UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Archpastoral Visit of His Grace Bishop Daniel to Pittsburgh, PA!
The parish of St. Vladimir’s UOC on the South Side of Pittsburgh had the opportunity to host the National Executive Boards of the Senior and Junior UOL this weekend. We were doubly blessed to have our first Eparchial visit from His Grace Bishop DANIEL. As the home parish of two JR. UOL NEB members, we were excited to showcase our parish and the city that we love. Winter weather threatened to disrupt the events of the weekend and made travel difficult for some, but by Saturday morning everyone had gathered together for a weekend of faith, fellowship, and fun.
Hosting the NEB meetings was a unique opportunity to learn about the workings of the Ukrainian Orthodox League. During meals, the board members reached out to our parishioners to discuss important issues, such as developing and maintaining membership in the UOL. Our experience is like many other small parishes; a few good men (and of course women) play leadership roles in many, if not all of the parish organizations. Our parish has an active Junior UOL chapter and we see the many accomplishments and benefits of the UOL. However, it can be a struggle for the adults to find the time and energy to add another set of activities to our parish life at this time. Being able to participate in the Senior NEB discussions helped to energize our membership. On Sunday, we participated in the UOL’s “Souper” Bowl Sunday event, raising over $500 for St. Andrew’s Society. We added several new members and look forward to continuing to develop our Senior UOL Chapter.
The additional services of the weekend were also a fulfilling addition to our parish life. Joining together to begin Saturday’s meetings with a peaceful morning prayers service helped everyone to focus on the goals of the day. Ending the day with Vespers was also a beautiful experience; voices from all over the country joined together to praise God! Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning was uplifting in many ways. The choir sang beautifully, again strengthened by the voices of our visitors. The children of our parish had special roles for the day, throwing petals, greeting His Grace Bishop DANIEL as he entered amidst flurries of snow, and serving at the altar. We were happy to be joined by Seminarian Yurii Andreiko and visiting clergy Rev. Fr. Robert Popichak and his family. During the sermon, His Grace Bishop DANIEL discussed the ever changing idea of “normal” in our society and a reality in which violence, greed, and apathy seem to be ever increasing. He explained that while it is difficult for any individual to combat all of these problems, simply adjusting to this new “normal” is not an option. He challenged us to identify ways to show more kindness, humility, and compassion, and to act as witnesses of what an individual can accomplish when working for the glory of God.