Memory Eternal, Archbishop NIKON
Once again, we must sadly – but with faith and hope – announce the passing of a great leader in the Orthodox Church in America, His Eminence the Most Reverend Nikon, Archbishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian Archdiocese. His Eminence fell asleep in the Lord September 1, 2019. His repose was preceded by a long life of serving Christ’s Church in numerous capacities, nurtured in the Faith from his youth up.
His Eminence occupied a special place in the hearts of Southern Orthodox Christians in the OCA. From February 2011 until March 2015 he served as locum tenens (temporary administrator) of the Diocese of the South. In that capacity he displayed genuine warmth and a fatherly concern for his flock, so characteristic of Archbishop Dmitri’s forty-two-year episcopacy, our Diocese’s founding hierarch. (Archbishop Dmitri retired in March of 2009 and fell asleep in the Lord, August 28, 2011).
Archbishop Nikon also had the distinction of being one of the only widowed bishops in the OCA. On occasion he would refer to the uniqueness of his episcopal walking staff. Embedded in the top was his wife’s (Sarah) wedding ring, a sign that he was never without her. She reposed in 2000, he was consecrated Bishop in 2002. The Archbishop’s experience of marriage was a great help throughout his ministry. He sometimes thought that having been married provided him a unique perspective on Church life while serving on the Holy Synod of Bishops. At Southern Diocesan Assemblies he took great joy in hosting the customary clergy wives’ luncheon.
In addition, Archbishop Nikon for many years was a friend of Archbishop Dmitri, serving under him during Archbishop Dmitri’s episcopal oversight of the New England Diocese, from 1971 to 1978. In 1978 the OCA’s Holy Synod established the Diocese of the South and elected (then) Bishop Dmitri as its first ruling hierarch. His Eminence Nikon would recall with brotherly affection the pastoral care afforded him and additional New England clergy during Archbishop Dmitri’s time in the Northeast.
On a more personal note, many of us remember Archbishop Nikon’s visit to St. Barbara Orthodox Church in August of 2014. His Eminence celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, met with the Council, offering Council members profound words of insight, and spoke privately as well with children and parents. He also enjoyed greatly a special reception given in his honor. The Archbishop had an innate ability to find comfort with parishioners of all ages.
In recent years His Eminence experienced declining health. His gentle pastoral spirit remains with us as an inspiration, and, as some have recently commented, “he is now with his beloved Sarah in God’s Kingdom.” May his memory be eternal!
Church School 2019-2020
This year our Church School curriculum will focus on the Parables of Christ. We will add relevant topics such as major feast days, lives of the saints, etc., as these teaching opportunities avail themselves.
The Church School year will begin with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross on Saturday, September 14th at 10:00 a.m. Parents will need to send a snack for their child(ren) for each Church School session. In addition, families will be given take-home reading, information and activities about each Church School class to expand their own Orthodox resource library. We look forward to an enjoyable and informative year. Please see Matushka Christine Zebrun, our Church School Coordinator, with any questions. Following is an outline of the first semester with days, times and topics:
SATURDAY, SEPT. 14th: 10:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy for the Elevation of the Cross. Church School afterwards focusing on The Elevation of the Cross and The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23, Luke 8:5-15): Read on Sunday, Oct 13 this year.
SATURDAY, OCT. 12th: 4:00 p.m. Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31): Read on Sunday, October 20 this year.
SATURDAY, NOV. 9th: 4:00 p.m. Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21): Read on Sunday, November 17 this year.
SATURDAY, DEC. 14th: 4:00 p.m. Parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:16-24): Read on December 15 for the Sunday of the Forefathers, in preparation for Christ’s Nativity.
Music and Reader Rehearsals
We continue our Youth Choir Rehearsals with a gathering of children, 3rd grade to senior in High School. We will meet this month on Saturday, September 21 at 5:00 pm. A Readers Workshop open to men, women, pre-teens and teens will be conducted on Sunday, September 29, during the latter part of Coffee Hour.
General Confession and Council Meeting
General Confession is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18 at 6:00 pm, and a Council Meeting on Thursday, September 19, at 6:30 pm.