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SOBOR in Australia and New Zealand Eparchy

UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA

CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

PRESS RELEASE

 

UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX EPARCHY OF AUSTRALIA

AND NEW ZEALAND – 18th REGULAR SOBOR

The hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand gathered at Pokrova – Protection of the Mother of God – Parish in Flemington (Sydney), New South Wales, Australia on 9-10 July.  The Sobor meeting itself was preceded by meetings of the Eparchial Council, the Consistory and a short clergy conference.  The participants of the Sobor represented all the parishes of the Eparchy. Metropolitan Antony, prime hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora, opened the Sobor with prayer and asked the other two hierarchs – the Eparchial Ruling Hierarch, Archbishop Ioan and His Grace Bishop Daniel, member of the Council of Bishops of the Church in Diaspora – to join him in blessing the Sobor.

The Metropolitan spoke about the extreme importance of the Sobor in the life of Christ’s Holy Church.  The Church, by the Will of her Founder – our Lord Himself – has the responsibility to continue carrying out the effort assigned to it through the Holy Apostles – “to bless people and lead them to God’s Heavenly Kingdom.” At the Sobor we are the Church, the One Body – the Body of Christ.  As we gather at the Sobor we are reminded of our responsibility of love and work, so that our Church will illuminate the faithful with Christ’s Truth and give them the strength of salvation.  The participants of the Sobor represent the fullness of the Church and filled with the Grace of the Holy Spirit, they must seek answers to all the questions and problems of contemporary society.  He called all present to allow the Grace they received through their Baptism and Chrismation and through all the Holy Sacraments of the Church, to be the guiding light of all they think, say and do during the discussions of the Sobor.

Archbishop Ioan welcomed all the participants of the Sobor and asked for their sincere effort to make decisions during the Sobor, which will have positive effects in the lives of the faithful members of the Church and those to whom the Church ministers throughout society. He asked for continued prayers for the Church and faithful in Ukraine and for the nation itself during the difficult and dangerous circumstances presently being experienced by the invasion of the Eastern Oblasts.

Bishop Daniel addressed the Sobor reflecting upon the importance of active participation of each parishioner and parish family in the living Presence of Christ. The bishop called upon those in attendance to be attentive to the Voice of Christ, Who calls us to minister via new methods of outreach means in the 21st century.

Protopresbyter Mykola Serdiuk, President of the Consistory and Anatolij Zhukiwsky, Consistory Treasurer were elected as the Chairs of the Sobor plenary sessions and effectively led the presentation of all the reports to the Sobor from various officers and bodies of the church administration, which covered the life of the Church over the previous six years since the last Sobor.  Although the Sobor is supposed to convene every three years, the 2012 Sobor was postponed for various reasons.  The officers elected at the 17th Sobor remained in office, administrating the life of the Eparchy.  The discussion of the reports was very open and positive providing direction for the administration elected at the present Sobor in its work for the coming three years.  Of particular importance was the necessity of concentrating of the youth of the Church and reaching out to the thousands of Ukrainian immigrants who have arrived in Australia since the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Independence of Ukraine in the last decade of the twentieth century.

The Sobor nominations committee presented its report nominating the following individuals, who were elected unanimously:

EPARCHIAL COUNCIL HEADED BY METROPOLITAN ANTONY:  Archimandrite Onufrey, V. Rev. Wasyl Kasyan, Deacon Walter Slaven, Olga Buchanan, Peter Mowczan, Nadia Namuren, Matushka Iryna Kvasniuk and Bohdan Dajuk

CONSISTORY: Rev. Fr. Michael Solomko, President, V. Rev. Evgen Kvasniuk, Vice-President, Rev. Fr. Michael Smolynec, Member, Matushka Halyna Kasyan, Secretary, Volodymyr Woytowych, Treasurer. Alternate – Pavle Zelinska

CHURCH COURT: Archimandrite Onufrey, Olga Buchanan and one more clergy to be appointed by the Metropolitan at a later date.

AUDIT COMMISSION: Deacon Walter Slaven, Ivan Zhuravel and Bohdan Wolodymyriv.

These elected officers were inducted to office following Divine Liturgy on Sunday following the Sobor.

During the Sobor sessions, His Eminence Archbishop Ioan, due to his advancing age and ill-health, submitted his resignation to Metropolitan Antony requesting retirement from all his Archpastoral responsibilities in the Church of the Diaspora.  He stated that he simply cannot fulfill all the responsibilities and expressed his gratitude to Protopresbyter Mykola Serdiuk and his wife, Matushka Taisa and all the faithful of the Eparchy for their continued efforts in Christ’s Vineyard.

Metropolitan Antony responded expressing deep gratitude to His Eminence for the 15 years of service he had given to the Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand and for the 60 years that he has devoted his life to Christ’s Church beyond the borders of Ukraine.  The Metropolitan fondly recalled the time just prior to his consecration, when Fr. Ioan visited South Bound Brook, NJ, the center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA for meetings with then Metropolitan Mstyslav. The Metropolitan was very moved by the humility of this priest, who said he did not feel worthy of being consecrated.  He advised the young priest before him to count upon the Grace he would receive during his consecration and he will be strengthened by it for all his episcopal service. The Metropolitan assured Archbishop Ioan of his continued prayers for him and asked the faithful to do the same.

Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, Metropolitan Antony addressed Protopresbyter Mykola Serdiuk and expressed the sincere gratitude of all the clergy and faithful of the Eparchy for his twenty years of service in leading the Eparchy as President of the Consistory. The Metropolitan recalled the ten years he served as the Eparchial Ruling Bishop and their combined efforts to successfully unite the two existing Ukrainian Orthodox jurisdictions. His Eminence stated that Fr. Mykola had already received all the priestly elevations for his devoted service to Christ’s Church and shared that he had adopted an ancient practice in such situations, which was the awarding of an icon of Christ “not made by human hands”. It is the image imprinted on a towel given to our Lord as he was forced to carry his cross to the Crucifixion. He wiped the perspiration from his face and the image remained. It has been, throughout history, a source of healing for thousands of people. The Metropolitan announced that the icon has been ordered and will be presented to Fr. Mykola during his next visit to the Eparchy. The hierarchs, clergy and faithful all responded to the Metropolitan’s declaration of “Axios” – “he is worthy”.

The host parish sponsored a banquet in the parish social center following Liturgy, which gave the opportunity for the delegates to express their gratitude to the community organizations that made significant contributions to cover the cost of the Sobor: the Karpaty Credit Union, the Dnister Credit Union and St. Nicholas Parish, Brisbane, Australia.

Послання 18-го Звичайного Собору Єпархії Української Автокефальної Православної Церкви Австралії та Нової Зеландії до українських Православних християн

Церква – Божа установа служіння

“Читаючи сторінки Святого Письма ми починаємо усвідомлювати, що на нас поставлена надзвичайна та свята відповідальність. Господь наш Ісус Христос неодноразово закликає нас бути служителями Словa Божого та діяти в ім’я Його любовю та служінням...” – Митрополит Антоній, Звернення до 18-го Звичайного Собору.

Делегати 18-го Звичайного Собору Єпархії УАПЦ Австралії та Нової Зеландії, під проводом наших ієрархів, підтвердили те, що нам потрібно звертати більше уваги на потреби наших братів і сестер навколо нас. Дбати про ближніх є в основі Богом даного Заповіді: “Любіть Бога всім серцем своїм, і любіть ближнього свого як самого себе.” Ця надзвичайно важлива відповідальність включає в себе ідею “благодійності”. Господь і Спаситель наш Ісус Христос і наша Свята Церква вчать нас, що основою благодійності є нагодування голодних, напоєння спраглих, одягнення нагих, прийняття бездомних, відвідування хворих та тих, що у в’язниці, і на кінець жертвування самих себе заради своїх ближніх. Наша любов до Бога виражається в тому, на скільки ми ставимо потреби інших перед нашими власними потребами.

Ми, вірні Української Автокефальної Православної Церкви Австралії та Нової Зеландії є тісно пов’зані з нашим суспільством в якому ми живемо, і тому ми повинні прийняти заклик Господній до служіння та рознести вчення Церкви в життя усіх наших громад. Ми молимось, що Господь просвітить нас, щоб ми зуміли відкрити свої очі, і допоможе нам присвятити наші серця і розум до викликів модерного суспільства та можливостей допомагати нашим ближнім. В цьому дусі, Собор заохочує кожну парафію стати благодійниками своєї громади – тому, що ми є слугами один одного вчинками любові і милосердя.

Господній заклик до служіння вимагає від кожного з нас перестати дбати про самих себе, а бути більш відкритими для потреб інших. Ми не повинні боятися вживати нові методи служіння та засоби комунікацій для того, щоб сповнити цей заклик до служіння. 

Особиста присутність та благословенням наших ієрархів, духовенства та вірних, що зібралися на 18-й Звичайний Собор є запорукоюнашого успішного служіння в ім’я Господнє. Ми вдячні Всесвятішому Вселенському Патріарху Варфоломію за благословення, котре передав нам Високопреосвященний Митрополит Антоній під час Собору. З постійною думкою, про переживання Його Всесвятості за духовний зріст Української Православної Церкви в Україні у цей важкий період, ми запевняємо Патріарха Варфоломія у молитовній підтримці в той час коли він старається безбечно керувати Церквою через бурхливі води, які затримують встановлення єдиної Помісної Української Православної Церкви, незалежної від ніяких чужинних втручань.

Духовенство та вірні, що зібралися на 18-й Звичайний Собор УAПЦ Австралії та Нової Зеландії радіють і знаходять мир у благословеннях та проводі наших ієрархів – Високопреосвященнішого Митрополита Антонія, Високопреосвященнішого Архиєпископа Івана та Преосвященного Єпископа Даниїла – та сердечно дякують їм за неперестанну духовну підтримку, за люблячу працю на добро Святої Української Православної Церкви та за їхні молитви про освячення та спасіння Її вірних дітей. Нехай наш люблячий Господь дарує їм доброго здоров’я, миру та сили у служінні в Його Винограднику. Одночасно висловлюємо наші щирі вітання ієрархам та духовенству та вірним братніх Українських Православних Церков в Україні та поза її межами.

Усвідомлюючи духовне та національне надбання нашого народу з молитвою на устах ми згадуємо засновників Єпархії Австралії та Нової Зеландії котрі саможертовно працювали над збереженням спадщини Українського Православ'я в Австралії та передали естафету служіння наступному поколінню. Саме це наступне покоління взяло на себе обов’язок в організації Собору Єпархії і за їхнє служіння ми висловлюємо вдячність, а саме настоятелю та парафіянам Української Автокефальної Православної парафії Покрова Пресвятої Богородиці в Стратфілд Вест, Сідней.

З доземним поклоном вдячності за роки служіння в Христовому Винограднику – нашій Єпархії, ми молимо Всевишнього Бога про щедрі благословення здоров’я та доброботу для Архиєпископа Іона, який протягом останніх 16 років опікувався духовним добробутом Єпархії та із закінченням цього Собору відходить на заслужений відпочинок. Одночасно, Собор Церкви вдячний протопресвітеру Миколі Сердюку за останніх 20 років відданого служіння – сповнюючи обов’язки голови Консисторії Єпархії та пану Ярославу і пані Любі Соловій за їхню довголітню працю, опікуючись архівами Єпархії та музеєм в центрі Православ’я в столиці Австралії - Кенбері.

Окрім того Собор Церкви висловлює вдячність Українським громадським організаціям Карпати та Дністер за їхню щедрість та підтримку діянь Собору та служінню Церкви.

Message of the 18th Regular Council (SOBOR) of the Eparchy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Australia and New Zealand to the Ukrainian Orthodox Christians

"The Church - God's Institution of Service ..."

"Reading the pages of the Holy Scripture we become aware of that we had been given an extraordinary responsibility. Our Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly encourages us to be servants of God's Word and act in His name with love and service ... "- Metropolitan Antony, Addresses to the 18th Regular Sobor.

Delegates of the 18th Regular Council of UAOC Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand, led by our Hierarchs have confirmed that we need to pay more attention to the needs of our brothers and sisters around us. To care for others is in the basis of God's commandments: "Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself." This extremely important responsibility includes the idea of ​​"charity". Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our Holy Church teaches us, that foundation of charity is to feed the hungry, let the thirsty to drink, dress the naked, take care of the homeless, visit the sick and those in prison, and finally sacrifice ourselves for our neighbors. Our love for God is expressed in how much we put the needs of others before our own needs.

We, the faithful of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Australia and New Zealand are connected closely with our society in which we live, have to accept the calling to serve the Lord and spread the teachings of the Church in the life of all our communities. We pray that the Lord enlightens us, so that we are able to open our eyes and help us dedicate our hearts and minds to the challenges of modern society and the capabilities to help our neighbors. In this way, the Council encourages every parish to become benefactors of their community - because we are servants of each other deeds of love and mercy.

The Lord's calling to serve, demands from each of us to stop taking care of ourselves and be more open to the needs of others. We should not be afraid to use new methods and means of communication service in order to fulfill this call to serve.

Personal presence and the blessing of our Hierarchs, clergy and the faithful that gathered at the 18th Regular Council, is the key to our successful service in the name of the Lord. We are grateful to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the blessings which was passed to us by His Eminence Metropolitan Antony during the Council. With the constant thought and concern that His All-Holiness expressed for the spiritual growth of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine during these difficult times, we assure Patriarch Bartholomew I in our prayerful support while he tries safely lead the Church through turbulent waters that delay the establishment of one national Ukrainian Orthodox Church, independent of any strange interventions.

The clergy and the faithful gathered at the 18th Regular Council of UAOC of Australia and New Zealand are rejoicing and find peace in the blessings and in the guidance of our Hierarchs – His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, His Eminence Archbishop John and His Grace Bishop Daniel – we are grateful for their continuous spiritual support, for love and the wealth of the Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church and for their prayers for the sanctification and salvation of her faithful children. May our loving Lord give them good health, peace and strength in serving His Holy Vineyard. At the same time we extend our sincere greetings to the hierarchs, clergy and the faithfulbrotherly Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in Ukraine and abroad.

Realizing the spiritual and national heritage of our people with a prayer in our hearts, we remember the founders of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand who worked on conservation of the heritage of Ukrainian Orthodoxy in Australia and passed the torch of service to the next generation. The next generation took over the duty in conducting the Council of the Eparchy and for their dedication and service we express our gratitude, namely to the pastor and the parish congregation of the Protection of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Parish in West Stratfield, Sydney.

With appreciation and deep gratitude for the years of service in Christ's Vineyard - our Eparchy prays to the Almighty God for blessing, generous health and well-being for Archbishop John, who for the past 16 years took care of the spiritual welfare of the Eparchy and with the conclusion of this Council will retire. At the same time, Council of the Church is grateful to Protopresbyter Mykola Serdyuk for the past 20 years of devoted service – being a President of the Consistory of the Eparchy and to Pan Yaroslav and Pani Lyuba Soloviy for their many years of dedicated work, taking care of the Eparchial archives and museum in “the Center of Orthodoxy” in the capital of Australia – Canberra.

In addition, the Council of the Church expresses profound to the Ukrainian public organizations Karpatu and Dniester for their generosity and support of the 18th Regular SOBOR and for the service to the Church.

SOBOR in Australia and New Zealand Eparchy

SOBOR in Australia and New Zealand Eparchy - 07/15/16

Photos by Marichka Halaburda Czyhryn

(157 images)


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Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
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