Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/ 60 Paschal Message http://doaoca.org/news_160430_1.html Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <p><strong>From Lazarus to Pascha and Back Again</strong></p> <p>In the Orthodox Church, the end of Great Lent happens on the Friday prior to Holy Week.&nbsp; The services of Holy Week begin with Bridegroom Matins of Sunday evening.&nbsp; In between these two periods is a brief respite from the rigors of the Fast and the struggles of Holy Week.&nbsp; A two day period that I refer to as &ldquo;An Oasis of Hope&rdquo;.&nbsp; On Saturday we commemorate the raising of Lazarus from the grave which introduces us to Palm Sunday.&nbsp; This is a prefiguring of the coming resurrection of Christ as he demonstrates to His creation that He has the power to raise the dead.&nbsp; Even before He Himself will rise from the grave, He brings forth His friend from his tomb; even though Lazarus will once again fall into the sleep of death he will be alive to witness Christ&rsquo;s own resurrection from the dead.</p> <p>Christ&rsquo;s resurrection from the dead marks the end of our acceptance of death as a finality to our existence.&nbsp; We no longer need to fear death and the gates of hell because they have been destroyed by Christ.&nbsp; We need not see the grave as a place of dread, for it has been changed into a resting place for those that love God and await His return.&nbsp; On Holy Friday we sing, &ldquo;You emptied all the palaces of Hell.&rdquo;&nbsp; And on Holy Saturday we sing, &ldquo;Hell cries out groaning, &lsquo;Those whom I swallowed in my strength I have given up.&nbsp; He Who was crucified has emptied the tombs.&nbsp; The power of death has been vanquished.&rsquo;&rdquo;&nbsp; What began with Lazarus was completed in Christ on Pascha and is now the glorious gift to all who await His Second Coming.&nbsp; We go from Lazarus Saturday to Pascha and back again for those whom we love in Christ and give us our reason to celebrate Pascha as we do.&nbsp; &ldquo;Christ is risen and hell is overthrown.&rdquo;, says St. John Chrysostom in his Paschal Homily.</p> <p>We have all lost someone who we are close to in love.&nbsp; It could be a spouse, a Father or Mother, sister or brother or friend.&nbsp; To know Pascha is to know our own Oasis of Hope, one that we come to every year at this time.&nbsp; It renews our love for what God has done for us, and it renews our hope that one day, just like Lazarus, they will come forth from the tombs and be with us for ever in the New Day of Christ&rsquo;s Resurrection where there is no sickness or sorrow, but only life everlasting.</p> <p>It is my prayer that you be blessed this Holy Pascha with a renewed hope in that ultimate victory of the joy of life over death, of living over dying and of ends becoming beginnings.&nbsp; May the Resurrected Christ be for you the source of all light and life, hope and joy until that Great Day dawns on all mankind.</p> <p>Christ is risen!&nbsp; Indeed He is risen!</p> <p>Your servant of Servants,</p> <p>+ David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the flesh You were willingly enclosed in the tomb, Who are boundless and infinite in Your divinity.&nbsp; You closed the chambers of death, O Christ.&nbsp; You emptied all the palaces of Hell.//You honored this Sabbath with Your blessing, glory, and honor.</p> <p>Those whom I swallowed in my strength I have given up.&nbsp; He Who was crucified has emptied the tombs.&nbsp; The power of death has been vanquished.&rdquo;&nbsp; Glory to Your Cross and Resurrection, O Lord!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Lazarus-aamek Paaskaamun Uterrluni-llu </strong></p> <p>Orthodox-aartarmi Agayuvigmi, Yagpak nanglartuq Tallimiritmi Holy Week-aq ayagnirpailgan.&nbsp; Holy Week-am agayuyarai ayagnilartut Bridegroom Matins-mek Agayunrem atakuani.&nbsp; Akunliigni ukuk I-yiim&nbsp; Holy Week-am-llu cakviurnarqellra &nbsp;ellma qacigartelartuq. &nbsp;Ukuk malruk erenreq &nbsp;waten ap&rsquo;laragka &ldquo;Mernuinercirvia Neryuniurutem&rdquo;.&nbsp; Maqinermi umyuaqelararput makcecimallra Lazarus-aam qungugnek tekitevkarluta Uqviayarmun.&nbsp; Una nallunailkutnguuq agiirtellra Kristuss-aam unguillran nasvallra piliaminun piningqerucini tuqmalriit makcecugngaluki.&nbsp; Qungugnek Ellminek makpailegmi, yugnikekni maktaa qunguanek; Lazarus-aaq ataam tuqunqigtarkaungermi uitaqerciquq nallunairciqluku Kristuss-aam unguillra tuqumalrianek.</p> <p>Kristuss-aam unguillra tuqumalrianek taqevkaraa umyuaqellra tuqum iquuluku yuucimtenun.&nbsp; Alikenrirnarqaput tuqu amiigi-llu tuunraam nuniin tua-i piunriaki Kristuussam.&nbsp; Qunguut tangernarqenritaput alingnarqellriaruluki, tua-i cimiumiin mernuinercirviurrluku imkunun kenkilrianek Agayutmek utaqaluku-llu utertellerkaa.&nbsp; Holy Friday-mi atullrukut, &ldquo;Imairaten tamalkuita Tuunraam nuniin nengutai.&rdquo;&nbsp; Cali Holy Saturday-mi atullrukut, &ldquo;Tuunraam nunii yuuniarauq qanerluni, &lsquo;Imkut pinimkun igellrenka miryaranka.&nbsp; Imum ussukcausngallrem imairai qunguut.&nbsp; Pinia tuqum piunriumauq.&rsquo;&rdquo;&nbsp; Lazarus-aamek ayagniumalleq qaqicimauq Kristuussami Paaskaami cali waniwa ucurnaqluni cikiutngurtuq imkunun utaqalgilrianun Aipiriluni Tekitenqigtellerkaanun.&nbsp; Ayagtukut Lazarus-aam Maqinranek Paaskaamun, uterrluta-llu imkut pitekluki kenkekngaput Kristuussami cali tengrumtenek cikirluki atuusqelluku Paaskaaq wangkuciicetun. &ldquo;Kristuussaq unguirtuq cali tuunraam nunii anagtaurtuq&rdquo;, qanertuq St. John Chrysostom-aaq Paaskaami qanerturallermini.</p> <p>Tamamta tamarillrukut mallgeskemtenek kenkakun.&nbsp; Wall&rsquo;u-qaa aipaqliaput, Atavut wall&rsquo;u Aanavut, nakmiin anelgutput wall&rsquo;u yugnikekvut. &nbsp;Nallunrilkumteggu Paaskaaq nallunriciiqerput nakmiin Mernuinercirvigput Neryuniurutmek, tekitelaqput allrakuaqan mat&rsquo;um nalliini. Kenkuyutvut nutarcimalartuq Agayutem caliarakun wangkuta pitekluta, cali nutartela&rsquo;araa neryuniurutvut taumi ataucimi ernermi, tauten Lazarus-aatun, qungunek maketnaurtut, wangkuta-llu nayurrlainarluta Nutarami Erenrani Kristuss-aam Unguillrani tuani naullunartailngurmi wall&rsquo;u qiaculngunailngurmi, taugaam kiingan unguvamek nangyuilngurmek.</p> <p>Piicauteka&rsquo;aqa cikiumasqelluci matumi Tanqilriami Paaskaami nutarcimalriamek neryuniurutmek nangnermek angnirnarqellriamek unguvam piunrullerkaanek tuqumi, &nbsp;yuullerkamek tuqunanrirluta&nbsp; cali iquklitarkat ataam ayagniutngusqelluki. &nbsp;Unguilleq Kristuss-aaq piuli elpecenun kangiurlluni tamalkuan tanqigmun cali unguvamun, neryuniurutmun cali angnimun, tekitellerkaa engekluku taum Angelriim Erenrem ertellerkaa tamalkuitnun yugnun.</p> <p>Kristuussaq unguirtuq!&nbsp; Ilumun unguirtuq!</p> <p>Pisteci Pistengulriani,</p> <p>+ David, Allgiliyaulria Sitka-mi cali Alaska-mi</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-align: center;" align="center"><strong><span style="font-size: 18.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; mso-ascii-font-family: Garamond; mso-ascii-theme-font: major-latin; mso-hansi-font-family: Garamond; mso-hansi-theme-font: major-latin;">Lazarus-aamek Paaskaamun Uterrluni-llu </span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">Orthodox-aartarmi Agayuvigmi, Yagpak nanglartuq Tallimiritmi Holy Week-aq ayagnirpailgan.&nbsp; Holy Week-am agayuyarai ayagnilartut Bridegroom Matins-mek Agayunrem atakuani.&nbsp; Akunliigni ukuk I-yiim&nbsp; Holy Week-am-llu cakviurnarqellra &nbsp;ellma qacigartelartuq. &nbsp;Ukuk malruk erenreq &nbsp;waten ap&rsquo;laragka &ldquo;Mernuinercirvia Neryuniurutem&rdquo;.&nbsp; Maqinermi umyuaqelararput makcecimallra Lazarus-aam qungugnek tekitevkarluta Uqviayarmun.&nbsp; Una nallunailkutnguuq agiirtellra Kristuss-aam unguillran nasvallra piliaminun piningqerucini tuqmalriit makcecugngaluki.&nbsp; Qungugnek Ellminek makpailegmi, yugnikekni maktaa qunguanek; Lazarus-aaq ataam tuqunqigtarkaungermi uitaqerciquq nallunairciqluku Kristuss-aam unguillra tuqumalrianek.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">Kristuss-aam unguillra tuqumalrianek taqevkaraa umyuaqellra tuqum iquuluku yuucimtenun.&nbsp; Alikenrirnarqaput tuqu amiigi-llu tuunraam nuniin tua-i piunriaki Kristuussam.&nbsp; Qunguut tangernarqenritaput alingnarqellriaruluki, tua-i cimiumiin mernuinercirviurrluku imkunun kenkilrianek Agayutmek utaqaluku-llu utertellerkaa.&nbsp; Holy Friday-mi atullrukut, &ldquo;Imairaten tamalkuita Tuunraam nuniin nengutai.&rdquo;&nbsp; Cali Holy Saturday-mi atullrukut, &ldquo;Tuunraam nunii yuuniarauq qanerluni, &lsquo;Imkut pinimkun igellrenka miryaranka.&nbsp; Imum ussukcausngallrem imairai qunguut.&nbsp; Pinia tuqum piunriumauq.&rsquo;&rdquo;&nbsp; Lazarus-aamek ayagniumalleq qaqicimauq Kristuussami Paaskaami cali waniwa ucurnaqluni cikiutngurtuq imkunun utaqalgilrianun Aipiriluni Tekitenqigtellerkaanun.&nbsp; Ayagtukut Lazarus-aam Maqinranek Paaskaamun, uterrluta-llu imkut pitekluki kenkekngaput Kristuussami cali tengrumtenek cikirluki atuusqelluku Paaskaaq wangkuciicetun. &ldquo;Kristuussaq unguirtuq cali tuunraam nunii anagtaurtuq&rdquo;, qanertuq St. John Chrysostom-aaq Paaskaami qanerturallermini.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">Tamamta tamarillrukut mallgeskemtenek kenkakun.&nbsp; Wall&rsquo;u-qaa aipaqliaput, Atavut wall&rsquo;u Aanavut, nakmiin anelgutput wall&rsquo;u yugnikekvut. &nbsp;Nallunrilkumteggu Paaskaaq nallunriciiqerput nakmiin Mernuinercirvigput Neryuniurutmek, tekitelaqput allrakuaqan mat&rsquo;um nalliini. Kenkuyutvut nutarcimalartuq Agayutem caliarakun wangkuta pitekluta, cali nutartela&rsquo;araa neryuniurutvut taumi ataucimi ernermi, tauten Lazarus-aatun, qungunek maketnaurtut, wangkuta-llu nayurrlainarluta Nutarami Erenrani Kristuss-aam Unguillrani tuani naullunartailngurmi wall&rsquo;u qiaculngunailngurmi, taugaam kiingan unguvamek nangyuilngurmek.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">Piicauteka&rsquo;aqa cikiumasqelluci matumi Tanqilriami Paaskaami nutarcimalriamek neryuniurutmek nangnermek angnirnarqellriamek unguvam piunrullerkaanek tuqumi, &nbsp;yuullerkamek tuqunanrirluta&nbsp; cali iquklitarkat ataam ayagniutngusqelluki. &nbsp;Unguilleq Kristuss-aaq piuli elpecenun kangiurlluni tamalkuan tanqigmun cali unguvamun, neryuniurutmun cali angnimun, tekitellerkaa engekluku taum Angelriim Erenrem ertellerkaa tamalkuitnun yugnun.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">Kristuussaq unguirtuq!&nbsp; Ilumun unguirtuq!</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">Pisteci Pistengulriani,</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">+ David, Allgiliyaulria Sitka-mi cali Alaska-mi</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">In the flesh You were willingly enclosed in the tomb, Who are boundless and infinite in Your divinity.&nbsp; You closed the chambers of death, O Christ.&nbsp; You emptied all the palaces of Hell.//You honored this Sabbath with Your blessing, glory, and honor.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">Those whom I swallowed in my strength I have given up.&nbsp; He Who was crucified has emptied the tombs.&nbsp; The power of death has been vanquished.&rdquo;&nbsp; Glory to Your Cross and Resurrection, O Lord!</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 12.0pt; text-indent: .5in;">&nbsp;</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_160430_1.html Sunday of Orthodoxy - 2016 http://doaoca.org/news_160322_2.html Sat, 19 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <p style="text-align: left;">Read the <a href="/files/Sunday-of-Orthodoxy-2016.pdf" target="_blank">2016 Letter</a> from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_160322_2.html September 6, 2013 http://doaoca.org/news_130909_5.html Fri, 06 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div class="WordSection1" align="left"><p><em>My Beloved Brothers and sisters in Christ of the God-protected Diocese of Sitka and Alaska</em></p><p><em>Today I had the honor, joy, and pleasure of spending tea with His Grace, Joseph, Bishop of the Antiochian Western Diocese.&nbsp; I asked him what we could do to support our Brothers and Sisters in Syria at this troubling time.&nbsp; He asked that we offer our prayers for the Syrian people and encouraged us to write a letter to our U S Senators and Representative in support of the Christians in Syria and against the proposed bombing that is now being planned by the Obama Administration.&nbsp; Please take a few minutes of your time to send a letter or an email to let them know we are against the bombing of our Christians Brethren. </em></p><p><em>Below is the letter of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Philip to President Obama.&nbsp; I urge you all to contact our national representatives and let them know we do not support the bombing of innocent Christians in Syria.</em></p><p><em>Your servant in Christ,</em></p><p><em>Archimandrite David,</em></p><p>Administrator and Chancellor of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska</p></div><div class="WordSection1"><p>&nbsp;</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_130909_5.html September 12, 2013 http://doaoca.org/news_130912_1.html Thu, 12 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Parishes/oca-ak-ancsik.jpg&archive=0&final_h=64&final_w=89&percent=100"><p>The Alaskan Diocesan Assembly will be held October 18-20 in Anchorage.&nbsp; Friday the 18th, will be a day for the clergy and Matushki to gather with the Diocesan Administrator, Archimandrite David, with dinner and a Q &amp; A session with the priests, followed by a tea with the Matushki of the Diocese.&nbsp; The Diocesan Council will meet that evening, prior to the Main Assembly which will be held Saturday, the 19th.&nbsp; Saturday morning will begin with Divine Liturgy celebrated by Archimandrite David and Clergy from the Diocese, followed by Dinner with Archbishop Benjamin and the main assembly in the afternoon.&nbsp; If necessary, the assembly with reconvene on Sunday following the Hierarchical Liturgy with His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Alaska.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_130912_1.html September 22, 2013 http://doaoca.org/news_130922_1.html Sat, 21 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <p><strong>From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matt. 4:17</strong></p><p>It seems fitting that as I begin to &ldquo;speak&rdquo; to you through this medium known as a &ldquo;blog&rdquo;, that I begin as Christ, Himself, did with His Ministry. We should all realize that when we want to improve ourselves, our relationship with Christ and with others, that we first must make ourselves as right with God as we possibly can. So, with Jesus, I say also, let us repent, for the kingdom of heaven is drawing near to us. Because of the importance of this dialogue, it will be longer than will future Blog entries, but hopefully it will be worth your time. But as I am accustom to saying, there is as much to learn from what we do not see written in Holy Scriptures, as there is in what we hear.</p><p>This one sentence is overflowing with meaning for us. It was spoken by Christ immediately after His Baptism by St. John in the Jordan River. It was His announcement to the world, that things would be different now. Something is coming, and we must be ready for it when it comes.</p><p>Two phrases stand out for our purpose here. First, the word &ldquo;repent&rdquo; is the Greek word Metanoia that has a richer meaning than simply repent. Let me explain. Let&rsquo;s say I eat a whole lot more chocolate than is good for me, and my doctor says I must change my eating habits or face gaining weight to a deadly end. So I tell him I will change my eating habits and stop eating chocolate. Is this repentance? It is if I completely give up eating chocolate and change my diet to one heavy with salads, beans and low fat products. I could never again return to eating chocolate, or I would be going back on my promise to my doctor and I would be returning to a hazardous, life-endangering eating style.</p><p>This is because the word &ldquo;repent&rdquo;, when understood correctly, means &ldquo;to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins.&rdquo; Notice that the word has a primary meaning of &ldquo;better, heartily&rdquo; amending to our life. It is not enough to simply say &ldquo;Okay, I won&rsquo;t do that anymore&rdquo;, where &ldquo;that&rdquo; stands for a bad or sinful behavior. We must turn away from our sinful ways and live differently. Secondly, what does the phrase &ldquo;at hand&rdquo; refer to? Throughout the centuries, many religious leaders of varying beliefs have tried to take this in a literal way and predict when the Kingdom of God will come to us. Even today, you can hear many ministers (especially those who use the television media to promote their ways, since no one can challenge them directly in that medium) touting the world events as evidence that we are living in &ldquo;The Last Days&rdquo;. The word in Greek that gets rendered &ldquo;at hand&rdquo; is the word Engizo, and again, its meaning is a little more than involved than it appears. The primary meaning of engizo, is &ldquo;to bring near, to join one thing to another&rdquo;. To bring near, and to join one thing to another is exactly what we do in the Orthodox Church when we serve the Divine Liturgy. How does the Liturgy begin? The priest intones, &ldquo;Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. . . .&rdquo; We enter the Kingdom at that point in time, we draw near and bring together our world with the world of the Kingdom of God, so that we can partake, actually and physically, in the Holy Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that originates in the Lord&rsquo;s Kingdom!</p><p>So repent and turn from sin, draw near and enter the Kingdom of God. Bring your world into the Kingdom of God and be renewed through the Church of Christ, the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, of which we are a part. Until next time, may God bless you and keep you from all harm.</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_130922_1.html Holy Synod elects Archimandrite David [Mahaffey] as Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131024_1.html Tue, 15 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <p class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">Archimandrite David [Mahaffey] was elected by the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to fill the vacant Episcopal See of Sitka and Alaska on Wednesday, October 16, 2013.</p><p class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">The election took place during the fall session of the Holy Synod at the OCA Chancery.</p><p class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">Delegates to the Assembly of the Diocese of Alaska on September 15, 2012 had nominated Father David, who has been serving as the diocese&rsquo;s Administrator and Chancellor, to fill the vacant See.&nbsp; His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, Locum Tenens of Episcopal See of Sitka and Alaska, presented his name to the Holy Synod for canonical election.</p><p class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">Born in Altoona, PA in 1952, Father David was received into the Orthodox Christian faith in 1975, two years after his marriage to the former Karen Meterko.&nbsp; He received his Master of Divinity degree from Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary, South Canaan, PA in 1997.&nbsp; In 2003, he graduated from the University of Scranton with Bachelors degrees in Theology and Philosophy.&nbsp; Two years later, he received his Master of Arts degree in theology from the same school.</p><p class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">He was ordained to the diaconate in 1981 and served throughout the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.&nbsp; After his ordination to the priesthood in 1993, he served as rector of Saint Michael Church, Old Forge, PA until 2006, when he assumed the pastorate of Holy Trinity Church, Pottstown, PA.&nbsp; In 2009, he was assigned rector of Saint Nicholas Church, Bethlehem. He and his wife, who fell asleep in the Lord in 2007, raised four children.</p><p class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">Father David served as a graduate assistant in the Theology Department of the University of Scranton, adjunct lecturer at Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary, and adjunct lecturer in theology and philosophy at Alvernia University, Melrose Park Campus, Philadelphia, PA.&nbsp; He has served in a wide variety of capacities in the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, including dean of the Philadelphia Deanery.</p><p class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">The dates of Father David&rsquo;s consecration to the episcopacy are Thursday, February 20th - Friday, February 21st at St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage. His installation will take place on Sunday, February 23rd, at St. Michael Cathedral in Sitka.</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131024_1.html In Memory of Subdeacon Gregory http://doaoca.org/news_131030_1.html Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Adminstration/fromthedesk_003.jpg&archive=0&final_h=42&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><span style="color: #800000;"><strong>Ode to a Friend</strong></span></p><p>I lost a friend today</p><p>Someone I held dear</p><p>Someone who would listen when I complained</p><p>Someone who never complained back to me</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>What I lost, I lost not alone</p><p>For many others have lost a friend as well</p><p>That was his way</p><p>He made you his friend easily, as if long acquainted</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Life was never complicated for my friend</p><p>He lived it in his own simple, but pious way</p><p>A helper to one and all,</p><p>And a servant of servants to one and to many</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>We took my friend for granted, I think</p><p>Far too often we just expected him to be there</p><p>Whatever our need</p><p>Whenever we wanted it, be it early or late</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>So for now we have lost</p><p>No longer will we call on him for aide</p><p>He sleeps the eternal sleep</p><p>Until this Age has ended and that New Day has dawned</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Go on, Gregory, your Father calls</p><p>Your own Good Father and the Father of us all</p><p>They beckon you now</p><p>Go join them as you have been destined to do</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Go on now, Gregory, your time has come</p><p>To be numbered with the righteous</p><p>And labor no more</p><p>May you hear those words, we all long to hear&hellip;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Well done you good and Faithful Servant.&nbsp; Amen.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131030_1.html For Seasonable Weather... http://doaoca.org/news_131117_1.html Fri, 15 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0500 <p><em><strong><span style="color: #ff6600;">For Seasonable Weather, abundance of the fruits of the earth, and peaceful times let us </span></strong></em><em><strong><span style="color: #ff6600;">pray to the Lord, and Give Thanks</span></strong></em><span style="color: #ff6600;"><strong><em>!</em></strong></span><br /><br />Our hearts and our prayers go out this week to those who have been impacted by the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. We see the reports streaming in and watch the headlines outlining the grim and violent destruction that weather has had on our neighbors in the Philippines. As Alaskans, we know all too well the impact that severe weather and other natural disasters can have on individuals, on families, on communities and on our Parishes. Even as I am writing this, many of our brothers and sisters on the Aleutian Islands and Western Coast of Alaska are suffering severe winds, rains, flooding <br />and ice. <br /><br />In times such as these it is always easy to ask &ldquo;Why?&rdquo; Why must this happen? Entire books have been written on this subject. This topic of debate could go on forever. While this is happening, while we are in the midst of this, and these images are fresh in our minds, let us consider another question this season. &ldquo;What?&rdquo; What can I do to help my neighbor? What can I do to be prepared in case my own family or someone I know is impacted by a natural disaster?</p><p><br />We know that as Orthodox Christians, we can start with Prayer. We can be present at the services of our Church. Every Vespers Service we pray to the Lord for our cities and every city, town or village.&nbsp; We pray for Seasonable Weather, for the abundance of the fruits of the earth and for peaceful times. <br /><br />We can also help and prepare in other ways. Perhaps while shopping for canned foods we should start thinking about buying an extra 1 or 2 cans. Consider picking up an extra one for your house and an extra one for the food bank. We should also consider assisting those organizations that assist in these disasters, like the Orthodox organization International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). During this time of preparation for the Advent Season let us prepare our hearts and our homes. Let us give thanks for what we have, and let us help those we can who are suffering. <br /><br />I call upon all the Parishes in the Diocese to make next Sunday, November 24, a Sunday of giving for the victims of this tragedy. I ask each priest and Parish Leader to let everyone know this collection will be taken and to send your donation to the IOCC. Be sure to mark your donation for Philippines Typhoon Disaster Fund. You can give online here at <a href="http://www.iocc.org">www.iocc.org</a> and clicking the Donate Now button, or you can mail your donation to their physical location in Baltimore, MD.<br /><br />IOCC<br />Post Office Box 17398 <br />Baltimore, MD 21297-0429<br /><br />May God Bless You and keep you safe this season,<br />Archimandrite David<br />Bishop-elect, Diocese of Sitka and Alaska</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131117_1.html The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving http://doaoca.org/news_131128_1.html Thu, 28 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Adminstration/fromthedesk_003.jpg&archive=0&final_h=42&final_w=90&percent=100"><h1 align="center">Jahaziel, Jehoshaphat, Judah</h1><h1 align="center">and the Real Meaning of Thanksgiving</h1><p>One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is in the Second Book of Chronicles (II Paralipomenon, LXX), Chapter 20.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s the story of Jehoshaphat and his priest and prophet, Jahaziel when attacked by the Moabites and Ammonites.&nbsp; It is the strangest &ldquo;victory&rdquo; in Scripture.&nbsp; When King Jehoshaphat&rsquo;s advisors come to tell him of the impending attack, everyone is fearful that their enemies will overtake them.&nbsp; Jehoshaphat prays to God and says, &ldquo;We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." [v.12b] His prophet and priest, Jahaziel, declares an even stranger word to the people when he says, &ldquo;You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.&rdquo;&nbsp; [v.17] What did he say?&nbsp; Don&rsquo;t fight?&nbsp; Just stand still?&nbsp; Well, the people of Judah were faithful in nothing else, and so they did just as the priest commanded.&nbsp; They went out the next day, led by the choir and those in &ldquo;holy attire&rdquo; (read priests), and as they went they sang, "Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever." [v.21b] When they arrived at the place where they were to fight, they beheld a valley with not one living warrior.&nbsp; It took them three days just to take back the spoils.</p><p>What is the point of this story and what does it have to do with Thanksgiving?</p><p>Mostly, our idea of Thanksgiving is in relation to our greatness as a nation.&nbsp; We see our prosperity as a blessing, part and parcel to that great American idea of &ldquo;Manifest Destiny&rdquo;.&nbsp; But what lay underneath the surface of our bounty is an almost invisible, Godly-imaged people, who are suffering in silence from all manner of manifestations of affliction, evil and sin.&nbsp; Poor in commerce and health, they are the have-nots in a land of plenty.&nbsp; Save their underprivileged lot in life, they are exactly the same as us.</p><p>I submit to you that it is exactly this modern type of &ldquo;thanksgiving&rdquo; in which we find so many people attracted to <em>feast</em> over family, <em>sales</em> over salvation, and <em>greed</em> over glory for God, that <em>we have missed the point</em>.&nbsp; In fact, <em>we do not know</em> what to do about the disparaging differences in our society. In this day and age where invasions on the fleshly desires are constant, in this time of heightened consumerism and self-satisfaction, we need to remember and give thanks to God that He realizes our limitations, our own weaknesses, our inability to know what to do in every case, and at all times.&nbsp; We often become so self-assured we seldom think of God unless we are in deep trouble.&nbsp; Sometimes we just need to stand still and realize we don&rsquo;t have all the answers.</p><p>Like the attacking hoards against Judah, we find a worldly attack on nearly everything we hold sacred.&nbsp; At the same time we have not found a way to justly treat the needy and the ill and infirm.&nbsp; In short, we don&rsquo;t know what to do.&nbsp; To admit that would be a step in the right direction.&nbsp; Even better would be for us to trust God first, and not try to think we know how to &ldquo;fix&rdquo; everything.&nbsp; This season we will be bombarded with advertisements telling us how to do just that.&nbsp; If we look at the answer Judah gave, I think we can find a way to begin our proper thanksgiving.&nbsp; Notice how Judah went out against their adversary, the armed forces didn&rsquo;t lead the way, the choir and priests did, singing as they went, &ldquo;Give thanks to the Lord, for His steadfast love endures forever.&rdquo; [v.21b] How amazing an approach to life, first give thanks to God for His steadfast love, and then wait for His results?&nbsp;</p><p>Jehoshaphat told the people of Judah, &ldquo;believe his prophets, and you will succeed.&rdquo; [v.20b] That same truth exists today. Success depends on our ability to give Him thanks, not the other way around.&nbsp; Thanks to God begins with remembering why we are here.&nbsp; To show God our gratitude means to express it to those who need a reason to be thankful.&nbsp; To show God we are grateful for our blessings, we are called upon to share our bounty in as many ways as possible.&nbsp; The choices are many; the decision is ours.&nbsp; If you want to succeed, believe what we have been told by the prophets and preachers and teachers of God.</p><p>This week our church began a campaign to add 300 &ldquo;Stewards of the OCA&rdquo;, at the last Diocesesan Assembly I announced our own &ldquo;G.L.O.R.Y. to God&rdquo; campaign, and we will soon announce a way to help Religious Education in Alaska.&nbsp; This past week I called upon all our parishes to take up a collection to help the IOCC with relief aid for the Philippines and the response has been outstanding.&nbsp; In addition to this are all the local food pantries and kitchens that need our help and support.&nbsp; God provides the ways to help others, we provide the means, and that <em>is</em> what it means to be thankful.&nbsp; The Lord is steadfast in His love for us, let us be steadfast in our stewardship of thanks for His many gifts to us.&nbsp;</p><p>As you gather with your family and friends this Thanksgiving, I pray God will bless your gatherings with His love and peace; and that you will all receive a most generous return from God for your many gifts of thanks to others who are less fortunate.&nbsp; God bless you in this Season of Thanks, and may you have a Spiritually rewarding Nativity Fast.</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In Christ&rsquo;s love, your servant,</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Archimandrite David (Mahaffey)</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska</p><p>&nbsp;</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131128_1.html As We Begin a New Year http://doaoca.org/news_140102_1.html Wed, 01 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <p>&ldquo;Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.&rdquo;<br />No Psalm is more used in the Orthodox Church than the 50th (51st).&nbsp; It contains a great deal of penitential phrases that remind us of our need for God&rsquo;s mercy and love.&nbsp; As we begin a New Year, there is a phrase in that Psalm that comes to mind as appropriate, &ldquo;Create in me a clean heart, and put a new and right spirit within me.&rdquo;&nbsp; [v. 10] What could be a more useful prayer for us as we begin a renewed life in 2014?&nbsp; What words are more necessary to communicate to God than these?<br />The end of a year brings us to a point of reflection on the past.&nbsp; We re-examine our successes and failures, and hopefully learn from them; we all desire to be better persons, to live better lives, to do more good, and avoid evil as much as possible.&nbsp; Honest reflection can sometimes be painful as our mistakes, our sinful failings remind us of our fallen-ness and our inability to reach the goals we had set from the prior year&rsquo;s resolutions.&nbsp; St. Paul reminds us, &ldquo;For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our&nbsp;hope&nbsp;set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.&rdquo;&nbsp; [I Tim. 4:10]&nbsp; This, then, is the key to our renewal; we strive and toil each year because we have our hope set on the living God.&nbsp; We believe, and that belief continues to give us hope, to renew our life again and again, because, as God said to St. John in his Revelation, &ldquo;Behold, I make all things new.&rdquo;&nbsp; [Rev. 21:5]<br />As we begin this New Year together, let us remember that it truly is a New Beginning for all of us here in the Diocese of Alaska.&nbsp; We are all being renewed together for a reason, for a common purpose.&nbsp; God has put us together for His intention.&nbsp; It is my prayer that we all come to find that reason, that intention, and to work for the Glory of God in this New Year, and the New Years to come.&nbsp; I pray God will give every one of you and all your family, every good blessing and fill every need, that He will use all of us to His glory in this world and in the world to come,&nbsp; Amen.</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140102_1.html Christ is Born! Glorify Him! http://doaoca.org/news_140107_1.html Tue, 07 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Adminstration/fromthedesk_003.jpg&archive=0&final_h=42&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One! Angels, with shepherds, glorify Him! The wise men journey with the star! Since for our sake the Eternal God is born as a little child (Kontakion of the Nativity of Our Lord).</p> <p><br />As we celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we sing this most glorious hymn many times.&nbsp; The significance of it, the importance of its meaning in terms of our Theology, is a most wondrous thing to behold!<br />We live in an age when we can be transported to almost any other point on the globe in an instant, not by huge television cameras and complex media outlets, but by a device that many of us possess, a cell phone.&nbsp; It gives us a powerful medium with which to embrace our brothers and sisters throughout the world.&nbsp; We can send messages of beauty, or ill will, in an instant.&nbsp; We can post a photograph on a social media sight for all to see in only a few seconds, even videos and sound are included in the methods of communicating.</p> <p><br />So, we might ask, didn&rsquo;t God wait until our age to send the Christ child to be born?&nbsp; Why didn&rsquo;t God wait until the cell phone and internet were invented to proclaim the Birth of the Christ?&nbsp; After all, wouldn&rsquo;t more people have been able to &ldquo;witness&rdquo; His coming though our many and various electronic means?</p> <p><br />The answer actually can be found in the Kondak for this day.&nbsp; Read it again and tell me what you notice.&nbsp; How does it begin?&nbsp; &ldquo;Today&rdquo;!&nbsp; Yes, today the Virgin gives birth, this has always been the teaching of the Orthodox Church.&nbsp; We are not commemorating the historical event that happened in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago.&nbsp; We are joining with them in bring the Good News, the Gospel Message, of the Birth of Christ to the world!&nbsp; We have an understanding about time in the Orthodox Church that makes such an idea completely logical and functional.&nbsp; You and I live out our lives from our birth to our death, and we hope to leave behind a legacy that will be carried on in our future generations; but the Birth of Christ is an event for all people in all times.&nbsp; He came to give us the precious gift of Salvation by offering Himself to us in love so that we might obtain eternal life.&nbsp; He came to earth so that we might attain heaven. He became a man, so that we might become like Him in becoming Divine, to achieve Theosis.</p> <p><br />Notice too, how our Good God prepared us for this event.&nbsp; What man-made devices were used?&nbsp; None.&nbsp; The shepherds heard the angels proclaim His birth.&nbsp; The Wise Men followed a star.&nbsp; Said another way, God used both His visible and His invisible creation to proclaim the Birth of His Son.&nbsp; No cell phones, no television cameras were needed; God had His stars in the skies and His angels in the heavens, He needed no cell phones or cameras.&nbsp; Even His birthplace was not made by human hands, but by the Hands of God in nature.&nbsp; As is usually the case, God can do things better and with greater effect with His creation, than we can ever do with our own devices.</p> <p><br />As we celebrate this Nativity, I pray you will use your devices to help proclaim the glorious news to those around you.&nbsp; God gave us these tools to use for good, for our telling of the Good News, the Evangelion, of the Lord&rsquo;s Nativity.&nbsp; The message is still a new message to many people, help them discover it.&nbsp; Renew your connections in your own families, and neighborhoods, and let them know that Christ comes to give them this same gift of Salvation.</p> <p><br />It is my prayer that you will have a Nativity filled with every blessing the Lord has made for you.&nbsp; I ask God to help us in the Holy and god-loving Diocese of Sitka and Alaska to become more loving, more giving, more caring and more Christ-like in the coming year.&nbsp; For that is the real reason for His Coming, He took on our humanity to aid us in reaching His divinity.</p> <p><br />Christ is born!&nbsp; Glorify Him!<br />Your servant in Christ,<br />Archimandrite David, Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska<br /><br /></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140107_1.html Theophany & the EPA http://doaoca.org/news_140125_1.html Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Adminstration/fromthedesk_003.jpg&archive=0&final_h=42&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>THEOPHANY AND THE E.P.A.<br />Last week the Environmental Protection Agency released their final assessment of the Bristol Bay Environmental Impact Study in relation to the proposed Pebble Mine Project. On page 25 of that report the EPA states the following:<br />&ldquo;If salmon quality or quantity was (or was perceived to be) adversely affected, the nutritional, social, and spiritual health of Alaska Natives would decline.&rdquo; <br />The EPA has stated what we, as Orthodox Christians, have always held to be true, that you cannot separate our existence as human beings living on this planet from our existence as beings in relation to God. It has always been a part of Orthodox Theology to think of ourselves and the environment around us as a shared whole of Creation. In Orthodoxy there is no &ldquo;us&rdquo; versus &ldquo;them&rdquo; in any form aside from all things evil and demonic. One only has to look at the command in Genesis that God gave Adam at Creation when He said, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." [Gen. 1:28] Note, that I have highlighted the word &ldquo;fill&rdquo; for a very good reason. The word does not give us a full understanding of the root Hebrew word used here, which is &ldquo;Male&rsquo;&rdquo; and more properly means to be so involved in this Creation as to be able to Consecrate it back to God. It means to become so involved in it that you realize your use of it, your participation in it, is of itself a type of sacrament.<br />Too often we find people wanting to emphasize the second part of that command, the &ldquo;subdue&rdquo; part, and act like its all ours for the taking. This type of thinking as even generated a salvation theology based on the idea that it doesn&rsquo;t matter how we treat the earth, we&rsquo;re all going to leave it and go somewhere else anyway. It perceives the &ldquo;Rapture&rdquo; as a removal from this &ldquo;corrupt&rdquo; world and taken to someplace apart from it, as if God, Himself, didn&rsquo;t think much of the earth after He Created it. But we all know that nothing could be further from the truth. Simply look at each day of Creation and how it ends in Genesis, Chapter one, &ldquo;and God saw that it was good.&rdquo; [Gen. 1:12, 14, 18, 21 &amp; 25] <br />So the real question is, if God saw His Creation as good, why would He want to destroy it? The answer is, He didn&rsquo;t. God put man out of Paradise, but He did not destroy that place; instead he prevented man from returning to it, until the time was right. If we read Revelation correctly, it is the devil and his minions that go somewhere else, to a lake of fire; the remnant become part of a New Jerusalem that is sent to earth. So our next question is, when is the right time? How would we know it, and is it even discoverable by us? <br />We need look no further than the Gospel of St. Matthew and the narrative of Christ&rsquo;s Baptism. When Jesus approaches John, John asks Christ why He comes to him for Baptism, that it should be Jesus Baptizing him, John. But Jesus answers him, &ldquo;"Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.&rdquo; The word used here that is translated as &ldquo;righteousness&rdquo; is again a word of stronger meaning than the English shows. In Greek, the word here is dikaiosynē, [Strong&rsquo;s G1342] which translates better as &ldquo;state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God&rdquo;. Said another way, Christ came and was Baptized in the River Jordan so that things could again be as they ought to be. This is how Christ restores His fallen Creation! He doesn&rsquo;t throw it away, He renews it, He restores it through His descent into the waters of Baptism, thus renewing everything the water touches in the process. There is no new water on the earth, it continually recycles itself, thus when we bless water, we enter into that process that began when Jesus descended into the Jordan River and we renew the waters that sustain us, we make them good again!<br />It is not automatic, though, it requires the cooperation of man with God, of the Sacramental with the Sacred. How is the sacramental accomplished? By the proper priesthood, received by the Holy Apostles at Pentecost, and passed on through the laying on of hands to those who are given the honor of the priesthood in our present day. As with the waters of baptism, so it is with the waters blessed on Theophany, the priest must pray and call down the Holy Spirit to sanctify the water. There is a beautiful line in Fr. Alexander Schmemann&rsquo;s book Of Water and the Spirit, he describes the priest standing before the water he is about to bless in this manner: &ldquo;And the priest, standing before the water as if facing the whole cosmos on the day of creation &ndash; as the first man opening his eyes to God&rsquo;s glory and contemplating all that God has done in Christ for our redemption and salvation &ndash; proclaims:&rdquo; and then gives the prayer.<br />This idea of the priest facing the whole cosmos on the day of creation is a reminder to us of the immense importance involved in the blessing of water. It is not magic, it is not the incorporation of some ancient pagan ritual into Christian life, but the very act of man in synergy with his Creator, coming again to the waters God created and renewing them yet again in the fulfillment of all righteousness. It is yet another reason why the priesthood exists, to continue the sanctifying work of God, the continual calling down of God&rsquo;s grace upon all of us and all Creation for which we have been given the monumental task of maintaining until the Second Coming. A little later in his book, Fr. Alexander makes the explanative statement, &ldquo;The water of creation, darkened and polluted by the fall, which had become the very symbol of death and demonic possession, now are revealed as the waters of Jordan, as the beginning of recreation and salvation.&rdquo; First, notice his claim, that the waters were polluted by the fall, what we do by careless action today only adds to it. So now we understand, water does not just sustain our physical life, and the life of all living things, it is the source of renewal of our spiritual life as well. Water is a necessary element of body and soul. The fact that the E.P.A. has recognized this should come as no surprise. They spent a very long time with the Native population of the Bristol Bay area. They talked to many of its residents who articulated to them, in ways I cannot, how important that water was to their life, to their very existence. Those good people may not have gone to seminary, but they have studied in the field of life and learned it very well. Thanks to their efforts, their life will continue as it always has, a life blessed by God and sanctified by His Holy Priesthood.<br />In conclusion, the words form Fr. Alexander&rsquo;s book ring so true for us at this time of year, &ldquo;The time of salvation begins again, and we are witnesses and partakers of that beginning and we thank God for it.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140125_1.html ADDRESS OF BISHOP-ELECT DAVID ON THE EVE OF HIS CONSECRATION TO THE EPISCOPACY http://doaoca.org/news_140221_1.html Thu, 20 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014-0220-mahaffey-vespers22.JPG&archive=0&final_h=90&final_w=70&percent=100"><p>At the celebration of Great Vespers at Saint Innocent Cathedral here on Thursday, February 20, 2014&mdash;the eve of his consecration to the Episcopate&mdash;Bishop-Elect David [Mahaffey] delivered an address to the bishops, clergy and faithful.<br /> <a href="http://oca.org/news/headline-news/anchorage-site-of-episcopal-consecration-of-archimandrite-david"><br /></a></p> <p>Your Beatitude, Your Eminence, Your Graces, Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers and Mothers, Matushki, Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,<br /> <br /> Glory to Jesus Christ!<br /> <br /> Today I stand before you, an unworthy servant of Christ filled with fear and trembling. The fear which I have is a Godly fear and the trembling I have is a trembling of the heart. Who can realize or understand the task that is given to a man when he is chosen to be a Bishop? Even now, I am humbled by this undertaking entrusted to me. You, the hierarchs, have placed upon me a mantle of joy and blessing that is called the Diocese of Alaska.<br /> <br /> I know not what to say to you for this honor.&nbsp; I can only say that, like Saint Paul, &ldquo;I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself if only I may finish my course in the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God.&rdquo;&nbsp; Today this ministry has been magnified in many ways by the trust you have placed in me to be the Bishop of this diocese. I only hope that my unworthy efforts would justify your confidence in me.<br /> <br /> First of all this evening, I want to say a few words to my children. To Nick and Mike and Seth and Kyra, and also to Cassie, Peter, Angela, Denise, and especially to my Granddaughter, Caitrin, I do not think that any of us could have imagined that life would have turned out this way for all of us. The faithful of this Diocese have expressed to me often how thankful they are for your sharing of your father with them. I am grateful to all of you for allowing me to serve God by coming to Alaska. I know that at times the distance will seem great, but you are all as close as my heart and my prayers, and in visits in the time that God will allow. Please know that this distance does not change the love that I have for you, nor does it affect in any way my desire to be with you whenever possible.<br /> <br /> I would also like to say a few words about the many people who have influenced me in my life. First of all, I believe that I am who I am because of the woman that God gave me and made my wife. Matushka Karen, my companion for more than 34 years, helped to shape my ministry as much as any priest or bishop. She was the perfect example in every way of what I think makes a good Matushka. I feel her presence and her prayers at every service, and I hear her voice in every choir. May her memory be eternal.<br /> <br /> It especially important for me to say that without the guidance and instruction of the priest who chrismated me, I&rsquo;m not sure what my Orthodoxy would look like. Archpriest Raphael Rozdilski spent many weekends at my home after services teaching me about the Church. Some Sundays we would stay up all night discussing Scriptures, Church Fathers, Sacraments, and many other theological issues. He was more patient and kind with me than I deserved, but I&rsquo;m grateful to God for putting him there for me when I needed it the most. Of course there were many other priests who helped to form my faith, and that I am indebted to all of them.&nbsp; Likewise, the time I spent at the feet of the many instructors and professors at both the Late Vocations Program in Pittsburgh, and Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary, has given me an understanding and a comprehension of Orthodoxy without compromise.<br /> <br /> I have also been blessed to serve under some very God-loving and shining examples of Christ in the episcopal office. His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill, who I served as a deacon for over 12 years, showed me the way of a loving pastor, as did His Beatitudes, Metropolitan Theodosius and His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, taught me the importance of good administration and caring for the flock. And I would be remiss, if I did not also mentioned His Grace, Bishop Michael, who has been a mentor to me, as well as a good friend. During the dark days of my life, he was always there helping me keep my faith, and keeping my trust God. Your Grace, I shall always be indebted to you. I am also grateful for the relationship I have had with all the members of our Holy Synod. Their leadership, love, and support are what keeps our Orthodox Church in America strong.<br /> <br /> Now, I have a duty to give back to the Church, in every way I can, the wisdom that has been imparted to me. I am reminded of the words of Saint Innocent when he said, &ldquo;woe to him who has been called and ordained to preach the word of God and who is not doing it&hellip; We as pastors, as teachers, as heirs of the apostles, have to keep up with our calling, and that means we have to teach. Otherwise, we are like pagan priests, just performers of mysteries and rituals.&rdquo;&nbsp; Thus, I understand my obligation to the faithful of Alaska, and to the Orthodox Church in America, not only to guide and to lead, but to be a servant of servants, leading and teaching by my example. With Saint Paul I must now say it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.<br /> <br /> So now to the Flock that you are entrusting to my care, I ask only one thing. More than anything else, I need your prayers. I am but a simple man, and of my own self I am capable of very little. I know and I recognize the enormity of what lies ahead of me. Please pray that I am kept from pride and from self-importance. Pray that God will open my heart to understand and accept His Holy Will in my life, and for that of all Alaska. Pray that I remember the words of Christ, that with men this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. In the Breastplate of Saint Patrick, is a prayer I try to pray every day.&nbsp; It concludes with these words, &ldquo;Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.&rdquo; Made it always be, my beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, that you never see me, but that you see Christ working through me. By your prayers, may Almighty God teach me to do His will, and serve His Church, to the best of my ability.<br /> <br /> Beloved, today is a new beginning for the Diocese of Alaska. What happens in Alaska from this point forward will not be the doing of one person. It will not be the doing of one hierarch. It will not be the doing of one priest, one parish council, or any single church. If it is the will of God, then it is the work of all of us. As Saint Paul said in his Epistle to the Ephesians, there is only one faith. This one faith is the same for each and every one of us; and it is for this one faith that this new beginning is dedicated. Each of us must strive to live this one faith every day of our lives. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let us all pray with Saint Herman, &ldquo;from this day, from this hour, from this very minute, we should strive to love God above all else and do His will.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140221_1.html HIS GRACE BISHOP DAVID MEETS WITH DC OFFICIALS ABOUT PEBBLE MINE PROJECT http://doaoca.org/news_140226_1.html Tue, 25 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/epa.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>On February 25, 2014; His Grace Bishop DAVID participated in a news conference sponsored by Creation Justice Ministries with the Bristol Bay area organizations fighting the Pebble Mine Project. The group also went to the William Jefferson Clinton Building complex to meet with the Administrator of the EPA, Gina McCarthy. Although she was unable to attend the meeting, her staff expressed her deep concern with this issue.&nbsp; People from Bristol Bay presented a large amount of petitions to the EPA asking for them to make a final decision on the mining project. Pictured with His Grace are members of the EPA who met with the delegation.<br /><br />On February 26, 2014 His Grace will meet with Alaskan Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and Alaskan Congressman Don Young. In addition he will meet with representatives of the National Park Service.<br /><br />The proposed Pebble Mine will have an immense negative impact on the subsistence lifestyle of native Alaskans both in Bristol Bay and throughout the interior. A way of life that is a necessity for survival in the villages throughout the region, a way of life that Native Alaskan's have practised for thousands of years.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140226_1.html Creation and Created in Orthodox Understanding http://doaoca.org/news_140306_3.html Thu, 06 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/ypc_wassilla.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><em><strong>The following lecture was given by His Grace Bishop DAVID at the General Conference of the Yukon Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, USA, held in Wasilla, Alaska on Saturday, March 1, 2014. In connection with His Grace's involvement in PLUME, (the Judicatory Board in Anchorage, Alaska), responding to the EPA report on the proposed Pebble Mine. The adverse impact of the the proposed mine on the subsistence lifestyle of Native Alaskan's has become a major catalyst in the proclamation of the Orthodox Church's understanding of mankind's responsibility to care and preserve the very environment which sustains us.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, I would like to give you three references that should help you to understand what we in the Orthodox Church feel is our responsibility for care of the earth. It is a position that The Church has held for centuries, it is indicated in the teachings of some of the earliest Church Fathers, and in light of the recent attention given the environment, it has again taken a prominent position in the discussion of our call to be good Stewards of all we are given to care for, our churches, our families, our neighbors and our environment.</p> <p>FIRST, GENESIS</p> <p>In the book of Genesis, after God had finished creating everything, He spoke to man and said, And God blessed them. And God said to them, &ldquo;Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds&nbsp;of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.&rdquo; [Gen. 1:28] Now there will be some who will point to the &ldquo;subdue&rdquo; as the primary directive of this verse, and believe that God implied for man to be conquerors of this new creation. According to Strong&rsquo;s, the word [kavash] translated as subdue, has the connotation we would expect, in fact it even implies &ldquo;take under bondage&rdquo; as if the earth is meant to serve our every whim.</p> <p>But the first word of command in the verse is the word &ldquo;fill&rdquo;, again with a standard connotation to many that would imply a progenitor and his progeny occupying space on the earth. The problem is that this is not the most accurate understanding of the word in this case. The Hebrew word [male] means &ldquo;to consecrate, to fill the hand&rdquo;, an indication that man was given a responsibility to take this creation and do something with it that would dedicate it back to God. Adam was put in charge because of his likeness, his God-like image that no other creature in creation, not even the angels, were capable of doing.</p> <p>This is the first and, if you will, prime directive that God gave to man. In our theology, we are so caught up in the transgression of the eating of the forbidden tree, we forget the only other command that man was given by his Creator; <strong><em>that of being responsible for and caring for, all the earth and all its inhabitants</em></strong>. The command not to eat does not come for some twenty more verses, and considering there were no divisions of Scripture until a much later time, I believe it makes this an even more significant point. The command to consecrate comes in the first creation story, the command to not eat comes in the second one. In both versions of the Creation Story, Adam is given the deciding and primary role, this earth was created for him to care for, to be a good steward of, and to make progress towards his role in relation to his creator. The fall would change almost all of that, and yes, I said almost all, but not all. This brings us to our second Scripture reference, Psalms.</p> <p>SECOND, PSALMS</p> <p>In Psalm 104, a description of the purpose of all creation, we find verse 28 referencing man in this way, &ldquo;Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.&rdquo; What is his work and his labor? Is this merely a reference to the fact that he has to work so he can have something to eat? Is it a veiled reference to the fall and man&rsquo;s hard labor to make the ground yield for him, as compared to the fact that God provides for all other creatures in the Psalm? I suppose it could be, but let us look at it in a little greater detail. The phrase &ldquo;his work&rdquo; uses the Hebrew word [po&rsquo;al], also a a reference to a deed, an acquisition (as of <strong><em>treasure</em></strong>); his labor uses the Hebrew word [abodah], a service (of <strong>God</strong>). So let us try to rephrase this verse and couch it in more terms to benefit our creation Theology, so now we should say, <em>&ldquo;Man goes to his deed, his treasured acquisition that God gave him, he goes to his service to God, his work of caring, until the evening.&rdquo;</em> Does this help us understand our relationship to the environment a little better? I hope so, and now to top it all off, here is the capstone, the paradigm of Grace for good environmental Stewardship, the words of Christ, Himself.</p> <p>THIRD, JESUS</p> <p>When our Lord went to be Baptized by John in the Jordan, John looks at him bewildered and asks this question, &ldquo;I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?&rdquo; [Matt. 3:14]&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;But Jesus answered him, &ldquo;Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to&nbsp;<strong>fulfill</strong>&nbsp;<strong>all</strong>&nbsp;<strong>righteousness</strong>.&rdquo; Then he consented.&rdquo; [Matt. 3:15] This is a most curious phrase without our previous discussion, is it not? We need to separate the phrase &ldquo;fulfill all righteousness into two parts. The first part, fulfill, is a translation of the Greek word [plearoo], and again we find ourselves looking for a fuller meaning to this word. In this case, we should be thinking in terms of &ldquo;<strong><em>to bring to realization</em></strong>&rdquo; or &ldquo;to render full&rdquo;. After the fall, we were left incomplete in many ways, as the Scriptures indicate. Crops would not grow without labor, animals developed antagonistic natures, the earth itself would buckle and heave at random, and the elements themselves could bring destruction and ruin to the work of man&rsquo;s labor for his sustenance.</p> <p>The second part of that phrase, &ldquo;all righteousness&rdquo; is perhaps the easiest to understand. This is to say, if we understand what righteousness is. What does this word actually mean? Can we agree on a common meaning? Its Greek word is [<em>dikaiosynē</em>] meaning, &ldquo;<strong><em>state of him who is as he ought to be</em></strong>&rdquo;. Too often we tend to underestimate the power of a word, or we get so accustomed to thinking about a word in a certain way that the power of its real meaning can become lost. We are always looking towards the lofty and high divine meaning of a word or phrase without realizing that it may have a more connected meaning to our own selves, and this is definitely one of those times.</p> <p>Let&rsquo;s try to re-state our Lord&rsquo;s intention with this passage and say it in a more comprehensive way, &ldquo;Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for you and I, John, to <strong><em>realization</em></strong> the fact that by doing this we will make possible for all mankind to return to a state as he ought to be, the way he was before his transgression.&rdquo; That is what the Theophany of our Lord has done for us, his descending into the waters of Baptism rejuvenates the water so that all who follow Him into those waters can return to the state He intended them to be in for his created purpose of being enough like God to do the work he was intended to do, to care for, and to consecrate to God, His creation.</p> <p>You may ask what proof do I have to say I&rsquo;m right about this? That is a fair question, and again, we will find the answer in Holy Scripture. Everyone knows John 3:16, or at least we think we do (there&rsquo;s another understanding of this verse we don&rsquo;t have time to go into now, maybe if I&rsquo;m invited back, I&rsquo;ll speak to it), but what about the verse that follows it? What about John 3:17? For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.&rdquo; It may be assumed that the reference for world is simply the inhabitants of the world, but I think not. Here, the word for world is the Greek word [Cosmos], so the intention should be clear to all of us, God did not send His son to condemn his creation, He sent Him to save His creation. And God gave man the responsibility of continuing that Cosmic Salvation through his Sacramental interaction with his Creator. The Orthodox Church has taken this responsibility very seriously, it is why every year, on the Feast of Christ&rsquo;s Theophany, His Baptism, we consecrate and sanctify water to use for blessing our homes, the rivers we use and receive our life from, our vehicles, and anything else we use made from God&rsquo;s creation itself.</p> <p>So it is imperative that we continue to be the caretakers and guardians of God&rsquo;s creation, it is for this reason that He created us. The only question that remains is of our own Stewardship, shall we be good stewards, like those who the earth as a Sacred gift of God? Or shall we be as those who see the earth and its resources as existing for our own passionate, greedy self-satisfactions?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140306_3.html The Cross and Mankind http://doaoca.org/news_140325_1.html Sun, 23 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/stdavid_cross.jpg&archive=0&final_h=48&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Every time we reach the midpoint of the Great Fast, we bring out the Holy Cross and place it in the middle of the church.&nbsp; We can take this to mean many things for us, and we see within the Cross many symbols that relate to our Faith, our relationship to Christ, and our relationship with each other.<br />Some of these meanings are so clear to us, that they almost need to comment.&nbsp; When we gaze upon the Holy Cross, we see the image of our Savior, arms stretched out and nailed to the cross wood, and His feet nailed to the footstool.&nbsp; But what else do we see when we gaze at the cross?&nbsp; What else does it speak to us?&nbsp; We sing the Troparion hymn of the Cross, &ldquo;O Lord, save Thy people and bless thine inheritance&hellip;&rdquo;&nbsp; This, in itself, is a familiar phrase we say quite often, it is spoken by the priest at the end of every Liturgy, as he points first to the Chalice, and then turns and blesses the people present at the Liturgy, a reminder that through Christ&rsquo;s victory on the Cross, he has saved all the generations of Christians, those who came before us remembered by the priest during the Proskomedia, and those who now stand in the Holy Temple, together, united by the cross of Christ in a Spiritually victorious way.<br />In the next line we sing, &ldquo;Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries/enemies.&rdquo; Who are our adversaries?&nbsp; Are they members of another country, another race, another tribe?&nbsp; Are they people who are not Christians?&nbsp; Are they people who wish to harm us for reasons we do not know? Are they non-Orthodox people we should fight against?&nbsp;&nbsp; God forbid we think of such enemies!&nbsp; Ephesians 6:12 gives us the answer, &ldquo;For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.&rdquo;&nbsp; While it has been true that at times the Cross was a sign of victory on the field of battle, that is not the field of batter we are referring to in this hymn.&nbsp; St. Paul reminds to on the whole armor of God to fight against the powers of darkness that attack us every day.&nbsp; The fight against sin and evil is ever ongoing, and during this time of Great Lent, we are attacked in even stronger ways as we fight within ourselves for self-control.&nbsp; The self-will God gave us strives to be obedient to the calling of Lent, while the evil one continues to drive towards a separation of that will from the Divine and turn it to that which will darken that will with an inclination of evil.<br />Next, we sing the part of the Hymn that gives us the strength to carry on the fight, to remain in the battle, to not lose hope, we sing, &ldquo;by the virtue/power of Thy Cross&rdquo;.&nbsp; Yes, beloved, there is a power in that Cross, in every cross, that speaks to that human weakness and gives it a renewed hope for victory, it is the source of our strength and ability to continue the struggle!&nbsp; Whether we are speaking of the one before us now, or the one around our neck, or the one in our home, or the one we make with our hand, they all contain the same power, they are empowered by the love of Christ that He infused the Holy Cross by His Crucifixion.&nbsp; It is that power that will &ldquo;preserve His habitation.&rdquo;&nbsp; It is that by which the Church is preserved that the &ldquo;gates of hell shall not prevail&rdquo; against.&nbsp; The Church in which we stand, the Church that we proclaim every time we speak the Creed, the &ldquo;Holy, Catholic and Apostolic&rdquo; Church in which we believe so completely.<br />But does this explain the entirety of our reason for bringing the Cross out at this time?&nbsp; Could there be more to it than encouragement for the Fast?&nbsp; Could there be a higher calling of the Holy Cross than an aide in the Lenten struggle?&nbsp; We find a clue in the Holy Gospel read on this day.&nbsp; Whoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.&nbsp; But the meaning here is much stronger than this, most correctly translated it says, &ldquo;He MUST deny himself&rdquo; the command is explicit and direct, not simply a request.&nbsp; To follow Christ demands we take specific actions to do so, denying ourselves is a must, and being willing to carry our own cross is also required.<br />How does one deny who he/she is?&nbsp; If we rely on face value here, we will never find its true meaning.&nbsp; The self we are denying is the same one we are struggling with during this Great Lent.&nbsp; It is the self that says, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m too weak to do all that fasting&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve too many medical issues to try bows and prostrations.&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve no time for all those extra services the priest is scheduling, my life is already full.&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t turn off the television, I&rsquo;ll miss something important.&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;When Mary calls me, it would be rude not to listen to her stories about everyone, I don&rsquo;t have to believe them anyway.&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;If I don&rsquo;t go to that store today, I&rsquo;ll miss the sale and then spend more money for the same thing another time.&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t quit playing cards in Lent, its my only way of relaxing.&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;Give more money to the church, what for?&nbsp; They don&rsquo;t spend it where I want them to, anyway.&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;I say enough prayers as it is.&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;Read more scripture?&nbsp; I don&rsquo;t understand what I&rsquo;m reading now!&rdquo;&nbsp; &ldquo;Why bother helping those poor people, they&rsquo;ll just want more from me the next time.&rdquo;<br />Every one of the previous statements represents that &ldquo;self&rdquo; that needs denied.&nbsp; It needs denied any power it takes from you by its reasoning.&nbsp; The way we deny its power is by embracing the Cross, embracing the Fast, embracing the Crucified Christ and feeling the power of His Holy Cross come alive in us.&nbsp; Thus, the Cross of Christ is a torch that lights the path of Lent and leads us to the Resurrection.&nbsp; From the Holy Cross shine rays of divine light that show us where the path of our self-denial will take us.&nbsp; From the Divine Fire of the Cross we can burn the temptation, singe the sins and purge the mind of its selfish desires and purify it with the cleansing power and might of the God-inspired will that was ours at our creation, the one in His image and likeness.&nbsp; This is the purpose of our Fasting and when we immerse ourselves in the Divine Will given to us when Christ emptied Himself on the Cross, we gain the ability to overcome the weakness of our selfish will and replace it with the Divine will that is ours to claim by virtue of Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving.<br />Thus far, I have spoken of the Cross as a way of symbolically representing Christ&rsquo;s Death-Resurrection, and of how it increases our relationship with Christ, but how does it strengthen our relationship with each other?&nbsp; In what way can we say that the Cross improves the manner in which we think, act, and interact with each other?<br />I am always quite fond of saying that one of the strengths of Orthodoxy is its constant calling to us to understand that salvation itself is dependent upon this interrelationship we are to have with each other.&nbsp; &ldquo;I cannot be saved without you, and you cannot be saved without me&rdquo;, is a basic tenant of our faith.&nbsp; What proof do I have that this is so?&nbsp; Can I show that in passages from the Bible?&nbsp; The answer is found in St. Paul&rsquo;s First Epistle to the Corinthians, when he explained the cross in this way, &ldquo;For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.&rdquo;&nbsp; [I Cor. 1:18]&nbsp; It is a plural idea, not a singular one.&nbsp; &ldquo;TO US&rdquo; who are being saved, not yet accomplished, but being drawn to salvation, by the Cross of Christ, to the power of God.&nbsp; Today we draw near to that Cross, and we draw a power from it that will help us to continue the struggle, to not loose hope, to be renewed in strength so that we can &ldquo;complete the fast with joy.&rdquo;&nbsp; The Holy Cross marks the half-way point of the Great Lent, let us be renewed and invigorated by its presence.&nbsp; Let it be for us a power, and not a folly that leads to perishing.<br />Glory be to Jesus Christ!<br />+ DAVID</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140325_1.html Holy Pascha http://doaoca.org/news_140419_1.html Sat, 19 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/Pascha/IMG_1303.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><em>O Christ, great and most holy Pascha. O Wisdom, Word and Power of God, grant that we may more perfectly partake of Thee in the never-ending day of Thy kingdom (Ninth Ode, Paschal Canon).</em></p> <p>Each year, we find the high point of our Church Year in the Feast of Feasts, Holy Pascha. This is my first one as a bishop. I celebrate it with all of you in Alaska, by being at our first Cathedral Church, Holy Resurrection, in Kodiak. It is somehow fitting to be in this place at this time, to celebrate Pascha near the relics of our Holy Patron, St. Herman of Alaska. We all mark our celebrations in different ways, some have favorite foods, others favorite hymns, or by decorating eggs, pysanky.</p> <p>In all that we do, we create something that otherwise would not exist. With our celebration of Pascha, we join the ranks of the saints in honoring the reason we have hope in eternal life, the Resurrection of Christ. But it is more than this, much more, because we also join the ranks of all those who have celebrated this Holy Feast throughout the centuries, especially our loved ones who have gone to rest. Our understanding of Pascha comes from our understanding of the eternal itself, a &ldquo;time outside of time&rdquo; we enter into every Divine Liturgy, but most especially at Pascha. Our continued cries of &ldquo;Christ is risen&rdquo; over and over again become the battle cry of victory over death itself. We are led into the victory by Christ&rsquo;s own death and Resurrection, His trampling down death, by Himself becoming dead and descending into the tombs, and emerging victoriously with Adam and Eve in tow.</p> <p>The Icon that depicts this event, one we commonly refer to as a &ldquo;Resurrection Icon&rdquo;, is not really an Icon of the Resurrection, but is actually the &ldquo;Harrowing of Hell&rdquo;. Jesus appears in the center as emerging from the earth itself, His hands outstretched and grasping the hands of Adam and Eve; under His feet, the gates of hell lay broken and the locks and keys are strewn about and satan lay bound below Him. To Christ&rsquo;s right are David, Moses and Solomon, to His left are two elderly men and a young boy. We imagine the old men represent the prophets, or Enoch and Elias, but who is the young boy? It is Able, who was killed by his brother, Cain. Thus, the entirety of the Old Testament, the period prior to Christ&rsquo;s coming, is represented to show how Jesus is the fulfillment of all the prophecies concerning the Messiah. His coming forth shows us the power of His victory by the radiance that surrounds Him.</p> <p>God&rsquo;s wisdom, word, and power are all revealed in this one moment, a moment we create with him each time we celebrate Holy Pascha. So whether we are in Kodiak, or a village, or at sea, we participate in that power of God, we obtain that wisdom anew of victory over death, and we honor the Word of God by our proclaiming Christ is risen! We join all of mankind from Adam and Eve until now in proclaiming the victory of life over death and look forward to living that victory in the perfect Kingdom of God which has no end, no morning or evening, but only one eternal and perfect day that will never end.</p> <p>May the joy of Christ&rsquo;s Resurrection bring you renewed hope in life eternal and the delight of partaking of Christ in a more perfect way.</p> <p>Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!</p> <p>+ David</p> <p>Bishop of Sitka and Alaska</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140419_1.html 2014 St. Herman Seminary Commencement Address http://doaoca.org/news_140512_1.html Sun, 11 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/SHS%20Graduation/2014_graduates.jpg&archive=0&final_h=51&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Fr. Dean, Archimandrite Juvenaly, Graduates and students of St. Herman&rsquo;s Seminary, Archpriests, Priests, Deacons, Matushki, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,<br />Christ is risen!<br /><br />Today we gather here to offer to the world our most recent class of &ldquo;Slaves for Christ&rdquo;, the Priest Simeon, the Priest Jason, and the Deacon Michael.&nbsp; We honor their work and success while at St. Herman&rsquo;s Seminary and confer on them our awards for completion of the program of priestly formation.&nbsp; This is a right and proper thing for us to do; but it is also more of a beginning than a completion, for their labors for Christ are only now beginning.&nbsp; Armed with the tools of education, Liturgy and Scripture, they now set out, like new missionaries, into the &ldquo;field ripe with harvest&rdquo; that Christ has prepared for them.<br />So I would like to take a little time and talk about what awaits them.&nbsp; I will do this in three ways, by telling several small stories, sharing a few Scripture verses, and giving them examples to consider as they minister to the world.<br />Story<br />Believe it or not, St. Herman and companions from Valaam Monastery were not the first monastics chosen to come to America by the Russian Church.&nbsp; The first monastics chosen were two monks of the Sarov Monastery.&nbsp; In 1789 Metropolitan Gabriel asked the monk Iakov and Hieromonk Joachim.&nbsp; There are no records about the Monk Iakov, but Hieromonk Joachim we do have records and it seems this hieromonk decided to decline the appointment and acted as a &ldquo;fool for Christ&rdquo; to avoid being sent to America.&nbsp; The Abbot of Sarov Monastery, Pakhomii received what follows in a letter from Metropolitan Gabriel:<br />Having read your letter, I am shocked.&nbsp; Father Joachim, who is worthy of Christian love, behaves this way, as you write, in order to save himself.&nbsp; But he who does not want to aid in the salvation of others, is not saving himself.<br />Humility, which he always preserves in his soul, will rise up, when, having been called to the salvation of many, he will be like a slave and servant.<br />I ask you to admonish him in the name of Jesus Christ, who took the sins of the entire world, that he follow in His footsteps.&nbsp; He came into the world to a throng of corrupt people, so that He could save them.&nbsp; Surely he does not think this example is not worthy of imitation?&nbsp; Does he say that we have no strength and are weak?&nbsp; The Apostle Paul said this, but then he confessed:&nbsp; &ldquo;yet not I, but the grace of God which is in me&rdquo; (I Cor. 15:10)<br />Christ is calling him; grace awaits him, so that he can work with it.&nbsp; Let him consider, what a great transgression this is &ndash; to make your ears deaf to the call of Jesus Christ.&rdquo;<br />Now, let us consider what has been said here.&nbsp; Metropolitan Gabriel has rightly recognized the danger that Hieromonk Joachim puts himself in by refusing his calling.&nbsp; But he who does not want to aid in the salvation of others, is not saving himself.&nbsp; Anyone who accepts the call to serve God by coming to a seminary should recognize that this is his first and most important realization about his or her own salvation; if we do not first understand it is about bringing the Good News of Christ&rsquo;s message of Salvation to others, we can in no way think we will be saved.<br />Next, he reminds the Abbot that Jesus came to a &ldquo;throng of corrupt people, so that He could save them&rdquo;.&nbsp; Surely he does not think this example is not worthy of imitation?&nbsp; The double negative is a bit had to follow, but the point is that Jesus had to deal with some of the most unholy and corrupt individuals in His time, is this not worthy for us to also follow and do, to save people, the corrupt and the incorrupt, the evil and the good, the unrighteous and the righteous from their sins?&nbsp; Indeed, it is our second important task.<br />Finally, what beautiful words Gabriel uses in his final plea, &ldquo;Christ is calling him; grace awaits him, so that he can work with it.&rdquo;&nbsp; The Grace of Christ is there for all of us who come to seminary to use, so WE can work with it.&nbsp; The Grace of Christ is always offered to us freely, and bestowed upon the clergy in a special way, so that their work is the work of another Christ, not of themselves. Otherwise, we face the transgression of &ldquo;making our ears deaf to the call of Jesus Christ.&rdquo;<br />In 1804, a new priest monk was sent to be head of the mission in Kodiak.&nbsp; His name was Hieromonk Gideon.&nbsp; He took his missionary duties seriously, immediately setting out by baidarka to the Kodiak settlements, during this one trip he baptized 28 people, served 38 marriages, and nearly drowned when his baidarka sank before returning to Kodiak.&nbsp; After re-establishing the school, improving the life of the monks, caring for the children and doing his best to bring the Gospel to Russians and Americans alike, he left for Kamchatka and St. Petersburg in 1807.<br />He wrote a letter to Baranov informing him that Father Herman would be in charge of the mission.&nbsp; It this letter he makes some notable comments about St. Herman, telling Baranov, &ldquo;I earnestly admit to you, that in this selection I am comforted and reassured by the fact that I very often had the pleasure of hearing your Honor greatly praise this peace-loving elder who is overflowing with meekness, calmness and humble wisdom &hellip; This praise is more important for him than any other praise.&rdquo;&nbsp; St. Herman never needed to tell people what a good person he was, he never needed to speak about his own endeavors or accomplishments, yet his simple, loving and peaceful life were acknowledged by everyone.&nbsp; If a priest needs to think about what people think if him, then here is your example, be meek, be calm, use humble wisdom and God will give you the praise through the mouths of those whose lives you touch.<br />In a note to St. Herman when he left, Hieromonk Gideon gives him his thoughts, his advice, on how best to take up his role in leadership. Fr. Gideon knew who he was talking to, he knew his humble style, he knew his simple but eloquent speech, and so he speaks to him accordingly.<br />&ldquo;I am sustained by the gratifying hope that you will not neglect to inculcate in the hearts of the Russians and Americans the rules of piety, Christian charity, and friendly ties among both groups using your well-tested exhortations.&nbsp; You know that the first responsibility of clergy is to give an example of Christian sanctity in their own lives; I do not doubt but that you will properly guide them in this way.&nbsp; The particular task before your Reverence is to see that everyone, in whatever responsibility he has, carries it out in a conscientious, honest, and God-pleasing manner.&rdquo;<br />We often ask ourselves what is the best way for me to act so that people will understand that I am a priest of the Orthodox Christian Church?&nbsp; Fr. Gideon has given us the best answer.&nbsp; Be an example of Christian Sanctity in our own lives. See to it that everyone carries out their responsibilities in a conscientious, honest and God-pleasing manner.&nbsp; They are given unto your care for this purpose; not to please you, not to do your work for you, not to simply listen to you tell them the &ldquo;rules&rdquo; of the Bible and Christian Doctrine, but to follow your example, so make it a good one to follow.<br />Next, I would like to give you two verses of Holy Scripture that I feel are the two most important passages for othe Christian life.&nbsp; One could site many verses as important, and I do not imply by my words to desire you to think less of any other passage of Scripture, but only that these two have a special value for me.&nbsp; The first one comes from St. Paul&rsquo;s Epistle to the Philippians, and it is read on Palm Sunday.&nbsp; Near the end of the reading of Philippians Chapter 4 on that Sunday, St. Paul says, &ldquo;Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.&rdquo;&nbsp; Our graduates leave here today to go out into God&rsquo;s vineyard to labor for the Truth of the Gospel; so they must look for whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent and worthy of praise. And where will they find these things?&nbsp; That is the real question!&nbsp; When St. Paul gave this exhortation to the Philippians, did he tell them where they would find them? The answer is we shall find them wherever we look for them, in the hearts of those who are made in the image of God, it is our duty to seek those properties out and develop them, for they are already there, planted in the creation of each creature Whom He made. &nbsp;<br />[Phl 4:1-8 RSV] 1 Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. 2 I entreat Eu-o'dia and I entreat Syn'tyche to agree in the Lord. 3 And I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. 6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.<br />Notice in this passage also two other significant points. There was evidently a disagreement between two people in Philippi that St. paul knew about, and he is not afraid to tell them both to stop their division and come to an agreement.&nbsp; Eudoia and Synclitica, two women I might add (rather dangerously), concerned St. Paul enough to care and seek their overcoming of difference; this is the calling of every clergyman, to heal the wounds of life whenever he can. <br />The other telling comment by St. Paul leads me to my final comment on Scripture.&nbsp; He says &ldquo;Have no anxiety about anything&rdquo;.&nbsp; Anything?&nbsp; Everything?&nbsp; Nothing?&nbsp; Yes, no anxiety at all.&nbsp; If you think this is an easy thing to do, you are either without any wits at all, or you are already dead and don&rsquo;t know it.&nbsp; We are always troubled by life, its problems, its trials, and its tensions.&nbsp; We are constantly occupying our time thinking about things which we cannot do anything about.&nbsp; Christ put this in the most perfect way when He instructed us in the Sermon on the Mount, where my very favorite verse is mentioned, Matthew Chapter six, verse thirty-three and thirty-four, &ldquo;But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.&rdquo; [Mat 6:33-34 RSV]&nbsp; This is what follows the passage about not being concerned about what you wear, or what to eat, because God knows what we need.&nbsp; Therefore, I say again, especially to our graduates, but to all of us as well, do what God intends you to do and have Faith, and He will take care of the rest.&nbsp; The opposite is also true, worry about every little thing in life, and you will lose your faith and then you will lose God, and no one will follow anyone who does not have God in his heart.<br />And finally, let me show you the world into which you must minister, to which you must shine that &ldquo;light of Christ&rdquo; that has been planted within you.&nbsp; Archimandrite Sophrony was born in Tsarist Russia in 1896 to Orthodox parents.&nbsp; He studied at the Orthodox Institute of Theology in Paris after WWI, and eventually found himself on Mount Athos learning at the feet of the famous Staretz Silouan.&nbsp; Theproduct of his life of comtemplation and prayer is a wonderful work entitled, &ldquo;His Live is Mine&rdquo;.&nbsp; In that book are many good and carefully crafted spiritual pearls of wisdom.&nbsp; Two of them stand out to me now as reference points for our latest class of graduates, and indeed for all of us to ponder and obtain wisdom.<br />Modern science has neglected the importance of God in the creation of the universe.&nbsp; It ignores that most famous passage of Scripture we read every Paschal Liturgy, &ldquo;In the beginning was the Word&hellip;All things were mady by Him &hellip; In Him was life&rdquo;. Fr. Sophrony says, &ldquo;contemporary science postulates that in the beginning was hydrogen and from this atom, by an evolutionary process over milliards of years, everything else developed. The scientific principle &ndash; the objectification of the cosmos together with objective knowledge &ndash; is applicable only where the laws of nature prevail absolutely.&nbsp; It is not clear on what basis many scientists reject the possibility of other forms of being &ndash; of free, non-determined being.&nbsp; We know that Primordial Being lies outside the preserves of science, which can tell us nothing of the meaning of our existence.&rdquo;&nbsp; Now, what he is saying is this, when you take nature only as nature, looking at its beauty, its grandeur and its meaning as something figured out by measurement, weight color, space and time, you don&rsquo;t really know very much about it other than facts.&nbsp; But those facts point to something else, and the world has stopped looking beyond those facts to find its reason for existing, and it cannot answer that question of being with only those facts; it takes a look beyond those facts to the creator of that beauty of nature to discover why it is there, and why we are here to behold it.&nbsp; Never be satisfied with just the facts of life, always look beyond them to find the meaning why they exist, look for the source of creation and you will discover your answers for life, and those answers will be found in Christ.<br />The other important presentation in Archimandrite Sophrony&rsquo;s work is what he calls the &ldquo;Tragedy of Man&rdquo;. He said, &ldquo;The tragedy of our times lies in our almost complete unawareness or unmindfulness, that there are two kingdoms, the temporal and the eternal.&nbsp; We would build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, rejecting all idea of the resurrection or eternity.&nbsp; Resurrection is a myth.&nbsp; God is dead. This is the tragedy that the Church of Christ fights against with every fibre of its being.&nbsp; It is why we begin each Divine Liturgy with &ldquo;Blessed is the Kingdom&rdquo;, for our journey in life is one that leads us ultimately to that Kingdom.&nbsp; But the duty of every priest is to work to bring that Kingdom to us now, to taste it, to feel it, to touch it, to hear it, and thereby know that this temporal kingdom does not compare to the glory we will share in the Eternal Kingdom.&nbsp; It is the duty of every one of us, as much as we are able, to show that Kingdom to those around us.&nbsp; To share it with others, for it is not a personal possession as some would have us think, but a Kingdom that only exists in Communion with all Created things, not only with others who, like us, share in the Image of God, but with every creature, every winged bird and every fish of the sea, and every single blade of grass.&nbsp; It is all there to commune with in a theistic manner, a God-centered manner which can only be experienced when we our alive in Christ, when &ldquo;His life is Mine&rdquo;.&nbsp; May we all seek that God-centered, Christ&mdash;centered existence that says to everyone, &ldquo;His Life is Mine&rdquo;.&nbsp; Amen.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140512_1.html Statement of His Grace, Bishop David on the Tyonek Fire http://doaoca.org/news_140523_1.html Fri, 23 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Adminstration/fromthedesk_002.jpg&archive=0&final_h=42&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><strong>&ldquo;The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their refuge in the time of trouble.&rdquo; [Ps. 37:39]</strong></p> <p>I received a phone call the two days ago informing me of the dangerous situation in Tyonek. A fire was burning out of control and threatening the village and its residents. Being ordered to evacuate, they took their valuable possessions and the Sacred items from the St. Nicholas Church and left their homes and church in the hands of the brave firefighters and the loving care of God. I am sure there were many prayers said by those devoted Orthodox Christians for a good outcome to the situation.</p> <p>While I am away on vacation, visiting my children in Maryland and Pennsylvania, I was grateful for the information and I prayed for God&rsquo;s intercession in the difficult and dangerous fire. I invoked our heavenly patrons of the Parish and of the Diocese, St. Nicholas and St. Herman to intercede for the good people of Tyonek, and also for the fire fighters who put their own lives in harm&rsquo;s way for the benefit of the residents. I am very grateful to God for the sparing of the village of Tyonek, and all it represents for us. I am grateful for the gift of heavenly protection that God and the saints have provided so that no life was lost in the struggle to save Tyonek. I am also grateful for the many wildlands firefighters for their dedication to duty and heroic attitude in battling all the fires that plague our state.</p> <p>We believe that God answers prayers, but we do not believe that prayer is &ldquo;magic&rdquo;, in other words, we do not believe that just because we asked for God&rsquo;s help in this situation that that is the only reason Tyonek was spared. But we do believe that what we did helped. It helped the firefighters in their battle, it helped the residents in their evacuation, it helped the church in its role as the source of Salvation for all those who pray there. So, we must continue to pray for the continued protection of God and strength for those who fight these fires.</p> <p>Therefore, I ask that in all our Parishes in the Diocese of Alaska on this coming Sunday, a brief Molieben of Thanksgiving be offered in Thanksgiving for the saving of our church and the village it serves, and for the continued help in the other situations where fire threatens our state. If there are any firefighters among our faithful, please include them by name during the Molieben. I will offer my prayers of Thanksgiving during the Divine services at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery and Seminary as we pray during the graduation and Pilgrimage here.</p> <p>I will ask Fr. Juvenaly to compose a prayer and have it sent to all the clergy of our Diocese and on our website.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140523_1.html Judicatory Leaders of Alaska Meet with Senator Murkowski http://doaoca.org/news_140621_1.html Fri, 20 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/judicatory.jpg&archive=0&final_h=315&final_w=420&percent=100"><p>Left to right, Rev Britt Johnston, Yukon Presbytery; me; Senator Murkowski; Bishop Shelley Wickstrom, Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Alaska; Archbishop Roger Schwietz, OMI, Roman Catholic Diocese of Anchorage, host. <br /><br />As guests of Archbishop Schwietz, the Judicatory Leaders of Alaska met with Senator Lisa Murkowski to discuss a variety of issues concerning the people of Alaska, village safety, abuse, environmental, wage and health problems were discussed.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140621_1.html Clergy Health http://doaoca.org/news_140704_1.html Tue, 01 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/ottowa.jpg&archive=0&final_h=355&final_w=420&percent=100"><p><span style="color: #222222; font-family: Garamond; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px; background-color: #ffffff; font-size: medium;">The Holy Synod with Deacon Dr. Stephen Muse and Canadian Ambassador of Religion, Andrew Bennett. &nbsp;Deacon Stephen made a presentation to the Holy Synod on Clergy Health, and the Ambassador</span><span style="color: #222222; font-family: Garamond; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px; background-color: #ffffff; font-size: medium;"> came for lunch and a discussion on the various&nbsp;religious situations around the world and his role in dialogue and information sharing with other countries.</span></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140704_1.html Axios! http://doaoca.org/news_140704_2.html Thu, 03 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p><span style="color: #444444; font-family: 'Lucida Fax', Georgia, serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19.5px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #fcfcfc;">His Eminence, Archbishop Joseph, has been elected Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America by the Holy Synod of Antioch, meeting in Balamand, Lebanon on Thursday, July 3, 2014.</span></p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140704_2.html Feastday of Ss. Peter & Paul http://doaoca.org/news_140724_2.html Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/IMG_1134.jpg&archive=0&final_h=90&final_w=67&percent=100"><p>His Grace Bishop David celebrated a joyful Feastday in St. Paul with the faithful on the Patronal Feastday!</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140724_2.html Memory Eternal http://doaoca.org/news_140810_1.html Sun, 10 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/fryago1.jpg&archive=0&final_h=58&final_w=90&percent=100"><div style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;"><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=33">Photos from Fr. Yago's Funeral</a></div> <div style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;">The priest Yago Steven reposed in the Lord on Sunday, August 10, 2014 at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. Born on August 25, 1953, he grew up in Oscarville, Alaska. Father Yago was the sixth of eight children.&nbsp;He&nbsp;had a long time career in the National Guard and retired with the rank of Sargent at the time of his ordination to the priestly order.</div> <div style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;">Father Yago is survived by his wife, Matushka Elizabeth; daughter and son-in-law, Katherine and Joe Amik and their three children, John, Alexie and Ralph; and siblings Martha Larson, Annie Frank, Nicholai Steven, Marie Jacob, Balassa Larson and Olga Mezak. He was predeceased by his sister Nastasia Larson.</div> <div style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;">The service of the funeral of a priest will take place at<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><span class="aBn" style="border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: dashed; border-bottom-color: #cccccc; position: relative; top: -2px; z-index: 0;" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_799453228"><span class="aQJ" style="position: relative; top: 2px; z-index: -1;">6:30 pm on Wednesday, August 13th</span></span><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span>at St. James Church in Napaskiak, AK. The Divine Liturgy will be concelebrated by His Grace, Bishop DAVID and numerous clergy at<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span><span class="aBn" style="border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: dashed; border-bottom-color: #cccccc; position: relative; top: -2px; z-index: 0;" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_799453229"><span class="aQJ" style="position: relative; top: 2px; z-index: -1;">9:00 am</span></span><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span>with burial to follow in Napaskiak.</div> <div style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;">May Father Yago's Memory be Eternal. Yuucimun Iquilngurmun!</div></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140810_1.html STOTS Alumni Gathering at St. Innocent Cathedral http://doaoca.org/news_140821_3.html Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 18px; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #f7f1e3;"><a style="color: #1155cc;" href="http://www.stots.edu/news_140819_1.html" target="_blank">Bishop David Hosts Seminary Alumni Gathering at St. Innocent Cathedral in Alaska</a></div> <div style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 18px; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #f7f1e3;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="color: #333333; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 18px; orphans: auto; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #f7f1e3;"><img src="https://ci5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/K2iA7sRmhyiLhAv94RK5Ut4OAgapPKhMQw5NfEzYwRbK3NQHXEXonlKJfv4QhI-s4D_WgHc77VKeRCssnkuZAVQToKRTL6fOjerP1DP_vP7fh0IZUDfXYRlbL_aGNyvawxPAt0CjNc4-9OP0YTU62avuVSqNUvan0A6pkjOnC2ZW8I4-rBvrGx9VwGpkaW-JL1uzAN_qYYi-DiNGmauk7-PTjmEDlIgO-lXEaraFjdWloxrho_TSXYpWooxY1YJ0xClh=s0-d-e1-ft#http://www.stots.edu/display_image.php?ext=JPG&amp;relativeimage=images/events/2014/8-12-14-alumni-update-alaska-event/1-photo-2.JPG&amp;archive=0&amp;final_h=67&amp;final_w=90&amp;percent=100" alt="" align="left" border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" />Several St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary alumni and their families, together with around 50 of the faithful from local parishes, gathered on Tuesday, August 12, at St. Innocent Cathedral (OCA) in Anchorage AK, at the invitation of Seminary alumnus and Alumni Regional Coordinator for Alaska, His Grace, Bishop DAVID of Sitka and Alaska.&nbsp; The Regional Alumni Coordinators have newly been appointed by the Rector of the Seminary, His Grace, Bishop MICHAEL, with the task of hosting gatherings for the local alumni in their respective regions to join St. Tikhon&rsquo;s graduates and their families in Christian fellowship, renewed brotherhood, and personal sharing; and to enliven the relationship between the Seminary and its graduates.</div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140821_3.html Memory Eternal ~ Reader John (Richard) Dauenhauer http://doaoca.org/news_140821_1.html Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/readerjohn_burial.JPG&archive=0&final_h=480&final_w=640&percent=100"><p><em>Reader John Richard Daeunhauer: Orthodox Christian and Poet</em></p> <p><em><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.571428298950195px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff;">Reader John Dauenhauer is laid to rest at Alaska Memorial Park. His Grace Bishop David was joined by Archpriest Michael Boyle, Archpriest Michael Oleksa and Protodeacon Paul Erickson along with the faithful.<br /></span></em></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Reader John was not only a scholar and preserver of Tlingit language and literacy. He was a faithful Orthodox Christian and Church Reader who attended services, received sacraments, served on parish council and the St. Herman Seminary Board. One of his many legacies is his poetry which fuses Orthodox theology with creative expression and interactions with the Alaskan landscape and people.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140821_1.html God Loves a Cheerful Giver http://doaoca.org/news_131009_1.html Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p>Since God began revealing Himself to man, has had a condition from which man recognized that what he had was a gift from God.&nbsp; God required man to return to him a tithe from his bounty, not once, but three times.&nbsp; Once to the Temple for the upkeep of the priests; once for the poor; and once for the Pilgrimages that occurred to Jerusalem three times a year.&nbsp; St. Paul, explaining this to the Corinthians in his Second Epistle (9:7) condensed it and gave it that &ldquo;Christ-like touch&rdquo;, saying:&nbsp; So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.&nbsp; Jesus wants us to give to Him because we want to, not out of a sense of obligation.&nbsp; He has been generous to us, we should be generous to Him.</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131009_1.html Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops http://doaoca.org/news_140921_2.html Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/ASSEMBLY2014-GROUP1.jpg&archive=0&final_h=61&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>On September 15-18, 2014 His Grace Bishop David joined his fellow hierarchs at the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North America's annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. The links below are two statements issued by the assembly, the first a message to the faithful, the second a message concerning the violence in the Middle East.</p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/Dallas2014_Message.pdf">Message to the Faithful in North America</a></p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/StatementonMiddleEast.pdf">Statement on current events in the Middle East</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140921_2.html Progress in Kenya http://doaoca.org/news_141005_1.html Fri, 03 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/1_Oct_KENYA.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>It is with great joy that I present to you today a wonderful story about a church in Africa. A church is being built in Eldoret, Kenya dedicated to our own St. Herman of Alaska. His Eminence, Archbishop Makarios of Kenya and Fr. Jonah Rotich, the Pastor there are building a place for the people of Eldoret to worship God in the Orthodox Faith that will be under the Patronage of our own St. Herman.</p> <p>The funds needed for this church are well underway, with nearly $10,000 already raised. This opportunity to bless an Orthodox people in Kenya was made known to me by Fr. Michael Oleksa. As he states in an email to me, &ldquo;This church will be, as it were, a gift from the Orthodox Faithful of North America to the Orthodox People of Kenya and East Africa. This is what the Russian Orthodox Church did in Alaska over 100 years ago for us, building and furnishing churches in Sitka, Kenai, Unalaska and Russian Mission. Now it is our turn to do the same for another Orthodox Mission on the other side of the earth! This is our opportunity to &lsquo;go and do likewise&rsquo; as our Mother Church taught us.&rdquo;</p> <p>The entire church will be built for about $17,000 US. Can we help? I know we have many needs in our own Diocese of Alaska, and I am sure God will provide, as we need, if we will be generous to this worthy cause. Please consider a small gift to help this cause. You can make a donation by directing a check made out to our St. Alexis Mission Church in Anchorage, sent to Fr. Michael&rsquo;s address: 8000 Summerset Drive, Anchorage, AK &nbsp;99518, and in the memo line write &ldquo;Kenya Church&rdquo; so they know it is for this project.</p> <p>May God richly bless you for your love and support, and may God bless the people of Kenya in their work of Evangelizing the peoples of Eldoret.</p> <p>+ David</p> <p>Bishop of Sitka and Alaska</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_141005_1.html Enthronement of His Grace, Bishop Irénée http://doaoca.org/news_141203_1.html Tue, 02 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/Ottowa/IMG_1786.jpg&archive=0&final_h=88&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>His Grace Bishop David traveled to Ottowa for the enthronement of His Grace, Bishop Ir&eacute;n&eacute;e.</p> <p>For a full report visit <a href="http://www.oca.org">oca.org</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=37">Photo Gallery</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_141203_1.html His Grace Visits to Bethlehem, PA http://doaoca.org/news_141215_1.html Sun, 07 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/Ottowa/PC070059.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">After attending the enthronement of His Emminence Metropolitan Joseph, His Grace celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Bethlehem, PA. Serving with His Grace were,</span><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial; font-size: small; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline ! important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff;"> Fr. Ian Shipley (rector), Archpriest James Mason and Deacon Geoffrey LoBalbo.</span></p> <p><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=38"><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial; font-size: small; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline ! important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff;">More Images</span></a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_141215_1.html His Grace on the End Times http://doaoca.org/news_141215_2.html Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <p>His Grace was interviewed on the podcast Faith Encouraged Live on Ancient Faith Radio with Fr. Barnabas.</p> <p><a href="http://audio.ancientfaith.com/faithencouraged/fel_2014-12-14.mp3">Listen to the interview here</a></p> <p>Click here for more information on <a href="http://www.ancientfaith.com/">Ancient Faith Radio</a></p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_141215_2.html To preach the acceptable year of the Lord http://doaoca.org/news_150102_1.html Thu, 01 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/IMG_1864.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>January first has become the place we mark the passing of one year to another.&nbsp;&nbsp;All over the world today people are celebrating the passing of the old and the coming of the New Year.&nbsp;&nbsp;There is a type of relief that comes about when we can leave anything old and receive something new, it is both psychological and social in nature and holds a promise of better days for us when compared to what has passed.</p> <p>This idea is actually foreign to our Faith.&nbsp;&nbsp;The Church cannot conceive of an idea that&nbsp;<em>somehow</em>&nbsp;the passing of one year leads to improvement in the new.&nbsp;&nbsp;We can call it&nbsp;<em>progressive idealism</em>, the expectation that what lies ahead is always, in some way, an improvement over what has passed away.&nbsp;&nbsp;It is the&nbsp;incorporation into our disposable society of even the very measure of time as a discard-able unit.&nbsp;&nbsp;It is a way of relieving ourselves of our own past, both its sins and virtues, in the hopes of improvement in the future.</p> <p>The real danger of this approach is its lack of actual living in the present; replacing it with a romantic nostalgia for the past and a pretentious hope for the future.&nbsp;&nbsp;Neither is helpful, and both carry a perilous mindset that allows us to run roughshod over the present.&nbsp;&nbsp;We lose the ability to appreciate the moment God has given us to live in, the one we are in now, the actual time that is passing before us.</p> <p>When Jesus stood in the Synagogue in Nazareth and read the passage from Isaiah, Chapter 61, about the acceptable year of the Lord [Luke 4:17&nbsp;ff], he said&nbsp;<em>today&nbsp;is this fulfilled in your hearing</em>.&nbsp;&nbsp;In other words, the time is now for them to behold God Incarnate, as He was in their midst.&nbsp;&nbsp;They were constantly looking toward the future without recognition of the time God had already given them.&nbsp;&nbsp;This happens when we waste our time worrying about when the Apocalypse is coming, not realizing that is already happening every Liturgy in our churches.</p> <p>The lesson for us here is to be vigilant in our lives to be virtuous, to pray constantly, and to savor each moment God has given us.&nbsp;&nbsp;Also to realize that when we make mistakes, it is not the passing of time that removes their effect on us, but the mercy of God upon us.&nbsp;&nbsp;His love covers &ldquo;a multitude of sins&rdquo; and renews us in a way no passing year can ever accomplish.</p> <p>It is my prayer that you will be renewed in your love of God, in your love of others, and in your efforts to walk the path of Salvation that God has given you to follow.&nbsp;&nbsp;I pray you have every need fulfilled and that He grants&nbsp;you&nbsp;health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year and throughout your life.</p> <p>Your servant of Servants in Christ,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>+ David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150102_1.html On the Nativity of our Lord http://doaoca.org/news_150106_2.html Tue, 06 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.0791666666666666; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 8pt; text-indent: 36pt;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The Christmas Holidays bring a time of much celebration. &nbsp;For some, it is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends, parties, exchanging presents and feasting. &nbsp;Trips are made to the homestead, or to visit children their parents, and vice versa. Places of employment join in the celebration with company parties and gifts and bonuses are handed out. &nbsp;Familiar songs that declare the joy of the holidays are heard over the airwaves and in all types of businesses. &nbsp;Everywhere there is a feeling of joy, a shared happiness whether one is Christian or not, as we are greeted with either &ldquo;Merry Christmas&rdquo;, or &ldquo;Happy Holidays&rdquo;. &nbsp;More than any other time of year, the sense of being merry is conveyed to one and all.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.0791666666666666; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 8pt; text-indent: 36pt;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">But the Church understands there is so much more significant about Christmas than parties, presents or dinners. &nbsp;There is a much deeper and more important reason for our jubilation than simply having fun. &nbsp;We are given a clue in the Vespers from the Pre-Feast where we sing, &ldquo;</span><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Prepare, O Ephratha, for Adam and Eve are renewed. Salvation enters the world and the curse is destroyed.</span><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">&rdquo; &nbsp;We have always understood our salvation as the renewal of our personhood to its original, created archetype, that of Adam and Eve. &nbsp;The curse of death is destroyed though the coming of the Christ, who takes on our human-ness to restore it. &nbsp;Remembering this event is the primary purpose of our celebration, to enjoin ourselves with the fulfillment of the Messiah&rsquo;s coming. &nbsp;God is with us is not just a statement, it is a revelation that brings a joyous song in our hearts; it is what makes the Orthodox Christian &ldquo;merry&rdquo;.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.0791666666666666; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 8pt; text-indent: 36pt;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Understanding the significance of the Nativity in this way produces a joy in our very being, as our soul understands its life is renewed through Christ&rsquo;s coming in the flesh. The proclamation of the angels is an announcement for the whole of our being. &nbsp;Food and presents, company and song may give merriment to the body, but the message of the Feast is one that stirs the soul as well as the heart. &nbsp;Our rejoicing is centered in salvation and the overcoming of the curse of Adam, and through it not only are we given hope, but even the first created man and woman are also given hope. &nbsp;This is the gift of Christmas that is eternal, this is the gift meant for all mankind, in all generations, and at all times; forever changing our destiny from one of death to one of eternal life in Christ Jesus.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.0791666666666666; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 8pt; text-indent: 36pt;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Let us all rejoice in this glorious day and proclaim to those we love, &ldquo;Christ is born!&rdquo; and let them reply to us, &ldquo;Glorify Him!&rdquo; &nbsp;For now is Salvation come to us from a loving God. &nbsp;If we exchange gifts, let us exchange love with them, thereby enhancing the gift itself. &nbsp;If we gather with family and friends, let us also meet with the poor and less fortunate and share the joy with them. &nbsp;If we truly feel joy in our hearts, let it be a joy we can spread to those who are sorrowing. &nbsp;The first celebration of the Nativity of Christ was a celebration that was shared with shepherds and Angels, Wisemen and servants. &nbsp;No other feast gives us the opportunity to share our joy as much as Christmas. &nbsp;Let us behave like shepherds and wisemen and proclaim that &ldquo;</span><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Salvation enters the world and the curse is destroyed.&rdquo;</span><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> &nbsp;Let us share the joy.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.0791666666666666; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 8pt; text-indent: 36pt;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It is my prayer that God will grant all of you and your loved ones a most joyous and blessed Nativity.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.0791666666666666; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 8pt; text-indent: 36pt;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Merriweather; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Christ is born! &nbsp;Glorify Him!</span></p> <p><strong id="docs-internal-guid-cf71fa29-c1d9-0540-db20-f5a1f1f6192a" style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong id="docs-internal-guid-cf71fa29-c1d9-0540-db20-f5a1f1f6192a" style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; + David</strong></p> <p><strong style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;Bishop of Sitka &amp; Alaska </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150106_2.html Holy Theophany http://doaoca.org/news_150125_1.html Sun, 18 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2015-Events/20150119_141330.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>We follow our joyous celebration of the Nativity of Christ with the blessed time of Theophany, the Baptism of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. On this day we join Christ in the waters of life, renewing and re-Sanctifying the source of life itself, for nothing lives without water. We gather in our churches, and at all places of the source of the flowing of waters and submerge a cross with the image of Christ into the water, as Jesus Himself descended and renewed and restored this source of our continued life. At this time we celebrate the Blessing of Water.</p> <p>Orthodox Christians have done this for thousands of years. It is not new to us, it is not simply a popular thing to do, nor is it done as a demonstration against any one person or operation. It is done, because it is necessary in our understanding of our relationship with both our Creator and Creation. We have been given the task of caring for creation from the beginning. Last year, I spoke of how our understanding of the command to &ldquo;fill the earth and subdue it&rdquo; is not properly understood in English. I said, &ldquo;This is the first and, if you will, prime directive that God gave to man. In our theology, we are so caught up in the transgression of the eating of the forbidden tree, we forget the only other command that man was given by his Creator; <strong><em>that of being responsible for and caring for, all the earth and all its inhabitants</em></strong>.&rdquo; The Blessing of Water is our sacred responsibility to all of mankind to infuse the Holy Spirit into all the earth and help restore the fallen nature of our world to its formal existence. If we would not do it, we would be resigning the world to its continued death and decay, which Jesus came to overcome and restore.</p> <p>Through our act of blessing, we invoke God&rsquo;s Spirit upon the only part of creation that continually moves over every other part of creation. Water continually moves, from state to state and from earth to heaven, and back again, descending, penetrating, and raising above, over and over, in a cycle that secures the bounties of life will continue for our benefit and livelihood. It is both an act of renewal and an act of Thanksgiving, a blessing that Christ Himself instituted, as He said, so that we can &ldquo;Fulfill all righteousness.&rdquo; Said another way, we bless the water so that the fallen world can be returned to that state for which it was created, a sacred place filled with the Spirit of God.</p> <p>When mankind becomes abusive of creation, it destroys the very bounds we are working to restore. No matter what form it takes, when our cravings for the riches of the earth exceed our actual need, an imbalance is created that reverberates throughout creation in many ways. We have seen a continued imbalance in the weather patterns, in one place the waters cease to flow, in another they produce a deluge that harms the earth and its inhabitants. If we overuse the earth, it fails to produce new crops, if we over harvest fish or animals, they return no more to our habitat. In all these events we see acts of sinfulness that only God can absolve and a fallen earth only He can renew.</p> <p>Let our prayer at this time be one of repentance for our sins, of petition &ldquo;<strong><em>For Seasonable Weather, abundance of the fruits of the earth, and peaceful times let us </em></strong><br /> <strong><em>pray to the Lord, and Give Thanks unto the Lord.&rdquo;, </em></strong>and for a better understanding of our connection to the creation of which we are given to be caretakers.</p> <p>In closing, let us listen to the words of St. Basil the Great, in his &ldquo;Hexameron&rdquo;, his homily on the Genesis creation story, he speaks of the importance of water:</p> <p><strong>Finally the sea is good in the eyes of God, because it girdles the isles, of which it forms at the same time the rampart and the beauty, because it brings together the most distant parts of the earth, and facilitates the inter-communication of mariners.&nbsp; By this means it gives us the boon of general information, supplies the merchant with his wealth, and easily provides for the necessities of life, allowing the rich to export their superfluities, and blessing the poor with the supply of what they lack</strong>.&nbsp;&nbsp; <em>Hexameron, Homily IV,</em> St. Basil the Great. NPNF</p> <p>+ DAVID</p> <p>Bishop of Sitka and Alaska</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150125_1.html Sunday of Orthodoxy, 2015 http://doaoca.org/news_150303_1.html Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2015-Events/Orthodoxy-Sunday/sunday-orthodox8.jpg&archive=0&final_h=52&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><strong>In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.</strong></p> <p>Today we celebrate our Christian Faith in an important way. We gather in our churches bringing the Sacred Icons in solemn procession to mark the restoration of the Icons in 843 under the Empress Theodora, as was the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787 called by Empress Irene, both times to combat the Iconoclasts who wanted the Icons removed. So we can state categorically that without these women, we might not have Icons in our churches.</p> <p>But we must ask why this is so significant? Why do we keep this festival, especially when we have begun the Great Lent? In the Vespers for this Sunday, we read, &ldquo;For if we cling to the icon of him whom we worship, we shall not go astray.&rdquo; The Church, in her wisdom, realized that having this visual image of our own Flesh, through the perfection of Christ, we will not be led astray by anyone&rsquo;s words. Not only Christ, but His Mother, the Theotokos, and all the saints are depicted on our walls reminding us of St. Paul&rsquo;s &ldquo;Cloud of witnesses&rdquo;, that pray for us in the kingdom of Heaven. For we must never think we simply remembering a past event, this is not just a remembrance of a distant time and place far removed from us, but rather it is the manifestation of our own Faith in our time and for our Salvation.</p> <p>For Icons are not simply works of art, no matter how impressed we might be with their Aesthetic beauty. They are both windows into the heavenly realms and depictions of our Theology without words. The Vespers also say to us, &ldquo;We have moved forward from unbelief to true faith, and have been enlightened by the light of knowledge.&rdquo; This light of knowledge is that which reveals to us our Orthodox Faith and guides us into all truth. At a time when the world seeks its own truth and tries to reduce truth to relative terms, we hold forth our Truth as an eternal witness to all Mankind.</p> <p>At a time when other religions seek to overtake the entire world with their perversion of truth, we gather and proclaim that we will not give up our Faith, our Truth for any sons of men, no matter how violent they become. Not long after the Iconoclast period, many Christians in the regions of Palestine and the Middle East faced persecution, and again today we see this persecution returning. So our proclamation today is even more significant and important as we proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Incarnate for our Salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, and all the other points we proclaim in the Creed as taught from the Council of Nicaea onward.</p> <p>Let us not error and think we are here to criticize our fellow Christians, who may not share in our fullness of faith, but share a common understanding of who Christ is and recognize Him as the One Who saves us. Christ, Himself said that those who are not against us are for us. [Mk. 9.40] Believe me, there are enough people trying so subvert the Truth of Christ who are not Christian for us to be concerned with, we need to be praying for the unity of our Brethren. As His Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew&rsquo;s words were conveyed to us by Archbishop Demetrios at the last Episcopal Assembly, &ldquo;move beyond words to actions&hellip;putting our theology into practice&hellip;moving beyond what is mine and yours, to what is ours.&rdquo;</p> <p>This is an excellent phrase that describes perfectly the call of this Sunday of Orthodoxy. We must all move beyond what is mine and yours, we must move beyond words only and embrace action, so that in Christ we will all have what is ours.</p> <p><strong>In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.</strong></p> <p><strong>+DAVID</strong></p> <p><strong>Bishop of Sitka &amp; Alaska</strong></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150303_1.html Paschal Message of His Grace, Bishop David of Sitka and Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150412_1.html Sun, 12 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <p><strong><em>Today is salvation come unto the world, to that which is visible, and to that which is invisible. Christ is risen from the dead, rise ye with Him. Christ is returned again to Himself, return ye. Christ is freed from the tomb, be ye freed from the bond of sin. The gates of hell are opened, and death is destroyed, and the old Adam is put aside, and the New is fulfilled; if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; </em></strong>[2 Corinthians 5:17] <strong><em>be ye renewed. </em></strong></p> <p>Dear Beloved in the Lord,</p> <p>Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!</p> <p>Today we lift our voices together and exclaim the Resurrection of Christ. With the words, &ldquo;Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!&rdquo; we inform the world that once more we are renewed through the risen Christ. Once more we stand at the empty tomb and receive the words of the Angel, &ldquo;He is not here, He is risen!&rdquo; This one act has had more impact than any other in human history and no greater hope has ever been given to mankind. But as St. Gregory reminds us, it is given for both the visible and the invisible world. It is an event that transcends earthly bounds and includes the world beyond this world. The proclamation of the Angel is for his world as much as ours. We need to think on this with our salvation in mind.</p> <p>We are reminded that when mankind fell, all of creation fell with him. Both the visible and the invisible world became corrupted. So the resurrection of Christ is not just for us, but for all of God's creation. St. John the Theologian reminds us of this when he says in John 3:17, &ldquo;For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him&rdquo;. The connection for us is that everything is being renewed in the act of His rising from the dead. The old falls away like last year's snow, and we see once more a sleeping nature return to life. All things are renewed, and all around us are the signs of God's grace and blessing. We are called to proclaim this renewal by calling brothers even those that hate us. What more powerful idea could be given than to love our enemies, as our Lord has asked us to do? This is truly the message of Pascha, that no one is excluded, we are all together in the love of Christ.</p> <p>Let us all show this joy of Pascha though this type of love.&nbsp;&nbsp; Let us reach out to all those we know who are hurting, who have hatred in their heart, who feel dejected or alone in their life, and let us proclaim to them these glorious words, &ldquo;Christ is risen!&rdquo; And let them answer, &ldquo;Indeed He is risen!&rdquo; In this way we share the Holy Pascha and embrace everyone as our brothers and sisters.</p> <p>May the joy of the glorious Good News of the Resurrection renew your spirit and life. May you be blessed with the grace of God and know that He has conquered death for each one of us so that we may all enjoy the eternal kingdom with Him, and with those we love.</p> <p>Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!</p> <p>+ David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150412_1.html Message to Faithful of Holy Resurrection Cathedral http://doaoca.org/news_150612_2.html Thu, 11 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/hawicon.lg.jpg&archive=0&final_h=89&final_w=76&percent=100"><p>Few incidents in life will affect us as deeply as those that violate what we hold Sacred. To see the Sacred space where our prayers are offered together, where we have been baptized, married, and have brought our loved ones for their final visit, in any form of disarray and brokenness is hard to look at or speak of. So when this horrible act was discovered, you all came together, as a loving community of Christians and responded. You were not looking for notoriety or fame, or even reward; you were just looking to do whatever you could to help begin the healing process that needs to happen to restore your Sacred Space. It was an act of love for God and your "home". I want you all to know how deeply grateful I am for you dedication and love for Holy Resurrection Cathedral and Kodiak. I offer my unworthy prayers on your behalf before our Loving God that He will guide you and send you comfort in the coming difficult days. I recall the words of Pascha for all of us to remember, "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, let those who hate Him flee from before His face." May His love give you strength and hope, as St. Paul encourages us, "So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal." II Cor. 4:16-18]</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150612_2.html Supreme Court’s Decision on Marriage http://doaoca.org/news_150627_1.html Fri, 26 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <p>As many of you know by now on Friday, June 26th the Supreme Court of our country issued a 5-4 decision to overturn all bans of same-sex marriage by states and affirmed this union as being a constitutional right. In effect the court has ruled, in finality as all decisions of the Supreme Court are, that same-sex marriage can be legally performed by all states in our country. &nbsp;<br /><br />This does not change the situation for us as Orthodox Christians.&nbsp; We will still uphold the Biblical Standard that Marriage is between one man and one woman, the Supreme Court&rsquo;s decision does not change that basic truth. &nbsp;<br /><br />As your bishop, I will give no blessing for any marriage outside of the traditional marriage of one man and one woman.&nbsp; Even though same-sex marriage is &ldquo;legal,&rdquo; there will be no same sex marriages in our parishes. I would encourage you all to re-read the 2013 Statement from the Episcopal Assembly of Bishops on Marriage. That can be found by going to this link: </p> <p><a href="http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/about/documents/2013-assembly-statement-on-marriage-and-sexuality" target="_blank">2013 Assembly Statement on Marriage and Sexuality</a><br /><br />I will say that most arguments against same sex marriage are not strong arguments.&nbsp; Can we deny that those couples do not feel love?&nbsp; Can we say they will make bad parents, or downgrade a community by their presence?&nbsp; The evidence says otherwise.&nbsp; The starting point for any discussion on marriage must begin in the &ldquo;Sacred Function&rdquo; Argument. Men and women are given certain &ldquo;Sacred Functions&rdquo; that only they can fulfill, when they were created.&nbsp; Those functions are not subjective, but exist in the objective understanding of each person qua person as man or woman.&nbsp; Clergy from the diocese should feel free to read the Statement from the Episcopal Assembly if they deem that it would be helpful to their parishes. &nbsp;<br /><br />Your servant of Servants,<br /><br />+ David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska<br /><br /></p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150627_1.html Arch pastoral visit to Port Graham http://doaoca.org/news_150819_1.html Tue, 18 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2015-Events/IMG_1345.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>His Grace made his first arch pastoral visit to St. Herman Orthodox Church in Port Graham to meet the faithful.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150819_1.html http://doaoca.org/news_151030_2.html Fri, 30 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="SECTION_TITLE" style="font-size: large;"><strong>Losing the Fountain of Immortality</strong></span></p> <p><span class="SECTION_TITLE">Tonight, as I flew back from Kodiak and the trial of the man who did the vandalism at Holy Resurrection Cathedral there, I began to think about what it is that the church exists for in that city.&nbsp; In every community, there are houses of worship of many varieties, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christian, as well as a plethora of other and sundry forms of religious expression.&nbsp; Our culture has truly become a melting pot of spiritual idealism.&nbsp; Our independent nature as Americans calls us to find our own path, seek our own version of God, and then be able to practice that belief unencumbered by the rules of government interference.</span></p> <p>The trial gave me several insights into the manner that matters of faith get articulated in the arena of public dissertation.&nbsp; The modern &ldquo;Agora&rdquo;, if you will, of our discussion becomes the court room where the ideas and concepts of faith are tested not for their religious content, but for their &ldquo;value&rdquo; to the community.&nbsp; Here, whatever was held Sacred to the Orthodox Christians of Kodiak, was put to the test against the backdrop of destruction and how that destruction should be measured and valued in terms of the extent the perpetrator was guilty of a Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree, and what was the actual &ldquo;dollar and cents&rdquo; value of what was destroyed.&nbsp; It mattered not what we believed, our Creed was not on trial here; but what was on trial was the level of spiritual content of the items that had been desecrated.</p> <p>Questions came asking what was broken in the Cathedral?&nbsp; Were there windows that were damaged?&nbsp; Was the floor damaged?&nbsp; Did he take any money from the Cathedral?&nbsp; Can the items he destroyed be replaced?&nbsp; If so, how much are they worth?&nbsp; Are there items that cannot be repaired or replaced and can you give them a value?&nbsp; I sat there wondering was it only about the equivalent cash value to them?&nbsp; Did they not, could they not, see that what was truly damaged was the Sacred Space we hold so dear, the place where we bring our babies for Baptism, the place we bring our spouses for marriage, the place we bring our departed loved ones for burial?&nbsp; It was that violation of the holiness of Holy Resurrection Cathedral that was violated, and that very idea, holiness itself, that was damaged in the vicious attack.</p> <p>This question of damage was answered most succinctly by Fr. Innocent in his direct testimony to the court under questioning by District Attorney Stephen Wallace.&nbsp; During his questioning, DA Wallace asked Fr. Innocent what was the most valuable item damaged by the perpetrator.&nbsp; Fr. Innocent thought for a while before he answered and then gave a most profound statement.&nbsp; One would have thought that he would have said St. Herman&rsquo;s Cross, or perhaps the Holy Gospel, or the Tabernacle.&nbsp; He didn&rsquo;t say any of those things.&nbsp; When he spoke, he said the most severe damage was to the Reserve Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.&nbsp; Yes, he was right, it wasn&rsquo;t a material thing, not golden or wooden, or old or large or small, it was that one thing that brings all of us to this church to worship God, it was His Holy Body and Blood, strewn across the floor, mixed with the broken glass, cloth, Holy Chrism Oil, and whatever else was on that floor, which he had to consume, and leave the Parish without its presence. That was the highest and most valuable item lost in the senseless destruction.</p> <p>One of the hymns we sing as we come forward to receive the Holy Eucharist has the line, &ldquo;Receive the Body of Christ, taste the Fountain of Immortality&rdquo;.&nbsp; In essence, then, in this vicious attack on the church, what the church nearly lost was that &ldquo;Fountain of Immortality&rdquo; that is at the heart of our relationship to God.&nbsp; It cannot have a price put on it, it cannot be measured in worldly terms, nor can it be compared to any other earthly things, no matter how important they may be to us, as in the case of St. Herman&rsquo;s Hand Cross.&nbsp; There is no comparison to a life of immortality promised to us by a loving God, and even the person who sought to destroy that fountain can repent and receive that precious gift of immortality, and we should all pray that he does.</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_151030_2.html A Homily on Terrorist Attacks http://doaoca.org/news_151115_1.html Sun, 15 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/20150617_224449321_iOS.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>David the Psalmist and Prophet said, &ldquo;Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.&nbsp; I say to the&nbsp;Lord, &ldquo;You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp; [Ps. 16.1]&nbsp; After learning of the attacks in Parish yesterday, I began to think on the effect this is going to have on all of us.&nbsp; Ever since the attacks on 9/11, 2001, we have been in conflict, and war, against a certain group of people who call themselves &ldquo;Muslim&rdquo;. In every possible way, they are the poorest example of a real Muslim in the same way a radical person who would use the name of Christ could be called a Christian.</p> <p>Thus, some want to say that this is a war between Christianity and Islam, between the two major faiths of the world.&nbsp; To be sure there can be no mistaking that there are a group of people acting in the most heinous and despicable manner using the name of their God, Allah, and their faith, Islam, to perpetrate a carnage and an unspeakable amount of death and harm to totally innocent people.&nbsp; They are not interested in whether or not we believe they are right or wrong, they are only interested in their own twisted cause.</p> <p>But is this truly a war of religion?&nbsp; Is there even such a thing as a war of religion?&nbsp; Would we not actually be in error if we reduce these attacks to a Christian vs. a Muslim conflict?&nbsp; The last attack in France was against an organization that satirized their founder; and then they attacked the area populated by Jews.&nbsp; There will certainly be people of other faiths, even ones of no faith, numbered with the victims of this and all such attacks.&nbsp; So are they Muslims in revolution?&nbsp; Even the head of Iran, President Hassan Rouhani condemned the attacks as not befitting the Muslim Faith.</p> <p>The Friday night, as I was returning to Anchorage on a flight from Fairbanks with my daughter and granddaughter, I was led to look again at one of my favorite small books titled The Agony of the Church, by St. Nicholaj Velimirovich of South Caanan.&nbsp; It is a compilation of lectures he was addressing to the Student Christian Movement which had come to Serbia from England.&nbsp; It was not long after the beginning of World War I, and I think the fact that that war was begun because of a Serb, he wanted to address the tragedy of that war and impress upon the students what role, if any, the Church should play in the conflict.</p> <p>After explaining to them how the various churches in each nation involved in the conflict had failed to live up to their real calling as a Church of Christ, he went on to declare the failure of Europe in general in what he referred to as &ldquo;The Poverty of European civilization&rdquo;.&nbsp; He said the following:</p> <p>The poverty of European civilization has been revealed by this war. The ugly nakedness of Europe has brought to shame all those who used to bow before Europe's mask. It was a silken shining mask hiding the inner ugliness and poverty of Europe. The mask was called:&nbsp; culture, civilization, progress, modernism. All was only vanitas vanitatum<a href="#_edn1" name="_ednref1">[i]</a> and povertas povertatum<a href="#_edn2" name="_ednref2">[ii]</a>. When the soul fled away, what remained was empty, ugly and dangerous. When religion plunged into impotence, then:</p> <p>Science became a mask of pride.</p> <p>Art&mdash;a mask of vanity.</p> <p>Politics&mdash;a mask of selfishness.</p> <p>Laws&mdash;a mask of greediness.</p> <p>Theology&mdash;a mask of skepticism.</p> <p>Technical knowledge&mdash;a poor surrogate for spirituality.</p> <p>Journalism&mdash;a desperate surrogate for literature.</p> <p>Literature&mdash;a sick nostalgia and a nonsense, a dwarf-acrobacy.</p> <p>Civilization&mdash;a pretext for imperialism.</p> <p>Fight for right&mdash;an atavistic formula of the primitive creeds.</p> <p>Morals&mdash;the most controversial matter.</p> <p>Individualism&mdash;the second name for egoism and egotism.<a href="#_edn3" name="_ednref3">[iii]</a></p> <p>He felt that those people in that day had given up their true calling in Christ and exchanged it for a false Patriotism and Imperialism, in which each church followed their respective governments into war instead of resisting it or speaking against it.&nbsp; He said that &ldquo;Patriotism is a natural quality, but Christianity is supernatural. Patriotism is a provincial truth, but Christianity is a pan-human truth.&nbsp; Patriotism means love of one's country or one's generation, Christianity means love of <em>all countries</em> and <em>all generations.</em> Christianity includes a sound and true Patriotism, but excludes untrue and exaggerated Patriotism as it excludes every untrue thought and feeling.&rdquo;<a href="#_edn4" name="_ednref4">[iv]</a>&nbsp; This is exactly what has happened to the followers of ISIS, they apply a false patriotism to their religion and fail to realize the damage they are doing to the very thing they seek to exalt.</p> <p>None of us will agree with their purpose or their goal, as we understand it.&nbsp; But we cannot mistake their actions which are designed to elevate our anger and human passions to a boiling point so we boil over with hatred for them and sink to their level of retaliation.&nbsp; They want nothing less than a global conflict so that, in their way of belief, there will be a return of the Mahdi, or twelfth Imam.&nbsp; They have an eschatology as defined and shaped as the one held by many Christians.&nbsp; Theirs based on a tradition handed down since the 9<sup>th</sup> century, Christianity, one based on the Book of Revelation.&nbsp; In both cases, it is the view of those who hold to a very fundamentalist view of their faith that leads to this conclusion.&nbsp; We all confirm our belief in the return of Christ in the Nicene Creed, recited at every Divine Liturgy.&nbsp; But what we do not do is state the manner in which this will occur.&nbsp; One wonders if there are some who almost hope for some type of &ldquo;Apocalyptic Showdown&rdquo; where the forces of one faith will be pitted against another one toward a &ldquo;victory&rdquo; of some sort.&nbsp;</p> <p>The hard problem we must all face is that any attitude that places an idea of worldly victory, Christian or otherwise, it is not a victory for Christ.&nbsp; St. Nikolaj stated it this way:</p> <p>&ldquo;Saintliness includes goodness and sacrifice, and excludes all the earthly impure spirits of selfishness, pride, quarrels and conquests.&nbsp; Therefore, when the Church returns to her fundamental ideal, she will return to her elementary simplicity in which she was so powerful as to move mountains and empires and hearts at the beginning of her history. That is what the world needs now just as much as it needs air and light, i.e. an elementary spiritual power by which it could be moved, cleared up, purified and brought out of its chaos to a solid and beautiful construction.&rdquo;</p> <p>Every Sunday we sing the Psalm in the Second Antiphon, &ldquo;Put not your trust in princes, in sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.&rdquo;&nbsp; [Ps. 146]&nbsp; We understand that at the very foundation of our faith is to <em>first trust God</em>, to provide for us, to care for us, to protect us from enemies, and to trust no one else.&nbsp; In the current situation, it is hard to have faith in such a way as this.&nbsp; But this is exactly what the Psalmist prays, and should be our prayer, &ldquo;Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.&rdquo;&nbsp; Not in anyone, or anything else, only in you.&nbsp; Verse four of this Psalm we pray, &ldquo;Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Beloved, we cannot choose another god.&nbsp; We cannot follow another path except the one given us by God.&nbsp; We are now at a very important place in the salvation history that continually is being written in every act of every person who speaks the name of Christ.&nbsp; We must tread carefully on this path.&nbsp; Right now no one wants to do what we know is right.&nbsp; The forces of evil are at work, and we must resist them and fight against them in every way possible; but the way to fight them is not to plunge headlong into their world, but to do what St. Paul, our Lord&rsquo;s Apostle, has asked us to do.&nbsp; &ldquo;Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.&rdquo;&nbsp; [Rm. 12.14]&nbsp; These are hard words for us to hear right now.</p> <p>Does something need to be done to stop the continued attacks of this ISIS?&nbsp; Of course.&nbsp; Do we need to be vigilant in the defense of our country against such actions?&nbsp; Without question.&nbsp; But in the process we need to be mindful of who we follow.&nbsp; God does use evil for good, it has happened before and it can happen again.&nbsp; Let our prayer be that of the Prophet David when he said, &ldquo;You show me the path of life.&nbsp; In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.&rdquo;&nbsp; Let us all seek to be in His presence where we will have fullness and joy forevermore.&nbsp; Amen.</p> <p>+&nbsp;Rt. Rev. Bishop David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska</p> <p><a href="#_ednref1" name="_edn1">[i]</a> vanity of vanities</p> <p><a href="#_ednref2" name="_edn2">[ii]</a> Poverty of poverties</p> <p><a href="#_ednref3" name="_edn3">[iii]</a> Project Gutenberg's The Agony of the Church (1917), by Nikolaj Velimirovic, p. 17</p> <p><a href="#_ednref4" name="_edn4">[iv]</a> <em>Ibid. </em>p. 10</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_151115_1.html Message of His Grace, Bishop David on the Beginning of Great Lent 2016 http://doaoca.org/news_160322_1.html Sat, 12 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0500 <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Let us begin the fast with joy!</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Let us prepare ourselves for spiritual efforts!</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Let us cleanse our soul and cleanse our flesh!</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Let us abstain from every passion as we abstain from food!</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; - Forgiveness Sunday Vespers</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Each year we begin our Lenten journey by singing this verse from the Vespers of Forgiveness Sunday.&nbsp; It reminds us that we undertake the fast &ldquo;with joy&rdquo; as we recall our Lord&rsquo;s words to us Matthew 6, and not be like the hypocrites.&nbsp; And St. Paul cautions us in his Epistle to the Romans to not condemn those who do not keep the fast properly.&nbsp; Taken together, they serve to teach us an important lesson, one of control both inwardly and outwardly.&nbsp; And it gives us an answer to the question, &ldquo;What is so important about fasting?&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is with this concept of control in mind that we can truly understand the purpose of fasting.&nbsp; Some people think of fasting as a way of imitating our Lord who made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit and for our salvation.&nbsp; So they give up &ldquo;something&rdquo; for Lent.&nbsp; Or they look at the fasting rules of the church as a type of sacrifice since they are not partaking of certain foods for the length of the fast.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This is not really an Orthodox approach to fasting or to Lent in general.&nbsp; For the Orthodox Christian is called to fast within the context of control, control of our will.&nbsp; A control that governs not only food, but all the passions that we may encounter on a regular basis.&nbsp; For it is not what goes into the mouth that causes one to sin, but what comes out of it.&nbsp; In this way, gossip, false accusation, lust, anger, and nearly anything we can think of that arouses our passions can lead to sinfulness.&nbsp; It could be the seeking of pleasure from social involvement, the various media resources at our disposal today, or the social media itself can also lead us into temptation and a fall from grace.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So the true reason to fast is not found in the sacrifice, but in the control of the self-will and the self-willing of what we chose to do or not to do, say or not to say, eat or not to eat, and so on.&nbsp; For true fasting is as much a source of instruction to ourselves as it is the abstinence from things.&nbsp; We can learn how to control our desire for certain foods or drinks, our participation in events and even conversations, and by this practice of control of the self that we also learn our true nature.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The real purpose of practicing a fast is to discover the real person that God created us to be.&nbsp; When Adam and Eve transgressed the Lord&rsquo;s command not to eat from the tree, they lost the ability to see themselves as the image of God or His likeness.&nbsp; They desired the fruit because they thought it would make them like God, for they did realize they <em>already</em> were like God.&nbsp; That deception of the serpent was exactly this, for he said &ldquo;If you eat it <em>you will be like God, knowing good and evil</em>.&nbsp; [Gen.&nbsp; 3:6]&nbsp;&nbsp; So we can see why this makes our effort of fasting so important, for fasting was the only command that God gave Adam and Eve, and they could not do it.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So the truest purpose of our fasting is to restore the mastery of our own will, not just in fasting from food, but in control of our desire for worldly pleasures (which are fleeting), from improper thought (which can lead to even more sin), and from laziness (the failure to practice the increased life of prayer in Great Lent).&nbsp; Nor can we simply think that struggling with fasting is all we need either, for there is also a all to do positive things in Lent as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This past Sunday of the Last judgment shows us what we are also called to do in the positive light as well.&nbsp; Care for those less fortunate than ourselves is paramount in restoring our life in Christ.&nbsp; Clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and imprisoned are also acts that help us on our Lenten journey.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So we see the three callings of Lent, Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving are all necessary for us to accomplish our goal in Lent of drawing closer to Christ, of being more like Him in our own life.&nbsp; Practicing these three callings will help us gain knowledge of our true image and likeness; it will help us become the real person we were created to be, a living example of Jesus Christ to others.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is my prayer that each of you will find this path towards the true image and likeness during this Great Lent and by that path discover who you really are in Christ.&nbsp; May you all be blessed with joy and strength to complete the fast with joy and rejoice in the Holy Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">+ David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_160322_1.html Metropolitan Tikhon: In Remembrance of Our Veterans http://doaoca.org/news_161111_1.html Fri, 11 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500 <p>Offering prayers and giving thanks this Veterans Day to all who have served and are serving our country in the Armed Forces.</p> <p><a href="https://oca.org/directories/military-chaplains">https://oca.org/directories/military-chaplains</a></p> <p align="center"><strong>Message of Metropolitan Tikhon</strong></p> <p align="center"><strong>on the Observance of Veterans Day and Remembrance Day</strong></p> <p><span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_1357425551"><span class="aQJ">November 11, 2016</span></span></p> <p>To the Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Monastics, and especially Veterans of our United States and Canadian Armed Forces of the Orthodox Church in America:</p> <p>Today, together with the entire nation, we honor our brothers and sisters who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States and Canada, and specifically those Orthodox Chaplains who have ministered and minister to our service members.&nbsp; Veterans Day offers us the opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women of our nation's military whose sacrificial service protects, preserves, and promotes peace both at home and throughout the world.&nbsp; The veterans of our nations are our fellow citizens whose loyalty and dedication epitomizes Christ's message of the Good Samaritan, who willingly came to the aid of his neighbor.</p> <p>We are reminded today that our fellow citizens -- mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, brothers, sisters, spouses, neighbors and friends -- who have served our nations in the Armed Forces are deserving of our respect and honor.&nbsp; And more than anything they are deserving of our gratitude.&nbsp; Here I am reminded of the words of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann who in his final sermon said, "Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to worship You."&nbsp; I would add today, "Thank you, O Lord, for the men and women who have sacrificed in service to You and our country so that we may worship You and proclaim Your message free of persecution or distress."</p> <p>Brother and sisters in Christ, please take a moment today to honor our nations' veterans and to pray for the souls of those men and women who have given their lives in service to our country, in service to their neighbors and for the cause of peace throughout the world.&nbsp; Each of them is known by our Lord.&nbsp; May we continue to keep their memories known here on earth.</p> <p>Yours in Christ,</p> <p>+ Tikhon</p> <p>Archbishop of Washington</p> <p>Metropolitan of All America and Canada</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_161111_1.html NOTICE OF ASSEMBLY http://doaoca.org/news_161018_1.html Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <p>The 2016 Diocesan Assembly will be held at the St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage from Friday, November 4th through Sunday, November 6th.</p> <p>REGISTRATION</p> <p>Registration fees are $50 per person, excluding Diocesan Council Members.</p> <p>All registration forms, clergy data sheets, and fees are due at the Chancery by Friday, October 21st.<br /> <br />IF you must pay in person, then it must be done Friday before the opening of the Assembly, but please, make all efforts to prepay by the October 21st deadline.</p> <p>Please find all the registration forms and the clergy data sheet included. Note, even if you are a deacon, you must use the clergy registration form.</p> <p>At this time, according to the Diocese bylaws and current Chancery records of clergy assignments, each parish should have only one elected Lay Delegate Representative.</p> <p>Deacons and Laity Members of the Diocesan Council are not counted as parish representatives, as they serve the Diocese at large.</p> <p>It is the responsibility of the parish priest (assigned or priest-in-charge) to sign off on all lay delegate and observer registration forms.</p> <p>HOTEL RESERVATIONS</p> <p><a href="https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/anchorage/ancsp/hoteldetail?qAAR=IXQ7R&amp;qAdlt=1&amp;qBrs=6c.hi.ex.rs.ic.cp.in.sb.cw.cv.ul.vn.ki&amp;qChld=0&amp;qCpid=786833994&amp;qFRA=1&amp;qGRM=0&amp;qIta=99502056&amp;qPSt=0&amp;qRRSrt=rt&amp;qRef=df&amp;qRms=1&amp;qRpn=1&amp;qRpp=20&amp;qRtP=IXQ7R&amp;qSHp=1&amp;qSmP=3&amp;qSrt=sBR&amp;qWch=0&amp;srb_u=1&amp;icdv=99502056" target="_blank">Reserve Here for Diocesan Assembly Discount at Holiday Inn Express</a>:</p> <p>After the dates are entered into the "check for availability" screen, Diocese of Alaska will be displayed in the rate preference box. This is a base rate of $80 per night, per room.</p> <p>If you are unable to reserve your room online, you may contact the hotel directly at: (907) 248-8848, just tell them you need the Diocese of Alaska rate.</p> <p>Please share this information with all of your assigned parishes.</p> <p>If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.</p> <p>In Christ,</p> <p>Pamela DiLullo<br />Administrative Assistant<br />Diocese of Alaska</p> <p>Office Phone: (907) 677-0224<br />Office Fax: (907) 677-0646<br />Email: doakinfo@gmail.com</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_161018_1.html 2016 Clergy Wives and Family Life Retreat http://doaoca.org/news_160415_1.html Fri, 15 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <p>Download the <a href="/files/pdf/2016-Matushki-Retreat.pdf" target="_blank">brochure</a>.</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_160415_1.html Paschal Message in Yup'ik http://doaoca.org/news_160430_2.html Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <p><strong>Lazarus-aamek Paaskaamun Uterrluni-llu </strong></p> <p>Orthodox-aartarmi Agayuvigmi, Yagpak nanglartuq Tallimiritmi Holy Week-aq ayagnirpailgan.&nbsp; Holy Week-am agayuyarai ayagnilartut Bridegroom Matins-mek Agayunrem atakuani.&nbsp; Akunliigni ukuk I-yiim&nbsp; Holy Week-am-llu cakviurnarqellra &nbsp;ellma qacigartelartuq. &nbsp;Ukuk malruk erenreq &nbsp;waten ap&rsquo;laragka &ldquo;Mernuinercirvia Neryuniurutem&rdquo;.&nbsp; Maqinermi umyuaqelararput makcecimallra Lazarus-aam qungugnek tekitevkarluta Uqviayarmun.&nbsp; Una nallunailkutnguuq agiirtellra Kristuss-aam unguillran nasvallra piliaminun piningqerucini tuqmalriit makcecugngaluki.&nbsp; Qungugnek Ellminek makpailegmi, yugnikekni maktaa qunguanek; Lazarus-aaq ataam tuqunqigtarkaungermi uitaqerciquq nallunairciqluku Kristuss-aam unguillra tuqumalrianek.</p> <p>Kristuss-aam unguillra tuqumalrianek taqevkaraa umyuaqellra tuqum iquuluku yuucimtenun.&nbsp; Alikenrirnarqaput tuqu amiigi-llu tuunraam nuniin tua-i piunriaki Kristuussam.&nbsp; Qunguut tangernarqenritaput alingnarqellriaruluki, tua-i cimiumiin mernuinercirviurrluku imkunun kenkilrianek Agayutmek utaqaluku-llu utertellerkaa.&nbsp; Holy Friday-mi atullrukut, &ldquo;Imairaten tamalkuita Tuunraam nuniin nengutai.&rdquo;&nbsp; Cali Holy Saturday-mi atullrukut, &ldquo;Tuunraam nunii yuuniarauq qanerluni, &lsquo;Imkut pinimkun igellrenka miryaranka.&nbsp; Imum ussukcausngallrem imairai qunguut.&nbsp; Pinia tuqum piunriumauq.&rsquo;&rdquo;&nbsp; Lazarus-aamek ayagniumalleq qaqicimauq Kristuussami Paaskaami cali waniwa ucurnaqluni cikiutngurtuq imkunun utaqalgilrianun Aipiriluni Tekitenqigtellerkaanun.&nbsp; Ayagtukut Lazarus-aam Maqinranek Paaskaamun, uterrluta-llu imkut pitekluki kenkekngaput Kristuussami cali tengrumtenek cikirluki atuusqelluku Paaskaaq wangkuciicetun. &ldquo;Kristuussaq unguirtuq cali tuunraam nunii anagtaurtuq&rdquo;, qanertuq St. John Chrysostom-aaq Paaskaami qanerturallermini.</p> <p>Tamamta tamarillrukut mallgeskemtenek kenkakun.&nbsp; Wall&rsquo;u-qaa aipaqliaput, Atavut wall&rsquo;u Aanavut, nakmiin anelgutput wall&rsquo;u yugnikekvut. &nbsp;Nallunrilkumteggu Paaskaaq nallunriciiqerput nakmiin Mernuinercirvigput Neryuniurutmek, tekitelaqput allrakuaqan mat&rsquo;um nalliini. Kenkuyutvut nutarcimalartuq Agayutem caliarakun wangkuta pitekluta, cali nutartela&rsquo;araa neryuniurutvut taumi ataucimi ernermi, tauten Lazarus-aatun, qungunek maketnaurtut, wangkuta-llu nayurrlainarluta Nutarami Erenrani Kristuss-aam Unguillrani tuani naullunartailngurmi wall&rsquo;u qiaculngunailngurmi, taugaam kiingan unguvamek nangyuilngurmek.</p> <p>Piicauteka&rsquo;aqa cikiumasqelluci matumi Tanqilriami Paaskaami nutarcimalriamek neryuniurutmek nangnermek angnirnarqellriamek unguvam piunrullerkaanek tuqumi, &nbsp;yuullerkamek tuqunanrirluta&nbsp; cali iquklitarkat ataam ayagniutngusqelluki. &nbsp;Unguilleq Kristuss-aaq piuli elpecenun kangiurlluni tamalkuan tanqigmun cali unguvamun, neryuniurutmun cali angnimun, tekitellerkaa engelekluku taum Angelriim Erenrem ertellerkaa tamalkuitnun yugnun.</p> <p>Kristuussaq unguirtuq!&nbsp; Ilumun unguirtuq!</p> <p>Pisteci Pistengulriani,</p> <p>+ David, Allgiliyaulria Sitka-mi cali Alaska-mi</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_160430_2.html Outreach Alaska announces 2016 Spiritual Travel – Walk the Path of the Saints. Taking reservations now! http://doaoca.org/news_160407_1.html Thu, 07 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <p>Download the <a href="/files/Pilgrimages/2016---Spiritual-Travel-Flyer---Alaska.pdf" target="_blank">brochure</a>.</p> <p>Download the <a href="/files/Pilgrimages/2016---Spiritual-Travel-Itinerary---Alaska.pdf" target="_blank">itinerary</a>.</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_160407_1.html Pan-Orthodox Lenten Vespers http://doaoca.org/news_160329_1.html Tue, 29 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <div id="SM_paragraph_l1_container"> <div id="SM_paragraph_l1_txt"> <div class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT" align="left"><br /> <p style="line-height: 120%; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">- Sunday of St. John Climacus </span></p> <p style="line-height: 120%; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; - St. Tikhon Church &ndash; Anchorage &ndash; 6p</span></p> <p style="line-height: 120%; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 120%; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">- Sunday of St. Mary </span></p> <p style="line-height: 120%; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; - St. Innocent Cathedral &ndash; Anchorage &ndash; 5p</span></p> </div> </div> </div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_160329_1.html 2013 Napaskiak Matushki Retreat http://doaoca.org/news_130909_2.html Thu, 04 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/Napaskiak/IMG_0361-2.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Archimandrite David [Mahaffey], Chancellor and Administrator of the Diocese of Alaska, was the keynote speaker at a lenten retreat for clergy wives of the Kuskokwim and Yukon Deaneries at Saint James Church, Napaskiak, AK April 6-7, 2013.</p><p>A widower, Father David shared stories from his life with his late wife, Matushka Karen, and spoke on &ldquo;Famous Mothers in the Bible.&rdquo;&nbsp; Welcoming the many participants were Priest Vasily Fisher, rector, and Archpriest Phillip Alexie, Dean of the Kuskokwim Deanery.</p><p>The gathering also provided an opportunity for Father David to meet with Deanery clergy.</p><p><a href="http://doaoca.orthodoxws.com/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=3">View Slide Show</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_130909_2.html 43rd Annual Saint Herman Pilgrimage http://doaoca.org/news_130909_6.html Fri, 09 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/Kodiak%20Deanery/EarthView-PILGRIMAGE.jpg&archive=0&final_h=69&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>On August 7-9, 2013 the clergy and faithful joined His Beatitude Metropolitan TIKHON in Kodiak, for the 43rd St. Herman of Alaska Pilgrimage.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_130909_6.html 2013 Yukon Conference http://doaoca.org/news_130909_3.html Sun, 01 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/Yukon%20Deanery/stmichaels_marshall.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><h2><span style="font-size: small;">Archimandrite David joined the Yukon clergy and faithful for the 2013 Yukon Conference.</span></h2></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_130909_3.html Feastday in Kenai http://doaoca.org/news_130909_1.html Sun, 01 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/kenai/kenai_feast.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Archimandrite David visits Holy Assumption Church in Kenai for their Feastday. Pictured with him are Archpriest Thomas Andrew (rector), Archpriest Michael Trefon and Monk Silouan.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_130909_1.html Ethics within an Orthodox Worldview http://www.sthermanseminary.org Wed, 02 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Parishes/sthermanseminary.jpg&archive=0&final_h=269&final_w=374&percent=100"><p>From Oct. 7th - Nov. 11th, St. Herman Seminary will be offering a course on Ethics within an Orthodox Worldview. Archimandrite David will be in residence to offer this course which will be held as evening sessions. In addition to seminarians, the class is open to the community for those who wish to audit it. More information can be found at: <a href="http://www.sthermanseminary.org">www.sthermanseminary.org</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://www.sthermanseminary.org Liturgical Resources Page http://doaoca.org/news_131003_1.html Wed, 02 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/YupikTrisagion.jpg&archive=0&final_h=90&final_w=69&percent=100"><p>Today we added the Resources link that will provide liturgical resources for use throughout the diocese. Sunday typicon rubrics, various services and other helpful information will be provided including sheet music pdf files to download and print and audio recordings from around the diocese.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131003_1.html Centuries-Old Bell Returns to Kodiak Island http://doaoca.org/news_131010_1.html Wed, 09 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013/Historic%20Bell/kodiak-bell.jpg&archive=0&final_h=60&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><em>Kodiak Island</em><em>, Alaska - October, 2013 - </em>A Russian Orthodox Bell has been returned to Alaska after more than a century and a half in Southern California. On October 1, 2013, Alaska Airlines graciously delivered a bell known as the San Fernando Bell to the Holy Resurrection Cathedral on Kodiak Island. Until recently, said bell had been under the care of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and housed at the Mission of San Fernando Rey de Espa&ntilde;a It has since been repatriated by the Catholic Church and Catholic Natives to the Native Orthodox of Alaska as a sign of friendship and unity.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131010_1.html 2013 Diocesan Assembly http://doaoca.org/news_131024_2.html Sun, 20 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013/Assembly/Photo-Oct-24-10-46-33-AM.jpg&archive=0&final_h=60&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>On October 17-19, 2013 the clergy and faithful gathered at St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage for the annual Diocesan Assembly. His Emminence Archbishop Benjamin formally announced to the gathering the election of Archimandrite David as Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska. This news was received enthusiastically by the clergy and faithful and a consecration date in late February 2014 is being planned with the consecration taking place in Anchorage and the installation in Sitka.</p><p>In addition to the administrative business at the meeting, highlights included; Archpriest Philip Alexie being honored by his fellow deanery clergy for his many years of service as dean in the Kuskowim deanery. Fr. Leo Walsh joined the assembly representing the Roman Catholic church and his Eminence expressed gratitude at the return of the historic bell to Kodiak.</p><p><a href="http://www.doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=12">View Slide Show</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131024_2.html Seminary Appeal http://doaoca.org/news_131025_2.html Mon, 21 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Parishes/AllSaintsChapel.jpg&archive=0&final_h=60&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>From the Orthodox Church in America:</p><p>In a letter dated October 18, 2013, the deans and administrators of the Orthodox Church in America&rsquo;s three seminaries invite the faithful of all parishes to embrace fully a resolution passed at the 2011 All-American Council calling for a consistent approach to the schools&rsquo; financial support.&nbsp;</p><p>Download the <a href="http://oca.org/PDF/NEWS/2013/2013-1021-seminary%20appeal101913.pdf">PDF letter here</a>.</p><p><a href="http://oca.org/news/headline-news/seminary-deans-administrators-issue-appeal-to-parishes" target="_blank">View the article</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131025_2.html Deadliest Catch Fleet Blessing http://doaoca.org/news_131030_3.html Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/aleutian/deadliestcatch_blessing.jpg&archive=0&final_h=59&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>For ten years viewers have followed the hard lives of Bering Sea crab fishermen on the Discovery Channel's series The Deadliest Catch. Producers contacted Priest Evon Bereskin, rector of Holy Ascension Cathedral in Unalaska, this year for permission to film him blessing the fleet. Fr. Evon had the opportunity to interact with a number of skippers and crew members. The blessing will be included in the shows tenth season.</p><p><a href="http://www.doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=13">View Slide Show</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131030_3.html Roof work on St. Nicholas Rectory ~ Juneau http://doaoca.org/news_131103_1.html Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013/juneau/juneau_rectory.jpg&archive=0&final_h=59&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>A beautiful new roof is nearly complete on the rectory of St. Nicholas Church thanks to ROSSIA securing a Rasmuson Foundation grant for the restoration costs. Despite the rain, Juneau contractors have worked diligently to finish the work before the severe winter weather sets in.</p><p><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=17">View Slideshow</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131103_1.html St. Juvenaly Orthodox Mission UPDATE ~ Walls are up! http://doaoca.org/news_131002_1.html Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013/stjuvenaly_mission/wall-4.jpg&archive=0&final_h=60&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Construction on the new church in Wasilla, St. Juvenaly and&nbsp; His Companion Orthodox Church, has begun.&nbsp; It&nbsp;is located at 962 S. Hyer Rd.&nbsp; Through the prayers of the faithful we will have it dried in with heat before the snow gets deep.</p><p>Take advantage of the mild start of winter has allowed construction to progress well into the Fall Season.</p><p>Latest Progress: Walls have been raised!</p><p>For updates and to donate to the cause please visit: <a title="http://www.stjuvenalywasilla.org/" href="http://www.stjuvenalywasilla.org/" target="_blank">http://www.stjuvenalywasilla.org/</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131002_1.html Traffic stopped in Sitka for Inspection of the Dome http://doaoca.org/news_131030_2.html Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/2013_sitka-dome.jpg&archive=0&final_h=59&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Archpriest Michael Boyle reports from Sitka that traffic was interrupted for two hours on a recent Fall afternoon in south east Alaska. This is a time of year when parishes around the state are doing last minute weatherization projects in anticipation of the long winter months ahead when outdoor work becomes very challenging.<br /><br />Traffic had to be disrupted (the Cathedral is built literally in the middle of the road) as onlookers watched the St. Michael's Cathedral dome in Sitka getting a much needed inspection. A possible leak source was patched and a plan was hatched to kill off the moss on the exterior of the roof. Some surface rust issues will be addressed too and further inspections to insure the longevity of the structure.<br /><br />Alaska is a land of extremes which is evident in the amount of upkeep each parish in Alaska has to maintain.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131030_2.html Alaska Sister Cities http://doaoca.org/news_131110_1.html Sun, 10 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/anchorage/sistercity.jpg&archive=0&final_h=59&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Bishop-elect Archimandrite David and Sheri Buretta, President of the Chugach Corp. at the Alaska Sister Cities "Celebration of our Asian Sister Cities" event held at the Alaska Heritage Museum in Anchorage <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1657938586"><span class="aQJ">on Wednesday</span></span> evening, November 6th. &nbsp;Sheri is the Commissioner for Magadan, Russia. &nbsp;The evening featured entertainment, food and an auction to raise money for the ASCC.</p><p>Magadan is celebrating 75 years this summer on July 18, 2014 and Sheri is gathering a delegation from Anchorage to attend the festivities.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131110_1.html Kenai Outbuilding Progressing with ROSSIA http://doaoca.org/news_131111_1.html Sun, 10 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/kenai/kenai_groundbreaking01.jpg&archive=0&final_h=50&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>After helping secure grants for the construction of an outbuilding at Holy Assumption Church in Kenai, Grant Crosby spent sometime inspecting the ongoing work.</p><p><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=18" target="_blank">View Slideshow</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131111_1.html Prayers for Archpriest Macarius Targonsky http://doaoca.org/news_131119_1.html Mon, 18 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/targonsky.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>A Holy Unction service was served at the bedside of Archpriest Macarius Targonsky on Sunday, Nov. 17th. Bishop-elect David with, Frs. John Zabinko, Michael Trefon, Thomas Andrew went to the Central Peninsula General Hospital and served the Mystery of Holy Unction for Fr Macarius. &nbsp;Matushki Taisia Andrew and Dolly Trefon also helped to sing the service. Fr. Macarius has been having health issues for some time now and we felt the prayers would help. Please keep Fr. Macarius in your prayers.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131119_1.html Memory Eternal ~ Reader Herman Squartsoff http://doaoca.org/news_131210_1.html Tue, 10 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/rdr_herman_memory.jpg&archive=0&final_h=34&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We greet the departure from this life of Reader Herman Squartsoff with a profound sense of loss, but also with deep gratitude for his life and ministry.&nbsp; Working with Reader Herman for close to eighteen years as &ldquo;his priest&rdquo; (as he called me, unworthy as I am) has been an honor and true blessing. We shared many joys and sorrows together from burying village elders to baptizing babies and joyfully celebrating our Lord&rsquo;s Holy Resurrection&mdash;followed by delicious duck soup.&nbsp; He was always a warm and generous host in the village and we spent a lot of time together around the kitchen table.&nbsp;&nbsp; Reader Herman was probably the most generous man I have ever met.&nbsp; He would literally give you the shirt off his back if you needed it: &ldquo;Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.&rdquo; (Mt. 5:42) He would often give hundred dollar bills to unsuspecting seminarians with children.&nbsp; He would take village students on welcome fishing trips and hunting expeditions to get a breather from the big city life of Kodiak.&nbsp;</p><p>He was a friend and confidante but also a true mentor, teaching a young, newly-ordained priest about Christ and the traditions of village Alaska.&nbsp; He was a fantastic teacher who could introduce a new world and way of life not by complicated words but by being a living example of what is Good, True and Beautiful.&nbsp; He taught me as a novice priest, but also was a good father to his children.&nbsp; Whenever I found myself in struggles and difficulties he would help and encourage me like a father or older brother.&nbsp; We served our first funeral together on Afognak Island for a long lost man whose bones had been discovered by an archaeologist.&nbsp; We served Divine Liturgy one Ascension in the sunny and peaceful forests of Monk&rsquo;s Lagoon with a sizeable number of villagers.&nbsp; Some years, he would serve the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete virtually alone in the Church.&nbsp; Last year we did not serve together for Holy Week and Pascha, because he served in the priestless village of Karluk, so that they to could experience the joy of Our Lord&rsquo;s Resurrection.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://doaoca.org/images/2013%20Events/Kodiak%20Deanery/rdr_herman_memory_full.jpg" target="_blank"><img title="Memory Eternal ~ Reader Herman Squartsoff" src="http://doaoca.org/files/rdr_herman_memory2.jpg" alt="Reader Herman with Pilgrims in Monks Lagoon" width="336" height="170" /></a></p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Herman came from an Orthodox family from Spruce Island.&nbsp; He could date his Russian-Alutiiq family back to St. Herman&rsquo;s time on the island. &nbsp;&nbsp;His father was the Starosta for Nativity of Our Lord Church, which he served his whole life.&nbsp; Herman was raised in the Orthodox faith by pious parents.&nbsp; Herman was reader in Ouzinkie following the death of the ever-memorable Ilarion Ellanak who taught Herman the order of services.&nbsp; Herman felt himself to be the caretaker of the traditions of these elders, but also knew how important is to pass the Orthodox faith to the new generation.&nbsp; Herman knew he lived in a holy place blessed by St. Herman, but also a place that experienced particular struggles and spiritual temptations.&nbsp; He attended St Herman Seminary where he learned more about services and the Orthodox Faith, and after two years of studies remained another year as seminary cook.&nbsp;</p><p>Not only was Reader Herman a man of God, but also a traditional village man.&nbsp; He was a skillful hunter and fisherman.&nbsp; From sun up to sun down he led an active, purpose-filled subsistence lifestyle rooted in prayer.&nbsp; He chopped wood, smoked fish, shot rifles, captured octopi, baked pirog, collected birds&rsquo; eggs from remote islands, drove skiffs and mended fishing nets.&nbsp;&nbsp; His days, months and years followed the traditional rhythms of the liturgical year and hunting and fishing cycle.&nbsp; He sat on the Native Corporation Board and ran a charter business.&nbsp; He was good at all these things, but his first love was Christ and His Church.&nbsp; He was well aware of his spiritual struggles and imperfections.&nbsp;&nbsp; Many times he exhibited profound repentance.</p><p><a href="http://doaoca.org/images/2013%20Events/Kodiak%20Deanery/rdr_herman_memory_full3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://doaoca.org/files/rdr_herman_memory3.jpg" alt="Reader Herman with Pilgrims in Monks Lagoon" width="420" height="280" /></a></p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Reader Herman&rsquo;s deep concern was for the future of the Church and his village.&nbsp; Like St. Herman of Alaska, he was not afraid to bluntly speak difficult truths if it would help his people or the Church.&nbsp; He was not always popular because he would stubbornly stand for Christ and the Church in the face of growing apathy, greed and secularization. He would often quote the frightening words from St. Matthews Gospel: &ldquo;And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.&rdquo; (Mt. 24:12)&nbsp; He felt that Orthodox Christianity should stand at the heart of the community. When he was village health aide, he placed icons in all the village clinic&rsquo;s rooms.&nbsp;&nbsp; Together we anointed and blessed the newly constructed Ouzinkie Native Corporation building.&nbsp; Herman taught that Christ should be everywhere throughout the community&mdash;He is not bound by the four walls of the church structure.&nbsp; He felt we need to bring Christ into our everyday lives and not act like &ldquo;Sunday Only&rdquo; Christians.&nbsp; He deeply believed we need to transmit Christ and the Orthodox faith to our youth.&nbsp;&nbsp; Jesus Christ is the same &ldquo;yesterday, today and forever,&rdquo; (Heb. 13:8) and to be faithful to our past we must give to future generations.&nbsp; He helped start the village&rsquo;s St. Peter the Aleut Youth Camp for this very purpose.&nbsp; He wanted to make sure the village never drifted from its Orthodox Christian roots.&nbsp; He wanted to make sure future generations would enjoy the blessings of the subsistence lifestyle that he, his parents and grandparents had enjoyed.</p><p><a href="http://doaoca.org/images/2013%20Events/Kodiak%20Deanery/rdr_herman_memory_full4.jpg"><img src="http://doaoca.org/files/rdr_herman_memory4.jpg" alt="Reader Herman with Pilgrims in Monks Lagoon" width="420" height="280" /></a></p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Christ said the words, &ldquo;Well done good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.&nbsp; Enter into the joy of your Lord.&rdquo;&nbsp; (Mt. 25:23) I believe Herman was a good and faithful servant who taught us by his words and deeds to love God and our neighbors.&nbsp; He taught not by complicated words and phrases, but by faith and generosity rooted in prayer and the Church&rsquo;s liturgical and spiritual life.&nbsp; We pray that now he is rejoicing in Christ&rsquo;s Kingdom with his beloved St. Herman and all the saints.&nbsp; May his memory be eternal!</p><p>Archpriest John Dunlop</p><p>Dean ~ Saint Herman Seminary</p><p>Kodiak, Alaska</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131210_1.html Holy Assumption Church Adds New Building http://doaoca.org/news_131216_1.html Mon, 16 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/kenai/New-Outbuilding-October-2013.JPG&archive=0&final_h=60&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Thanks to Kenai&rsquo;s legislative team, State Senator Peter Micciche, Representative Kurt Olsen, and House Speaker Mike Chenault, $230,000 was appropriated for the construction of a new mechanical outbuilding next to the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church and National Historic Landmark in Kenai.&nbsp;&nbsp; In addition, the Rasmuson Foundation approved $98,500 to assist with the fire suppression system, sidewalks, and landscaping for the new construction.<br /><br />This new building houses heating components for the church and a state-of-the-art fire suppression misting system designed to protect the historic icons and artifacts in Kenai&rsquo;s National Historic Landmark, as well as a restroom, something the church has lacked, and a gift shop. <br /><br />Construction of the outbuilding began this summer, and Blazy Construction is currently painting the interior and adding all the finishing touches. Completed work-to-date includes design, excavation, sidewalks, foundation, roofing, wall framing, rough in for the fire suppression system, electrical, and drywall. <br /><br />We are so pleased that the work toward the church&rsquo;s restoration is continuing with the help of ROSSIA (Russian Orthodox Sacred Sites in Alaska), the State of Alaska, the Rasmuson Foundation, and the long-term support of our partner, the National Park Service.&nbsp; A special thanks goes to Grant Crosby, National Park Service Senior Historical Architect, who has kept this historic restoration project moving forward.<br /><br />The Holy Assumption parish and ROSSIA are planning to host a ribbon cutting ceremony Spring 2014 when the building has been completed.<br /><br />Dorothy Gray, Secretary<br />Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church Council</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131216_1.html Nushagak Deanery Conference http://doaoca.org/news_131216_2.html Mon, 16 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2013%20Events/Nishigak%20Deanery/photo.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Pictured with Bishop-elect David are:&nbsp; Fr. Alexie Askoak , Dean and host, Fr . David Askoak from Illiamna Deanery, Fr. Ivan Gumlikpuk of Koliganek, Fr James Gust of New Stuyahok, and Fr Michael Nicolai from Dillingham.&nbsp; Akathist was served Friday night and Liturgy with commemoration of the departed on Saturday. Vespers Saturday evening and Liturgy Sunday morning highlighted a full weekend of services.Talks with adult and children were held all weekend, ending with a lively Q &amp; A Sunday Afternoon.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_131216_2.html Consecration News http://doaoca.org/news_140102_2.html Wed, 01 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <p>The Deadline is January 15, 2014 to reserve your space at the Consecration Banquet and also if you would like to contribute to the commemorative book. Please use the links below for more information and the links to the right to make reservations.</p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/Anchorage-and-Sitka-Schedule.pdf" target="_blank">Consecration Schedule of Events</a></p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/Letter-of-Invitation-Concecration.pdf" target="_blank">Consecration Invitation Letter</a></p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/Commemorative-Book-Letter.pdf" target="_blank">Commemorative Book</a></p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/HOTELS-WITH-SPECIAL-RATES.pdf" target="_blank">Hotel Information</a>&nbsp;- UPDATED</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140102_2.html Consecration of Bishop DAVID http://doaoca.org/news_140306_2.html Fri, 21 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/Consecration/IMG_9780.JPG&archive=0&final_h=60&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Faithful from parishes and villages across Alaska and the dioceses of the Orthodox Church in America began arriving early at the spacious Saint Innocent Cathedral here on the morning of Friday, February 21, 2014 for the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, during which Bishop-Elect David [Mahaffey] was consecrated to the episcopacy as Bishop of Sitka and Alaska.<br /><br />Over forty priests and deacons joined His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin; His Grace, Bishop Michael; His Grace, Bishop Ireneu; and His Grace, Bishop Ir&eacute;n&eacute;e in welcoming His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon at the cathedral entrance.&nbsp; Joining them were the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, Archpriest John Jillions and the Chancellor of the Diocese of Alaska, Archpriest Victor Nick.<br /><br />Also present were Bishop-Elect David&rsquo;s children, their spouses, and his granddaughter.<br /><br />At the outset of the Liturgy, Father Jillions and Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov brought Bishop-Elect David before Metropolitan Tikhon and the bishops, seated in the center of the cathedral, where he read the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, followed by a detailed explanation of the Church&rsquo;s Trinitarian and Christological doctrines.&nbsp; He then read his personal commitment to uphold the Church&rsquo;s canons and the teachings of the Holy Fathers and to preserve unity with his brother bishops.<br /><br />Referencing 2 Timothy 2:24-25, Bishop-Elect David proclaimed, &ldquo;I will deal with the opponents of the Holy Church reasonably, uprightly and gently, as taught by the Apostle Paul, &lsquo;for the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome, but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness.&nbsp; God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth.&rsquo;&nbsp; I promise to visit and watch over the flock which is now entrusted to me after the manner of the Apostles, so that they remain true to the Faith and true in the performance of good works.&nbsp; I will show special concern for the priests.&nbsp; I promise to inspect with diligence, to exhort and to restrain, in order that schisms, superstitions and unholy venerations and customs contrary to Christian teaching of piety and good morals may not arise or injure the Christian way of life.&rdquo;<br /><br />During the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon placed the open Gospel Book over Bishop-Elect David&rsquo;s head as all five consecrating bishops place their hands upon it.&nbsp; The Metropolitan then proclaimed, &ldquo;By the election and approbation of all the Venerable Bishops of the Holy Synod, the Grace Divine, which always heals that which is infirm and fulfills that which is lacking through the Laying-on-of-Hands, elevates you, most belov&egrave;d of God, Archimandrite David, to be the Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, which enjoys the protection of Almighty God&hellip;.&nbsp; O Lord our God Who, in that it is impossible for the nature of man to endure the Essence of the Godhead, in Thy Providence hast provided for us teachers of like nature with ourselves to maintain Thine Altar, that they may offer to Thee sacrifice and oblations for all Thy People.&nbsp; O Lord, make this man also, who has been proclaimed a steward of the Episcopal Grace, to be an imitator of Thee, Who art the True Shepherd, Who laid down Thy Life for Thy sheep.&nbsp; Grant that he will be a leader of the blind, a light to those in darkness, a reprover of the unwise, a teacher of the young, a lamp to the world.&nbsp; Grant also that he, having perfected the souls entrusted to him in this present life, may stand unashamed before Thy Throne, and that he may receive the great reward which Thou hast prepared for those who have fought with valor for the preaching of the Gospel.&rdquo;<br /><br />During the Divine Liturgy, Bishop David ordained Deacon Symeon Askoak to the priesthood. Newly ordained Father Symeon is from the village of Russian Mission and will be completing his studies at Saint Herman Seminary in May.<br /><br />At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon and the consecrating bishops, along with the clergy and faithful, venerated the Cross and greeted His Grace, Bishop David.&nbsp; The cathedral thundered with the singing of &ldquo;Many years, O Master,&rdquo; after which the clergy and faithful joyously sang traditional hymns in Yupik and Slavonic until everyone had the opportunity to receive Bishop David&rsquo;s blessing and offer their personal congratulations.<br /><br />Metropolitan Tikhon delivered the homily and offered an exhortation to Bishop David as he presented the newly consecrated bishop with the archpastoral staff.&nbsp; The texts of his homily and exhortation appear in their entirety below.<br /><br />The Consecration Liturgy was streamed live on the OCA web site.<br /><br />A photo gallery of the Divine Liturgy may be found on the OCA web site and Facebook page. Updates and additional galleries will be posted as they are received.<br />Metropolitan Tikhon&rsquo;s Homily at the Consecration Divine Liturgy<br /><br />In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.<br /><br />My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is a day of great rejoicing for the Diocese of Alaska as we gather in this sacred Cathedral of Saint Innocent to participate in and witness the ordination of the Right Reverend David as the new Bishop for this diocese, the Mother Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America&mdash;the diocese which guards the relics, the teachings and the examples of so many of the inspired and great saints of North America.<br /><br />On this day, we commemorate the leavetaking of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, the Great Feast of the Church in which we honor both the Mother of God, whose womb was sanctified by the birth of her Son, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself Who, as we sing, &ldquo;has now come to save us through love.&rdquo;<br /><br />At the same time, having entered into the period of the Lenten Triodion, we find ourselves in that time of the Church&rsquo;s liturgical calendar during which we prepare ourselves to enter the season of Great Lent. As happens each year, the appointed scripture readings for the days preceding the Sunday of Forgiveness take us through the Gospel account of the Passion and Death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.<br /><br />And so, in today&rsquo;s Gospel reading, we have walked with our Lord to Golgotha, the place of a skull, where He was given wine mingled with myrrh to drink, where His garments were divided and lots cast, where He was crucified on the Cross and where, after having cried out with a loud voice, He breathed His last.<br /><br />So we have today both a reminder of the Passion and Death of Christ and an expression of His divine love, through which He has saved us. This is indeed fitting for this day in the life of the Diocese of Alaska and in the life of the newly ordained Bishop David because, as we know so well and as we sing so often in the Church, &ldquo;through the Cross joy has come into all the world.&rdquo;&nbsp; Today, Bishop David and the clergy and faithful of this diocese receive the joy of the fullness of the Church: a bishop elected and appointed to be the Archpastor and High Priest to safeguard the unity, identity, integrity, unanimity, continuity, solidarity and harmony of the churches of this diocese.<br /><br />This same joy was manifest in the amazement of the Centurion who, when he saw the manner in which the Lord died, said, &ldquo;truly this Man was the Son of God!&rdquo;&nbsp; This same joy was contained within the hearts of the women who stood, looking on from afar, wondering about that to which their following of and ministering to the Lord had led them. Their particular joy of each of these may have been hidden, buried under the immediate sorrow that seemed to overwhelm them, their eyes veiled to the truth that &ldquo;through the Cross, joy has come into all the world.&rdquo;<br /><br />And yet the joy of the Lord was present in them, waiting to be released by the news of the third day Resurrection which would make clear to them that their Paschal joy was made possible through the pain and sorrow of the Cross. The intimate connection between the Cross and joy works both ways: Joy preserves us in the midst of the sorrow and temptations of life, while the Cross preserves our sobriety when we are filled with joy.<br /><br />And so it is today, on this day of the Consecration of Bishop David, on this day in which the Diocese of Alaska receives a new shepherd, a new father, that our joy is also made stronger by the remembrance of the Cross and Death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through which life and resurrection have been given to all of us.<br /><br />How do we preserve the Cross and the joy of the Resurrection in a healthy balance? The Apostle John, in his second epistle which we heard today, writes to &ldquo;the elect lady and her children&rdquo; and reminds her, even pleads with her, as he reminds us and pleads with us not as though he wrote a new commandment, but &ldquo;that which we had from the beginning: that we love one another.&rdquo;<br /><br />To preserve the joy of the Lord, to remain in the Truth of the Gospel, to give thanks for the unity and integrity of our local diocese, we need to love one another. This is a love that is simple, yet is based on our faithful and constant adherence to the commandments of Christ: &ldquo;This is love, that we walk according to His Commandments.&nbsp; This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.&nbsp; Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.&nbsp; He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.&rdquo;<br /><br />It is the Bishop who, above all, is given this sacred task of guiding his flock to abide in the doctrine of Christ and to preserve the Truth of this doctrine through love, just as Saint John &ldquo;loves in truth&rdquo; the elect lady to whom he addresses his epistle. The Bishop offers his love to his clergy and his flock, just as he is supported by their prayers and their love for him.<br /><br />The joy we feel today should be an inspiration for all of us, an inspiration to bear with courage the crosses that are placed upon us, to love one another and, as Saint Herman so piercingly reminds us, to love God above all every day, every hour and every minute.<br /><br />May our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is going to His voluntary Passion in the flesh, strengthen us, encourage us and fill us with His love, so that we may walk with Him to the light of the Resurrection, the joy of life eternal, and the glory of the heavenly Kingdom.&nbsp; Amen.<br />Metropolitan Tikhon&rsquo;s Exhortation to the newly consecrated Bishop David<br /><br />It is a great blessing for all of us to be gathered here, from near and far, for this joyous event, to have served with so many clergy from the Diocese of Alaska, together with the faithful of the region, and to welcome the clergy and faithful of many of the dioceses of the Orthodox Church in America and other jurisdictions.<br /><br />I am grateful to the members of the Holy Synod who have concelebrated with us today: His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey; His Grace, Bishop Ir&eacute;n&eacute;e of Quebec City, Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada; and His Grace, Bishop Ireneu, of Dearborn Heights.<br /><br />Especially, I would like to express, on behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops, their sincere thanks to His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, who has labored sacrificially and with great love for the clergy and people of Alaska during his time as Locum Tenens. I am sure that I speak for all the clergy and the faithful in expressing the deep appreciation for his willingness to serve, to bring the diocese to a place of stability and solidity, to a place where today&rsquo;s event, the Consecration of a new father and Archpastor, Bishop David, was made possible.<br /><br />To His Grace, the newly consecrated Bishop David, I offer these few words on behalf of the Holy Synod and all the clergy, monastics and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America: I wholeheartedly congratulate you on your consecration and enthronement as the ruling Bishop of the See of Sitka, and the Diocese of Alaska.<br /><br />Through the mystery of the All-Holy Spirit and the laying on of hands, our Lord has bestowed on Your Grace the apostolic grace to strengthen you in your Episcopal labors. Your election and consecration come at a time when the faithful of Alaska are in great need of a good pastor and capable shepherd who knows his people, and is known by them.<br /><br />There is much to do in this land, which received the Word of our God through the great missionary saints Innocent and Herman, and their companions, and through the sacrificial examples of the martyrs who shed their blood in this land. Chief amongst your concerns must be the training of young men and women who will become the future of the Orthodox Church here in Alaska, so that the love and missionary zeal of the entire Church may be kindled anew.<br /><br />My dear brother, I pray that Our Lord will grant you good health and the plentitude of spiritual gifts so that you may, in peace and love, nourish the People of God and be a witness to all who are searching and seeking for the Truth as offered by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.&nbsp; From my heart I wish you inexhaustible energy, peace and joy as you undertake this awesome ministry as a Bishop of Christ&rsquo;s Church.<br /><br />To the clergy, especially the newly-ordained Priest Symeon, we offer our congratulations and deep gratitude for the great number of you who have come here today to serve with us and to participate in this great event. I exhort you to prayerfully and lovingly offer your love, support and encouragement to your new Archpastor, and to learn from him as he leads you and guides you in your pastoral ministries.<br /><br />To the faithful of the diocese, I also ask you to offer your prayers for Bishop David, so that his ministry might truly bear fruit a hundredfold and that he, working together with all his clergy, may lead all of you in the direction of the heavenly Kingdom and into the glory of God.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140306_2.html Bishop DAVID interview in the Daily Sitka Sentinel http://doaoca.org/news_140223_1.html Sat, 22 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Consecration/newbishopws.jpg&archive=0&final_h=90&final_w=63&percent=100"><p style="text-align: left;"><em><strong>Sterry David Mahaffey Jr. in St. Michael's Cathedral. (Sentinel Photo)</strong></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Article by Shannon Haugland of the Daily Sitka Sentinel</p> <p style="text-align: left;">February, 22, 2014</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp; The incoming Orthodox bishop for Sitka and all Alaska says he barely noticed the 15 below zero weather on his first visit to the Kuskokwim Delta from his home in the eastern U.S.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;Even though it was really cold, I didn&rsquo;t notice it so much because the people were so warm,&rdquo; said Sterry David Mahaffey Jr. &ldquo;There was a warmth in the church that cold weather wouldn&rsquo;t drive away. ... I thought, &lsquo;Wow. This is really different.&rsquo;&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey, 61, will be installed <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928714"><span class="aQJ">Sunday</span></span> as Bishop for the Diocese of Sitka and all Alaska in a ceremony that will draw the hierarchy in the Orthodox Church in America. They include Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada; Archbishop Benjamin, Archbishop of San Francisco and the West; Bishop Michael, Bishop of New York and New Jersey; Bishop Irineu, Bishop of Dearborn; and Bishop Irenee of Quebec City.</p> <div style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The celebration begins with vespers at <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928715"><span class="aQJ">6 p.m. Saturday</span></span> at St. Michael&rsquo;s Cathedral. At <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928716"><span class="aQJ">8:50 a.m. Sunday</span></span> a formal procession will start from the Russian Bishop&rsquo;s House on Lincoln Street to St. Michael&rsquo;s Cathedral, where the hierarchical divine liturgy will begin at <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928717"><span class="aQJ">9 a.m.</span></span><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The installation banquet will start at <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928718"><span class="aQJ">1 p.m. Sunday</span></span> at Centennial Hall. Mahaffey was consecrated this morning in St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The public is invited to the events <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928719"><span class="aQJ">on Sunday</span></span>.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey, has been serving as administrator and chancellor of the Alaska diocese since March 2013 and will continue to live in Anchorage. The post has been empty for five years, with another bishop serving as locum tenens. <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Once Mahaffey is installed, and he is handed the historic staff of St. Innocent at the end of the liturgy <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928720"><span class="aQJ">Sunday</span></span>, he will be bishop for life.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey and Archpriest Father Michael Boyle, dean of St. Michael&rsquo;s Cathedral, spoke to the Sentinel recently about the upcoming installation ceremony <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928721"><span class="aQJ">on Sunday</span></span>.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sitka, the historic capital of Russian America, is the location of the Bishop&rsquo;s See, which is why the installation ceremony will take place here, Mahaffey said.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey described his reaction to being named the next bishop of Alaska as &ldquo;fearful.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;Well, I&rsquo;ve been running from this for a long time,&rdquo; he said. He had previously been considered for the post of bishop for New York and New Jersey, and several other dioceses as well, but always felt another man was better for the job. When the Alaska position became available, he said, &ldquo;I was told I would be getting a phone call.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey was selected by the diocese of Alaska at an election in 2012, and last October he was confirmed by the Holy Synod of Bishops in Syosset, N.Y.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; He said he feels Alaska is a good fit for him because he enjoys the travel that&rsquo;s involved covering the large diocese, and has enjoyed getting to know the people.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;I like the people ... People are down to earth, and in tune with nature, and live accordingly.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Boyle said he and others in the state were pleased with the selection of Mahaffey to be bishop.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;It was almost a unanimous feeling of good will, good heart for Father David, and for him to be our bishop,&rdquo; Boyle said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s quite an accomplishment: for us to love this man, and he loves us.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Boyle added that being an administrator is not the difficult part of the job.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;The bishop is &lsquo;papa,&rsquo;&rdquo; Boyle said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not hard to be an administrator. He&rsquo;s the heart. That&rsquo;s what Father David is for us.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey was born in Altoona, Pa., and raised in Mahaffey, Pa., which was named after his ancestors, in the middle of the Allegheny Mountains.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;I grew up in the country, which is one of the reasons Alaska attracted me,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It has the same rural lifestyle.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; He graduated from Purchase Line High School in 1970, and went on to study at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He left school, got married and went to work as a mechanic for a coal company. After the company folded in 1987, he managed a car dealership.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; He said he and his wife thought he would continue to work until retirement age, and then go to seminary.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;God had different plans,&rdquo; Mahaffey said.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey was born and raised in the Methodist faith, and became Orthodox when he was 23 in 1975. He and his wife, Karen, were very active in their Orthodox church.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;When I found Orthodoxy, I felt this is where I can worship God properly,&rdquo; he said. He said he enjoyed the way the Orthodox worship engages &ldquo;all the senses.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; He served as a deacon in the Orthodox church for 12 years before going to the Orthodox seminary in 1991, he said, &ldquo;because my wife and I felt it&rsquo;s what God wanted me to do.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey was ordained in the Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, Pa., in 1993 and served parishes in the eastern part of the state until he moved to Alaska in 2013. He has bachelor&rsquo;s degrees in philosophy and theology from the University of Scranton and a master&rsquo;s of divinity from St. Tikhon&rsquo;s. During his time in Pennsylvania, he was an adjunct professor at Alvernia University, a Catholic college in Pennsylvania, as well as St. Tikhon&rsquo;s.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; His first Alaskan experience was in January 2012. He was sent to the village of Napaskiak in the Kuskokwim delta, where the mercury went to 15 below and he conducted services daily in the small church there. He said he was struck by the warmth and friendliness of the people, and enjoyed conducting services in the community of about 400.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey said the religion is the same on both sides of the country, but there are many cultural differences. On the East Coast, parishioners are descended from immigrants from Eastern Europe who came to the U.S. more than 100 years ago. In Alaska, most of the parishioners are Alaska Natives whose faith goes back to the influx of Russian missionaries during the Russian America era.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;The Native church has its own wonderful characteristics and traditions,&rdquo; Mahaffey said.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Mahaffey said he is looking forward to Sunday&rsquo;s procession from the Russian Bishop&rsquo;s House to St. Michael&rsquo;s, when he will be walking in the footsteps of St. Innocent, who was the Russian Orthodox missionary priest Ivan Veniaminov when he came to Sitka in 1834. He was the first Orthodox bishop and archbishop in the Americas, and later became the Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia. He was canonized in 1977. <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; At the end of the liturgy <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928723"><span class="aQJ">Sunday</span></span>, Mahaffey will be handed St. Innocent&rsquo;s staff as the new bishop, which he said will be a great honor.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Those wanting to attend the installation banquet at <span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_651928724"><span class="aQJ">1 p.m. Sunday</span></span> should purchase tickets before the end of today by calling 747-8120, or by email to <a href="mailto:frmichael.boyle@gmail.com" target="_blank">frmichael.boyle@gmail.com</a>.</div> <p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140223_1.html The unlikely path of Alaska’s new Orthodox bishop http://doaoca.org/news_140304_1.html Mon, 03 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Consecration/kcaw_interview.jpg&archive=0&final_h=59&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>(KCAW photo/by Emily Forman)</p> <p><a href="http://www.kcaw.org/2014/03/03/the-path-of-alaskas-orthodox-bishop/" target="_blank">Interview on Sitka's Raven Radio</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140304_1.html Metropolitan TIKHON calls for ongoing prayers http://doaoca.org/news_140306_1.html Wed, 05 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <p>His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON, has asked that prayers for peace and justice in Ukraine continue with the following petition:</p> <p>&ldquo;Again we pray that the people of Ukraine and Russia be granted the wisdom, mutual respect and love which will protect them from violence and preserve them in peace.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="http://oca.org/news/headline-news/metropolitan-tikhon-calls-for-ongoing-prayers" target="_blank">View the full article at www.oca.org</a></p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140306_1.html 50th Anniversary ~ Great Alaska Earthquake & Tsunami http://doaoca.org/news_140315_1.html Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/IMG_0692.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>(PHOTO: Entrance to Three Saints Orthodox Church, Old Harbor, AK)</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Statewide Tolling-of-the-Bells to commemorate Great Alaska Earthquake</strong></span></p> <p>Sophia (Jane) Szabo</p> <p>Contact: Bishop David Mahaffey, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, Diocese of Alaska, Orthodox Church in America &ndash; 907-677-0224 &ndash; <a href="mailto:administration@dioceseofalaska.org">administration@dioceseofalaska.org</a></p> <p>Bells will ring out all across Alaska at 5:36 p.m. March 27 to commemorate the 50<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake. The Magnitude 9.2 quake, which struck at that time in 1964, caused widespread damage including the loss of lives and destruction of villages.</p> <p>Through the impetus of a few individuals and the support of the state legislature and the Alaska Orthodox Christian Church, the idea will finally recognize the history and personal sacrifice of this forgotten moment.</p> <p>Several months ago, an &ldquo;aha phenomenon&rdquo; about the bells came to Chuck Volanti of Olympia, Wash., a former Alaska Air National Guard flight dispatcher. &ldquo;I got up one morning and felt the need to do something about the 50<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the earthquake,&rdquo; he said in a recent phone interview. He set about contacting media and government representatives &ndash; wrote the governor and sent a letter to each member of the state legislature. Through the support of Rep. Doug Isaacson of North Pole and Rep. Cherisse Millett of Anchorage, the result was HJR 23 &ndash; &ldquo;Proclaiming March 27, 2014 as Good Friday Earthquake Remembrance Day&rdquo; &ndash; which passed unanimously and was signed by Gov. Sean Parnell on March 4.</p> <p>During the course of his crusade, Volanti kept thinking, &ldquo;What is it that would make this a moment in time that would memorialize the event and honor the citizens of the state of Alaska?&rdquo; A proclamation on paper is one thing, but bells would give it voice. One thing led to another and the next thing he knew Volanti was talking about bells with Deacon Paul Erickson of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Juneau.</p> <p>They agreed that a statewide tolling of the bells led by Alaska&rsquo;s historic Orthodox churches would cause people to take notice. Alaska&rsquo;s new bishop, His Grace Bishop DAVID (Mahaffey), liked the idea. He sent a letter to each of Alaska&rsquo;s approximately 85 parishes asking them to ring the bells at the historic moment.</p> <p>The bells will be rung in a full peeling, in the Russian, &ldquo;Trezvon,&rdquo; of all the bells of the church, beginning at 5:34 p.m. for two minutes, followed by two minutes of silence at 5:36 p.m., and then two minutes of tolling (one strike every ten seconds) on the largest bell. The two minutes before the quake to represent the ongoing life of Alaskans before the quake, the two minutes of silence and the two minutes of tolling for the four minutes the quake actually lasted.</p> <p>&ldquo;In this way, we will pay honor to both the living and the dead who were a part of that historic event in the life of the state of Alaska,&rdquo; the Bishop wrote.</p> <p>The bishop also presented this request to Alaska&rsquo;s church leaders from other major faiths. It is hoped that all will join in the ringing of the bells.</p> <p>The Great Alaska Earthquake &ndash; &ldquo;Good Friday Earthquake&rdquo; &ndash; was the most powerful recorded in U.S. and North American history. Some 139 lives were lost. Areas near Kodiak were raised by 30 feet and areas near Portage dropped as much as 8 feet.</p> <p>The quake affected a number of Orthodox villages. A 27-foot tsunami destroyed Chenega, whose village published a book &ldquo;The Day that Cries Forever.&rdquo; Kaguyak and Afognak villages were destroyed. In Old Harbor, the entire village was destroyed except for the Orthodox church.</p> <p>Anchorage and environs took a hard hit as well, especially downtown, Turnagain and out along the Turnagain Arm to Portage.</p> <p>In Valdez, the city harbor and docks collapsed. This is a part of the story that especially affected Chuck Volanti, because he lost four good friends in connection with a National Guard operation in days subsequent to the quake. Killed in the related plane crash April 27, 1964, were Maj. Gen. Thomas P. Carroll, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard; pilot Lt. Col. Thomas Norris Sr.; co-pilot Maj. James Rowe; and flight engineer Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Ayers.</p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/50th-Anniversary-1964-Earthquake.pdf" target="_blank">Letter to Parishes</a></p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/50th-Earthquake-STATE-Resolution.pdf" target="_blank">Alaska State Legislature Resolution</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140315_1.html Fr. Chad Hatfield visits SHS http://doaoca.org/news_140318_2.html Sun, 16 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/shs_book-donation.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>From the beginning of the history of St. Herman Seminary, it has enjoyed a vital relationship with St. Vladimir&rsquo;s Seminary, several of its faculty spending time in coming to Kodiak to invest in the support of the Church in Alaska. For the past few years, due to a generous endowment established at St. Vladimir&rsquo;s Seminary in 2011 to support developing this ongoing relationship between it and St. Herman Seminary (see www.svots.edu/headlines/80000-endowment-created-st-vladimirs-help-sister-seminary), every Lent Fr. Chad Hatfield visits St. Herman Seminary. As the former dean of St. Herman Seminary and the current CEO of St. Vladimir&rsquo;s Seminary, he returns to Kodiak with at least one special speaker from St. Vladimir&rsquo;s Seminary, giving the speaker the opportunity of making a pilgrimage to Spruce Island.</p> <p>In addition to providing a special educational experience to the seminarians, every year Fr. Chad also brings a gift of recently published books from SVS Press. In this way, the theological library at St. Herman Seminary is enriched by the ongoing relationship with St. Vladimir&rsquo;s Seminary.</p> <p>This year this visit occurred over the Sunday of Orthodox (March 7-9), not only bringing a special speaker to address this topic but also delivered a presentation to the seminarians himself, speaking to the seminarians about the importance of priestly formation. In this, he emphasized not academics, or even the attendance of religious services, but the formation of the person in preparation for priestly ministry. He stated that addressing this issue is a vital need for <em>all </em>Orthodox seminaries.</p> <p>Accompanying Fr. Chad on this visit was St. Vladimir&rsquo;s alumnus Dn. Evan Freeman, who currently is pursuing doctoral studies in Byzantine Art at Yale University. Deacon Evan&rsquo;s presentation on icons, entitled &ldquo;Salvation in Word and Imagery&rdquo; was warmly received by those attending, especially meaningful in that it occurred on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the commemoration of the restoration of the Holy Icons to the Church in the year 843.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140318_2.html March 2014 Dillingham Visitation http://doaoca.org/news_140318_1.html Mon, 17 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/Dillingham/orthodox_moravian_clergy.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>On Saturday, March 15th, His Grace visited St. Seraphim Orthodox Church in Dillingham, Alaska. After serving Divine Liturgy with Fr. James &amp; Deacon Wassillie Gust, His Grace hosted a Question and Answer forum with local Moravian clergy and faithful. The Moravian community was hosting a "singspiration".<br /><br />The St. Mary Magdalene Sisterhood presented His Grace with a hand-made beaver hat in celebration of his first visit to St. Seraphim's as Bishop of Alaska.<br /><br />In attendance also was Aleknagik mayor Jane Gottschalk.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=22" target="_blank">View the Photo Gallery</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140318_1.html ROSSIA Awarded $5000.00 Grant for Juneau http://doaoca.org/news_140403_1.html Thu, 03 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2013/juneau/Photo-Nov-03-12-42-39-AM.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>ROSSIA (Russian Orthodox Sacred Sites in Alaska) has received confirmation that it has been awarded a $5000.00 grant from the National Trust Preservation Fund to support fire suppression engineering and electrical schematic designs for the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church. "The National Trust is very supportive of this worthwhile preservation initiative and we hope that this financial commitment will assist your organization in raising any additional funds needed for this effort."</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140403_1.html His Grace Visits King Cove & False Pass http://doaoca.org/news_140409_1.html Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/King%20Cove/KingCove_02.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>His Grace Bishop DAVID arrived in King Cove on Friday, April 4, the first visit of a bishop since 1997.</p> <p>The faithful welcomed Vladyka with bread and salt at the church. Many children were present to receive his blessing after he entered the church. On Saturday morning he joined local children at a Church School lesson and Great Vespers was served in the evening. During the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Vlaydka awarded Fr. Andrei the kamilavka. After the dismissal he presented the lay reader Irene Christiansen with a grammota for her many years of dedicated service to St. Herman Church. In appreciation of his visit, the parishioners presented Vladyka with a framed image of the Lord&rsquo;s Prayer written in Eastern Aleut and a leather skufia to wear on his travels. A community pot-luck took place in the afternoon and Vladyka visited with elders who once lived in Belkofski. Great Vespers with litiya was served in the evening and on Monday morning we celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the Annunciation. Afterwards at the city office Vladyka and several elders presented the Mayor of King Cove with an ukaz to show our appreciation for a recent land transfer to the local Orthodox community. After lunch, Vladyka and Fr. Andrei flew to False Pass to meet the faithful in that small coastal village of less than 100 residents. It was the first ever visit of a bishop to False Pass. A service for the departed was held in the cemetery followed by fellowship and refreshments in the community center before flying to Cold Bay. Vladyka David&rsquo;s pastoral visit will be remembered gratefully by the faithful of these two Eastern Aleutian fishing communities.</p> <p><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=24">View Photo Gallery</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140409_1.html http://doaoca.org/news_140501_1.html Sat, 12 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/StTikhon_LazSaturday/IMG_6401.JPG&archive=0&final_h=60&final_w=90&percent=100"><p style="text-align: left;">His Grace Bishop David celebrated Lazarus Saturday with Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk and the faithful of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Church in Anchorage.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=27">View the photo gallery</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140501_1.html 2014 Pascha in Kodiak http://doaoca.org/news_140420_1.html Sun, 20 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/Pascha/_DSC0961.jpg&archive=0&final_h=59&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>His Grace Bishop David joined the clergy and faithful of Holy Resurrection Cathedral to celebrate his first Pascha as a Bishop. His Grace presided at the services of Holy Friday and Holy Saturday. Deacon Irenaios Anderson was awarded the double orarion at the Vesperal Divine Liturgy on Holy Saturday.</p> <p>Joining His Grace were Archpriest Innocent Dresdow, Dean of Holy Resurrection Cathedral and Archpriest Michael Trefon, rector of Transfiguration of our Lord Church in Ninilchik, AK. Deacon Irenaios Anderson and Deacon Innocent Philo served with His Grace as well.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=26">View the photo gallery</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140420_1.html Reflection on the Orthodox Christian Theology of Marriage http://doaoca.org/news_140507_1.html Wed, 07 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p><strong><em>A reflection on Marriage by Matushka Bea Dunlop, Saint Herman Seminary</em></strong></p> <p>Then the man said, &ldquo;This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.&rdquo; Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed. (Gen &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;2:23-24)<br />As the couple embarks on this journey as one, I was asked to say a few words about the Orthodox theology of marriage. Genesis narrates that God created man and woman as mutually dependent creatures. No other was found worthy to be a helpmate for man among God&rsquo;s creatures. Being a &ldquo;help&rdquo; does not imply merely being a servant&mdash;another man could have done that&mdash;or even some animals could be trained to do that. &ldquo;Help&rdquo; in Scripture is most often attributed to God&rsquo;s providential help. In Exodus we hear, &ldquo;The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.&rdquo; (Ex 18.4) The Psalmist cries out, &ldquo;Lord, help me!&rdquo; in many places. (70.1, 71.12, 109.76) &ldquo;Help&rdquo; in Scripture is help that saves. It is deliverance. <br /><br />So man and woman were created as a complementary pair for their salvation. They are not called to be &ldquo;independent,&rdquo; nor for one to be a power over the other, but are called to become a special community dedicated to salvation. Their life in marriage is a journey together to the Kingdom of God. Orthodox Christians frequently say that the home is a little Church, and this is a true goal for us. Christ said, &ldquo;where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.&rdquo; (Mt 18:20) The two persons who are to be joined are becoming such a &ldquo;two or three gathered&rdquo; in the community of marriage.<br /><br />Christ in teaching about marriage referred to the creation of man and woman and added his authoritative interpretation:<br /><br />Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, &ldquo;For this reason a man &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh&rdquo;? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. (Mt 19:4-6)<br />&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />From Christ&rsquo;s words we learn that God joins the two. This is so important because we know that in this fallen world so often our human efforts to get along with one another fail&mdash;we know this from the wars, conflicts and arguments that plague us. It is only God who can unite us, make us really one. It is God who brings peace. It is God&rsquo;s saving power that will enable the couple to be salvation and help for each other. As they journey to the Kingdom of God, they are called to grow in God&rsquo;s likeness, and to help each other increase in holiness.<br /><br />God is Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit&mdash;humans who are made in God&rsquo;s image and likeness are called to live in relationship. Marriage is a specific type of community&mdash;a way to put into practice this Trinitarian life&mdash;that God has implanted in our very make-up. As the Father and the Son are one, Christ prays that his disciples become one, and that prayer applies very especially to the couple as they begin this journey. <br /><br />Additionally, the Father and the Son are not locked into a static dyad, but also their love overflows to the Holy Spirit. And not only does God&rsquo;s love express itself in His inner Trinitarian life, but God&rsquo;s love goes outside and creates an &ldquo;other&rdquo;: the entire universe and even us&mdash;the human creature. Just so, the couple&rsquo;s love will not be just among themselves, but should go outside and bear fruit. This fruit is often offspring, but being fecund is not limited to producing biological children. It is a mistake, even for a family that produces children, to live as though they existed only for themselves. Such selfishness does not build up the Church and does not result in holiness, only a stunted sort of humanity. God&rsquo;s love is Trinitarian and creative. God&rsquo;s love took the ultimate risk in creating us, even though God knew we would spurn that love, disobey and turn away. God&rsquo;s love took on the ultimate risk in becoming incarnate and suffering death to restore us. <br /><br />As Bishop Kallistos Ware writes in the foreword to Marriage as a Path to Holiness: Lives of Married Saints:<br />&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;John Chrysostom calls marriage &ldquo;the sacrament of love.&rdquo; As such, marriage expresses something altogether fundamental to our human personhood. For we humans are created in the image of God, and that means first and foremost in the image of God the Holy Trinity. &ldquo;God is love&rdquo; (I John 4:8): not self-love but shared love, not a single person loving himself alone, but a communion or koinonia of three Persons loving one another. God is not just personal but interpersonal, not just a unit but a union. God is solidarity, exchange, response, reciprocity. If all this is true of God, then it must be true also of the human person formed in God&rsquo;s image. If God is love, then the human person also is love: not self-love but shared love. The human person also is solidarity, exchange, response, reciprocity. We humans, like the three divine Persons, fulfill ourselves by living in communion or koinonia: &ldquo;Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God.&rdquo; (I John 4:7)<br /><br />Our prayer for the couple to be wed is that God&rsquo;s love will provide them a model, and the power, to love in the same way that God loves us.<br /><br /></p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140507_1.html Summer Internship in Juneau Opportunity http://doaoca.org/news_140509_1.html Wed, 07 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Parishes/juneau.jpg&archive=0&final_h=64&final_w=89&percent=100"><p>Applications are now being taken for summer internships at Saint Nicholas Church, Juneau, AK.<br /> <br /> Consecrated in 1894, the historic church has attracted thousands of pilgrims and tour groups for many years.&nbsp; [Visit the parish web site at <a href="http://www.stnicholasjuneau.org" target="_external">www.stnicholasjuneau.org</a> for additional information.]<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The internship program provides an opportunity for the parish to conduct church tours and keep its bookstore/gift shop open,&rdquo; said His Grace, Bishop David.&nbsp; &ldquo;It provides opportunities to share information about the Orthodox Christian faith and the historic church as well as to accept donations for the church&rsquo;s restoration.&nbsp; The internship program also allows for eligible interns to share their Orthodox faith, explore Juneau and, if desired, pursue additional travel in Alaska.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Summer internships require a 10 to 12 week, full-time commitment from June through August.&nbsp; Interns will give church tours emphasizing the unique history of Saint Nicholas Church and answering questions related to the faith and the church, staffing the church bookstore and gift shop, and performing other duties as assigned, based on the interns&rsquo; talents and the church&rsquo;s needs.&nbsp; Round trip transportation costs will be paid for all interns, who also will receive stipends.&nbsp; Interns may lodge at Wickersham House (no cost) or procure their own housing.&nbsp; All interns are expected to be flexible with the type of work to be done and to work in cooperation with church members and other volunteers.&nbsp; Training will be provided.<br /> <br /> High school graduates 18 years of age or older may apply by completing the <a href="http://oca.org/PDF/NEWS/2014/2014-0507-internship-application.pdf">intern application available</a> and submitting it to the address found at <a href="http://www.stnicholasjuneau.org/contact.html" target="_external">www.stnicholasjuneau.org/contact.html</a>.&nbsp; A current resume and at least one letter of recommendation must accompany the application.&nbsp; All documents should be sent in PDF or WORD format no later than May 23, 2014.&nbsp; Please key in INTERNSHIP on the e-mail subject line.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140509_1.html Ordination of Deacon Michael Trefon http://doaoca.org/news_140511_1.html Sun, 11 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/SHS%20Graduation/2014_05DcnMichael_ordin.jpg&archive=0&final_h=50&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Holy Resurrection Cathedral ~ Kodiak, AK<br /><br />Today, His Grace Bishop David ordained Subdeacon Michael Trefon to the Diaconate. Deacon Michael is part of the 2014 graduating class of St. Herman Seminary. In addition to Deacon Michael's ordination, his father, Archpriest Michael Trefon was awarded the jeweled cross.<br /><br />Priest Simeon Askoak was awarded the skufia and nedrebnik and Reader Alexander Larson was tonsured a subdeacon. Nicholas Montiegel was tonsured a Reader and a blessed subdeacon.<br /><br />St. Innocent Academy joined the faithful of Holy Resurrection for beautiful hierarchal Divine Liturgy.<br /><br />More pictures will be posted soon.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140511_1.html Litanies for the Village of Tyonek http://doaoca.org/news_140523_2.html Fri, 23 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Parishes/tyonek_stnick.jpg&archive=0&final_h=64&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>Petitions for the triple litany in the Service of Thanksgiving:<br /><br />Being mercifully delivered from fire, O Almighty Lord, we, your faithful people, give you thanks that, reaching out your hand of providential care, you stayed the devouring tongues of flame and protected us from destruction; and now preserve us always from the threat of fire, both temporal and eternal, we pray you, All-merciful Lord, hear us and have mercy.<br /><br />O Lord, who rained fire out of heaven for the destruction of evil, we thank you that you have shown mercy on us, overlooking our sins and shielding us from the path of blazing fire, turning aside its scorching lines and preserving us unharmed. Guard us always by your might, keeping us untouched by the visible flames of material fire, and unharmed by the invisible flames of passion, quenching the wrath of both; we pray you, hear us and have mercy.<br /><br /><br />Prayer<br /><br />Lord Jesus Christ our God, the living fire of deity who enlivens and enlightens the faithful, yet who are, to the ungodly, a consuming fire burning the straw and chaff of impiety: in the beginning, you created the solar fire, to give warmth and light for the sustenance of our life. In wisdom and beneficence, you made material fire as a gift and necessary implement for mankind and nature, which alike destroys and consumes, yet also clears and renews, the forests and meadows. We thank you that, disregarding our sins, you have had mercy on us and preserved us safe from fire's unruly excesses, curbing its insatiate appetite and steering its path away from harming us. Grateful for your mercy towards us, we return to you thanks, praise, and glory, entreating that you will always send your Angel to preserve your temple and our homes unharmed by consuming fire. And as you came to send a spiritual fire on the earth, warming chill hearts and enkindling in them the fire of love for you, we pray that you will melt our hard-heartedness in the furnace of your love, extinguishing within us the flames of passion, refining us in the fire of trial yet recasting us anew as vessels of the Spirit, bearing the dew of your grace. For you preserved the holy children in the fiery furnace, and you were the fire that dwelled within the Virgin's womb, yet preserving it unburnt. So we pray you: by her intercessions, and those of St Herman and all the saints, let the fire of your Spirit burn within our hearts, renewing us, and through us, all mankind. This we ask, trusting in you, with your eternal Father, and your all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140523_2.html Fort Ross Visit http://doaoca.org/news_140609_1.html Mon, 09 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/FtRoss.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>His Grace Bishop David and His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin visited Ft. Ross and were given a tour by Robin from the National Parks Service. Ft. Ross was the southernmost Russian Outpost from 1812-1842 served by the Russian Fur Trade. The chapel (constructed in the mid-1820's) was the first Russian Orthodox structure built outside of Alaska.</p> <p>More information can be found at: http://www.fortross.org/chapel.htm</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140609_1.html In Memoriam The Archpriest Macarius Targonsky http://doaoca.org/news_140626_1.html Thu, 26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/fathermakari.jpg&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p style="text-align: left;">Clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Alaska mourn the loss of Archpriest Macarius Targonsky who departed this life on the evening of Wednesday, June 25. Fr. Macarius served as a priest for 59 years making him the longest serving priest in the Diocese of Alaska.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140626_1.html Hawaiian Myrrh Streaming Iveron Icon Alaska Visit http://doaoca.org/news_140710_1.html Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/hawicon.lg.jpg&archive=0&final_h=89&final_w=76&percent=100"><p>The Orthodox Church in America Diocese of Alaska will have the honor of hosting the miraculous Hawaiian Myrrh Streaming Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.&nbsp; The Holy Icon will make a historic and culturally significant journey to Alaska under the omophor of His Grace David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, with the Blessings of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America (ROCOR) to the land where the historic Orthodox Church first began in North America.&nbsp; The Icon is scheduled to be in Alaska from July 18th through July 30th, starting in Anchorage, then visiting the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island areas. </p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140710_1.html Yukon-Kuskokwim Youth Conference http://doaoca.org/news_140724_1.html Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.666666984558105px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 48px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff;">This last weekend, the village of Napaskiak hosted the Three Holy Youths First Annual Kuskokwim Youth Conference. It was attended by about 50 middle and high school students from five Yukon-Kuskokwim communities. In addition to praying services like a molieben and akathist, the students enjoyed fun and games, including basketball and a bonfire. During the conference, they learned that participation in the life of the church was much more than standing through church services; each day, they heard talks about spiritual topics, like how to say the Jesus Prayer and the importance of regular Confession and Communion. On a more practical side, they applied what they were learning by getting involved in the community, visiting and helping elders, and setting up small icons throughout the village. The whole village of Napaskiak was blessed<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span><span class="aBn" style="border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: dashed; border-bottom-color: #cccccc; position: relative; top: -2px; z-index: 0; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.666666984558105px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 48px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_1345568762"><span class="aQJ" style="position: relative; top: 2px; z-index: -1;">on Sunday</span></span><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.666666984558105px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 48px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff;">morning when the youth choir sung the Divine Liturgy in both English and Yup&rsquo;ik. At the end of the conference, students commented on their enjoyment of the conference and their desire to do it again next year &ndash; both the work<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></span><em style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.666666984558105px; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 48px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;">and</em><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.666666984558105px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 48px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff;"><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span>the play!</span></p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140724_1.html Hawaiian Myrrh Streaming Iveron Icon Alaska Visit http://doaoca.org/news_140821_2.html Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/MyrrhStreamingIcon/IMG_2428.JPG&archive=0&final_h=90&final_w=67&percent=100"><p>During the last two weeks of July the Hawaiian Myrrh Streaming Iveron Icon traveled throughout Alaska. Numerous miracles and blessings were bestowed on the faithful. Her travels by land, sea and air were marked by unusually consistent fair weather. In addition to traveling to every parish and monastic community on Kodiak Island, she traveled throughout the greater Anchorage area and the Kenai Peninsula.</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140821_2.html Orthodox Alaska Cruise visits Juneau & Sitka http://doaoca.org/news_140918_1.html Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/sitka_cruise/101_3940.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.5714282989502px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff;">Last week His Grace Bishop David greeted Orthodox faithful in Sitka who were visiting Alaska on an Orthodox Cruise. His Emminence Archbishop Benjamin, clergy and faithful were in attendance as well.</span></p> <p><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=35"> View Photo Gallery</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140918_1.html Diocesan Assembly 2014 http://doaoca.org/news_140807_1.html Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Parishes/oca-ak-ancsik.jpg&archive=0&final_h=64&final_w=89&percent=100"><p>All forms, reports and schedules are now posted for the Annual Diocesan Assembly for 2014 to be held the weekend of October 17-19.&nbsp; Please be sure to read the introduction and download all the necessary reports and forms before arriving in Anchorage.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><a href="http://doaoca.org/2014assembly.html">2014 Diocesan Assembly Webpage</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_140807_1.html Resolution on Proposition 2 http://doaoca.org/news_141101_1.html Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0400 <p>At this year's Diocesan Assembly the following resolution on the pending Proposition to legalize marijuana in Alaska was passed unanimously by the clergy and faithful attending:</p> <p><a href="/files/RESOLUTION_2015.pdf">Diocese of Alaska Resolution on Proposition 2</a></p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_141101_1.html 35th Anniversary of the Repose of Matushka Olga http://doaoca.org/news_141203_2.html Tue, 02 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/Mat-Olga/P1120047.JPG&archive=0&final_h=47&final_w=90&percent=100"><p style="text-align: left;">Local clergy and faithful gathered with His Grace Bishop David on Nov. 7th to serve a panikhida service at the gravesite of Matushka Olga on the 35th anniversary of her repose.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=36">View Photo Gallery</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_141203_2.html Progress at the Juneau Rectory http://doaoca.org/news_141207_1.html Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2014%20Events/IMG_1794.JPG&archive=0&final_h=67&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>His Grace standing <span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff;">with the chief contractor rep from ACC for ROSSIA and NPS, Grant Crosby of NPS, the Rectory contractor and the Engineer for the church improvement project.</span></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_141207_1.html From the Diocesan Archives http://doaoca.org/news_141215_3.html Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/Archives/journal.jpg&archive=0&final_h=90&final_w=60&percent=100"><p>Diocesan Archivist Daria Safranova Simeonoff has posted part 1 from the travel journals of Hieromonk Anatolli in the late 1890's which gives a beautiful account of visiting Spruce Island.</p> <p><a href="http://sthermanseminary.org/traveljournalproject.html" target="_blank">Read the article here at the seminary website</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_141215_3.html Sunday of Orthodoxy, 2015 http://doaoca.org/news_150303_2.html Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2015-Events/Orthodoxy-Sunday/sunday-orthodox-cathedral1.jpg&archive=0&final_h=50&final_w=90&percent=100"><p><a href="http://doaoca.org/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=39">View the Photo Gallery</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150303_2.html Kodiak’s Holy Resurrection Cathedral vandalized http://doaoca.org/news_150612_1.html Thu, 11 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=JPG&relativeimage=images/2015-Events/Vandalism-at-Holy-Resurrection-Cathedral/IMG_2974.JPG&archive=0&final_h=90&final_w=67&percent=100"><p>KODIAK, AK [OCA] Kodiak At 8:19 p.m. on the evening of Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Archpriest Innocent Dresdow was startled to receive a call from Kodiak Police Dispatch. Asked to meet police officers at Holy Resurrection Cathedral, he was told not to go into or near the church, as it was &ldquo;an active crime scene.&rdquo; &ldquo;I arrived on scene at 8:25 p.m. and met up with responding officers across the street from the cathedral,&rdquo; Father Innocent said in the initial report he sent to His Grace, Bishop David of Sitka. &ldquo;The lead officer related to me that the cathedral had been broken into and that a suspect had been apprehended in the church yard. He called the damage to the interior of the church &lsquo;severe.&rsquo;&rdquo; Kodiak Father Innocent did not recognize the suspect&rsquo;s name, but he was told that he &ldquo;was fairly new to town.&rdquo; &ldquo;Once detectives allowed me to enter the cathedral, I was able to view the damage first-hand and answer any contextual questions,&rdquo; Father Innocent continued. &ldquo;There was broken glass everywhere. Curiously, a cruise ship had been in Kodiak earlier on Wednesday and hundreds of tourists had visited the cathedral. At the candle stand was a money plate with cash donations, but it was untouched. It appears that the suspect targeted only the most sacred things&mdash;the windows were the only &lsquo;non-holy&rsquo; items damaged.&rdquo; Kodiak While the relics of Saint Herman of Alaska, which are enshrined in the cathedral, were not disturbed, Father Innocent noted that seeing the reliquary brought him &ldquo;to tears.&rdquo; Saint Herman&rsquo;s skufia and wrought iron cross and chains were in disarray and displayed no visible damage; his monastic cross clearly had been vandalized. &ldquo;Prayer requests that pilgrims had left at the reliquary were scattered on the floor, but there was no visible damage to the carved reliquary,&rdquo; Father Innocent added. &ldquo;Fortunately, the locks on the interior coffin were undisturbed.&rdquo; The greatest damage occurred in the cathedral&rsquo;s altar. Kodiak &ldquo;While the Table of Oblation remained untouched, there was a great deal of damage to the Holy Altar Table and High Place,&rdquo; said Father Innocent. &ldquo;The Gospel Book sustained substantial damage and was open, while the primary antimension was found on the floor, wrinkled but otherwise undisturbed. The Holy Chrism bottle was broken, but the altar crosses&mdash;gifts from His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian&mdash;had been bent. Since the Reserved Mysteries had been strewn on the floor&mdash;apparently the tabernacle and its plexiglas dust cover had hit the floor when the altar cover was ripped away&mdash;I meticulously cleaned the floor of every particle I could locate and placed them in a chalice with a little wine and warm water, knowing that there was certainly some glass and other contaminates, and consumed them.&rdquo; Kodiak Other items&mdash;additional antimensia, liturgical fans, icons, censers, vestments, etc.&mdash;were strewn about but did not sustain permanent damage. A bloodied garden shovel, apparently used in the initial break-in, was found at the front door and taken by detectives as evidence. &ldquo;By midnight all the windows were boarded up and as much glass as possible had been picked up, swept and vacuumed by not only cathedral faithful, but also others from the community at large,&rdquo; said Father Innocent.&rdquo; &ldquo;Fortunately, nothing was lost, but there is much that is damaged,&rdquo; said Bishop David. &ldquo;I ask your prayers for Father Innocent and the cathedral family, the investigators and the perpetrator.&rdquo;</p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150612_1.html 45th Annual St. Herman Pilgrimage Schedule Posted http://doaoca.org/news_150728_1.html Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/EarthView-PILGRIMAGE.jpg&archive=0&final_h=69&final_w=90&percent=100"><p>This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Saint Herman of Alaska pilgrimage in Kodiak. The pilgrimage is hosted annually by Holy Resurrection Cathedral and includes a trip to Spruce Island. The schedule of this years events and services can be found here:</p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/2015-Pilgrimage-Schedule.pdf">2015 St. Herman Pilgrimage Schedule</a></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150728_1.html Rasmuson Foundation Boosts Alaskan Bell Project http://doaoca.org/news_150906_1.html Sat, 05 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="0" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src="http://doaoca.org/display_image.php?ext=jpg&relativeimage=images/2015-Events/King-Cove.jpg&archive=0&final_h=65&final_w=90&percent=100"><p style="text-align: left;"><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT"><strong>$24,422 Grant for King Cove Bell Tower Construction</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">King Cove, Alaska August 27, 2015: Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska&rsquo;s foremost charitable family</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">foundation, has awarded a grant of $24,422 in support of the construction of the Elders&rsquo; Bell Tower to</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">St. Herman Church in King Cove, a remote fishing community of about 950 year-round residents located</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">near the southern tip of the Alaska Peninsula.</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">The Elders&rsquo; Bell Tower will be a freestanding tower approximately 30 feet high designed to</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">house King Cove&rsquo;s seven historic bronze church bells, cast in San Francisco in the 1880s. Originally the</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">bells were housed in Holy Resurrection Church in Belkofski, Alaska&mdash;a once-thriving Aleut village having</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">a richly adorned Orthodox church. Gradually the residents of Belkofski moved to nearby villages which</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">offered them new economic opportunities. The church&rsquo;s rich inventory&mdash;including a beautiful</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">iconostasis containing numerous icons from Russia&mdash;was transferred to King Cove, twelve miles away by</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">boat, where a new Orthodox church was built in the 1980s.</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">Due to the often punishing weather of the lower Alaska Peninsula, where wind gusts of 70 mph</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">and more are not uncommon, it is especially vital for the bell tower&rsquo;s design to be precisely engineered.</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">The largest bell has a diameter of 35.5 inches and weighs an estimated 850 pounds. A steel frame and</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">deep, secure foundation are two elements of the future tower now being considered by planners.</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">The project relies on the participation of volunteers to provide the labor. A team of four men</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">from the Sacramento area of California is planning to return to King Cove to oversee the tower</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">construction in 2016. These generous volunteers are no strangers to King Cove&mdash;they came in the</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">summer of 2012 and stabilized the church which was in great need of emergency repairs. The volunteers</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">are of Russian heritage and find inspiration in travelling to Alaska to restore a church with history dating</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">back to the Russian period in Alaska&rsquo;s history.</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">Through the building of the bell tower, the local church hopes to promote the importance of</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">historic and cultural preservation in a part of rural Alaska in which many visible signs of Russian</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">influence have disappeared. For many, especially the elders of the community who grew up in Belkofski,</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">the Orthodox Church is a tangible connection to both their cultural and religious heritage. For the</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">younger generations, the church offers a glimpse into the rich history of both their region and faith. By</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">dedicating the bell tower to the community&rsquo;s elders, the church seeks to honor and thank them.</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">&ldquo;The bell tower is a way of bringing people together and celebrating our community&rsquo;s heritage,&rdquo;</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">says Father Andrei Tepper, rector of St. Herman Church. &ldquo;We are a people of faith and restoring the</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">bells shows that we are serious about preserving the historical items that have been passed on to us.</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">We want to be good stewards and this is an important step towards protecting and preserving our</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">heritage, our inheritance, our faith.&rdquo;</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">&ldquo;We are so grateful for all the generous donations we have received from individuals, parishes,</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">and organizations throughout Alaska and the Lower 48 in support of our restoration.&rdquo;</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">Rasmuson Foundation&rsquo;s financial contribution challenges the community to step up and raise a</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">matching amount before the end of the grant period towards the church&rsquo;s final fundraising goal. The</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">parish expects that the bell tower construction will be the first phase of an overall rehabilitation project</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">for the King Cove church. Further funds are needed to continue the reconstruction over the coming</span><br /><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">years. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT">Donations are tax-deductible and may be sent to:</span></p> <p style="text-align: left; line-height: 50%; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span class="CAPTION_TEXT PARAGRAPH_TITLE"><strong>St. Herman Church </strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: left; line-height: 50%; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span class="CAPTION_TEXT PARAGRAPH_TITLE"><strong>P.O. Box 169</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: left; line-height: 50%; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span class="CAPTION_TEXT PARAGRAPH_TITLE"><strong>King Cove, AK&nbsp;</strong><strong>99612</strong></span></p></div> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_150906_1.html 2015 Diocesan Assembly http://doaoca.org/news_151003_1.html Mon, 26 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <p style="text-align: left;">The 2015 Diocesan Assembly will convene November 6-8, 2015 at St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska.&nbsp;A schedule of events is included with the main registration form document. Please note, there is a seperate form for Diocesan Council Members and Retired clergy.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="PARAGRAPH_TITLE" style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>REGISTRATION FORMS</strong></span></p> <p><a href="/files/pdf/DA2015Registration.pdf" target="_blank">2015 Registration and Event Schedule</a></p> <p><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT"><a href="/files/pdf/DA2015Registration_DC_RETIRED.pdf" target="_blank">2015 Diocesan Council &amp; Retired Clergy Registration</a></span></p> <p><span class="PARAGRAPH_TEXT"><a href="/files/pdf/DA2015Minutes2014.pdf" target="_blank">2014 Diocesan Assembly Meeting Minutes</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="PARAGRAPH_TITLE"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">CHANCELLOR REPORT</span></strong></span></p> <ul> <li><a href="/files/pdf/ChancellorReport2015.pdf" target="_blank">Chancellor's Report</a></li> </ul> <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="PARAGRAPH_TITLE"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">DEANERY REPORTS</span></strong></span></p> <ul> <li><a href="/files/pdf/DA2015Anchorage.pdf" target="_blank">Anchorage</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/BethelDR2015.pdf" target="_blank">Bethel</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/2015-Kodiak-Island-Deanery-Report.pdf" target="_blank">Kodiak</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/DA2015Nushagak.pdf" target="_blank">Nushagak</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/DA2015Sitka.pdf" target="_blank">Sitka</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/AlaskanDR2015.pdf" target="_blank">Alaskan Peninsula</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/AluetianDR2015.pdf" target="_blank">Aleutian</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/KenaiPrinceDR2015.pdf" target="_blank">Kenai Prince William</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/YukonDR2015.pdf" target="_blank">Yukon</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/DA2015-Illiamna.pdf" target="_blank">Illiamna</a></li> </ul> <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="PARAGRAPH_TITLE" style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>OTHER REPORTS</strong></span></p> <ul> <li><a href="/files/pdf/SHSreport2015.pdf" target="_blank">St. Herman Seminary</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/MetropolitanCouncilReport2015.pdf" target="_blank">Metropolitan Council</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/Protecting-Veil-2015-Report.pdf" target="_blank">Protecting Veil</a></li> <li><a href="/files/pdf/Outreach-Alaska-Report-2015.pdf" target="_blank">Outreach Alaska</a></li> </ul> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_151003_1.html Superior Court finds 'most serious' aggravating factors in Church vandalism trial http://doaoca.org/news_151030_1.html Fri, 30 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0400 <p><strong>PRESS RELEASE</strong></p> <p><strong>Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral</strong></p> <p><strong>Contact: Father Innocent Dresdow, 907-942-4163</strong></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>'No injustice not countered with truth': Superior Court finds 'most serious' aggravating factors in Church vandalism trial</strong></p> <p>October 30, 2015, Kodiak, Alaska--In a dramatic affirmation of the core beliefs of the Orthodox Christian community, Superior Court Judge Frank A. Pfiffner ruled yesterday that defendant Arkimedes Garcia acted with "gross religious disrespect" when he vandalized Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Cathedral in June. Garcia pled guilty to a single consolidated charge of criminal mischief in the third degree, a Class C felony, on October 20. In yesterday's non-jury trial ruling Judge Pfiffner agreed with the State of Alaska's argument that a "most serious" aggravating factor be applied.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Garcia was arrested on June 10 at the cathedral. The doors and windows on the church had been damaged or broken, and many items in the church, many of which are considered by the Orthodox to be holy, were disturbed, broken and/or desecrated. Garcia was found exiting the church shirtless, shoeless and bloodied. His blood was later found strewn around the church, including inside the altar.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Garcia's guilty plea was one reason given for the Judge's decision yesterday. The plea substantiated the State's argument that Garcia understood what he was doing when he used a shovel to smash into the church, pulled items off the altar and threw objects into windows. Defense arguments that Garcia's behavior had been out of character, that he had been suffering from a head injury, were found to be unsubstantiated.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Two other factors contributed to the Judge's decision: the amount of the damage and the brief amount of time it took Garcia to inflict this damage.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Using evidence provided by Kodiak Police Department, Fr. Innocent Dresdow, rector of the cathedral, and church insurance documents, the judge ruled that Garcia inflicted $109,485 damage to the physical assets of the church in a span of only ten minutes. These assets included the windows, doors, altar cloths, ornamental fans, flooring, furniture, censors, a decorative Gospel cover, a censor, a tabernacle, two crosses gifted to the church from the Patriarch of Moscow, a glass vial and a hand cross carried to the Kodiak by St. Herman in 1794.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; St. Herman is the founder of the church in Kodiak. His cross, which he carried to Kodiak from Russia, normally sets on the reliquary inside the cathedral has been used by priests since St. Herman's time to bless the faithful. That simple wooden cross is encased in a light metal <em>riza</em> which bears an icon of Christ. The <em>riza</em> protecting this cross, "has been peeled back like the top of a sardine can," the Judge said. "It can never be fixed."</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The tabernacle and the glass vial contained, respectively, the church's "reserve sacrament" and its "Holy Chrism." These items were among those which could not be quantified monetarily but which factored heavily in the Judge's decision, because of the tremendous religious value these hold for the faithful. In his comments, the Judge referred repeatedly to Fr. Innocent's testimony over the previous two days, in which the role of the reserve sacrament was discussed and the sacred nature of the Chrism defined.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Judge rejected defense claims that the monetary damage was only about $65,000 and that the fact that it could have been greater were factors mitigating a "most serious offense" ruling.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The totality of the vandalism, Judge Pfiffner said, weighed heavily in his decision. Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Cathedral is the oldest Russian Orthodox Church in North America, he pointed out, and pilgrims from all over the world travel here to remember Saint Herman and venerate his cross. It's "overwhelming," the Judge said, "especially the desecration of the reserve sacraments and also the damage to St. Herman's cross and the Holy Chrism."</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Right Reverend David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, attended two of the three days of testimony. "The decision of Judge Pfiffner represents a true model of justice in every sense of the word," Bishop David said.&nbsp; "I saw him use his judicial authority to allow both sides to present all the evidence they sought to have admitted, to weigh it carefully and always inform the presenter that it would be given the weight it deserved in deciding the case.&nbsp; His verdict shows his skill of being on the bench for many years and applying the law in a balanced and knowledgeable manner.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; "We could ask for no better verdict than one that weighs all the evidence and reaches a conclusion based on the law and validates our belief in the system.&nbsp; Today, that is exactly what happened and we should all give thanks to God for granting the wisdom and jurisprudence to Judge Pfiffner to decide this case as he did, with a careful interpretation of the law that leaves no question unanswered and no injustice not countered with truth."</p> <p>##</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_151030_1.html Fire Suppression for Kenai’s Holy Assumption Church http://doaoca.org/news_160328_1.html Mon, 21 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0400 <p style="text-align: justify;">Many of you have seen the incredible preservation work that has gone into the Holy Assumption Church and National Historic Landmark in Kenai. Among the final work for this church is a state-of-the-art system to protect it from devastation by fire. The City of Kenai has generously appropriated a $20,000 challenge grant to help complete a fire suppression system for the Holy Assumption Church. This grant will match all donations up to $20,000 to help us reach our goal.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">With the help of the Rasmuson Foundation, we are two-thirds complete with the installation of a Hi-Fog Mist system, the gold standard of fire suppression for cultural properties. We need your help to complete this project&rsquo;s goal of raising $60,000 by May 1, 2016. Together we can protect the Holy Assumption and its historical artifacts which are part of our Alaskan culture.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We have come too far to lose Kenai&rsquo;s National Historic Landmark to fire. In the recent past summers, we have seen the damage of fire on the Kenai Peninsula. The City of Kenai will match your donation dollar for dollar, thus doubling your gift.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Please make a donation today by using PayPal at the ROSSIA website <a href="http://www.rossialaska.org/support" target="_blank">www.rossialaska.org/support</a> or by mailing a check to ROSSIA, P.O. Box 212315, Anchorage, AK 99521-2315. Blessings and many thanks for your support.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">ROSSIA Board of Directors</p> Diocese of Sitka & Alaska http://doaoca.org/news_160328_1.html