9.23.2016

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