NEWS AND EVENTS - Thursday, October 2, 2014
BISHOP MAXIM'S ARCHAPASTORAL VISIT TO THE FAITHFUL IN SEATTLE
Seattle, WA - Seattle is in the top 5 rainiest U.S. cities by number of precipitations days, and it gets the least amount of annual sunlight of all major cities in the lower-48 states. This city experiences moderate to heavy rain during the months of November, December, and January. However, during this last Archpastoral visit of His Grace our Bishop Maxim to his humble flock and parishes dedicated to St. Sava and The Protection of the Holy Theotokos, we had a sunny and crisp weekend.
His Grace arrived to Seattle on Friday, September 26th, accompanied by our new Diocesan deacon Fr. Zoran Aleksic. They were greeted at the airport by Fr. Predrag Bojovic. After arriving at Fr. Predrag’s residence, His Grace and Deacon Zoran were greeted by Fr. Predrag’s family and then they all spent an evening in spiritually rewarding talks and enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by Presbytera Rada.
On Saturday morning, His Grace officiated the Divine Liturgy and celebrated the Feast of The Elevation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross, at the local parish dedicated to the Protection of the Holy Theotokos, with a Eucharist that everyone in attendance will long remember. This parish’s priest, Fr. Seraphim Gascoine, along with altar boys and numerous pious parishioners, met the Bishop at the front doors and followed him into the church. His Grace moved from the crisp, sunny morning into a brightly lit church with the voices of a choir filling the air. After the Bishop’s vesting, His Grace presided over The Divine Liturgy concelebrated by Fr. Seraphim, Fr. Predrag Bojovic, Fr. Milan Unkovic (from Portland, OR), Deacon Zoran Aleksic and the blessed Synaxis of the faithful (around 50) of whom many communed in the Cup of Eternal Life.
On Saturday evening, His Grace Bp. Maxim arrived to the St. Sava Parish where he was greeted by approximately 15 children and 40 adults. After the Vesper Service (served by Fr. Milan Unkovic and Deacon Zoran Aleksic) Father Predrag greeted His Grace in behalf of the whole community and reminded people of the essential Episcopal role in the Church. He has spoken on behalf of the whole synaxis when he exclaimed: “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord”!
Afterwards a banquet took place in the church hall where the local KSSmembers served a delicious meal of traditional Serbian fasting foods. Then, with liberty typical of children with their parents, sons and daughters of this region started spiritually uplifting conversation with their father, His Grace Bishop Maxim, raising many questions of great importance for their salvation. These refreshing talks lasted late into the evening when, prior to adjourning, Fr. Predrag expressed gratitude to His Grace and invited everyone to participate in tomorrow’s Divine Liturgy, thus iconizing Future Reality and continuing our journey towards “The Never Ending Day“ of Lord’s Kingdom, gathered around our Father and Bishop Maxim.
On Sunday morning, upon His Grace’s arrival and vesting, a local reader, Darko Hrle, was elevated into the rank of hipodeacon and than His Grace presided over a solemn Eucharistic Synaxis. More than 100 adults and 40 children came in thirst for “The Living Water”, of whom many quenched this spiritual thirst by communing in the Cup of Eternal Life. His Grace delivered an inspiring sermon on the importance of community and our relationships in the light of contemporary temptations and issues of alienation and “cyber communication”.
Laughter, joy and live music filled the hall during the festal banquet (again prepared by our KS Sisters) as His Grace alternated time between enjoyable conversations with adults and happy playing with the children who sought his attention. Then, our Sunday school children pleasantly surprised everyone with their performance comprised of singing, playing (our parish’s youth band) and reciting. In fact, through their performance, children encouraged everyone to keep discovering their talents, which was providential and in accordance with the Gospel reading for that day (The Parable of the Talents).
After seeing His Grace and Deacon Zoran off at the airport, filled with emotions and memories of the few memorable and joyful days in His Grace’s presence, Fr. Predrag proclaimed in behalf of “Holly ones” in this community and “with one heart and one mind” with them: IS POLA ETI DESPOTA!