« Annual conference of the Sourozh Diocese took place in Hertfordshire »

The annual conference of the Diocese of Sourozh took place during 5-7 June 2015 in Hertfordshire.  The topic of this year’s conference was Mission of the Church today.  The work of the conference was headed by the Archbishop of Sourozh Elisey.  In his address to the participants of the conference, Vladyka highlighted the importance of developing missionary service in the present world. 

More than a hundred people participated in the work of the conference, including hierarchs, clergy and lay people from the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain, USA, Europe and Russia. 

The tradition of holding annual conferences of the Diocese of Sourozh dates back to 1975 and forms part of the heritage of Metropolitan Anthony.  It is thus symbolic that the conference was opened with a report of Archpriest Sergiy Ovsyannikov, the Rector of St Nicholas Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in Amsterdam, who was ordained by the Metropolitan Anthony.  Fr Sergiy spoke about Metropolitan Anthony’s understanding of the Church mission

Before His Ascension into heaven, the Lord commanded to his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you (Mt 28:19-20).  What does this mean for us today when religion is reduced to a private opinion or cultural specifics, whereas the spiritual teachings of the Gospel, such as the sanctity of life, are no longer the values of society?  It is because of that, the present society is often referred to as post-Christian.  In these new conditions, should our Church first take care of the faith and culture of its members, who are surrounded by spiritually hostile environment?  Or are we called to manifest the Good Word of the Gospel in the wholeness of traditional Christianity, which has been kept by the Orthodox Church, in a wider worldwide setting – to all nations?  These and other questions were discussed by the participants of the conference. 

A number of people addressed the conference with their reports, among them: Professor of Oxford University Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) on the topic Eucharist and Mission; Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America Archpriest Eric Tosi on the topic of Missionary communities; Head of the Methodology and Practice of the Missionary Activity division of the Synodal Missionary Department, Secretary of the Diocesan Administration of the diocese of Gubkin, Archpriest Dimitri Karpenko on the topic Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in the modern world

Groups discussing the questions of missionary service took place after the reports, followed by the meetings of various working parties. 

The editor of the Sourozh magazine Alexander Krasovitsky presented the 110th edition of the magazine, dedicated to 100th anniversary of birth of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. 

On the Sunday of All Saints Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh celebrated the Divine Liturgy together with the clergy – participants of the conference.  Following the service, a plenary session of the conference was opened by Archpriest Stephen Platt.  During the session, conference participants had the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences. 

The materials of the conference will be posted on the web site under the heading “Diocesan conference”.