Diocesan News

Bishop Maxim visits Saint Andrew Fool-for-Christ Church in Anderson, California

2016 03 26 anderson 13During the weekend of March 26-27, we enjoyed a wonderful visit from His Grace, Bishop Maxim. Preparations for his visit began very early with making plans for meals and cleaning the church. We also completed some icons that had been waiting for mounting and hanging for quite some time. His Grace's upcoming visit was good incentive!

Since the weekend of His Grace's visit coincided with the commemoration of St Gregory Palamas, we had asked him to speak for a few minutes on hesychasm and the prayer of the heart which were major issues in St Gregory's life. His talk was very beneficial especially for our large group of recently baptized members to our parish. Since his last visit, we have been blessed to bring in over 10 people to the Orthodox Church. We have not seen His Grace for close to 2 years.

The visit began with vespers, but not before His Grace was “piped in” by a bagpiper (John Elliott, 11-year-old son of Fr George) playing “Amazing Grace”. His Grace enjoyed the unusual display of welcome. Bagpipes especially in England and Scotland have been used to usher in important persons. Their sound carries throughout the land far and wide so they are extremely effective at announcing the arrival of august persons most often either royalty or chieftans. How much more so that bagpipes be used to proclaim the arrival of God's servant, the bishop! On Sunday morning, His Grace was treated to being piped in with St Nicholai Velimirovich's Pascha melody “People rejoice!”. As the piper led him to the church playing the tune, Bishop Maxim sang along.

Liturgy was was beautiful but challenging as our parish is very out of practice with hierarchical liturgies. It was wonderful to hear the Serbian chanting of the bishop with the English chanting and singing of the parish choir. We were joined in celebrating by the nuns of St Xenia Skete and Fr Damascene and six monks from St Herman's.

After liturgy we had a wonderful meal prepared by some of our parish members. The food was wonderful and the fellowship was as well. Christ was truly in our midst! After the meal, some of our many children performed another tune by St Nicolai. His Grace treated us to a folk song from Montenegro.

Thanks be to God for a blessed weekend!


Sunday of Orthodoxy in Alhambra

sunday of orthodoxy 2016 046

Saturday & Sunday, March 19-20, 2016

Orthodox Christians from throughout Southern California gathered at the Saint Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alhambra, California, on Saturday and Sunday, March 19th & 20th, for the annual celebration of the great feast of Sunday of Orthodoxy.

The two-day celebration was led by the Hierarchs of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the West Coast, His Eminence Archbishop Benjanmin of the Orthodox Church in America, and His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church (host hierarch), together with clergy from various jurisdictions.

featureThe lenten festivities began on Saturday afternoon with a Youth Rally for children and teens in grades 5-12. The Vesper service with the procession of icons followed.  A receiption and fellowship began shortly after with a special presentation by guest speaker Archpriest Antony Bahou. 

On Sunday morning the Orthros began at 9:00 a.m. followed by the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with the procession of icons.The responses were sung by POYAC, The Pan-Orthodox Young Adult Choir. 

Following the service the faithful gathered in the hall for a lenten luncheon and a special performance by POYAC. After the meal a the Young Adults had an opportunity to meet with the Hierarchs for further discussions. 

Saturday, March 19th - Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers


Sunday, March 20th - Sunday of Orthodoxy 




Bishop Maxim’s Archpastoral Visit to the Synaxis of the Faithful, Seattle, WA

2016 03 11 seattle 28Seattle 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 rainfall during the months of November, December, and January and this last winter was officially our wettest rainy season ever, with 38.22 inches of rain from Oct. 1st  to March 1st,  just a hair over the 1998-1999 record of 38.19, but about 13 inches above average. 

His Grace arrived to Seattle on Friday, March 11th, accompanied by Protopresbyter Stavrophor Lazar Vasiljevic. They were greeted at the airport by Fr. Predrag Bojovic. After arriving at Fr. Predrag’s residence, His Grace and Prota Lazar were greeted by Fr. Predrag’s family and Milan Stefanovic (current president of the local Church Executive Board) and his family, and then they all spent an evening in spiritually rewarding talks, enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by Presbytera Rada.    

Archpastoral Visit to St. Paisius Monastery, Arizona

2016 03 10 st paisius featureMarch 9-10, 2016

His Grace arrived in the late evening of Wednesday and was joyfully greeted at the airport by two of the sisters. Upon reaching the monastery, he was escorted to his guest quarters under the silent, magnificently starry desert sky.

In the morning, His Grace served the Hierarchical Liturgy. After the Small Entrance, His Grace performed the Service of the Tonsure into the Rassophore for one of the sisters, now newly-tonsured Sister Syncletica. As a special gift, he presented her with an icon of the Theotokos, depicted with a very sweet countenance, painted by his own mother.

Aesthetics on Christian Image, Stanford - Saratoga

2016 03 05 stanford 007Stanford – Saratoga, March 5, and 6, 2016

Saturday, March 5th was a very special day at Stanford University and the entire San Francisco Bay Area.  With great organization of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Stanford, our Diocese, and with great help from His Grace Bishop Maxim and local Serbian Orthodox communities, we welcomed three well-known professors from different parts of the world – Very Rev. Archimandrite Dr. John Pantelimon Manoussakis, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Holy Cross Theological School, Dr. Cornelia Tsakiridou, professor of Philosophy at LaSalle University, and Dr. George Kordis, professor Emeritus of Iconography at University of Athens.  All three came to give us varying lectures on Christian Orthodox Icons, their beauty, meaning, and further future in the twenty first century.

Spiritually Provocative and Clinically Informed Conversations in Sacramento

Group20 40 Thermos 11March 3, 2016

Spiritually provocative. Clinically informed. Fr. Vasilios Thermos' visit to the Sacramento "Synaxis" of young adults and Orthodox Christian Fellowship at California State University, Sacramento proved to be a unique and illuminating experience for all who attended.

His insights into the fields of theology and psychology, with a strong undercurrent in psychoanalytic thought, served as the evening's subject matter, backed by decades of clinical research and prayerful consideration.

From the vantage point of our post-millennial culture, Fr. Vasilios' juxtaposition between the fields of psychology and theology could be rendered as a re-articulation of the severance and epistemological disconnect between the ancient "psyche" (spirit) and God of modernity. This cleft, or split, is nothing more than the symptom of a genealogical trauma, a suffocation and resuscitation of the symbolic Father by the great Nietzchean experiment and its failure to transform or subvert the dominant discourses of For Fr. Vasilios, the historical surrogation of "modern" man and his evolution into a "post-modern" being was doubly implicated by technology and the false reassurance that modernity was (or is) supposedly an unfinished project.

Switch mode views: