His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the 100th Anniversary of Holy Transfiguration Church, New Haven, CT, on the weekend of September 26-27, 2015. Concelebrating was His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon, together with numerous clergy and seminarians. The weekend also marked the 35th Anniversary of Archpriest Michael and Matushka Lydia Westerberg’s assignment to the parish. Two hundred and fifty guests from as far as South Carolina, southern California, Montana and across New England attended the banquet at La Mirage, North Haven, CT.
The weekend opened with the celebration of a Panikhida for all parishioners who had departed this life during the past 100 years, followed by Great Vespers. During Sunday’s Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, two readers were tonsured and Subdeacon Joseph [Tristan] Gall was ordained to the diaconate. Metropolitan Tikhon presented a Synodal gramota to the parish and Father Michael, while Archbishop Nikon presented diocesan gramotas to several faithful parishioners and stewards.
In addition to the banquet addresses of Metropolitan Tikhon and Archbishop Nikon, Archpriest John Dresko of Saint Paul Church, Las Vegas, NV, offered warm reflections on the many years of service and friendship working together when he served as Dean of the Connecticut Deanery and Father Michael served as Chancellor of the Diocese of New England. A ten-minute audio/video presentation highlighted the many faces and memorable moments of the parish’s history. Priest Joshua Mosher of Saints Peter and Paul Church, Meriden, CT, was congratulated on the 10th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, which took place during the celebration of Holy Transfiguration’s 90th Anniversary. In January 2015, Father Michael observed the 40th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He begins his 36th year of ministry at Holy Transfiguration on October 1, 2015.
The Diocesan Grant program awarded three grants to the Southbury, Clinton, and Ansonia parishes in 2014.
Christ the Savior (Southbury) received a grantfor the third year to support and expand the Connecticut Bible Lecture Series (CBLS) which they have sponsored for several years. The mission of CBLS is to educate, inspire, and challenge participants of all backgrounds'to hear and understand the Word of God. Twice ayear, Fr. Paul Tarazi (lecturer at St. Vladimir's Seminary, Holy Cross Seminary, and Balamand, Lebanon) presents a day long course on one book of the Bible, equivalent to one of Fr. Paul's seminary classes.
St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre (Clinton) received a grant for the second year to expand the "Clinton Garden for All". The Clinton parish partners with a neighboring parish, Holy Advent, on this project. This year's Grant helped to expdnd the two acre community garden near the Holy Advent parish and increase and improve the irrigation system for the garden. All the produce is donated to the local Food Pantry. Members of St. Alexis are actively involved in the gardening and in managing the plot of land. This has included donations to build needed structures and a water source.
Three Saints (Ansonia) received a grant for second year to support their week-long summer Vacation Church School (VCS). The grant money allowed them to keep the registration fee at a minimum and to provide needed materials for the theme-based activities during the week. The summer program continues to expand in size with participants ranging in age from 5 - 13, mostly Orthodox and some non-Orthodox. The coordinators of the VCS continue to reach out in the local community and invite more non-Orthodox as a way to introduce them to the Orthodox Faith.
51st Diocesan Assembly
The Diocese of New England of the OCA concluded it's 51st Annual Assembly on October 25th. The reports from the Assembly are now available.
The pictures present in this gallery are just a few from the visits of His Eminence Nikon to the parishes of Berlin, NH (celebrating their 100th anniversary), Springfield, VT and New Haven, CT (also celebrating their 100th anniversary).
At the 2011 Diocesan Assembly, a "Parish Grant Initiative" was approved. Parishes in the New England Diocese can apply for financial grants to support outreach and charity programs in their communities. The diocese has budgeted up to $10,000 in grant monies to help support parishes in these efforts. Check the Diocesan website at www.dneoca.org for the grant guidelines and an application. Applications will be reviewed as received. The files are available in MS Word format.
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America approved and issued a revised Policy, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct at their Fall 2013 Holy Synod meeting. This policy is now in force in the Church. It is the goal of the entire Church to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America. The Church laments the sin of sexual misconduct, and will not tolerate sexual misconduct by its clergy or any layperson.
At the March 2014 meeting of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, revisions to the Policies, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct [PSP] were approved.
To confidentially report a case of misconduct please use the toll-free number 855-398-2600. All calls will be confidential.
Guidelines on background checks now available
At the spring session of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, held at the Chancery March 18-21, 2014, “Guidelines on Background Checks” were issued. [See related article.] The Guidelines, which offer detailed information on how and for whom “basic background checks” are required, are available in PDF format. Included in the Guidelines are recommended sources for conducting checks and information on on-line sexual abuse prevention training.