Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada



Chancellor's Corner - October 13 2017

"This IS the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

It is a beautiful, clear but rather cool and windy Friday morning, Oct 13th as I assemble these thoughts.

I am looking forward to seeing and speaking with as many of you as possible over this coming month at and during the eparchial assemblies in Regina, next week, in Edmonton, the following week, and a couple of weeks later, in Toronto. There is much to discuss, and I certainly believe - there is much that many of you, my fellow pilgrims, searching for the Kingdom of Heaven, just like me, may wish to know about the operations of your consistory office, or as we commonly call it - "the consistory," or even just "Winnipeg."

It is a beautiful, clear but rather cool and windy Friday morning, Oct 13th as I assemble these thoughts.

The last five months or so in the life of our consistory office, (since Pascha, and the "face-to-face" Consistory Board held here in Winnipeg in mid-May,) from my perspective, have had three dominant themes: unity, liturgy, and communication.

Unity:

At all times, our God calls every one of us to unity - our God who has revealed Himself to us as one God in Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This places a huge responsibility on every one of us who seek to work or serve in "the church," and therefore including in any "church service work," be it in the worship services or be it in "administration," or be it in "buildings and grounds."

Having been blessed with the opportunity to serve in this "chair / office," for more than two years, now - I have become increasingly convinced as to how important this is AND how extremely difficult and challenging it is at the same time.

Very simply put ... building and fostering (church) unity always begins with me. What am I saying, what am I doing, how am I doing it ... and what are my motives?

Continuing to build and foster (church) unity ... then depends upon ... yes, me, again. Am I working on myself, am I praying, am I seeking to at all times be loving, patient, kind and supportive to my brothers and sisters in the faith, also (hopefully,) seeking to foster unity?

And when I speak of unity, I mean this at the "lowest" levels of our church life and administration - in and amongst our parishes' memberships, in and amongst our parishes' councils-executives, (and even as between executives and their membership, not to speak of fostering unity as between the priest and the executive or membership.) Church unity further needs to be fostered at the regional (parish districts, deaneries [formerly mission districts,]) and eparchial levels. And most certainly, unity needs to be fostered at the "higher" levels of our (beloved UOCC's) administration - "the consistory."

And yet, in all cases - this fostering of unity begins with me, and continues with me, and not on seeking to get the "other" to do this or that, or to do it in a certain way, or on a certain "time-line," (that we may have imposed for them.)

I offer a final thought on unity (for now.) Unity does not mean unanimity, nor does it mean whole and complete agreement with one another all the time or every time. It does mean that everyone one of us who take up the mantle - whom God has called to serve, does our own part to build and foster the unity of the church, and specifically, the unity of our beloved UOCC, entering the Centennial Jubilee Year of her missionary endeavours for the salvation of our souls, and of those who have laboured and served before us.

Liturgy (liturhia):

Most of us think of the Sunday morning "church service" as our liturgy (we also call it in Ukrainian, "Sluzhba Bozha," - literally "God's Service.") There is a profound depth of meaning in reflecting only on this aspect, (perhaps a future "reflection.")

With respect to our consistory office, and building on the unity noted above, I offer liturgy in the sense of people doing common service.

Our Lord has taught us - where two or three gather in His Name, he is amongst us. And from the Holy Prophet Isaiah - "God (is) with us, ..."

Our consistory office, our "national head office" is not some impersonal thing, (although it is also a 45 year old building located at 9 St. John's Avenue in Winnipeg.)

God has called us all, certainly us, the sons and daughters of the UOCC, all the membership, including the "friends / affiliates / adherents," to liturgy - to do the common service of God for the salvation of the world.

We have been lead and inspired to establish a "national head office" ("the consistory,") in Winnipeg. I believe that we are all called to do the common service to and for our beloved UOCC in building up our church through our common service - and again, and again ... let it begin with me.

Communication:

I must smile ... I am sure that there will be many readers who may snicker ... "where have I seen or heard this before ...?!"

Or, other readers who may nod in agreement ... yes, we need "more and better communication," and we need it yesterday...

And still others who may be inclined to cynically mutter ... "it will never change ... we don't have enough communication, and we don't have it soon enough and we don't have it clear enough or ..."

I smile further ... in response to the first comment or question, above - "where have I seen or heard this before ..." Well, it was another otets (Fr.) Udod who was bothered enough at one time to call for ... more communication, and better communication ... from "the consistory" ... (and telephones had just begun to be built with push-buttons ...but if you called someone and they weren't home you had to call back later.)

Serving as the Chair of the Presidium, (which currently includes, amongst other "service opportunities," - "legal affairs clerk," "acting finance manager," "internal tech support and co-ordinator," and "communications director,") has provided plenty of activity to "keep me occupied."

At the same time - it is both natural, and indeed wholly appropriate that "the membership," and certainly the "national board" (the Consistory Board,) want to know "what's happening, and what's going on."

And therein lies the tension - between doing the work necessary and required, (and called for,) and often according to "external dead-lines," (CRA is a good example, but not the only one!) AND letting the plenitude know "what's going on..."

This "column" is already plenty long enough ... so I'll end off "communication" with the following final thought. As God provides, as we respond and foster unity, as we do liturgy (common service,) and as these begin with me - so too does communication. I hope and pray that this be so for every one of us.

New "Finance Manager" for the UOCC:

What I am very pleased to be able to communicate - to present at this time is that our beloved UOCC has a new "Finance Manager."

Through an extensive search and interviewing process, we came to terms with Lois Harcus, CGA, CMA, CA. She begins her work and service for the UOCC on Monday, Oct. 16th.

Lois and her husband, both originally from Winnipeg, have now moved back to Winnipeg from Leduc - Edmonton.

Lois was in the consistory office on Wednesday afternoon (Oct 11th,) for a visit and met the staff here.

I will be introducing Lois further at the up-coming eparchial assemblies.

Please join with me in welcoming her to the UOCC's Office of the Consistory.

 

I look forward once again, to meeting up with as many of you as possible at the assemblies ahead, and please do feel welcome to approach me with your thoughts, questions, suggestions ... and especially offers of assistance in fostering unity, doing liturgy, and enhancing communication.

z Namy Boh! God (is) with Us!

- Fr. Taras Udod, Chancellor of the UOCC

 

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