WASHINGTON, DC: December 5, 2006
Bishop Evtikhii of Ishim and Siberia Officiates at Divine Services at St John the Baptist Cathedral
On his way from Russia to New York for the opening of the winter session of the Synod of Bishops, His Grace Evtikhii, Bishop of Ishim and Siberia, visited Washington. There, on December 2-3, and on the feast of the Entrance of the Most-Holy Theotokos Into the Temple, His Grace was chief celebrant at the divine services held in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist.
On Sunday morning, at the Cathedral entrance, Dimitri Mikhailovich Saretzky, the Cathedral's Warden, greeted Bishop Evtikhy with bread and salt and with words of welcome. Dimitri Mikhailovich offered heartfelt thanks to our important guest for his visit to the parish, and expressed the prayerful wish that he and the other members of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia have the spiritual strength to complete the beneficial task of unifying the Russian Church.
At the later Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Bishop Evtikhii devoted his homily to the Gospel parable of the Good Samaritan and to the Epistle reading for the day, in which the Apostle to the Nations instructed us to "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:1-6).
His Grace emphasized that he and the other hierarchs of ROCOR recognized that some of their flock were not supporters of the process of unification, but that the faithful should heed the Apostle's call, heard at the Liturgy, to “preserve the unity of spirit in the bond of peace,” and especially that they both remember and fulfill the wish the Lord Jesus Christ expressed shortly before His death, “that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in Us…” (John 17:21).
Following the services, Protopriest Victor Potapov, Cathedral Parish Rector, thanked Bishop Evtikhii for his prayers and for his words of instruction; he expressed the hope that before leaving for the Homeland, Vladyka would again visit Washington and would tell us about the outcome of the work of the expanded meeting of the Synod of Bishops.