risu.org.ua - The 21st Regular Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA ran from October 19-22, 2016.

His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Metropolitan & Prime Hierarch of UOC of the USA and Diaspora, His Eminence Metropolitan Yurij, Metropolitan of Canada and Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, His Eminence Archbishop Jeremiah, Ruling Hierarch of the Eparchy of South America and His Grace Bishop Daniel, Ruling hierarch of the Western Eparchy and President of the Consistory of the UOC of USA participated in the Sobor.

Metropolitan Antony presented the formal greeting from His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. "...as you gather to contemplate ways of spiritual and administrative growth, we encourage you in all you do to keep this standard of love in your hearts.  Love for God and neighbor grows in accordance with keeping His commandments – for true love springs forth from LOVE itself – that is, from Christ.  Learn to abide in Him so that you may learn to love even more, in order that you may with faith, love and the fear of God, truly draw near to Him ad to each other", reads the letter.

The main topic of the Sobor was the Strategy of the UOC in the USA development. "Our once vibrant Church has suffered from the secularism of our world. We have lost too many of our youth for various reasons, which are not just due to outside influences and societal changes, but, because of how we practice our Faith. How we behave in our parishes and how we treat each other impact how our children view our Faith.   Our behavior – in any manner – has consequences in the lives of others. We need to impart a new vigor in to the life of our Church through revival in our individual and collective lives", stated in his sppech Metropolitan Antony. Metropolitan Antony introduced the Strategic Plan explaining how crucial it is that everyone participate in order for it to be successful. The Plan will be introduced at the parish level over the coming weeks and months when individuals within each parish are sought out as volunteers to coordinate efforts with the goal captains, chairpersons and our hierarchs.

The plenary sessions heard the reports of all the ministries of the Church including the Offices of Stewardship, Christian Charity, Youth & Adult Ministry, Religious Education, Liturgical Publications, Public Relations, Cultural Affairs, Archives, External Affairs, Clergy Development, St. Sophia Seminary Library, St. Andrew Cemetery, and All Saints Camp. While the reports were lengthy, they were nonetheless informative and received positively. The Sobor body learned of the various successes that the ministries of the Church have experienced over the years. 

During the Sobor metropolian Anthony informed the participants that bishop Daniel Zelinskyj is be nominated for elevation to Archbishop. The nomination will be presented to His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholmew and the Holy Synod for formal election and inclusion in the Dyptychs of the Holy Ecumenical Church.


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying, watch over yourself so that not only your outward man prays, but your inward one also. Though you be sinful beyond measure, still pray. Do not heed the devil's provocation, craftiness, and despair, but overcome and conquer his wiles. Remember the abyss of the Saviour's mercy and love to mankind. The devil will represent the Lord's fact to you as terrible and unmerciful, rejecting your prayer and repentance; but remember the Saviour's own words, full of every hope and boldness for us: `Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out'; and `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden' - with sins and iniquities, and wiles and calumnies of the devil - and I will give you rest.'

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ