All Saints of North America (2013)

As we commemorate this Sunday All the Saints of North America, we can also think about a vision for the Orthodox Churches in America as well as for the OCA itself.  In 1995, the OCA had a book published about the Church in America and its history.  The book lists both Mark Stokoe and Leonid Kishkovsky as its authors.  One of their concluding statements reads:

“These reflections have made the following conclusions compelling for a great many of the OCA’s members:

–         autocephaly in 1970 was indeed the right and necessary step, and we should be grateful for it in 1995;

–         the OCA is not self-sufficient, but is dedicated to Orthodox mission and unity in America;

–         the OCA is committed to seeking the unity of all Orthodox “jurisdictions” in an Orthodox Church in North America that is canonically and administratively one Church;

–         the achievement of this goal requires the understanding, affirmation, and guidance of Constantinople and other ‘mother churches’; and

–         such understanding, affirmation, and guidance must be sought patiently and persistently.”            ( Orthodox Christians in North America 1794-1994, pg. 133)

Almost another 20 years have passed since the book was published on the 25th Anniversary of the Tome of Autocephaly which created the Orthodox Church in America.  We still need to ask God’s guidance for the Church in North America in both unifying and growing the Church.

O Lord, Send Us Your Holy Spirit

““O Lord, send down on us Your Holy Spirit,

for knowledge of You and all that appertains unto You

come solely through the Holy Spirit,

Who in the beginning You did give unto Adam,

and after him to the holy prophets,

and then to Christian people.

O Lord, let all Your peoples discern Your love,

and the sweetness of the Holy Spirit,

that men may forget the sorrows of this world,

and forsake all that is evil,

and cling unto You in love, and live in peace,

doing Your will to Your glory.

O Lord, vouchsafe unto us the gift of the Holy Spirit,

that we may perceive Your glory,

and love on earth in peace and love,

And let there be neither malice, nor wars nor enemies,

but may love alone reign,

and there will be no need of armies, or prisons,

and life will be easy for everyone on earth.”

(St. Silouan the Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony, pgs.273-274)