What a glorious celebration!
On 6 November, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel visited Holy Resurrection Mission in Waynesville, NC. We were all so blessed by Vladyka’s energy, encouragement, and example of loving sacrificial service. He preached on the need to spontaneously and continuously respond to the needs of others as an authentic outpouring of love and appreciation. While he gave examples in his homily of others performing this kind of service, we witnessed it first-hand in his actions that evening. In fact, his even being with us was just that kind of sacrifice. It is easiest on him to arrange travel around weekends, but his schedule was packed. However, he really wanted to offer the leaders and faithful of Holy Resurrection encouragement and archpastoral care, so he fit in a visit to Waynesville on a Monday evening in between trips to Carnegie and Parma on the one side, and New York and Los Angeles on the other. Despite his hectic schedule, Archbishop Daniel was full of energy. His Eminence would probably say that this was thanks to Starbucks, but there is no doubt that it was the Spirit motivating him to pour himself out on behalf of his spiritual children.
As the mission’s devoted deacon, Deacon John-Bob Cummings, seminarian Subdeacon Andrii Akulenko, Sundeacon Gregory Robel, and father-son server team Andrew-George and John Shows helped Vladyka prepare for the service in the altar, Fr. Anthony served a chrismation in the nave, welcoming Charles-Nikolai Connon into full membership into Christ’s Church. Vladyka made a special point of praying specially for him during several litanies. He also paused during at various times to instruct and provide context for various parts of our worship. Most movingly, he spoke of the suffering of the people of the nations of Ukraine, Israel, and Palestine and led us in special prayers for their salvation, deliverance, and peace.
The entire service was beautiful, with a full choir led by Reader Aiden Buchanan and chanting performed by seminarian and parish member Reader Andrew Mowery. The space was decorated with flowers and filled with believers, to include members of the local OCF chapter and several visitors from our newest mission in Charlotte, North Carolina!
At the end of the service, after Vladyka offered more words of welcome, congratulations, and encouragement, Fr. Anthony prayed over two inquirers, Brad-Gregory Henry and Blake-Paul Ganon, and welcomed them into the catechumenate.
After all of this, it was time for the parish to welcome and thank Vladyka and celebrate his time with Holy Resurrection in true Appalachian fashion: homemade pulled pork, authentic local sauces, sweet tea, and plenty of sides and desserts.
The time passed by so quickly and before we knew it, it was time for wrap things up, but we are so thankful that Vladyka Daniel was able to come and spend the evening with us and we look forward to his next visit. May the Lord grant to His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, the mission of Holy Resurrection, and our UOC-USA MANY BLESSED YEARS!