20th Annual Diocesan Begins with a Lively Clergy Seminar

Day One | Day Two | Day Three

angier 1609 20th diocesan days 01 0070            Jackson, CA - Friday, September 2, 2016 - Nestled in the rolling hills of Amador County is the beautiful and historic St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in the small, quiet town of Jackson, California. It was the site of this year’s Diocesan Days celebration of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America, which takes place each year on Labor Day weekend.

            By noon clergy, coming from various parts of the vast diocese, slowly began to arrive at the beautiful St. Sava Camp where they were met and received a blessing from their ruling hierarch, His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America. After lunch the clergy were ready for the first item on the day’s agenda - the Clergy Seminar. This year’s guest speaker was Bogdan Lubardic, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Orthodox Theology at Belgrade University. Mr. Lubardic’s topic was entitled, Learning with St. Paul: How is the word of God (kerygma) to be offered to the world – Evangelization, Enculturation, Mission. Professor Lubardic spoke eloquently, taking as a central point in St. Paul’s preaching his interaction with the Athenians in Acts 17:22-31. While the speaker spoke at length of the philosophical thought of the people St. Paul was encountering and gave a more clearer picture to his listeners that they might grasp his evangelization tactics – this offering of the word of God – to the people who had an altar to “an unknown God”, her offered points for pondering. First, St. Paul addressed the basic need, the problem of sin, death and corruption. Secondly, he indicated that we now have a Savior, Jesus Christ who provides the gift, which is the Church, a workshop through a sacramental life. And, finally, the challenge: not only do we have Christ but we’re called to emulate Him ourselves. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles as a historical book is in the middle of the New Testament, meaning it is placed between the Gospels and Epistles, which reassures us that it is a historical event and Mr. Lubardic gave a deeper insight into the historical atmosphere at that particular time. However, he also noted, that the Book of Acts does not have a concluding chapter and, subsequently, we are all called to action. Just as St. Paul encountered and challenged the Gentile world we are reminded that wherever Chris is rejected is the gentile world.

            The seminar ended with a lively question and answer session.  Other afternoon activities included a Diocesan Council meeting held immediately after the Clergy Seminar, while the Kolo Sestara held their meeting simultaneously in the classroom off the main hall. Both meetings ran straight to Vespers, which was served promptly at 6pm under the tent set up on the campgrounds. With the bishop’s blessing, Fr. Predrag Bojovic served Vespers while two seminarians from Prizren Seminary in Kosovo, guests at this year’s Diocesan Days celebration, beautifully sang the responses.

           angier 1609 20th diocesan days 01 0076 Dinner was served in the main hall after Vespers. Following dinner V. Rev. Slobodan Jovic addressed the faithful, introducing the head table and honored guests and the newly appointed Episcopal Deputy Protopresbyter Stavrophor Nikola Ceko. Taking the microphone, Fr. Ceko, opened the floor to questions noting that this is the first Diocesan Days after the historical Holy and Great Council in Crete. This prompted questions from the floor related to the Council, which His Grace Bishop Maxim was pleased to answer. This year’s guest speaker, Professor Lubardic, also spoke during this question and answer session. The dinner concluded with two songs, sung soulfully by the guest Seminarians from Prizren Seminary.

            After the announcements for the following day’s events, which begin promptly at 9am with Matins and 10am Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, the first day of this year’s Diocesan Days came to an end. 





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