Orthodox Church in America
P.O. Box 191109
Dallas, Texas 75219
March 22, 2009 Sunday of the Cross
To the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the South
Orthodox Church in America:
I would like to take this opportunity first, to ask for your prayers and forgiveness as we continue our journey to Pascha. May our Lord grant you a blessed and fruitful Lent and Holy Week.
In addition, please know that over the years your tireless efforts in service to Christ have been a tremendous source of inspiration and joy. We have labored together for ‘the Truth that sets man free’: in light of your personal dedication it may be said that, “I have (had) no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4). With each conversion, with the start of each new mission I thank the Lord for “revealing Himself unto us,” and for providing His humble servant an opportunity to be a steward of such a flock as we have in the Diocese of the South.
Overseeing a Diocese, however, is a temporary calling by nature. Thus, after fifty five years in the priesthood and forty years as a bishop of the Orthodox Church in America, I have asked for retirement from the active episcopacy, effective March 31, 2009. It is not a decision I make lightly. I feel confident that with our current Synod of Bishops as well as Diocesan leaders (both clergy and laymen) already in place, that the work of the Orthodox Church in the South will continue. Together we have helped to lay the foundation which is Christ, and now it is time for others to build upon our labors (1 Corinthians 3).
Again, I ask for your prayers. Be assured of my love and prayers for all of you.
In the love of Christ,
Archbishop of Dallas and the South
Diocese of the South