What do we do now?
from Joanna's notepad
With Fr. Gregory gone, what are we going to do now? Arrangements are being made for the Haiti mission, but what about the Annunciation parish?
The Agape Community will not fall into the hands of the ROCOR-MP. Fr. Gregory arranged for it to be administered by a Board of Trustees.
Since I have been asked, here is what I'm going to do:
Last summer I had already started making plans to get out of the Etna diocese and move back to Tennessee. Fr. John (GOC) will probably be serving the Annunciation parish on occasion for now, at least. We can trust that he has the same love for Truth that Fr. Gregory has; but no American-convert priest has such a solid footing in the ROCOR as Fr. Gregory.
I'm not going to search for a replacement spiritual father. I don't believe Fr. Gregory can be replaced. We just have to learn to live without him.
Our connection to the Church is – in reality – more heavenly than earthly. But the earthly is absolutely necessary while we are still here. My plan for now is to move to Tennessee and try to help maintain the Annunciation parish, even if just by being counted as a member. One of the parishioners was already thinking of transferring to the GOC mission parish in Greenville, long before Fr. Gregory's death, since it is much shorter drive from his home. But, as far as I know, the rest of the parishioners are staying. There is reason to expect other parishioners will be able to move closer to Nashville in the future.
I am a member of the ROCOR Annunciation parish in Liberty, Tennessee, and my parish does not yet have a replacement ROCOR priest. That makes me directly dependent now on Vl. Agafangel. I will wait to see how Vladyka resolves the situation. It could take a year or so... In the meantime, I look to Fr. John as our unofficial stand-in priest. I speak for myself here, but I know that other parishioners think similarly.