2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612
Among the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives, one is especially hard to bear: a feeling of isolation from each other. An antidote to that feeling is a reminder that we faithful are united in Christ. A visit by the Bishop sends a joyful message: no matter how small and physically isolated our communities may be, we are not spiritually isolated. We form the same Church, the body of Christ.
On the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, Bishop Maxim visited our Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos Church in Orange County. Two active parish members, Igor Prikhodtko and Nikola Zlatic, who have been helping in the altar for years, were tonsured as readers before the Hierarchical Liturgy. Vladika Maxim prayed that the new readers be “preserved in blamelessness of life” and reminded them that the ministry of a reader is very important. He instructed them to read the Holy Scripture daily. The new readers will continue their service for the glory of God and His Holy Church.
Bishop Maxim was assisted in serving the Divine Liturgy by the parish priest Fr. Blasko Paraklis and Fr. Oleg Kostenko from Kyiv, who has been helping Fr. Blasko and the parish community in many ways during the last few months. The responses at the Divine Liturgy were sung by three members of the church choir.
The visit of His Grace Bishop Maxim was even more joyful as it fell on the anniversary of Fr. Blasko’s ordination as a priest. The choir sang Mnogaja Ljeta to Fr. Blasko, who then thanked Bishop Maxim, the choir, and all the faithful for their prayers and continued support, wishing everyone many years of spiritual prosperity.
After the Divine Liturgy, a group of parish members enjoyed an enlightening conversation with Bishop Maxim on several vital issues of Church life, including the boundaries of the Church, heresies and schisms, strict teachings of the church, and the practice of those teachings on ikonomia and akrivia.Our deep gratitude goes to Bishop Maxim for visiting us and serving at our church. We pray that he comes to us again in the near future. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”