UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
A Weekend of Worship and Fellowship with Bishop Daniel
By Subdeacon Cliff O’Neil
Among the many highlights of the weekend was a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. As Bishop Daniel entered the church he was greeted by our pastor the V. Rev. Father Steve Repa, our Board of Directors President, Howard West, and Vice President Shelly Trondle. They presented to our bishop the traditional greeting of bread and salt and the children of the parish welcomed him with a bouquet of flowers.
The bread had been baked and had been carefully prepared for presentation by Board Trustee Andy Brennan.
Special moments before and during the liturgy included: the tonsuring as a reader, the ordination as a sub deacon, and the vesting of Cliff O’Neil by Bishop Daniel. During his homily Vladyka Daniel emphasized that in our daily encounters we should see the face of Christ in everyone we meet. Lastly, Orthodox Study Bibles were presented to 12 new members.
Sunday concluded with a Lenten buffet in the church hall. Commendations go out to Chris Mills and Cynthia Haluszczak for organizing the dinner, preparing many of the dishes and presenting the foods cooked and baked by many of our talented chefs.
As we broke bread and thanked Our Lord for the blessings he has bestowed all of us could sense that we are more than a family, more than a community, that we are a team in which each one of us participates with their own unique gifts and talents.
Saturday was the more workman like day of the two days that we enjoyed with Bishop Daniel. It was a surprisingly cold day for the middle of April in Pittsburgh with even some snow flurries in the air. A morning Divine Liturgy was followed by a light luncheon of soups and salads after which Bishop Daniel addressed the membership detailing plans for the upcoming Sobor, touching upon the financial condition of the Consistory, and the future plans to revive and strengthen our church. The bishop stressed the importance of renewal and that we should never be satisfied with the status quo.
He also stressed that the parish and the clergy should strive to do more than their best and to be professional in all that they do, to be out in the community in service and ministry, and to be open and welcoming in the church where our spiritual and pray life is best exhibited. We should not be complacent, but have the fervor and drive to be the best we can be.
The remainder of the afternoon was taken up with private meetings between the bishop and requesting parishioners as well as a meeting with the parish Board of Administration.
It is said that “youth must be served”, and on Saturday evening they certainly were. The snow flurries had finally stopped but the youth of Saints Peter and Paul, as well as some neighboring parishes, had an opportunity to meet, greet and warm up to our Bishop. Bishop Daniel was very open and forthcoming with the children and they engaged in lively fellowship and conversation. Two Seminarians from Saint Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary - Yurii Bobko and Hryhorii Matviiv traveled with Bishop Daniel. They were especially engaging to the youths of the parish.
It should be mentioned that Bishop Daniel accepted a gift of deacon vestments from the parish. They belonged to or beloved Deacon Dennis Lapushansky who departed from us in May of 2014. Memory Eternal!
We of Saint Peter and Paul would be remiss if we did not thank Bishop Daniel for exhibiting the leadership necessary to inspire us all into a life in Christ both as individual and as community and family. As Saint Paul tells us; “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong, let all that you do be done in love”.
In his 48 hour stay Bishop Daniel inspired all in attendance to live those words, to the best of the ability, each and every day and to see the face of Christ in everyone we encounter.
A Weekend of Worship and Fellowship with Bishop Daniel - 04/10/16
Photos by Seminarian Hryhorii Matviiv and Becky Mills