BURBANK, IL [DOM Communications] – As 2020 comes to a close, so do the 50th anniversary celebrations and tributes to the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America. The Diocese of the Midwest was set to honor this half century mark with deanery celebrations, lectures, and monthly reflections from clergy, and laypeople. But, these celebrations were interrupted by the pandemic that reached our American shores in early March. Of all the deaneries, only Chicago—because its formal observance was held in February before shutdowns went into effect—was able to observe a full celebration.
The Diocese of the Midwest concludes the Jubilee celebration of the OCA’s autocephaly in a unique way, which at the same time is wholly in keeping with the times: it concludes with a virtual ‘synaxis.’ Archbishop Paul traveled to Cleveland where he was joined by local clergy to serve the Akathist to the North American saints on Friday, December 4, 2020. This service was hosted by St. Nicholas Church in Magadore, OH with some local clergy present while others joined from home, on-line.
The pandemic, however, was not able to scuttle the original plan of His Eminence to offer monthly reflections on the autocephaly from twelve diocesan faithful. These reflections, posted on the diocesan website each month, have offered a variety of insights and observations in answer to the question posed by His Eminence: why was the autocephaly a good thing then? Is it a good thing now? The reflections differ in length and tone; yet, they each give a sample of what is in the mind and heart of those in this diocese to whom, together with all the OCA faithful, stewardship of the autocephaly has been handed down and who are now the heirs of its evangelical charge to carry the Gospel to the people of this land.
All twelve reflections have been uploaded onto this page for convenient access under the original purpose of making them available for downloading, printing, and distributing to all.
FIRST REFLECTION – SECOND REFLECTION
THIRD REFLECTION – FOURTH REFLECTION
FIFTH REFLECTION – SIXTH REFLECTION
SEVENTH REFLECTION – EIGHTH REFLECTION
NINTH REFLECTION – TENTH REFLECTION
EVELVENTH REFLECTION – TWELFTH REFLECTION