After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY

A little humour from the GOC Cathedral in Portland

A little humour from the Cathedral.  THis would have been about the weekend of December 18 https://soundcloud.com/john-p-presson/sunday-mode-1-st-sabbas-the-sanctified-with-st-marks-psalti.  A blessed 12 Days.

Thanks to a very kind and generous anonymous donour, my SoundCloud account has been upgraded to unlimited, and as a result I am, and will be fulfilling the wish of that donour that many of the files, primarily of the Cathedral Schola Cantorum, that were removed because of size and time restrictions of the account are now being restored and can be accessed without fetter.

We, the Schola, hope you find the audio from our services, a source of inspiration, of beauty and hopefully an impetus to join our ranks and study and sing this amazing God-bearing music of our received tradition so that we can continue this tradition "unto the ages".

John-Peter Presson
Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Etna & Portland (ΓΟΧ)
Director of Liturgical Music -Holy Nativity of the Theotokos Cathedral -Portland, OR
Musicorum et cantorum magna est distantia, isti dicunt, illi sciunt quae componit musica. - Guido of Arrezzo


• Media Normalizing Pedophilia (video 5 minutes)

•  Chinese woman saves babies (you may want to disable java script before clicking on this link)

Photos (funny)

Synod Epistle October 2000

Orthodox Life magazine 2000 (6)

of the 
Council of Bishops 
of the 
Russian Orthodox Church 
Outside of Russia

to the Beloved Children of the Church
in the Homeland and in the Diaspora

14/27 October 2000

In the presence of the wonderworking Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother Of God, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, convening at the Synod Building in New York, addresses itself to its devoted flock, scattered throughout the world and in our homeland, the much-suffering Russian land, wherein we perceive the beginnings of a genuine spiritual awakening. 

At no time did we assume that the return of the people of Russia to our common spiritual Orthodox roots would be effortless and triumphant.  And so, we fervently welcome the prayer of all the Russian people to all the holy Newmartyrs of Russia, and especially to the martyred Imperial Family, which has now become possible, thanks to the recognition of their sanctity by the Council of Bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate.  We are likewise encouraged by the adoption of a new social concept by that Council, which strikes out [nullifies??] the 1927 "Declaration" of Metropolitan Sergius by acknowledging the supremacy of God's commandments over the demands of worldly powers which might lead to the violation of religious and moral principles.

We venerate the martyric struggle of the many Russian soldiers who, when captured by infidels during recent wars, refused to renounce the Orthodox faith and convert to another religion, for which they endured torture and death.  Confession such as this is evidence that the Russian people has preserved faith in Christ within their hearts to an unexpected degree – despite eight decades of the erosion of the Faith by the godless regime.

Nonetheless, our Council has noted the complete misunderstanding by the Moscow Patriarchate of the position of the Russian Church Abroad, which has carefully preserved the heritage of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Especially lamentable are the acts of aggression of the Patriarchate in the forced confiscation of churches and monasteries from the Church Abroad, the preservation  at times the very salvation of which has cost the Russian emigration great effort and represented real sacificial service for the Russian holy places beyond the borders of Russia.

In addition to these grievous circumstances is the fact that the Council of the Moscow Patriarchate actually confirmed its broad participation in ecumenism, and took no steps towards protecting its own younger gen- erations from that pan-heresy.

Nor did we see the Council of the Moscow Patriarchate offer an honest assessment of the anti-ecclesial actions of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), of his Synod and of their successors; though the present Council did approach historical truth in its Act of Glorification of the New-martyrs, and, both in the aforementioned Act and in its new social concept, obliquely praised the path chosen by the confessors who refused to accept the way of Metropolitan Sergius.

Guided by the spirit of the Gospel, we properly recognize how difficult it is to free oneself from the effects of the Church's enslavement by the Soviet state and its atheistic ideology.  This understanding compels us to sympathy and kindness in our dealings with the faithful of the formerly-enslaved Church, and to welcome genuine steps toward the healing of Church life in Russia.

On the other hand, the relationship of these measures to the fundamental points which we have enunciated for many years in our care for the purity of the Church compel us to remain faithful to the course of the Church Abroad.  Even now we must fulfill our historic mission of standing for the Truth, until all who have been redeemed by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are convinced of it.  The Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia addresses its flock with a new, urgent call to be loyal to the end.  Your archpastors must have confidence in your love and your trust in the Russian Orthodoxy of the Holy Fathers, which is being preserved by our Church, a loyalty which all the members of the Council of Bishops, without exception, confess again and again in unanimity.  

The eighty-year history of our exiled Church has borne clear witness before the world that we have not turned into an exclusive, self-enamored society/organization, but remain a genuine Church possessed of the fullness of soul-saving Grace.  Those who left us were not able to undermine the authority of our Church, for its glory derives not from earthly power nor great numbers, but from our immutable adherence to the Truth, to the righteousness of God.  

We are duty-bound to remind our flock of the paramount importance of each member of the Church preserving personal piety, which is the principal token of our salvation within the Church.

The oft-critical stand we take against social vices, against the departure of today's world from divine and moral laws, begets among us a lassitude toward personal spiritual peace; as a result, the level of personal piety declines.  Then, while criticizing apostasy, we ourselves become participants in the universal abandonment of piety. 

Conversely, acts of personal piety: of prayer, fasting, abstinence, repentance, brotherly love, patience, humility, and meekness, have been, and remain, the principal weapon against the destruction of the whole world and the salvific means not only of one's personal salvation, but also of the universal establishment of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Yet our proclaimed stand for the Truth to the whole world will be in vain if the members of our Church prefer not the personal life of virtue but rather that of suspicion towards others, of discord, of forming alliances for the condemnation of others, and of other acts that splinter the life of the parish and diocese.  This ruination, which draws into everlasting destruction everyone who participates in it, inevitably besmirches the face of our Church and weakens its witness.  

With gratitude towards God for belonging to the true Church which is founded on the Rock of Faith, our Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you to remain its faithful members and to bolster its saving work through feats of personal piety, of mutual love, and of the patient bearing of one another's burdens (Gal. 6:2). Be mindful of the words of Christ: By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another (]ohn 13:35).  Amen.

+Metropolitan Vitaly President of the Council 
Members of the Council:

+Archhbishop Laurus , +Archhbishop Alypy, +ArchhbishopLazar, +ArchhbishopHilarion, +Archhbishop Benjamin, +ArchhbishopEvtikhy, +Archhbishop Agathanel, +Bishop Alexander, +Bishop Ambrose, +Bishop Kyrill, +Bishop Mitrofan, +Bishop Gabriel, +Bishop Michael

Important message from Vladyka Agafangel for English speakers

Vladyka Agafangel posted these comments in Russian and English.
See this post in on Internet Sobor with the recent ukases:

# RE: РПЦЗ: Архиепископы Андроник и Софроний запрещены в священнослужени и (+eng)Митрополит Агафангел 14.01.2017 10:41
The parasynagogue fully proved its adoption of heresy, through its unanimous acceptance of the resolution entitled "Resolution No. 362 and Church community (district)" where they "confirm that in the Russian Church there is no Supreme ecclesiastical authority, and, in accordance with the well-known decree of Patriarch Tikhon and the Highest Church administration of the Russian Orthodox Church dated 7/20 November 1920, that it (the Russian Church) consists of Small Councils, or "fragments," or self-governing Church districts, called to be in Eucharistic communion with each other". "The concept that only one of the Synods (Councils) have the succession from the former Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and that the other "fragments" are essentially schismatic groups, is but groundless delusion."

Those who wrote this, indeed, are heretics who teach against the Unity of the Church, inexcusably referring to Patriarch Tikhon at that. The words of the Decree No. 362 directly convicts the parasynagogue: "9) In the case of extreme disorganization of ecclesiastical life, when certain individuals and parishes cease to recognize the authority of the diocesan Bishop, the latter - being in a position which is specified in clauses 2 and 6- must not resign from his hierarchical plenary authority, but must organize a deanery and diocese from the individuals in parishes and the parishes remaining faithful to him; and providing where needed, the performing of divine services be it even in private homes or other adaptable premises, breaking ecclesiastical communion with the disobedient".

Thus, following the spirit and the letter of Decree No. 362, we do not “remove our hierarchical plenary authority, but must organize a deanery and diocese from the individuals in parishes and from the parishes remaining faithful to him; and providing where needed, the performing of divine services be it even in private homes or other adaptable premises, breaking ecclesiastical communion with the disobedient". Therefore, we who fulfill Patriarch Tikhon’s Decree, are obligated to continue the work of salvation of those faithful to Christ and His Church without you heretics and schismatics, by "breaking ecclesiastical communion with the disobedient".

# RE: РПЦЗ: Архиепископы Андроник и Софроний запрещены в священнослужени и (+eng)Митрополит Агафангел 13.01.2017 16:44
(+ Eng) - Metropolitan Agafangel 01.13.2017 7:34 

According to the Resolution of the Council of Bishops, all clergy who attended and took part in the meeting of the parasynagogue are prohibited from serving. From January 10 on, it is prohibited to have communion in prayer with any of them. It is prohibited to attend services executed by heretics and schismatics in the Holy Trinity Church in Astoria, the in Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh in the Tolstoy Farm, the Church of St. Xenia of Petersburg in Ottawa, the Resurrection parish in Toronto and the Vilensky Martyrs parish in Melbourne (Australia).

But even at this time those who did not participate in this gathering have the opportunity to escape the bans – by not signing the conclusive documents and by rejecting the heretical parasynagogue.

Vladyka Gregory plans to visit USA

Orthodox  Upcoming Hierarchial Visit
Bishop Gregory, bishop of Sao Paulo and South America

Service Schedule

Jan 28–29     St. Innnocent Mission, Pottstown, PA
Jan 29–30     Myrrh-bearing Women parish, Valley Cottage, NY
1/30 or 1/31  Meeting with Parishioners in NYC area
1/31 or 2/1   St. Nicholas Convent, Cleveland, NY
Feb 4–5       Annunciation Church, Liberty, TN
Feb 6         Ascension Church, Fairfax, VA
Feb 8         Bishop Gregory departs

Regular Services in Valley Cottage, NY

Fr. Paul has arrived and services are now being held regularly in the Synod House
Myrrh-bearing Women parish
65 Lake Rd. 
Valley Cottage, NY 10989

Archbisop Andronicus & Sophrony prohibited from serving

ROCA Synod issued two ukases, one for Abp. Andronik and another for Abp. Sophrony. 

Vladyka Agafangel posted notice on Internet Sobor, January 12, 2017:

ROCA: Archbishops Andronik, Sophrony prohibited from serving

The schismatics’ conscience did not keep them from continuing with their dissention as many had hoped; so, notwithstanding, they opened the gathering of their parasynagogue, hypocritically calling it "the Sixth All-Diaspora Council." Actually, they cannot call it otherwise, as they have neither a Council of Bishops nor a Synod, in as much as they cannot be regarded as an authoritative (credible, established) assembly. So they were constrained to call  their parasynagogue an "All-Diaspora Council." If they had to, they would not hesitate, not be ashamed to call it an "Ecumenical Council". What else can they do? If necessary, they have to deceive people somehow.

On our part, we have done everything possible to reach out to their conscience - we scrutinized the matter at the scheduled  Synod, convened an extraordinary, unscheduled Synod, discussed it at the Bishops Sobor, made endeavors at reconciliation through the mediation of our Greek brothers, made attempts to meet wyith them, traveled especially to the US with the aim to meet and discuss the situation, but all to no avail - insofar as to resolve our differences and to preserve the integrity of the Church was not in these people’s plans. Indeed, when God wants to punish, first He deprives one of one’s reasoning…and one’s conscience. We have done all that we could. So now we will bring this matter to a decisive conclusion, as any further delay of ours concerning the application of the measures which are provided for by the canons, may cause confusion among the faithful of the Church of Christ.

"A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself." (Titus 3:10-11).

For the schismatics there is now only one way out - to conclude their assemblage in repentance, and not with a rebellion and schism. It is still within their power.

May the Lord enlighten them!

+ Metropolitan Agafangel

We discussed: The actions and statements of the bishops Andronicus and Sophronia and supporting clergy and laity of the Church after the Court.

Decided: 1. To call a group of believers, headed by retired archbishops Andronicus and Sophronius, stop training uncanonicity meeting planned by them and dissolve the so-called Pre-Council Committee. Suggest they participate in the preparation of the canonicity of the All-Diaspora Council of our whole Church, in accordance with the Regulations of the ROCOR. 2. To warn them that in the event of impenitence, at the moment of the beginning of their wicked gatherings which they falsely call the All-Diaspora Council, ministers from among them will be forbidden from serving and monastics and laity separated from Holy Communion. 3. Claim that all hierarchical steps archbishops Andronicus and Sophronia, committed in violation of the decision of the ecclesiastical court of pochislenii they retire, are invalid. 4. Prepare additional appeal to this group of believers. 5. In the case of lawless fact gathering meeting to authorize the President and the Registrar to issue a decree on behalf of the Council of Bishops, on the prohibition from serving all who participated in this gathering of arhieereev ROCA. Ruling bishop instructed to ban from serving their subordinate clergy and separate from communion subordinate laity participating in the lawless concourse.

On the basis of this Regulation, the Bishops' Council of 25-27 October 2016, Archbishop Andronicus Sophrony as rebels, heretics and schismatics are prohibited from serving. All entrenched heresy and schism clergy are also forbidden from serving and supporting them lay excommunicated by St. Communion. The Decrees will be published later.

text of the ukases machine translation
For the failure to comply to the resolution of the Bishop’s Council of 17-19  May 2016, and the extraordinary unscheduled Bishop’s Council of 19-21 of July 2016, the Church Court № 002 of 21 July 2016 and the Bishop’s Council of 25-27 September 2016, taking into account that the revolt against the Church is founded on the basis of the false teaching that the Church of Christ is not One, but divided into “branches”, or “fragments”, and that a schism, in this manner, in spite of the teachings of the Holy Fathers, does not consider itself to be a falling away from the One  Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This declaration of theirs is a heretical false teaching, pursuant to the Resolution of the Bishop’s Council 25-27 of October 2016 
Henceforth, you are forbidden from serving, being a heretic and schismatic.

GOC Nativity Epistle

Protocol No. 2535 
“He was made man, that we might be made God”

Beloved Fathers and Brethren; beloved children in the Lord: 

The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in the world, in Bethlehem of Judæa, twenty centuries ago, signaled the Incarnation of God the Word and the manifestation of God upon earth: “God was manifested in the flesh” (I St. Timothy 3:16). The Son of God was revealed in the flesh as the Theanthropos (God‐Man), in order to restore us to the Divine life from which we had fallen. 

Christ was incarnate, in the unfathomable greatness of His love, in order that man might be de‐ ified: “The Son of God became the Son of Man,” St. Athanasios the Great emphasizes, “in order that the sons of man, that is, of Adam, might become sons of God.” 

To all those who received the Divine Epiphany with faith, our Lord “gave power to become the sons of God” (St. John 1:12). Divine adoption into sonship constitutes the greatest dignity and the greatest value for the faithful man, who is henceforth a child by Grace of the Most High, Almighty, and Immortal God. 

As is well known, man was fashioned from the beginning “in the image of God,” but became corrupted and forfeited his regal Grace, distorting his filial relationship with God the Father. Nonetheless, by the Nativity of Christ he was deified, for he was united with the flesh of Jesus and incorporated into His Church, whereof Christ is the Head. 

On the Theanthropic Body of the Church was bestowed all the Grace of the Triune Godhead, which saves man from sin and regenerates, sanctifies, and deifies him. 

To each one of us, however, Grace is given “according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Ephesians 4:7). Christ bestows His Grace, “according to our own labor” (I Corinthians 3:8), in the virtues and the Mysteries. 

Through Holy Baptism we are incorporated into the Orthodox Church, and through partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ we are united with Him and with each other. Our own contribution is assuredly needed for the realization of this charismatic gift, as well as for its preservation and increase. Man must freely yearn for his deification. He may have received the Grace of Divine son‐ ship and may have been registered in the Church as a child of God, but what matters is the extent to which he has actualized this Grace in his daily life. 

This means that we must wage a continuous struggle against the world, the flesh, and the Devil, which militate against our Divine calling and strive to make us captive. Let us not forget that the Church consists of strugglers and penitents, who desire not only their moral improvement, but also holiness, union with God by Grace, and deification! 

Our faith and our unstable will, therefore, need to be strengthened, so that they might reject the fulfillment of the deceptive and sinful delights that estrange us from the Divine Infant. Adoption into Divine sonship and the satisfaction of sinful desires are incompatible. 

How, though, will we abide in the blessed state of Divine sonship and avoid the oppression of the evil thoughts that are constantly abuzz within us, for the purpose of diverting us from the path of salvation? 

A decisive factor is the preservation of inward nearness to Christ our Savior. Living faith, un‐ ceasing prayer, works of love and mercy, and patience amid tribulations and temptations maintain our fellowship with Him and reinforce it. Repentance, forgiveness, and Communion of the Im‐maculate Mysteries, following the spiritual preparation of fasting and abstinence, vivify and renew our union with Christ. 

Evil thoughts are put to flight by intense and assiduous supplication to God, our only Liberator. The most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, when man calls upon Him for help, then “goes into the hid‐ den places of the soul” and expels the heavy yoke and the bitter bondage of wicked thoughts (St. Macarios of Egypt). 


Beloved children in the Lord: 

Let us reflect that, at a far remove from God and His Holy Church, which preserves Divine teaching and the method of purification and sanctification, there exist only error, sin, and perdition. Our Orthodox Church, with Her spiritual Tradition, leads us, by way of Her Saints, Hierarchs, and spiritual Fathers, to the correct understanding and experience of the Faith, and also to incorporation into the Incarnate Word. All who rebel against their lawful and canonical Orthodox Shepherds disturb Divine order and confine themselves within the destructive deceptiveness of their own wills. 

May we live in genuine renewal of our Divine sonship, inspired by hope for Divine ascents and for struggles for the sake of virtue and holiness. 

May He Who is born, the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, uphold us in the Confession of the right Faith, far removed from errors and heresies, and especially from the pan‐heresy of ecumenism, and far away from demonic assaults and snares and from the manifold apostasy of these apocalyptic times in which we live. 

May He also banish evil thoughts of complacency and cupidity, of lasciviousness and misanthropy, and may He grant us eternal life and salvation. Amen! 

Nativity of Christ, 2016 

Τ Μέλη
Λαρίσης καί Πλαταμνος ΑΘΑΝΑΣΙΟΣ † Ερίπου κα Εβοίας ΙΟΥΣΤΙΝΟΣ
Πειραις κα Σαλαμνος ΓΕΡΟΝΤΙΟΣ
ττικς κα Βοιωτίας ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΣ † Θεσσαλονίκης ΓΡΗΓΟΡΙΟΣ
Δημητριάδος ΦΩΤΙΟΣ
Τορόντο ΜΩΫΣΗΣ
Φιλίππων κα Μαρωνείας ΑΜΒΡΟΣΙΟΣ † ρωπο κα Φυλς ΚΥΠΡΙΑΝΟΣ
Γαρδικίου ΚΛΗΜΗΣ
τνα κα Πόρτλαντ ΑΥΞΕΝΤΙΟΣ † Βρεσθένης ΘΕΟΔΟΣΙΟΣ

Δημητριάδος ΦΩΤΙΟΣ

Fr. Andrew Frick awarded right to wear Kamilavka

During the Divine Liturgy of the Nativity of Christ at the Ascension Parish in Fairfax (near Washington, USA), Bishop Joseph, in coordination with the Metropolitan of New York and Eastern America Agafangel, awarded the parish priest Andrew Frick kamilavka.


Nativity Sermons

"Classic" Sermons

• St. Philaret of Moscow

• St. Justin Popivich 
     http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/print100011.htm  (MP website)

• Leo the Great

• Nativity Sermon of St. Philaret 

• Christmas Letter from Elder Ambrose of Optina

• St. Theophan the Recluse: The Nativity of Christ

Nativity Message Vladyka Athanasius of Volagda

Merry Christmas,

dear brothers - hierarchs, pastors, monastics and laity - all the faithful children of the Church!

C erkov is the body of Christ, the head - Christ, the Holy Spirit, went down in the virgin's womb, and dressed in human flesh to its sanctification and deification.

X Loeb, who descended from heaven, and set down in a manger in a saving victuals for the dying and drowning in sin, nizpadshego below bezslovesnyh, humanity.

With s great event, made more than two thousand years ago, and predicted by the prophet Isaiah 7 centuries before its execution, we're going to celebrate, experiencing every cell of the Church of the body (the body), the event glorifying angels, and seized upon the people - "Glory to God, and on earth peace, good will toward men! " (Luke 2:14).

X ristos I born in Bethlehem and brought his long-awaited peace, life-giving and soldered sincere in the faith of the soul, seeking the total for all of us, and at the same time deeply personal God to whom they bring their sorrows and sins in return for the consolation of the Holy Spirit - the breath of newborn Christ!

FROM love in Christ
+ Bishop Vologda and Veliko - Ustiug Athanasius