By Hierodeacon Savvas
Upon the completion of eight years since your episcopal ordination, we your spiritual children, greet you, wish you "Many Years" and ask for your blessings and prayers.
It was not by chance that you received Apostolic succession in the Apostolic city of Corinth on the Feast Day of the Apostles Aquila and Priscilla who became Apostles and preachers of the Gospel in that very city, having harkened unto the preaching of your patron Saint Paul. Rather it was a divine confirmation of your election. We remember how you turned to the congregation at your ordination immediately after the "AXIOS" and the "Many Years Master" and said, "Pray that I do not sin." On the contrary, we should ask forgiveness of you since we have many times disobeyed you, not hearing the Apostle saying, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." Truly, it would not be to our benefit to be a burden to you rather than a help and comfort. With your prayers, we will continue to progress in the Faith, upholding Holy Orthodoxy, for if we can show the world by our actions that we are Orthodox we will be able to pass Orthodoxy on to the next generation.
According to the word of the Apostle of the nations, "For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel." You have begotten us in Christ; or rather, you are still begetting us, for Christ has still not been formed in us. But if we remain steadfast in our obedience to you we shall find spiritual rest in this life and in the next, for "he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." As we have heard many times, the place of the Bishop in the Church is identified with Christ and it is a gift from God that we have in your person a living example to imitate. You dedicated you life to the Church twenty-seven years ago and even now, you sacrifice your personal comfort for the sake of others.
We who look to you for spiritual guidance thank you for your ceaseless efforts on behalf of our souls. Once again, we wish you wholeheartedly and piously:
"Many Years Master!"
In the early 20th century, the idea of promoting the union of Churches (Orthodox and heterodox) began to gain ground among circles in the Eastern Orthodox Church by establishing a "Communion of Churches" modeled on the League of Nations.
The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1920 foresaw a series of steps toward the “union of the Churches,” of which the first was the change of the calendar for the simultaneous celebration of feast days by all the “Churches.” The content of the encyclical was kept secret from the faithful and only after a few years became known. Read more...
Jonesboro is a town located near the Eastern border of Arkansas, with a population of approximately 60,000. From a human standpoint, it’s not the most likely candidate for a traditional Orthodox mission, but for an Orthodox Christian who orders his priorities around Christ and His Church, it makes perfect sense. Read more...
Q. In considering becoming part of the GOC in America, I am getting warnings from various circles that the attitude of GOC people is that of being “walled off,” “arrogant,” “judgmental,” and “in your face” toward those not in the Genuine Orthodox Church, with accusations such as “World Orthodox” priests are “not even Christians” and the like. Could you give me your personal, realistic assessment of this dynamic and possibly refer me to an official statement on how GOC members should and do relate to and communicate with those in “World Orthodoxy”? Read more...