NEW YORK: October 8, 2018
The Primate of the Russian Church Abroad sends Metropolitan Onouphry of Kharkov and Bogodukhovsk and the participants of the 2nd International Scholarly Conference “Practical Questions of Theology and Church History”
To His Eminence ONOUPHRY
Metropolitan of Kharkov and Bogodukhovsk, and the
Participants of the
2nd International Scholarly Conference “Practical Questions of Theology and Church History”
Your Eminence Vladyko!
Honorable Fathers, Dear in the Lord Brothers and Sisters!
With a warm heart and fraternal love I greet Your Eminence, the teachers and students of Kharkov Theological Seminary on its feast day, the holiday of the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian. I prayerfully wish the seminarians who are preparing for service in the Church of Christ and all the participants of this conference success, zealous and blessed labors, the increasing of strength and talents, in order not only to become preachers of theology but examples to emulate in their lives and service.
In John’s Gospel, the Lord says that He is the door through which people enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This door is opened by the preacher of the Word of God, declaring the truth not only by fervent, loving and kind words, but through the active striving for the holy life of the Gospel. When our sermons and confirmed by life and example, then the Word of God easily reaches human hearts and begins to bring forth fruits in their inner lives, in their relationship with their neighbors and in the life of the Church. May the Lord help us all try to live so that we can always find a path to the human heart and to learn forever to sense when we can throw this door wide open!
In these difficult and serious times, when the Pastor-in-Chief Christ calls upon us to special spiritual labors and witness, I prayerfully kiss the suffering wounds of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and with all my soul wish you “with purpose of heart… to cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 11:23). May the Lord strengthen us all with His abundant aid, good health, boldness of spirit, many mercies and blessings for many blessed years to the benefit and confirmation of Holy Orthodoxy! Amen.
Beseeching your holy prayers, I remain in the eternal love of the Lord,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.