Reflection of Metropolitan Gerasimos for the Feast of Indiction 2021 | community, church, united states
SAN FRANCISCO – “On September 1, when the Church begins the new ecclesiastical year, we commemorate this day as Environmental Protection Day. His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has championed this issue of ecological awareness and environmental healing throughout his thirty-year ministry as our Ecumenical Patriarch, ”said His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos.
“He called us to repent and change our relationship with the created world into one that heals the damage already done and allows it to be maintained and renewed for future generations. He asked us to pray for the environment. when we sing: “Corruption arises from lightness, so have mercy on your creation and grant prudence, also granting to all reconciliation, salvation and divine mercy (Aposticha, Vespers of the day for the protection of the environment) .
“During this summer, we have seen the effects of human contempt and recklessness for the natural world. Whether it’s water shortages, terrible heat waves, fires here in the Western United States and elsewhere in the world, our world is strongly urging us to become agents of restoration.What natural world will our children inherit if this year is just a prologue to the years to come? fires or droughts do we still have to experiment before we come to our senses?
“Our Ecumenical Patriarch has challenged us to take steps to work to restore balance to the natural world – our only home. So as we begin this new ecclesiastical year, our first individual act should be to pray for it. created world, asking our Lord to give us the strength and determination to work together to resolve our ecological crisis. I would also encourage each of our parishes to offer Vespers for Environmental Protection Day, and in coming days to offer programs to educate us about the ecological crisis and our orthodox understanding of creation.Our parishes should initiate projects to clean up and restore areas in their communities and include environmentally friendly practices like recycling, l solar energy and the use of biodegradable products.
“This new ecclesiastical year begins when we discern all the rhythms of our lives at home, at work, at school and at church in light of this recent outbreak of the pandemic. Policies and practices seem to change daily Finding the balance between appropriate church activity and coronavirus safety is our top priority Each parish is responding to the best of its ability to local situations and our Metropolis guidelines.
“The new ecclesiastical year always offers us hope because a page turns where we can deepen our commitment to Christ and his Church. As Orthodox Christians, every day is a new opportunity to draw us closer to Christ. But we’re not supposed to. to live as Christians outside of a community. There is an old saying, “You cannot be a Christian alone.” Through our fellowship, prayer, mutual support, and living together as Christians, we draw closer to Christ as we draw closer to one another.
“My beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, let us take up the call of a new ecclesiastical year, to respond to the call of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to take care of the environment. Let us act every day of this new year, in praying at every divine office, to commend ourselves and one another, and all our life to Christ our God.
God bless you!”