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The 14th All American Council, Toronto, Canada
Fr. Andrew, Phillip Neznanov (Lay Delegate) and Caye Caswick (Observer) attended the 14th All America Council held in Toronto Canada from July 17 to July 22nd. Lee Kopulos also attended, not pictured, as a representative of the Orthodox Christian Laity. The All American Council is the highest governing body of the Orthodox Church in America. Nearly 2000 hierarch's, clergy and lay delegates, observers, and youth and young adults from across North America participated in the week-long gathering, which officially opened with the address of Metropolitan Herman during the first plenary session.
The opening Divine Liturgy, held at the Sheraton Center Hotel in Toronto Canada, was celebrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman, Archbishop Kyril, Archbishop Dimitri, Archbishop Nathaniel, Archbishop Job, Bishop Tikhon, Bishop Seraphim, Bishop Nikolai, Bishop Nikon and our new Bishop Tikhon.
The Relics of America saints were presented for veneration during the council. This relic is from St. Innocent Apostle to America. It is an actual bone from his body incased in a golden casket. For information concerning the life of St. Innocent Apostle to America please click here
Definition of Relics - Relics are objects considered sacred because of their close association with saints. One may distinguish three classifications: actual physical remains in whole or part; things closely identified with saints such as clothing or personal possessions: and mementos touched to the bodies of saints or places sacred to them, most frequently tombs. Smith, Jonathan Z Dictionary of Religion Harpercollins, 1995, Page 890.
This is St Herman of Alaska.
This is the new martyr St. Tikhon. For information concerning the life of St. Tikhon Enlightener of North America please click here
Fr. Andrew, Fr. Luke Nelson and Bill Kovach from our neighbor parish in Burbank IL. seated around the table at the first plenary session. The theme of the Council was Our Church and the Future.
Fr. Andrew, Fr Leonid Palceski from Ft. Myers Florida and Fr. John Steffaro from Campbell Ohio renewing old friendships.
The Closing Banquet. Seated at the table are Frs. Theodore Heckman, Fr. Andrew Harrison, Fr. Leonid Palceski, Lorrain Palceski, Caye Caswick, and Phillip Neznanov.
At the closing banquet, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman stressed faithfulness to Christ and His Church as the Orthodox Church in North America and throughout the world faces the crucial task of unity. He noted that the Church throughout the world is facing numerous challenges, especially since the fall of communism, while in North America the presence of multiple jurisdictions severely limits the Church's ministry and witness to the world. He challenged nearly 1000 banquet attendees to return to their parishes with a renewed spirit and commitment to the vision of the Church, planted in North America 211 years ago with the arrival of missionaries in Kodiak, AK.
More information concerning the 14th All American Council can be found on www.oca.org
"As Many As Have Been Baptised Into Christ" - The Baptism Of Kyra
Fr. Andrew had the honor of baptizing his own grandchild, Kyra. She is now being anointed with the oil of gladness. Her sponsors are Mike Bauml Jr. & Roslynn Steven's They are proxy Godparents for Justin Harrison, Kyra's uncle, and Joyce Mikita a friend of the family.
The moment of Baptism. Fr. Andrew is totally emersing her which is the tradition of Baptism in the Orthodox Church.
Deacon Andrew is holding Kyra's sister Emily. She became visibly upset seeing her sister being put under the water. Deacon Andrew is consoling her.
Kyra is Chrismated with the anointment of the Holy Chrism. This is the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The congregation response with the word - Sealed! She is anointed on her far head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, chest, shoulders, hands, and feet.
Emily observing the her sister's Kyra's Baptism.
The toncher. Fr, Andrew is cutting her hair in four places forming the sign of the cross. This is Kyra first offering to God.
The Churching. Kyra is presented to the congregation as a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ where she will sing His praises.
Her first Holy Communion. When a child is baptized in the Orthodox Church they become full members of the body of Christ and regularly receive Holy Communion. As Jesus said: "suffer the little children to come unto me".
Family Photo. Jenny, Emily, Pat , Fr. Andrew, Luke and Kyra standng in front of the Iconostasis of St. Luke Orthodox Church.
Children's Sermon On The Fourth Of July
The Children sermon this month was about Independence Day. Father Andrew is holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence. He pointed out to the children the two places were God is mentioned. He then explained how the saints of America had a similar belief in God and that all people are created equal. He told the story of St. Herman and how he defended the rights of native Alaskan people. He concluded the sermon by pointing out that separation between church and state means there should not be one state supported church but it does not mean that faith should be separated government. He told them to pray to God silently in school.
Father Andrew concluded with the following prayer.
Let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy
O Lord You are the source of all human power. You watch over human institutions and guide them when they call upon You. We pray on this day for our country for it was founded upon principles which You revealed through the Holy Prophets and Saints. The principle that all people were created equal with certain inalienable rights. We are concerned that our nation is drifting away from these principles into Godlessness. Grant that this will never happen and that we will always be a nation under You. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
St. Vladimir's Seminary Summer Institute
Group Picture of attendees at St. Vladimir's Seminary Summer Institute. Each year Fr. Andrew attends the Institute for continuing education. This year the week-long institute's topic was on the relation between the Church and Culture.
The Divine Liturgy at the institute with Bishop Sava of Troas. Pictured also are Fr. Paul Lazor Associate Dean and Fr. Luke Nelson rector of St. Michael's Church in Burbank, Illinois.