UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Golden Jubilee in Spring Valley, CA!
It was 10 years ago that the faithful of the Protection of the Mother of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Spring Valley, CA started making plans for the Golden 50th Anniversary of the parish’s ministry among the Orthodox Christians of San Diego Metropolitan area. Very Rev. Myron Mykhalyk, the pastor of the parish family spoke eloquently about the mission of the Ukrainian Orthodox Christians in the area since the conception of the parish community. Welcoming at the entrance to the temple the ruling hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA – His Grace Bishop Daniel, Fr. Myron reflected upon the achievements of the parishioners and the founding members of the parish. The president of the parish’s board of administration Subdeacon Gary Gebet presented the bishop with the traditional bread and salt, recollecting the contributions the parish made in the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (among them one of the most memorable Conventions of the Ukrainian Orthodox League that was hosted by the parish’s UOL chapter).
Serving with the bishop and the pastor of the parish at the altar were the visiting clergy from the Western Deanery Ukrainian Orthodox parishes: Protopresbyter Alexis Limonchenko, a pastor of Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in San Francisco, CA; Very Rev. Fr. Vasile Sauciur, a pastor of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Pro-Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA and Dean of the Western Deanery –representing their parishes, which sent delegates to represent the sister communities. The choir spiritually chanted the liturgical hymns under the skillful leadership of Maestro Gregory Hallick, a choir director from St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Los Angeles, CA.
Following the Small Entrance, Bishop Daniel paused to explain to the congregation the award, which was presented to Very Rev. Fr. Myron Mykhayluk (a jeweled cross), as he celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Holy Priesthood, explaining how the priest must accept Christ’s cross as his responsibility.
In his sermon remarks, Bishop Daniel greeted the faithful with their golden jubilee on behalf of His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine and His Eminence Archbishop Antony. The bishop stated: “Today, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary. It’s a poignant time. We’re celebrating expectations — hopefully, great expectations. From the little baby to the oldest parishioner, together, we are the Church. Most of us won’t be around in another 50 years, but the children will be. The living torch of Faith is being passed to the younger generations. Now, it’s our turn... We remember in a very special way all those men and women who have come before us and have been a part of the establishment of this parish, the priests and the deacons who have served here, and all the many people who have been given the Holy Mysteries of Christ. The Church is the people of God. The Church gathers together in a sacred building to celebrate what we celebrate now: the Most Holy Eucharist… Remember that the Church is people who have accepted the word of God into their hearts, who have allowed the seed of faith that was planted to flourish.”
As the Divine Liturgy came to conclusion, His Grace Bishop Daniel presented Blessed Certificates of Recognition for the faithful service to the following parishioners of the parish’s community: Subdeacon Gary Gebet, Sophia, Vira and Nadia Skop, Alexander and Sophia Nesterenko, John Smetana, and Victor Fedoriuk.
Following the Liturgical celebrations, the clergy, faithful and guests of the parish were invited for a jubilee banquet, at which people were able to share in the fellowship of Faith with each other.
The clergy in attendance offered their sincere greetings the parish community, stating that seeing so many parishioners and visitors - the church grows and pulses with new life. Representing the local Ukrainian Catholic Community, Fr. James Bankston, a pastor of St. John the Baptizer Ukrainian Catholic Church offered his greetings on behalf of the faithful of his parish community.
"It's a church that the people have pulled by the bootstraps and brought back to life," said one of the parishioners said. "I think it's very important to celebrate this anniversary. It brings us closer with each other. We’re very happy to have our bishop with us, representing a larger Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States of America…"
Even though the official formal agenda of the jubilee day concluded, the faithful remained at the parish’s hall for several hours, sharing their memories and enjoying each other company.