Orthodox Observer - October 5, 1998



Exhortation to Archdiocesan Council
and Philoptochos Board

Beloved fellow-laborers in the vineyard of Christ:

After His resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to His disciples and spoke to them these words:

"Peace be with you: as my Father has sent me, I now send you."

These same words does the Lord address to you this day, faithful brothers and sisters.

I now send you, says the Lord to His newly inducted servants of the Archdiocesan Council and the National Philoptochos Society.

I now send you, to meet with one another now and thereafter to return to your homes and parishes, I now send you, to share the message of the Gospel with one another -- that Jesus Christ lives, and that He offers new life to the world.

I now send you, to communicate by your words and deeds the truth that the Church is in reality the very body of the living Christ, and that -- in a manner transcend- ing all other human societies and institutions -- the Church is led and guided by the Holy Spirit of God.

I now send you, to lead your brothers and sisters by example, through your own obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that is, by your attention to the teachings of the Scriptures, your adherence to the doctrine of the Fathers, and your observance of the Holy Canons.

I now send you, says the Lord to you this day, having endowed each of you in your own way with spiritual gifts of administration, of service, of ministry, of exhortation, of teaching, of mercy, of generosity, and of love, I now send you, to be faithful stewards of the deposit of faith which has been entrusted to you until that Great and Awesome Day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace be with you, my spiritual children, as you begin now the mission which the Lord has assigned you. And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

[ Orthodox Observer - October 5, 1998 - p. 8 ]