11th Regular Sobor of Ukrainian Orthodox Communities in Diaspora Took Place in Munich, Germany
Clergy and faithful from various Ukrainian Orthodox parish communities from across France, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand gathered in Munich, Germany for the 11th Regular Clergy-Laity Gathering- Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora during the weekend of October 30 – November 1, 2015, informs the press service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA.
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the Prime hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Locum Tenens of the Ukrainian Orthodox communities in Diaspora along with His Eminence Archbishop Ioan, Ruling hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox parishes in Europe as well as in Australia and New Zealand opened the proceedings of Sobor with a Moleben service at Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Munich, thus giving a prayerful beginning to the life-giving and inspiring sessions and conversations about the life of various parish communities of Ukrainian Orthodox Church throughout Diaspora.
Metropolitan Antony called everyone in attendance to remain faithful to the sacred precepts of Holy Orthodox Church as the world is challenged by numerous social and moral challenges. Conveying the greetings of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Metropolitan Antony quoted from the official Patriarchal letter: “…Meeting together with faithful from all over the world – including the United States, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand - is not merely a response to a legal obligation. Above and beyond all, it is a unique opportunity to share with one another news about developments on the parish, regional and global levels, especially at a time when our world is facing numerous tests to the Church’s unity and peace… More particularly, however, in your own blessed nation of Ukraine, the ongoing changes and challenges are continually in our mind and heart as well as in our prayer in order that God may continue to guide His people to a place of refreshment, unity and reconciliation for the glory of His Name and the spiritual growth of the Ukrainian people…”
The discussions included concrete plans for close cooperation with charitable projects of the UOC of the USA as well as pastoral ministerial projects in local parish communities in the nations where the Ukrainian Orthodox parishes minister and serve, among them the need for soup kitchen support, youth ministry, orphanage and widow adoption projects. The delegates expressed their concern and desire for better communication between the eparchial structures and need for continued clergy education.
Reflecting upon the mission of the Holy Orthodox Church in the Western World, the delegates of the Church expressed their gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for the ecological initiative in our society as well for the efforts in reconciling the anomaly of Ukrainian Orthodox ecclesiastical division.
On Sunday, 1 November, Hierarchal Liturgy was celebrated in Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church with His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel and the clergy of the Church concelebrating in the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Ioan, who due to health reasons was not able to concelebrate. Moreover, the local bishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, Bishop Peter attended the Divine Liturgy sharing with those in attendance the brotherly message of hope for closer cooperation between the Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic communities in Germany and other European and Oceanic countries.