MOSCOW: May 29, 2004

Metropolitan Laurus Made an Honorary Trustee of St. Nicholas Church in Bersenievka

On 28 May, on the last day of his trip to Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and his fellow travelers visited the oldest church across the Moscow River--the Church of St. Nicholas at Bersenievka. Vladyka was warmly greeted by the Church Rector, Hegumen Kirill (Sakharov), the parishioners and members of the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods.

Venerating the myrrh-streaming icon of the Royal New Martyrs under the ringing of bells, Vladyka entered the church. In his greeting, the Rector noted that as a result of the visit of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Russia, "a great stride was made on the path to the joyful reunion around a single eucharistic chalice of the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church, divided by the storm of historical times of the 20th century.

The great providential mission of your Church is not only in the spiritual care of millions of Orthodox emigres from Russia, but in the preaching of Orthodoxy in different corners of our planet. One hopes that in the future, the voice of witness of the Russian Orthodox Diaspora would be spoken just as loudly, that its witness on the enduring beauty and grace of the Orthodox Faith of the Holy Fathers would be just as strong. May God grant that in conciliar service, without sinning against Truth, the conflicts between us would depart into the past." During the singing of Many Years to His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, he was given a gramata for his selection as an honorary trustee of the Church of St. Nicholas in Bersenievka. The Metropolitan venerated the holy icons of the church, in part, to an icon of St. Sergius of Radonezh containing his relics. Vladyka expressed his gratitude for the warm greeting, the gifts, his selection as honorary trustee, and congratulated everyone on the forthcoming feast of the Holy Trinity.

Vladyka was also given an icon of the Resurrection of Christ (gilded, with enamel work) and a set of the parish publication "Bersenievka Pages." The visit concluded with a discussion and cup of tea near the church, in which Protopriest Sergei Konobas of the Moscow Diocese, A.A. Senin, editor of Russkiy Vestnik, the writer D.N. Merkulov, the head of the Russian National Culture Center of Moscow, the famous Orthodox publicist Yu. N. Ageshchev, members of the SPB, the Union of Gonfalon-Bearers and other patriotic Orthodox groups. During the discussion, the thought of the possible establishment of a temporary office of the Metropolitan at Bersenievka was raised.

Press Office of the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods and the Union of Orthodox Gonfalon-bearers.