October 5, 2012

From Denver to Ottawa

I arrived in Ottawa way too late last night and there are stacks of emails and phone calls this morning, so the Chancellor’s Diary will have to be very short today.

Yesterday afternoon, after the conclusion of the Diocese of the West Assembly, Archbishop Benjamin and his assistant Andrew Smith dropped me off at Denver airport and I flew home to Ottawa for Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (Monday is the celebration) and to attend a wedding on Sunday. I also hope to have the opportunity for a question and answer session with parishioners of the Ottawa Cathedral about the approaching 17th All-American Council and developments in the OCA. At the Denver Assembly, and across the OCA there is a lot of interest, naturally, in who might be elected the next Metropolitan. Delegates, both clergy and lay, are also a bit mystified as to how to think about this in advance and make a thoughtful nomination. Many of you know that the Delegate’s Handbook has a number of useful suggestions in this regard. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating some of the key pointers.

  • Prepare through prayer for the 17th All-American Council and ask for discernment, wisdom and guidance for all participants.
  • Reflect on the needs of the Church at this present time and in the future to guide your vote.
  • Discuss the needs of your parish, your diocese and the entire Church with your fellow parishioners to assist you in representing them at the Council.

While the Statutes allow any qualified person to be nominated, most delegates are likely to think of nominating one of our current bishops. Their biographies are on the OCA website and most of them also have interviews on the Assembly of Bishops website.

Saint Tatiana

In Denver, at Holy Transfiguration Cathedral, I happened to be standing at vespers next to the icon of Saint Tatiana, the Roman martyr (January 12), the patron saint of my grandmother and sister. I was struck by the inscription on the icon:

The Lord strengthens those who trust in him, imbuing this fragile body of a woman with a robust and valiant spirit crowned with the immortal wreath of glory.

The candidates for Metropolitan will all be men, but whoever is elected will need the “robust and valiant spirit” of Saint Tatiana.