Varnava of Serbia, the Most Blessed Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy, the Holy Hierarchs John (Maximovitch), Nikolaj (Velimirović), and Mardarije (Uskoković), Venerable Justin (Popović), Schema-Archimandrite Ambrose (Kurganov), and many others, I humbly ask all of you to fervently pray for the salvation of the Christ-loving and cross-bearing brother-nations of Russia and Serbia, "whose faith follow" (Heb. 13:7).
"I call on all of our clergy, parishioners, and worshippers to mark this time with all manner of good deeds. Let each one add his participation to celebrated centennial, be that by donating his labors, time, or resources to the parish church, to the monasteries, to the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad or other Church institutions, to support our elderly, to educate our children in parish schools, or to church-social organizations that do important work with our youth. Let everyone take an interest in the deep wealth of our history. Let everyone remember the departed founders of the Russian Church Abroad, who defended Orthodoxy in the most trying of circumstances. Their gazes are directed at us, their legacy is on our shoulders, and thus we have an obligation to undertake this labor. All of this will be in blessed remembrance and according to our zeal the worthy attentiveness owed to our glorious forefathers in the Russian Church Outside of Russia.
"Asking your holy prayers, I remain yours with love in the Lord,
Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia"