DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK: October 2, 2007
Parishioners of Long Island's St Seraphim Church and Holy Virgin Protection Church Host an Event Honoring the Countries That Gave Asylum to Russian Refugees
On Friday, September 28, 2007, at Holy Virgin Protection parish hall in Glen Cove, NY (Long Island), an evening was organized by the parishioners of Protection as well as St Seraphim Church in nearby Sea Cliff in memory of the countries which gave Russian refugees succor during the godless regime in Russia. The even touched upon the history of the Russian communities in those countries, the clergy and social figures.
The evening opened with an address by the Rector of Protection Church, Priest Alexander Antchoutine, who noted that the main goal of the event was to give the parishioners of the two churches a chance to meet in a social atmosphere, to remember the founders of “Russia abroad” and the path which brought them to the US, where the emigres began to build little pieces of Russia.
Protopriest Serafim Gan, Rector of neighboring St Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff, then spoke, saying that all of mankind is called upon to be the “whole race of Adam,” as we sing in the Paschal canon. The “whole race of Adam” is all of mankind in Christ. When we pray during Divine Liturgy in church, our thoughts must concentrate on one thing: prayer to God. Common prayer in church unites people in Christ, and, as a community, joins it in Christ. As we leave the church, this wonderful miracle must be continued. Unfortunately, our lives today have become so that people do not find the time nor the energy to commune with one another. That is why people like Archbishop Sergij of Prague have called social communion a podvig.
In conclusion, Fr Serafim called upon all those in attendance to try to find more time and strength to commune with one another. For in our difficult circumstances abroad, Russians preserve their faith, their language and the wealthy Russian culture only within the Church, in communion with one another. There is no other path for us, which the experience of our ancestors shows, our ancestors who created that which we enjoy today.
In the course of the evening, the participants reminisced as they viewed an exhibition of photographs organized by a group of parishioners of both churches. The most heartening aspect of the evening, as AN Ryl, the Senior Sister of St Seraphim Church, noted, was the presence of an especially large contingent of young people, our faithful and moral successors. The next day, after all-night vigil at St Seraphim Church, the youth gathered for a discussion on spiritual matters led by the Rector, after which refreshments were offered.