A Bishop for the Church in Africa

Beloved Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the
Holy Orthodox Church in North America:
According to the holy canons, in every land in which the Faith of Christ has been planted a Local Orthodox Church should blossom, one that would belong fully to the people of that land. A Local Church, moreover, can come into existence only when it has its own local Bishop; for, to paraphrase the words of Saint Ignatius the God-bearer, where the Bishop is, there is the Church. This is the proper and canonical form of ecclesial administration.   
For almost twenty years now, our Church in North America has maintained pastoral oversight of communities of Orthodox Christians dwelling in several countries of East Africa – Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania – that had asked to be received under the care of our Holy Synod. Our hierarchs have done their utmost to shepherd the African flock, experiencing both blessings and temptations along the way. From the very beginning, our Synod has hoped to find a candidate worthy of the episcopacy, so that a local Bishop would be consecrated for the East African flock.
It seems that God has heard our prayers. After much prayer, thought, and detailed examination, the Holy Synod has reached the unanimous decision that Priestmonk Paul (Gathuru), who has faithfully served as Head of our Church's Mission in Kenya for thirteen years, should be consecrated as Bishop of Nairobi, and that he assume the pastoral care of the Church in East Africa. We believe that this should open a new chapter in the history of Orthodoxy in Africa, with a local Bishop shepherding a local flock, and that proper ecclesiastical order will be established in that part of the world.
The Consecration of Bishop-Elect Paul of Nairobi will take place on the last day of our Annual Clergy Synaxis, Sunday, October 2, 2016 (NS), at Saint Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Cathedral of Boston.
We rejoice together with our brothers and sisters in Africa, and pray that our Saviour strengthen the Bishop-Elect Paul, that he may continue to serve the Holy Church selflessly, faithfully and diligently. Amen.
Your fervent supplicant unto God,
+ Gregory, Metropolitan of Boston President of the Holy Synod

Paschal Encyclical 2016

Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ανέστη! Христос Воскресе! 

Axios! Axios! Axios!

Consecration of Bishop Chrysostomos of Lanham Saint Mark of Ephesus Cathedral of Boston
18/31 January, 2016

Ordination for the Mission in Oklahoma

On the Sunday after the Nativity of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ, at the Cathedral of Saint Mark of Ephesus in Boston, Father John Copeland was ordained to the Priesthood by Metropolitan Gregory. Father John is heading the Mission of Saint Athanasius the Great in Glenpool, Oklahoma. May our Saviour bless him with many years of faithful service to His Church. Amen. Axios! Axios! Axios!

Hierarchical Consecration in Seattle

Sunday, November 30/December 13, at the Cathedral of Saint Nectarios in Seattle, Priestmonk Ignatius (Ponomarchuk) was consecrated as the ruling hierarch of the Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Seattle.
May God grant to Metropolitan Ignatius many more years of selfless service to the Church of Christ, now in the capacity of a hierarch!
Axios! Axios! Axios!

Photos from the Consecration can be viewed on our Facebook Page.


In Defiance of
The Synodal Tome of the Holy Council of Constantinople of 1351

“Every Power or Energy [of God] is God Himself.” These are the words of St. Gregory  Palamas. [1] This “Power or Energy,” which is God Himself, as the Saint teaches us, is “boundless” and “before creation.” It is uncreated.

In his book, The Guide, [2] St. Anastasius of Sinai has the following paragraph:

Question: Does the appellation “God” refer to [God's] Essence, or His Person, or His Energy, or is it a symbol, or a metaphor?
Answer: It is clear [the designation] “God” refers to [God's] Energy. It does not represent the very Essence of God; for it is impossible to know this, but it represents and reveals His Energy that is able to be contemplated [by us].

This teaching of St Anastasius of Sinai was confirmed and adopted by the Holy Council of Constantinople of 1351 in its Synodal Tome. The same Synodal Tome affirmed that the Grace or Energy of God “is called 'Godhead' by the Saints.” St. Gregory Palamas endorsed this Synodal Tome of the Holy Council of Constantinople of 1351; this Council, in turn, endorsed St. Gregory's Confession of the Orthodox Faith. These are clear-cut Orthodox Christian synodal resolutions, not the confused and contradictory decisions of later, Lutheran-style “synods” in Russia or elsewhere. [4]

In addition, St. Clement of Rome (c. ✠ 100) tells us that “the Name of God is the origin of all creation” (First Letter to the Corinthians: 59: 2-3).

St. Cyril of Alexandria (✠ 444) teaches that Christ's disciples “ought to be kept in the Name of the Father, that is to say, in the Glory and Power of His Godhead” (On the Gospel According to St. John, bk. 11, ch. 9).

St. John Chrysostom (✠  407), in his explanation of Acts 3:16 (“And His Name, through faith in His Name, made this man strong”), like the  Apostles and all our Saints, also recognizes that the Name of God is one and the same as the healing Grace and Energy of God when he writes that “[the Son of God's] Name raised up the lame man, who was like one dead” (Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles 9).

St. John of Kronstadt (✠ 1908) affirms this teaching of the Saints when he tells us that “His Name is [God] Himself” and “The Name of God is God Himself” (My life in Christ, trans. by E. Goulaeff, London, 1897).

Consequently, any later “council” or “synod”  — whether it be Russian, or Greek Old Calendarist, or New Calendarist, or whatever — that contradicts these resolutions of the Holy Council of Constantinople of 1351, the Synodicon of Orthodoxy, and the teachings of the Saints is not an Orthodox council or synod, but a false synod, a pseudo-council, not accepted by the Orthodox Church, and those who concur with such false “synods” are themselves guilty of the heresy of Name-fighting — fighting against the Name of God.


1) See the Chapters Against Barlaam and Acindynus, in the Synodicon of Orthodoxy (in The True Vine, issue nos. 27 and 28, pp. 63-68 and 74-77).
2)  See PG 89:53.
3) See  Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition, vol. 1, ed. By Jaroslav J. Pelikan and Valerie V. Hotchkiss, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2003.
4) The Russian Synod of 1913, in blatant defiance of the teaching of Saint Anastasius and the Hesychast Council of 1351, claimed that the Energies of God are not and cannot not be called “God”.

2015 Clergy Synaxis of the Holy Orthodox Church in North America

“Behold now, what is so good or so joyous as for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 132:1).

The 2015 Clergy Synaxis of the Holy Orthodox Church in North America was hosted by the St. Lucia’s Sisterhood at the St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Cathedral and St. Anna’s Orthodox Church, both in Rosindale, MA, from October 2 to October 5, 2015. Friday, October 2, began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy by His Grace, Bishop Andrew of Markham, assisted by Deacon John Copeland, at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Following brunch at St. Mark’s Hall, diocesan reports were given at St. Anna’s Church by His Eminence, Metropolitan Gregory of Boston; His Eminence, Metropolitan Makarios of Toronto; and His Grace, Bishop Andrew of Markham. Later in the afternoon, Bishop Andrew delivered a talk entitled, “The Role of the Typicon in the Life of the Orthodox Church,” which was followed by a lively discussion concerning liturgical matters. The day concluded with Vespers at St. Mark’s Cathedral and dinner at St. Mark’s Hall.

On Saturday, October 3, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Fr. Dimitry Kukonov, assisted by Deacon James Dimock. Following brunch, the first talk of the day, given by Hierodeacon Samuel, was entitled “The Catholicity of the Local Church,” which was again followed by a lively discussion. The second talk of the day, offered by Protopresbyter Rodion Laskowski, consisted of his reminiscences of the many men of sanctity he has encountered over his long years of pastoral service, with special attention being paid to Archbishop Andrew of Novo Diveyevo and Igumen Athanassy (Shelepov), who reposed at Holy Transfiguration Monastery in 1976. Archimandrite Panteleimon likewise joined in, sharing his moving remembrances of Archbishop Andrew and Fr. Athanassy and others. The same day Metropolitan Gregory officially announced to the assembled clergy that Protopresbyter Ihnat Ponomarchuk had been elected Metropolitan of Seattle and that Hieromonk Chrysostomos (Larrea) had likewise been elected Auxiliary Bishop of the Metropolis of Boston. The day concluded with dinner and Vespers.

A hierarchal Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St. Mark’s on Sunday, October 5, by Metropolitan Gregory and Bishop Andrew, assisted by all the assembled clergy. At the greeting of the bishops prior to Liturgy, Metropolitan Gregory was officially installed as the Ruling Metropolitan of the Metropolis of Boston. Following the service, a festive trapeza was held at St. Mark’s Hall for all the assembled hierarchs, clergy, and faithful.

Those attending the 2015 Clergy Synaxis were edified by the spirit of fellowship and ecclesial unity experienced by all.