UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
19th Regular Sobor Resolutions: “O Lord…bless Thine inheritance.”
“Today the Grace of the Holy Spirit has assembled the hierarchs, clergy and laity together so that with great spiritual strength, that is above our simple human expectations, we may place our complete collective attention for the good and growth of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA – the Church, the Spotless Bride of Jesus Christ, which is the ‘inheritance’, the greatest treasure, because she belongs to the one Holy, Universal Church of which our Lord is the Founder and Head. The world would have you think that the Church is a worldly institution, an earthly corporation that belongs to the ‘elders’! But, the reality is that the Church is the very Body of Christ and every member is part of the Body through inheritance. Through Adam we received free-will – through the new Adam – Christ – we received salvation. Because of Golgotha and Pascha, is it any wonder that the Tropar of the Feast of The Cross is: “O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance.” (Metropolitan Constantine)
The hierarchs clergy and faithful have gathered into the 19th Regular Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, meeting at the Metropolia Center in South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ from 27-31 October 2010 under the theme: “O Lord…bless Thine inheritance” and having witnessed to the visible Grace of God, which notably marks the vitality of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America resolve:
1. That we accept and cherish, with the love in which it is sent, the paternal greetings and benediction of His All-Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, conveyed by his Exarch in the USA, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios during our Sobor. Ever mindful of His All Holiness’ concern for the spiritual integrity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine during these very complicated and trying times, we assure his All Holiness of prayerful support as he navigates through the troubled waters, which delay the realization of a united local [pomisna] Ukrainian Orthodox Church, independent of any and all foreign intrusion and sovereign in its internal administration.
2. That we are comforted in the blessings of our Archpastors – His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine, His Eminence Archbishop Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel – and profoundly thank them for their continued spiritual and temporal guidance, their labor of love for the good estate of the Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and for their prayers for the sanctification and salvation of her spiritual children. May our loving Lord give them many more years of good health, peace and strength in their continued service in His Vineyard.
3. That we are sincerely grateful to our Sister Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, and to her Prime Hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Yurij and Very Rev. Fr. Taras Udod, Vice-Chair of Presidium of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada for their gracious and active participation in our Holy Sobor and for the fraternal love they have demonstrated for our Hierarchs and for our Holy Church. We appreciate the presence of Archbishop Ihor at our Sobor and his candid presentation and discussion regarding the present circumstances of ecclesiastical life in Ukraine, as well as his comments about the contributions made by our own Metropolitan Mstyslav, who was elected Patriarch of Ukraine twenty years ago, and the manner in which those contributions are being interpreted or denigrated by various individuals – ecclesiastical, governmental and political – each making claims to support his or her own agenda.
4. That we congratulate His Eminence Archbishop Antony on his 25th anniversary of his episcopal consecration on October 6th, 2010. We look forward to his official UOC of USA celebration of Archpastoral service that will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle in Silver Spring, MD on January 22, 2011. May our loving Lord grant him many years of good health, peace and strength in his continued service in Christ’s Vineyard.
5. That we rejoice in the consecration of the servant of God, His Grace Bishop Daniel and the feelings of hope for a bright future for our Holy Church generated amongst the faithful present at that consecration. We pray that the Holy Spirit continue to guide the Bishop in the episcopacy in the UOC of the USA, inspiring him with Holy Wisdom and enabling him to deflect the challenges and confrontations of our modern and secular society..
6. That we congratulate His Eminence Archbishop Antony for being elected to the position of Treasurer of the newly formed Episcopal Assembly of all Orthodox Hierarchs of the United States of America. We pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance upon the members of the Assembly as they proceed with the development of this newly formed body in Christ’s Church.
7. That we mourn the loss of the clergy and clergy wives who have reposed since our last Sobor: His Eminence Archbishop Vsevolod, V. Rev. Eugene Meschisen, V. Rev. Volodymyr Borowsky, Panimatka Olga Bukata, V. Rev. Ivan Mironko, Protopresbyter Michael Petlak, Ihumen Gregory (Woolfenden), Protopresbyter Volodymyr Melnyk, Protopresbyter Frank Estocin, Panimatka Olga Antochy, V. Rev. Peter Natishan, Panimatka Rita Krywonos and Panimatka Maria Newmer-szyckyj. May their souls rest in eternal happiness and their memory be eternal in our Lord’s Heavenly Kingdom.
8. That we continue our unswerving support for the establishment of one, united, local (pomisna) Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. We respectfully request the Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA to continue the delegation of trusted advisors to intensify a constructive and substantive dialogue with the ecclesiastical jurisdictions in Ukraine under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and leading to that unified Church.
9. That we continue our enthusiastic support for the Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic Hierarchs Encounters in North America. We urge the hierarchs to persevere in the work for both our Churches and also for the church in Ukraine that these Encounters have brought forth and we assure them of our prayerful support.
10. That we await with anxious anticipation the convening of the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church – the first since the year 787, when the Holy Spirit called the saintly fathers of the Church together in the city of Nicaea. We appeal for the holy prayer by the faithful of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA for the success of such a Council in all aspects of the life of the Holy Orthodox Church throughout the world.
11. That in this the 19th year of Ukraine’s independence and liberation from that bondage, which marked centuries of Czarist or Soviet oppression, we renew our gratitude to Almighty God for the gift of freedom and pray that the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, other government leaders and public servants of Ukraine labor with love and devotion in securing justice, human rights and equality for all the citizens of Ukraine.
12. That we mourn the loss of the 7-10 million Ukrainians who perished during the Artificial Famine – Genocide (Holodomor) in Ukraine in 1932-1933. We demand that the government of the United States of America, the United Nations and the world community officially recognize and proclaim the Artificial Famine as an Act of Genocide. The UOC of USA is distressed by and condemns recent Ukrainian government and Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine) decisions, which deny that the Holodomor was an act of genocide. At the same time, we condemn the horror of other genocides, including those taking place before our own eyes in the nations of Africa and on other continents. The world cannot continue to stand by and do nothing as it did in Ukraine.
13. That we note with gratitude the guidance being provided our youth by our Consistory Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry and the staff All Saints Camp during various Church encampments: Church School Camp, Teenage Conference and the Mommy/Daddy and Me Camp. We call upon our clergy and faithful to lend their prayerful and material support to these encampments and encourage their children to participate in them, thereby cooperating in the spiritual and cultural formation of those who will shortly find themselves among the adult members of our Holy Church. We encourage all members of the UOC of the USA community to utilize the camp in any way possible including but not limited to a clergy conference, iconography workshops, etc.
14. That we rejoice and offer our deepest gratitude to God for the consecration of the St. Thomas Chapel at All Saints Camp was consecrated on 22 June 2008 – the Sunday of All Saints. We thank profusely sisters Olga and Alice Tychonia, who in memory of their brother Thomas Tychonia of St. Nicholas Parish, Troy, NY made a generous donation for the construction of the chapel. We also thank the Ukrainian Orthodox League for the fundraising and all others who helped to complete interior iconography and exterior embellishment of the edifice. Finally, we express our immense gratitude to the volunteers who give so much of their time and energy to the operation of All Saints Camp, not only on special occasions but year after year with steady and exemplary dedication.
15. That we acknowledge with profound gratitude the service of love performed by the participants in our Church’s mission trips, under the leadership of dedicated clergy and laity, in service of love to our Church’s adopted orphanages in Ukraine and all their beautiful inhabitants. We enthusiastically support this particular and blessed ministry and encourage responsible youth and adults to participate in future mission trips. We call upon the clergy and faithful to encourage new mission candidates from among our parishes and to support this endeavor by prayer and generous donations.
16. That we appreciate and acknowledge with gratitude the leadership and patience of His Eminence Archbishop Antony, the labors of Treasurer and Property Manager, Mr. Emil Skocypec and the prolific efforts of Museum Director, Natalia Honcharenko in the progress of the History and Education Complex construction and development. We pray for an early completion and dedication of this enormous project and urge the clergy, laity and organizations of our Church and the Ukrainian community to assist in the in this process by offering most generous contributions.
17. That we offer prayerful gratitude to Almighty God for the attainment of full-fledged parish status by the former St. Panteleimon Mission, Brooklyn, NY – V. Rev. Fr. Volodymyr Zinchyshyn, Pastor. The above holy parish provides evangelical and Eucharistic nourishment to flocks comprised of Orthodox Christians of Ukrainian heritage and converts to Holy Orthodoxy, representing a broad spectrum of American life. We pray for the continued success of this parish family. We also pray for the continued growth and success of all our current mission parishes: Four Evangelists, Bel Air, Maryland – Rev. Fr. Gregory Czumak, Pastor; St. Nicholas, Dover, DE – V. Rev. Fr. Stephen Hutnick, Pastor; St. Antony of the Desert, Las Cruces, New Mexico – Rev. Fr. Gabriel Rochelle Pastor; Holy Trinity, Whaleyville, MD – V. Rev. Frs. Stephen Hutnick, Gerald Ozlanski and Mark Kozak providing services: Newport (Kingston) RI – Fr. Anthony Perkins, Pastor; and Sacramento, CA – V. Rev. Fr. Vasile Sauciur providing services; and St. Volodymyr, Kerhonkson, NY – Fr. Yurij Bazylevsky, Pastor;. Finally, we pray for the establishment of additional mission parishes and the renewal of inactive parishes.
18. That we greet with enthusiasm the inauguration of the 2010-11 academic year at St. Sophia (Holy Wisdom) Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary and her five full time students and four post graduate students. We pray for the success of their education and the achievement of their vocation. We congratulate the three graduates of St. Sophia’s Seminary: Rev. Dn. James Cairns, Fr. Borislav Kroner and Rev. Dn. Charles Sanderson. We recognize with much gratitude our Hierarchs, V. Rev. Bazyl Zawierucha, Provost of the Seminary, V. Rev. Stephen Hutnick, Vocations Director for their devoted and extended efforts in developing our Seminary program, which is vital for our future. We also greet Fr. Ivan Synevskyy, our Church’s 2010 graduate from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary, Boston, MA.
19. That we commend the Ukrainian Orthodox League for its efforts in enhancing the spiritual life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA via retreats and programs designed to awaken and intensify our relationship to our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ through a frequent and active participation in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. We encourage all parishes to form local UOL chapters.
20. That we commend the on-going activities of the United Ukrainian Orthodox Sisterhoods during the past three years and acknowledge with gratitude their philanthropic work, which manifests their compassion for Christ’s brethren in need in Ukraine, South America and in the USA. Their love for the trea-sures of Ukrainian Orthodox religious life and cultural history has insured that future generations will also learn and appreciate our brilliant and noble heritage.
21. That we commend the devout members of the Saint Andrew Society, who by their philanthropic work among the needy of contemporary Ukraine, provide scholarships through the Levytskyj Family Memorial Scholarship Fund, showing themselves to be faithful stewards of Christ, by, caring as He calls us to do, “for the least of my brethren.” We urge all the faithful of our Church to support the efforts of this, one of our Church’s central organizations.
22. That we express our sincere gratitude to the members of Pokrova – St. Mary Protectress Sisterhood of St. Andrew Memorial Church, for their continued support of all aspects of life at our Metropolia Center having contributed over $1,000,000 to the maintenance of the center over the Sisterhood’s forty years of existence.
23. That we applaud the bravery and patriotism of our Armed Forces and intelligence community and pray for them, their families and our country, and for their safe return home from. We deeply mourn the loss of our nation’s soldiers – both men and women, young and older in the difficult wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and all areas where our Armed Forces are serving. Because our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ teaches: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God”, it is our prayer that the Light of Christ will illuminate all governments revealing the way to the end military conflict and bring a lasting peace.
24. That we express our sincere gratitude to all the Pre-Sobor Commission and the Consistory Staff, St. Andrew Memorial Church Staff, the Ukrainian Cultural Center Staff, the Metropolia Center Grounds and Maintenance Staff and our seminarians of St. Sophia Seminary for their thorough organization and preparations for and participation in the liturgical services, Sobor plenary sessions, break-out committee meetings, workshops and social events and most especially for their welcoming attitude to all Sobor registrants. We need all our faithful to be present and share in this triennial gathering, as the highest administrative body of our Church. We urge every one of our clergy and our parishes to begin planning and raising funds to send their representatives to participate in the 20th Regular Sobor in 2013.