Troubles On The Coasts;
Prayers in the Middle
•Protodeacon Suspended in Alaska
Protodeacon George Nelson of Wasilla, Alaska, attached to St. Innocent's Cathedral in Anchorage, has been suspended by Bishop Nikolai after the recent tonsuring a convicted sex offender, Terenty Dushkin as a Reader. According to the Protodeacon, he asked "for a release, retirement, or suspension" from the Bishop after informing the Bishop that " I could not serve him any longer." The Bishop suspended Nelson and has advised "that a spiritual court will be convened to determine (his) fate."
• Monk James Silver Banned
In a January 16th letter to Fr. David Vernak, his parish priest, copied to the deans of the Washington - New York Diocese, Metropolitan Herman wrote:
"On July 24, 2006, Riasphor monk James (Silver) was released from his monastic obedience to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, his attachment to St. Sergius Chapel in Syosset, NY, and from the Orthodox Church in America.
He was further encouraged to seek entrance into a canonical monastery which, to the best of our knowledge, he has not done.
Effective this date, Monk James (Silver) is not permitted to partake of the Sacraments or to actively participate in the parishes of the Diocese of Washington and New York.
With God's Blessings,
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada"
In response to a query from OCANews.org Silver confirmed the letter and stated:
"It's true that -- effective 16 January 2008 -- Met. Herman informed the priest of the local parish here in Paramus NJ, where I usually worship God in the Divine Liturgy, with copies to the Chancellor and Deans of the DC-NY eparchy, that *I* -- as if he still had authority over me -- am not allowed to participate in the Eucharist or otherwise partake of the Sacraments or to actively participate in the parishes of the Diocese of Washington and New York. He gave no corresponding orders to the priests or deans of his eparchy.
Met. Herman referenced only me, not them, but he publicly and officially relinquished his personal authority over me (thank Heaven!) more than a year ago. This is very confusing, and is causing great grief among the local clergy.
In any event, so as not to put them in any more of an awkward position than they already are in for my sake, I did nor participate in the Eucharist this morning. With what I can describe only as a Herman-driven knife to my heart, I -- weeping -- left the assembly just as they began to sing the Kheroubikon..."
Silver, who participated in the defense team of the former Chancellor, Robert Kondratick, has been a vocal critic of the Metropolitan. He recently released to the public the papers relating to the trial of Kondratick. (Read that story here)
• Promissory Note Goes to Court
Elizabeth Kondratick's 'demand for payment' lawsuit against the OCA, based on the Kondratick Promissory Note, is now scheduled to be heard January 30th in a Long Island courtroom. It has been reported to OCANews.org that the lawsuit will be contested by the OCA.
• Prayers in WPA
On Bright Saturday, May 3, 2008 An Extraordinary Assembly of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania will convene at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Allison Park, PA for the purpose of electing a new bishop for the Archdiocese. In preparation, parishes in the Archdiocese have been asked to include the following special petitions to Divine Liturgy, Vespers, or Matins, following the petition 'For deliverance from all affliction'.
"Priest: That He will bless the good intentions of His servants, the clergy and faithful who are preparing to gather in Extraordinary Assembly, and allow them to begin, their holy work successfully and finish without obstacle, through the power and grace of the most Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.
Priest: That He will guide the hands of His servants, the clergy and faithful who are preparing to gather in Extraordinary Assembly, to complete their holy work successfully, let us pray to the Lord.
Priest:That He will bless the efforts of His servants with the grace of the most Holy Spirit, and make their work holy and well-pleasing in His sight, let us pray to the Lord.
Priest:That He will assign a guardian angel to banish from this sacred labour every enemy obstacle, whether visible or invisible, let us pray to the Lord.
Priest: That this work may be ordained in wisdom and may end in perfection, in the choosing of a new shepherd to guide the God-protected Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.
Complete Litany with 'Help us, save us'
To be added into the Fervent Litany after the petition before the departed.
Priest: Look down upon Thy servants, the clergy and faithful who are preparing to gather in Extraordinary Assembly, who fall down before Thee with faith, O Lord, and hear their prayers. Bless their good intentions, that they might successfully and quickly accomplish their holy work of choosing of new shepherd to guide the God-protected Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, without any obstacle, for the glory of Thy name, we pray, O Almighty King, hear us and have mercy.
Priest: O Lord, Who helps every man to accomplish good; come to the aid of Thy servants and prosper the work of their hearts, we pray Thee, O Almighty Master, hear us and have mercy.
Priest: Send Thine angel from heaven to guard this holy work, O good One, and preserve it against the attacks of visible and invisible enemies, and assist in its successful accomplishment, we pray Thee, O most good Saviour, hear us and have mercy.
Priest: O Lord, Thou hast ordered us to do all things for Thy glory. Bless Thy servants as they begin their work, that they might complete it with success and satisfaction. Grant them health and length of days, O generous Creator; hear us and have mercy.
Complete Fervent Litany with petition for the living and further as prescribed.
To be taken in the close of the Liturgy after third 'Blessed be the name'
Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.
Priest: O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, accept our prayers and bless the good intentions and the work of Thy servants of choosing of a new shepherd to guide the God-protected Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. May they successfully begin it for Thy glory and complete it without any obstacle. Guide them, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, may their labours be peacefully accomplished. For Thine it is to show mercy and to save us, O our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.
•Prayers in the Midwest
In a memo January 10th, Archbishop Job asked that the following two petitions and prayer be used in all churches, chapels and monastic communities of the Diocese of the Midwest. The petitions are to be inserted into the Litany of Fervent Supplication (Triple Litany) after the petition for the Metropolitan and Archbishop. They read:
"O Lord have mercy on Thy Church in this land on our Holy Synod of Bishops, Clergy, Monastics, and all the faithful; fill us with Thy grace, send us a spirit of discernment that all the members of Thy Holy Body may serve thee in all truth, love, integrity and peace, as befits those called by thy name, we pray Thee, hearken and have mercy."
"Ever surrounded by afflictions and our tears with which our sinfulness has encircled us, with compunction we cry out unto Thee, O Lord, our God, that our life be brought up from corruption, that we not be destroyed forever, and that the powers of darkness may be scattered. For we flee unto Thee and we call for Thy help: Hearken unto Thy people of the Orthodox Church in America who are afflicted and in need, O Lord, and out of Thy love for mankind have mercy."
The following prayer is to be prayed by the priest at the conclusion of every Divine Liturgy.
"O Lord God, our Savior; With broken hearts we fall down before Thee and we confess our sins and iniquities wherewith we have provoked Thy deep compassion and have shut out Thy tender mercies. For we have departed from Thee, O Master, and have not kept Thy commandments. Thou hast become angry with us and hast allowed us to become wounded because of unrighteous deeds committed against Thy Church and because of our own unrighteousness. We are stricken with discord and strife; our love has grown cold and we approach the brink of despair. We have been tempted to heed the wisdom of this world instead of heeding Thy divine wisdom. We have witnessed unrighteous judgment, condemnation and hatred. How long, O Lord, How long must we endure this torment. Visit us with Thy mercy; send down Thy heavenly blessing upon us, heal the wounds of our souls, raise us up from our affliction. Calm the discord and turmoil in the Orthodox Church in America. Banish from us slander and conflict, bitter disputes and scandals. Burn out from our hearts every impurity, every evil, every unrighteous thought, that we may all love one another again and abide in oneness of mind in accordance with Thy will. Remember the mercies which Thou hast shown to our forebears, the righteous hierarchs, clergy and faithful gone before us, and make us worthy to restore their vision and zeal for a united Orthodox witness to this North America Continent. Inspire our hierarchs of the Holy Synod to lead and guide the Church with that same vision and zeal. Bless us with Thy peace, O Lord our God, through the prayers of the most-holy Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, the holy and all-laudable Apostles, the holy and right victorious Martyrs, and all Saints of North America, especially the Evangelizers of the Midwest: St. Tikhon, St. Raphael, St. Alexis and St. John. O Lord, we hasten unto Thee; teach us to do Thy will, for Thou art our God; for with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light shall we see light. Let Thy mercy be upon all who know Thee.For Thou art a merciful God, and unto Thee we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages."
•And A Prayer From Canada
In a December 14th note to his Archdiocese, Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa writes:
"I received yesterday (December 13th) this following prayer from Matushka Juliana Schememann. I consider it very appropriate at this time. Without having asked her permission, I am jumping in to make this prayer available to all others who are ready to join her in this prayer to St Herman."
Prayer to St Herman of Alaska
By Matushka Juliana Schmemann
"St Herman, please protect our Church: restore the peace, the purity, the love for the Lord, and for each other, that is shadowed now, and is tempting our people. You, great Saint, who planted firmly in America the Cross of Christ: come back to us, and see to it that we have not shaken that Cross, which you firmly planted. Make it firm again; give us the truth, the light, and the trust, which is shaken. Please, great Saint, intercede for us. We are weak, and guilty. We need the Lord to help us up, and forgive us; and we must become truly humble, but DARING, and courageous, fully admit our wrongs, and repent."
• Study Group Formed
A new Yahoo Group, the "2008 All-American Council Planning", has been created by Mark Phinney, a parishioner at St. MarkÕs parish in Bethesda, MD. The purpose of the group, according to Phinney, is "to provide a means for the concerned laity and clergy of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)" to create
an agenda for the 15th All-American Council (AAC) to be held in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, on November 10-13, 2008, and propose resolutions to be presented for consideration at the AAC.
According to its moderator, the group is meant "to be a forum in which members may coach each other in basic parliamentary procedure, based on the latest revision of Robert's Rules of Order, necessary to propose an agenda and the resolutions necessary to restore the OCA to good order and health. The group is also meant to be a forum in which members may exchange ideas for and wording of the alternative agenda, keeping the focus of the AAC on the needed changes, and exchange ideas for and wording of resolutions to be proposed during the AAC."
Membership in the group is open to anyone.
According to a member of the new Yahoo group, there is another group, a group of clergy, already working on possible agendas apart from the official one that will be proposed by the Preconciliar Commission, which itself met this past weekend in New York. In addition, the clergy convocation of the Midwest Diocese, to be held in February, will dedicate all its sessions to discussing the forthcoming Council, and making proposals for it.