Letter to Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia


Your Eminence, Most Holy Master, bless!

The clergy of the Western American Diocese, gathered for a three-day Pastoral Conference at the Church of All Saints of Russia in the city of Denver, greets you on the occasion of the third anniversary of your election as the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. By the will of God, you have been called to this high service at a historic time for the Russian Church.

At our Conference, we heard lectures on pastoral work, and also a report by Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff on the negotiations of the joint commissions of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church/Moscow Patriarchate and about the process of healing the division in the Russian Church. We had an opportunity in the spirit of conciliarity, constructiveness and brotherly love to ask questions on this topic, to express our opinions and to share our thoughts. We are thankful to the Lord that in our Diocese there is unity of faith and love.

We are aware, however, that the process of healing the separation is not met everywhere with understanding. Regretfully, this is to a certain extent aided by people who use various un-churchlike methods, among them intrigues, rumors, and even slander, to do everything to cause the flock of the Russian Church Abroad to be confused, frightened, and to foment discord. Today it is appropriate to remember the call of the Ruling Bishop of the Western American Diocese from 1963-1966, the now-glorified holy hierarch John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco:

"The enemy of God, the Devil, always striving to destroy the work of God, from the very founding by Christ of the Holy Church, has attempted to sow discord among Her children... I call upon all to be wary of signing any types of petitions or statements without the firm certainty that they will not be utilized for new division...

"Having thrown away all wavering and doubt, let us direct everything toward the establishment of peaceful church life." (Epistle "To Our Beloved Flock," 1963).

Your Eminence, we assure you of our prayers, of our devotion to you and to the ideals of our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and in our trust in you. May the Lord, through the prayers of the All-Holy Theotokos, of the Holy Hierarch St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, of the Holy Hierarch St. Jonah of Hankow, who is commemorated today, and of all the Saints of Russia, strengthen you, may He guide you, and may He grant you to live to that day, when there will be jubilation in celebration of the unity of the Russian Church.

We ask your First-Hierarchical blessing and prayer,


+Archbishop Kyrill
Protopriest Stefan Pavlenko
Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff
Protopriest Peter Perekrestov
Protopriest John Ocana
Protopriest Sergei Kotar
Protopriest Paul Volmensky
Protopriest Alexei Kotar
Priest David Moser
Priest Boris Henderson
Priest Peter Shashkoff
Priest Ilya Mrzev
Priest John McCuen
Priest Dimitry Wieber
Priest Anatole Lyovin
Priest Seraphim Bell
Priest James Steele
Priest James Baglien
Hieromonk Tryphon
Hieromonk James
Archdeacon Andronik
Deacon Dimitrii Jakimovicz

October 7/20, 2004
St Jonah of Hankow the Miracle-worker
Denver, CO