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CHRIST IS BORN!
Parish Letter of Thanks - 50th, October 11, 2020
My Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
Glory be to Jesus Christ!
When we think of holiness in our Church, the word ‘consecration’ is often used. We think of consecration as a dedication to a purpose, a setting aside from the mundane, and an invocation made to the Holy Spirit to come and make holy.
For fifty years, my aim has been to live a consecrated life. I have tried to live with purpose, sanctity, and the constant prayer that God will use me as a vessel to help His people for their salvation. Only God will judge whether I have done any good in this world.
The majestic beauty of the Hierarchical Liturgy reminiscent of the glory of God’s kingdom, the beautiful and prayerful singing of our choir, four priests and a protodeacon, the servers and faithful gathered around the bishop takes us from this earth of turmoil to a heavenly place of peace and calm.
From the depths of my heart, I thank all of you for the wonderful celebration. The Panaghia set from the Holy Synod of Bishops of our Church, the three beautiful gramotas, the key to the city, the coordination of our meal with the food so expertly prepared, the classical music ensemble, the singing of Slavyane USA, the guitar troupe and much more — all express the love of this community. And all the monetary donations which I received to be given to the church in thanks for what God has given me.
Throughout the afternoon, surrounded by the clergy and people of God, I reflected about what was being celebrated. I realized that this outpouring was not about me personally, but about the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
His teaching, ministering of the Divine Mysteries, and shepherding of His Body were the foundations for the celebration. We rejoiced in the meaning of the archpriesthood as a life consecrated to God. This is the proper way to think of a Christian celebration. It is a rejoicing in the life of the Holy Spirit who lives among us.
It is my most sincere wish to continue serving you as a vessel of God, for the reception and imparting of sanctification through the invocation of the Deity, and to do some good in the world. I pray that I can continue to walk among the flock of the Lord, go after the stray, and be a source of comfort and nourishment that keeps the people of God close to the Church, the ark of their salvation.
With all of my strength, thoughts, and prayers,
Love and blessings
50th Anniversary, part 3 of 3: The Episcopate
Thirty years a priest I managed to avoid the episcopate. When I left Belgrade in 1979, I knew that I wouldn’t be a Serbian bishop and when I left the Serbian Church in 1988, I thought this would avoid me the rest of my life. There is nothing better than being a parish priest, you know your people and you are a family. I even knew the names of the dogs in my homes.