It was the joy and delight of the faithful of Holy Trinity Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico to welcome His Grace Bishop Basil on the weekend of October 30-31, 2010. In addition to the Divine Services, the weekend centered around a townhall-style meeting in which His Grace discussed the pan-Orthodox Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America held in May 2010. Besides members of the Holy Trinity community, the meeting drew in visitors and clergy from nearby OCA and ROCOR churches.
Sayedna Basil presented a detailed background history of the Assembly of Bishops, accompanied by many stories of his work and meetings as EA Secretary. He particularly emphasized the need for Orthodox laypersons to contribute to the work of the EA in their areas of expertise. While acknowledging that events will unfold in God’s time, His Grace communicated an enthusiastic hope that the work of the EA may begin to bear fruits for Orthodoxy in America far sooner than many people might expect.
On Saturday evening, His Grace celebrated Great Vespers, which included the tonsure of Christopher Walker as a reader and of Isaac Sandretto as Taper-Bearer. After Vespers, Sayedna gave a short homily concerning the words of the Tone 6 Resurrectional Troparion: “Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world.” On Sunday, the faithful celebrated Orthros and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Sayedna Basil preached this time on the Gospel parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Following Liturgy, His Grace joined the community for a festal meal before beginning the long drive from New Mexico to Wichita.
His Grace’s visits are always a blessing. Many thanks to you, Master, and many years!
Photos courtesy of Stuart John Loughborough and Andrew Frishman.