Archdiocesan Council Meets in Vancouver

May 5, 2023

Even though it has been a little over a year since most pandemic restrictions were lifted; there is nonetheless a feeling that we are all doing something new and exciting. 

Indeed there was a sense of this when our Archdiocesan council met this past week in Vancouver at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church. As such, routine and mundane reports and presentations seemed all the more interesting, and wonderful. I suppose one could say this is simple hyperbole, and over sentimentality (especially given the challenges of various pandemic restrictions that are still fresh in everyone's thoughts); but there is something quite wonderful when we get to meet in person, and talk (in and outside of our meetings), as opposed to a simple virtual conference. It conveys in a personal way, that the struggles of those on the other side of the country, are not unlike the struggles here at home; and moreover, the victories of Christ being experienced at home, are also being experienced in on the other side of the country.

What was shared at the meetings was a continuation of what was reported at our last meetings (in Rawdon QC); that of a growing Church (in every respect). Last year (2022) we received more parish contributions, from more parishes. Building projects and the various needs were funded, like the renovations for St Aidan's parish in Cranbrook, BC. In fact the council was able to visit the beautiful new building for St Herman of Alaska in Langley as it nears completion — a project the Archdiocese has contributed to. Our parishes grew, and the possibility of establishing new missions was something more than just talk. Indeed the Lord is blessing our Archdiocese.

This is not to say that we don't have anything to worry about, of course we do. They are parish vacancies and priestly retirements, and there is the challenge of providing priests and deacons to serve. There are administrative issues that any organization has to work through (growing pains). These challenges are nothing new for our missionary diocese; yet it has been our faith in the saving love of God, and the prayers of our Church that has sustained us through it all; and will sustain us for many more years. The leadership of our beloved Archbishop Irenee, and the work of the Chancellor (Fr Phillip Eriksson) treasurer (Fr Rodion Luciuk) and secretary (Anna Miller), and wisdom of the deans and lay representatives, places this Archdiocese on a stable foundation in which to navigate through these challenges; not as administrators per se, but truly as Christians.

May the Lord bless the work and guidance of our Archbishop and the Archdiocesan council as it continues the witness of St Tikhon the blessed and holy Archbishop Arseny, and the pioneers who offered everything, that we might what is a healthy Church, and bless us that we might provide the same for future generations. Glory to God!

Archpriest Gregory Scratch