Fall gathering of the clergy of the Canadian Diocese

29 October 2010

This year, for the first time in the last decade, traditional fall gathering of the clergy of the Canadian Diocese, headed by His Grace, Gabriel, Bishop of Montreal and Canada, took place within the Western deanery, from the 18th through the 20th of October, 2010, at the Holy Trinity church in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The first working day of the gathering, Tuesday, October 19th, was set aside for reports and discussions. As usual, at this meeting, in a course of brotherly discussions, in an informal and free setting, the daily circumstance of the life of the Diocese, as well as the questions regarding the divine services and taking care of our flock in the current secular setting, were discussed. This subject was given precedence and that was reflected in the adopted resolution:

The clergy of the Canadian Diocese, having gathered for the annual fall meeting under the presidency of our ruling Hierarch, His Grace, Vladyka Gabriel, considered in fine detail the circumstances, under which the Mystery of Baptism is performed for infants in our days. It was noted that the parents, as well as the godparents, of the one being baptized, are not always aware of the great responsibility being placed upon them in relation to the child, who through Baptism is brought into the Church’s fold. If the family of the newly-baptized, his godfather and godmother, themselves, do not attend the churches of God, do not partake of the Holy Gifts, and do not take the necessary care for the child – brought by them to church and given to the clergy form the immersion into the Holy Font – to be brought up in the Orthodox faith of Christ, they commit no small sin. This sin is twofold because not only do they deprive themselves of the way to salvation, but their child as well they leave defenceless in the face of temptations, which could be negatively reflected in the child’s future life and even in the life eternal.

Upon further discussion, with the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Gabriel, it was decided to create Diocesan Missionary Committee, which is to be headed by Igumen Raphael (Vereshchak), rector of the Resurrection church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was also decided that the parents of the newly-baptized, as well as the godparents, upon the conclusion of the Mystery, were to be given a copy of the book The Law of God, written in a simple and easily understandable language. The same book is to be given to all those entering marriage.

The state of the finances of the Diocese was also discussed. It was determined that, together with the necessity for parishes to make timely payments of the annual dues into the Diocesan treasury, as well as the mandatory purchasing of all candles for parishes from the Diocesan warehouse, proper attention should be paid to the collection of funds for the various missionary and charitable goals, which would be considered beneficial and would be approved by the Diocesan Administration, acting in full observance of the order set in the current REGULATIONS of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. During the review of such questions, the final word, in any case, belongs exclusively to the Ruling Hierarch, for, according to the Holy Canons, specifically the Bishop “has the care of all Church things” (Apostles, 38).

After the conclusion of reports and discussions, vespers and matins were served, and on Wednesday, October 20th, on the day of the martyrs Sergius and Bacchus (name day and 20th anniversary of ordination of the rector of the Holy Trinity church, Protopriest Sergei Overt, who at the time was in Los Angeles, by the bedside of his ailing mother, the servant of God Maria) – with a large number of the faithful attending – the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served. During the reading of the hours, His Grace, Bishop Gabriel, made George Zharikov (for the Holy Trinity parish) and Philosoph Uhlman (for the church of St. Sophia on Victoria island, B.C.) subdeacons. After the consecration of the Holy Gifts, Andrei Myer, whose ministry will be at the St. Nicholas’ parish (also in Vancouver), was ordained to the deaconate.

After the dismissal, many years was intoned, and then, in the parish hall, there was a festive meal, prepared with love and care by the church sisterhood, which was especially thanked by His Grace and others present.

The gathering continued with a bus excursion to the beautiful places in Vancouver and the nearby area. This pleasant surprise was prepared by the parishioners and rector of the St. Nicholas’ parish, Fr. Evstafiy Hripounov, whose parish was visited by the participants of the gathering toward evening. A prayer service to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker was done in the church.

Please, take a look at the photos (Day 1, Day 2) from the event.