Bishop Maxim’s Archpastoral Visit to the Synaxis of the Faithful in Seattle, WA with, Seattle is in the top 5 rainiest U.S. cities by number of precipitations days, and it gets the least amount of annual sunlight of all major cities in the lower-48 states. This city experiences moderate to heavy rain during the months of November, December, and January. However, during this last Archpastoral visit of His Grace our Bishop Maxim to his humble flock and parish dedicated to St. Sava, we had sunny and crisp weekend.
His Grace arrived on Saturday November 9th, and was greeted by newly installed priest Fr. Predrag Bojovic (who replaced recently retired Fr. Ilija Balac) and Mr. Cedo Marusic, an active member of this parish. After arriving at Fr. Predrag’s residence His Grace was greeted by Fr. Predrag’s family along with few active members of this blessed parish. They spent an evening in spiritually rewarding talks and enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by Presbytera Rada.
On Sunday morning, His Grace officiated the Divine Liturgy and celebrated the Feast of St. Arsenius of Srem (successor of Saint Sava and the second Serbian Archbishop) with a Eucharist that everyone in attendance will long remember. Father Predrag Bojovic, the parish priest, Fr. Seraphim Gascoine (of the local Pokrov Parish in His Grace’s jurisdiction) and Fr. Nikola Todorovic from Portland, OR, along with nearly a dozen enthusiastic readers and altar boys and numerous pious parishioners, met the Bishop at the front doors and followed him into the church. His Grace moved from the crisp, sunny morning into a brightly lit church with the voices of a choir filling the air. After the Bishop’s vesting His Grace presided over The Divine Liturgy and this blessed Synaxis of the faithful (around 120) of whom more than 50 communed in the Cup of Eternal Life. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Maxim blessed the newly installed icons on the iconostasis and then addressed the people in an inspiring sermon which was a continuation of his homily after the Gospel.
Afterwards, a banquet took place in the church hall where the local KSS members prepared a delicious meal of traditional Serbian foods. Laughter, joy and live music filled the hall as His Grace alternated time between enjoyable conversations with adults and happy playing with the children who sought his attention. Then, children were pleasantly surprised by the rainfall of candies as well as with painting session with His Grace that lasted for an hour in which they have created few interesting paintings but, most importantly, children were encouraged to keep discovering their talents. Father Predrag concluded the memorable events by thanking God for His great abundance and reminding people of Episcopal role in the Church as an Icon of Christ through whom we “here and now” foretaste and anticipate second coming of the Great ARCHPRIEST CHRIST THE LORD, Life Everlasting, “Never-ending Day” and Liturgy in the Kingdom of Heaven. Fr. Predrag has spoken on behalf of the whole synaxis when he exclaimed: “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord”!
On Monday His Grace visited the Serbian Cemetery in Roslyn, where he served a Trisagion (panichyda), and Antiochian Orthodox Church and Parish dedicated to the Holy Cross in Yakima, Wa where he was greeted by Fr. Joseph Copeland and few other priests and parish members among whom were Ugljesa and Zvezdana Mileta, iconographers from Belgrade, who are using their God given talents to adorn, even more, this already beautiful church, according to the sacred traditions handed down to us.
With the blessing of His Grace Bp. Maxim, plans are in development for the construction of a traditional Church building and expansion of the hall. The entry road will be improved and water and gas service will be extended to the property. The Parish is truly blessed with the coming of our new priest, fr Predrag Bojovic and his wonderful family (July 2013). With God’s help the parishioners of St. Sava Church will continue to perpetuate the Orthodox Faith and Serbian Traditions.After seeing His Grace of at the airport, filled with emotions and memories of the few memorable and joyful days in His Grace’s presence, Fr. Predrag along with Cedo Marusic and Darko Hrle proclaimed “with one heart and one mind” ISPOLA ETI DESPOTA!