Word doc

All Saints of North America Orthodox Church

Archdiocese of Canada · Orthodox Church in America

June 26, 2006

Canadian Parish Boosts
Chinese Mission:

Project shares Gospel with
one-quarter of globe

HAMILTON, ONTARIO — Red silks with gold thread. Steaming noodles and crab claws. Commemorating spiritual ancestors in China: A typical gathering of Orthodox Christians?

It is for the Orthodox Church in China, and their brethren in Christ in Canada.

On Saturday, June 11/24, 2006, All Saints of North America Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, hosted its first annual dinner in support of the Chinese Orthodox Missions Project.

The Project combines the work of the Chinese Orthodox Translation Project in Boston, MA, and the seminary training and work of Chinese Orthodox missionaries headquartered in Hong Kong and Moscow. In the end, along with added donations, the dinner raised $3000 Canadian for the Chinese Missions.

His Grace Bishop SERAPHIM of Ottawa and Canada was joined by six clergy at the Vespers service, followed by Small Compline and a beautiful singing of the Akathist to the Martyrs of China. Many people had never heard an Akathist sung before, so this was a special joy for us to share together. The feast of the Martyrs of China (Old Style) coincided this year with the weekend of the parish feast day.

“It was evident from the beginning of the evening that there was a real sense of excitement in the room,” said Father Geoffrey Korz, priest of the parish. “We originally expected an evening with a few friends to mark the feast of the Martyrs of China. It just grew.”  In the end, more than sixty people attended, sitting down to a delicious Lenten Chinese banquet — a real blessing of the variability of Chinese cuisine.

“The restaurant owners were very generous when they found out the nature of the banquet,” remarked Father Geoffrey. “One suggested that we forego certain more exotic dishes, which Canadian tastes might not enjoy. All my Chinese Orthodox relatives insisted that a banquet for the Feast Day wouldn’t be complete without them. In the end, every dish was finished, and guests said they were the best part of the meal.

After the meal, His Grace Bishop Seraphim spoke about the personal call to exercise love for everyone, not just those like ourselves, in sharing Christ and His Church with the world. Next, Archpriest Oleg Kirilov, the priest from the Russian cathedral in Toronto, gave a delightfully funny address about the complexities of Orthodox life, and brought brotherly good wishes from our sister OCA parish. He presented the parish with a beautiful, wall cross from Russia.

Father Geoffrey gave the main address on the roots of Christ's witness in Chinese antiquity, a talk which grew out of the writings and research of Hieromonk Damascene of St. Herman's in Platina, as well as Mitrophan Chin’s interview and the archaelogical articles published at www.orthodox.cn. The talk emphasized the fact that the Lord has never left Himself without witnesses, in any place or generation, and that Orthodox missions in China are really a task of providing a path of return for Chinese people to their pre-Communist, pre-philosophical, pre-pagan roots. It was the ideal opportunity to underscore the importance of the indigenous, autonomous Chinese Church, and to emphasize that foreign-led missions in China have always proven to be failures, and that our task is to support the autonomous Church in China. The talk was well-received.

At the end of the evening, His Grace Bishop Seraphim was presented with a traditional red silk cloth, signed by all those who attended; a similar cloth will be displayed at the parish of All Saints of North America.

By the prayers of the Martyrs of China, may the Lord bless that this event be repeated again next year, with the wider participation of Orthodox parishes from other local jurisdictions.



Contact:                       Church Information:

Father Geoffrey Korz      www.asna.ca

(905) 318-6436 or          

(905) 387-6907