Dear Parishioners and Friends,
I commend to you once again the Epistle composed by our Bishop and Father in God, Metropolitan Hilarion, on the Meeting of the Lord. If you have not read it, please do so for your spiritual enrichment.
He reminds us of the specific significance of the great feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the lives of "giants of the Russian Church," concluding his list with our intitial first hierarch, Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky, who himself reminds us that one of the greatest writers, Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, also closed out his life proximate to this feast.
Commenting on the importance and place of great literature in our lives, Metropolitan Anthony says, "First of all, the Bible; then, the liturgical rubrics; and third, Dostoevsky." This revelation has become more important to me as time goes on. We wrap ourselves in the life of the Church through her Scriptures and Services. We need to fold into that life the enriching treasures of great writers. Great literature helps us not to get caught in the briars and brambles of the challenges of our age. We can be lifed to a higher and broader perspective. We can more clearly evaluate our course, especially in the following of God's will. Even something as simple as the story of the mongoose, Ricki Ticki Tavi, and the way this little creature uses his God-given gifts to defeat and destroy giant Cobras, can be the "word in season." Of course, all the answers are not in Kipling's "Jungle Book." The point, though, is that sometimes we need just a little wedge of light to show us our way, to help ius escape from our own prideful tendencies to imagine we can bull through without help. Ricki was very brave and resourceful, but he recognized that he needed human help. Just so must we see that we need God's help; help from not only pride, but from unreasoning fear.
As Metropolitan Hilarion goes on to say, we must now turn to our work on ourselves. The feast concluded Monday. The rest of this week, in remembrance of taking no pride in the keeping of the Church rules, we are permitted to eat without regard to fasting. But we should think on and prepare for the intensified call to repentance coming upon us. The services make no bones about our continuing need for repentance. At any time, the challenges to sobriety of living are constant. But now, with the pandemic-skewed life we live, we are tempted to rebel against restriction, in our suspicion ignoring the need to place trust in those whose task it is to maintain the health of the community as best they can. We are in no position to try to shine light on darkness of which we would make ourselves a part. It is as if we would take pride in acting in life like the Publican, taking a Pharisaical attitude against those who keep the rules. Our Bishop and Father says, "Obey readily and without complaint the directives of the hierarchy and local governments...." His call is to the spirit of obedience. We must repent until we have obtained this spirit of obedience with a joyful and grateful heart.
Let us dedicate this season of the Fast to attaining "the heights by humility, riches by poverty," as exemplified by Holy Nicholas, bishop of Myra in Lycia.
With love in our Lord,
Our Covid Restriction Policy
We have a small worship space with very limited accomodation. Thus, if you have asked to come, and if the number for a given service is already full, you will not be permitted to attend. This is a matter of great regret. We possess a welcoming spirit and desire. But, per our Bishop, we must follow local government rules. This is our witness to our law-abiding nature as Christians. We must protect our on-going worship life from intervention. And we must protect our people from the potential for infection. Please pray with us, and for the soon cessation of these plague-caused necessities. If you may not attend services inside, you may follow the service on our live-streaming of them on our facebook page in your car. If you have confessed and prepared, and this has been acknowledged by the clergy, when it is time for distribution of Holy Communion, you will be alerted and allowed in, observing social distancing.