“Chancellor’s Corner” message for Pascha 2019
It is a beautiful, warm and sunny day in this sixth week of the Great Fast as I quickly put these few thoughts together so that we can get this Paschal issue of our Visnyk off to the printers, and by God’s grace – get it to you, our dear readers before Pascha – Velykden’.
As I have previously drawn our collective attention to the following – I am called to do so again. As Christians, we are all called to be in the world, but not be of the world. This places a very heavy responsibility on us to live our faith in every and any way anytime … and indeed all the time.
God in His Love and mercy blessed us – the sons and daughters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada to have celebrated (and indeed to continue to celebrate!) 100 years of missionary endeavours and service in this, our God-beloved Canada through 2018.
God in His Love and mercy further blessed us – to be witnesses to the proclamation of the Autocephaly of the Church in our ancestral home-land Ukraine.
As a result of this Centenary milestone – anniversary, and as a result of being witnesses of the “new” Church in Ukraine, I call on all of us to first and foremost, and above all else – be grateful in everything we think and say and do. We are called to do so as individuals, as members of our families (and certainly to and with our families,) and as members of our “hromady” (parishes or “communities,”) – in particular when and where we are called to be leaders in those “hromady” – whether we are clergy or lay leaders, and whether we are called to be leaders and set an example locally, regionally or “nationally.”
Another way to put this is simply – “let it begin with me,” for it always has and it always does … and it always will…
I am grateful that God has blessed me to serve in a setting where I have the opportunity to learn every day how essential it is to “let it begin with me,” and if and when I am not sure where or how to begin … I also have the opportunity to ask for God’s guidance.
Pascha – Our Lord’s Resurrection from the dead, is the event when we joyously proclaim over and over and over again … that by His death and Glorious Resurrection He has trampled over – destroyed the power of death, indeed destroyed death itself. It is the ultimate “let it begin with me” that Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ does for us and for our salvation, and for the salvation of the whole world!
We who serve, we who labour, we who are called to support His (“our”) Holy Church are called to do no less than “commend ourselves, one another, and our whole life unto Christ Our God,” and to do so by … “letting it begin with me.”
Beloved members and friends of our UOCC – we are all in this together… our beloved UOCC continues to face many challenges in seeking to be that “ark of our salvation” here in Canada. We collectively both wish to and want to see better, and do better. Yet, at the same time – we live in the “Church Militant” and therefore tend to (or are even tempted to!) “get in our own way” to seeing better and doing better.
My hope, my wish and most certainly, my prayer for us all is that this “first” Pascha of our next 100 Years of missionary endeavours in Canada be for every one of us – in whatever capacity we serve in – a renewed and yet deeper commitment in every one of us to doing whatever it takes, whenever it takes to whatever extent it takes to get to “seeing better,” to “doing better” and in every way and everyday … “let it begin with me” … for the Glory of God, and the salvation of the world!
Khrystos Voskres! Christ is Risen!
Voistynu Voskres! Indeed He is Risen!