Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America
DOMSE Living the Orthodox Faith in Christ
Words From Sayedna Nicholas
From the January 2022 edition of “The Light”
As we start a new year, we begin with a new hope for a successful period of time on many fronts, while being eager to leave behind undesired matters. Without hope, life may not seem to be worth the effort. Looking forward to a future occasion causes the soul to be open to new endeavors and gives rise to new optimism signaling the merit of life. Having a renewed appreciation for normal and easier life, while living under the duress of the pandemic, the new hope is that normalcy becomes prevalent again. Notwithstanding, many parishes have seen a silver lining to the uncertainty of the past two years in that they grew spiritually and in numbers. Such positive progress reminds me of the cocoon adage. A worm generates a cocoon around itself to prepare to become a butterfly. A person once witnessed the butterfly’s struggle to leave the cocoon behind by exiting through a small hole. He decided to help it by cutting the cocoon with a pair of scissors. The butterfly was left buzzing in circles around itself on the ground without being able to fly. As it turned out, the struggle to leave the cocoon was crucial to force fluids out of the wings into the body, thus taking away the weight from the wings, and further enabling the butterfly to use its wings to fly. We too, as a diocese, have struggled throughout the last two years giving birth to a spiritual renewal, an increase in the faithful’s numbers, and even a creation of a new mission in Concord, NC, Christ the Good Shepherd mission, and potential new missions.
December ushered in an elevation to the Archpriesthood of Fr. Stephen DeYoung on the 12th at his parish of the Archangel Gabriel church, Lafayette, LA, and the ordination to the Holy Diaconate of Franklin Tait on the 26th at St. Stephen Church, Hiram, GA. Both events were memorable and worth mentioning given the sizable contributions of Fr. Stephen to his parish and the diocese and the generous help extended by Franklin to his parish.
Shifting gears to administrative matters, registration has opened on December 15 for the in-person Clergy Annual Retreat, which will be held on January 26th and 27th, and for the in-person Winter Annual Retreat, which will be held on January 28th and 29th. Both retreats are planned to be held at St. Elias Church, Atlanta, GA. In addition, registration has opened on December 15 for the Winter Camp, AKA WAMP at Camp St. Thekla, which is planned to take place on Feb 18th through the 20th. We need not forget the in-person Parish Life Conference (PLC) that is hosted by St. John Church Memphis, TN during the period of June 16 through June 18, inclusively. God bless you all!