Priest’s Corner: Building the House of God
At its meeting in San Francisco during the celebration of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia gave their blessing for the full consecration of our church. They have set the date for Saturday, July 11, 2020, for this long-awaited event. Glory be to God!
I am so very grateful, not only to the hard-working and generous members of our parish who have done so very much (and will be doing even more over the next year), but to our Russian Orthodox community of the Bay Area at large. Through their combined efforts, our iconostasis is completely paid for, and its arrival in Santa Rosa has generated a great deal of excitement in anticipation of its installation in the church. Also, now that an official date for the consecration has been set, there are a great many clergy and laypeople from all over the country making plans to travel to Santa Rosa next year to participate in this joyous event.
We have, with God’s help, achieved a great deal over these past few years and, before our celebration—and during it—there is yet much to be done. I call upon all our parishioners, especially those who have not been as involved as they could be up to now, to participate in this communal effort. In doing so, you will be continuing the work of others who began this endeavor so many years ago, and participating in bringing it to fruition. As our heavenly patron St. Paul wrote, “We are laborers together with God: You are God’s husbandry, you are God’s building…. According to the grace of God given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereon.” (I Cor. 3:9–10) Let us also continue in this building, but taking heed as to how we continue it—never forgetting that those who began this work did so to the glory of God and so that they could have a place to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, to take advantage of the holy sacraments, and to build their spiritual lives. Building a beautiful church does not save our souls. Using it and the Grace of God, which is freely dispensed through it, does.
When we complete this important work, having contributed the very best of our treasures and talents, let us be equally diligent in the building of our spiritual lives, and those of our children and grandchildren, so that this beautiful House of God may never be empty but always filled with praise and prayer to Him for all the great mercies He has shown us—and continues to show—for generations to come.
–Father Alexander Krassovsky