Monday, March 27, 2006

Glory to God for all things! Especially the many blessings He bestows on us!

The first annual Spring Retreat of the Holy Cross Chaplaincy at UBC was certainly that, a blessing!

From Friday March 24th to Saturday March 25th over 60 people from 9 Orthodox Missions and Parishes came to reflect with Matthew Francis on the theme “On behalf of all and for all: The Orthodox Way in a pluralist society” and to celebrate together the Feast of the Annunciation. Matthew gave us much to reflect on blessed us with much insight.

We were also blessed by the presence of the Most Reverend Lazar, former Archbishop of Ottawa. Not only did he contribute much to the discussions and celebrate the Festal Divine Liturgy he also brought the Annunciation Icon written by Canadian iconographer Heiko Schlieper!

Many assisted in making this, our first retreat, a reality. Thank you to monks of All Saints of North America Monastery, members of Holy Resurrection Sobor and St Nicholas Parish, and Mama Kim for feeding us all! Thank you to the singers who helped us make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Thank you to our able registrar, Kimberley! Thank you to St Mark’s College for their endless hospitality! Thank you to all who helped set up and clean up! Thank you to all who came and participated! And thank you Matthew for your words and your witness!

This weekend and this Feast was certainly a “little Pascha” along the Way of our Lenten Journey!

It seems fitting that the first retreat of the Holy Cross Chaplaincy was held on the eve of the 3rd Sunday of Lent, the Veneration of the Cross, Mid-Lent. “We are like those following a long and cruel path, who become tired, see a beautiful tree with many leaves, sit in its shadow and rest for a while and then, as if rejuvenated, continue their journey; likewise today, in the time of fasting and difficult journey and effort, the Life-Giving Cross was planted in our midst by the holy fathers to give us rest and refreshment, to make us light and courageous for the remaining task.” (From the Synaxarion of the Sunday of the Cross)

May we find strength in the Cross of Christ Jesus! May it be our joy our salvation and our only boast!
Your servant in Christ,
the priest Christopher

2 Comments:

Blogger RW said...

I am glad to read/ hear that the Retreat was a success. Glory to God for all things. May He continue to bless all that you do!

Ramona and the family

9:06 PM  
Blogger kimberley said...

Father, this weekend was like a cool glass of water along our thirsty Lenten meander.

Much needed. Much appreciated. :)

12:07 PM  

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