UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
23rd Ukrainian Independence Day Observance At Ukrainian Cultural Center in South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ!
As Ukrainians throughout the world mark their August 24th Independence Day, the ancestral homeland of so many Ukrainian-Americans continues to be under the cloud of fierce fighting in the East. In their Independence Day statement, the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA condemned the threat to Ukraine's territorial integrity and prayed for a speedy end to the hostilities.
Various Ukrainian-American religious and secular community centers throughout the country are marking the 23rd Independence Day of Ukraine during the weekend of August 22-24, 2014. Such celebration took place at the Metropolia Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ on Friday, August 22nd. The Ukrainian Historical and Educational Center of New Jersey in cooperation with the Consistory Offices of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA organized the event.
Mrs. Natalia Honcharenko opened the official ceremony with the greeting to the community with the 23rd celebration of Ukrainian Independence Day and a formal proclamation of the Governo of the Sate of New Jersey Chris Christie. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, His Grace Bishop Daniel opened the formal program with a prayer, calling upon those in attendance to remember in their prayers the sacrifices of the past and the efforts of present generations of Ukrainians throughout the world in the labor of strengthening the spirit of Ukrainian heritage, especially in the days of continued struggle for Ukraine’s freedom and economic, social and religious stability.
Mr. Konstantyn Vorona, First Vice-Consul of Consulate General of Ukraine to NY, presented a greeting on behalf of Consul General Igor Sybiga and the Permanent Representation of Ukraine at the United Nations.
Among the performers on the stage of the Ukrainian Cultural Center were Innesa Tymochko, Victor Sudir, dance group “Barvinok” and Victor Morozov. Each of the performers reached out to the very core of Ukrainian spirit, as those in attendance prayerfully shared the joys and pains of Ukrainian struggle for freedom.
The evening concluded with a short reflection of Bishop Daniel on the humanitarian aid of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (in the amount of about $100,000) for about 170 families of Ukrainian refugees and some 402 wounded soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces. The final prayer closed the event with chanting of “O God, Great and Almighty, Protect our Ukraine, Bathe her in rays of freedom and of light…”