Bishop Peter Visits St. Vladimir Church, Ann Arbor, MI
June 2-3, 2007 – On the weekend following the great feast of Pentecost, His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland presided at the Divine Services at St. Vladimir Church in Ann Arbor, MI. On the eve of the feast of All Saints His Grace served the All-Night Vigil with Priest Gregory Joyce (Rector of the parish), Priest Victor Trotskyy (Rector of the Detroit Dormition Cathedral), Priest Kristijan Petrovich (Rector of St. Petka Serbian Church in Troy, MI), and Deacon Alexander Kitchakov (Protection Cathedral, Des Plaines, IL). The choir sang beautifully under the direction of the parish’s Choir Director, Julia Easson-Meyer. Following the Vigil the parish’s St. Xenia Sisterhood offered a light meal to those who had attended the service. On Sunday morning Bishop Peter was met by the new Starosta of St. Vladimir Church, Karl (Mercurius) Meyer and several young people from the parish dressed in traditional Russian costume with the customary bread and salt. Mr. Meyer thanked Bishop Peter for his visit and noted how beneficial His Grace’s visits and archpastoral care are to the parish. Again at the Divine Liturgy the choir was magnificent under the leadership of Julia Easson-Meyer. In his sermon on the theme of All Saints, and more specifically the Holy Equal to the Apostles Constantine and Helen, Bishop Peter instructed the parishioners on St. Paul’s admonition to pray for and show the proper respect for the rulers and armed forces of one’s country. His Grace noted that although one may or may not agree with the policies of one’s government, the threshold of St. Paul’s admonition is much higher than personal agreement or disagreement. In fact, the only time that one could consider oneself at all justified in not praying for and showing proper respect for one’s civil authorities is if these civil authorities mandate renunciation of the Orthodox Faith. Thus, His Grace pointed out that whether we are in agreement or disagreement with the actions of the nation’s armed forces we are not to leave off prayer for them, but rather remember that the soldier’s themselves are exhibiting obedience in the execution of their duties, and pray for them diligently. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy His Grace presented a Diocesan Gramota to Olga Vladislavovna Agalakova, the parish’s Church School Principal, in thanks for her extraordinary efforts in assisting Fr. Gregory in the administration of the parish school. Following the Divine Liturgy the St. Xenia Sisterhood offered a festive meal in honor of Bishop Peter’s visit to the parish. During the meal His Grace answered questions about his recent visit to Russia for the Divine Services and festivities surrounding the reconciliation of the Russian Church. A Participant
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