2016 Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat

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St. Andrew Fool-For-Christ Serbian Orthodox Parish
1865 Diamond Street, Anderson, CA 96007




1621 West Garvey, Avenue, Alhambra, CA 91803

To the Diocesan Annual Assembly – September 3, 2016


Divine Liturgies: 96 Matins: 70
Vigil/Vespers Services: 65 Marriages: 5
Vigil/Vespers Services: 65 Pastoral Meetings with groups/individuals: 142
Vigil/Vespers Services: 65 Marriage Enrichment sessions: 16
Baptisms/Chrismations: 18 Visitations to the sick: 42
Funerals: 9 Catechism sessions for adults 14

It is important as we reflect back and at the same time look ahead, that we once more rediscover the importance of our life in Christ. The months and years are spent building our Saint Steven’s parish and its ministries and keeping them in use and repair. Regarding the accomplishments of our parish in some areas, or the lack of accomplishments and possible errors in other areas, we can all certainly rejoice in the good that we have seen and done.

Our Lord challenges us by asking, “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his immortal soul?” That is true for families, as well as for parishes. No matter how prosperous we may become in material things, we cannot lose this battle for the heart and soul of what we are all about. Saint Steven’s is a great parish because it is a good parish. That goodness is defined not by always doing things to perfection, since no one can do that; but rather, by always striving to be obedient and faithful to our Lord and his commandments. Living in the world, we are all constantly being bombarded by negative, ungodly forces that are trying to influence us to compromise and give in and to infiltrate our minds and convince us and deceive us into making poor choices. We must assure that such voices are not louder than ours. We must never give into those temptations and secular influences around us, for they only lead to defeat and misery. We must remember that prosperity comes only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted. Therefore, we must remain grounded in the person of Jesus Christ. We must continue to stand firm in the faith. Stand firm in the faith that Christ is our Savior. Stand firm in the faith of the forgiveness of sins. Growing in joyful faith is standing firm in the faith. Growing in Christ’s love is also standing firm in the faith. For all this we must depend upon God. "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). That is our calling. That is the calling of every person and every family. It is our duty therefore to stay focused on building the living church within and around us – which is always built on the foundation of prayer. We must never stop bringing prayer to our families, especially to our children, for a child that prays is a happy child, a family that prays is a united family, and a parish that prays is happy and united parish. I am confident that we will have the desire and ability to rise to the challenges of our times. As we strive to do so in our personal lives as well as in our beloved Cathedral parish, let us always remember the Promise of God: “those that seek the Lord, shall never be in want of any good thing.” (Psalm 34:10) 

Christmas and Epiphany
The beginning of January is recorded in the annals of the Christian Church as an ancient celebration of an event in the life of Jesus Christ which is considered as the beginning of His official dedication to His Divine Mission in the presence and manifestation of the Triune Christian God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Early on in the Christian experience, this Feast included the Birth of Jesus Christ (that is, the Incarnation of the Logos), His Baptism (that is, His dedication in a human manner), and the appearance of the Father and the Holy Spirit-the first and only united appearance of the true Christian God. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, "filled with the Holy Spirit", said in anticipation, "whereby the dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
In 2015, the Eve of the Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ (Holy Cross Day) fell on a Sunday. His Grace, Bishop Maxim, celebrated the Liturgy at Saint Steven’s Cathedral with the Cathedral clergy – Protopresbyter Stavrophor Nicholas Ceko, Dean, Protopresbyter Stavrophor Ilija Daikovich, Presbyter Norman Kosanovich – and the Diocesan Deacon, Zoran Aleksic. Near the conclusion of the Liturgy, the Altar servers led the clergy and parishioners in a procession out of the church and to the social court, where a bubbling water fountain and several receptacles of water were prepared in anticipation of the service of the Great Blessing of Water, taking place under a crystal-blue sky and in the comfortable warmth of a sunny January morning. As the Epiphany troparion hymn was sung, Bishop Maxim generously showered the gathered faithful with the blessed water, much to the delight of all the children! At the conclusion, everyone received a hand-sized Holy Water bottle, filled and labeled for use at home.

On Sunday, January 25, 2015, the Sunday school presented the latest edition of the Saint Sava Day Children's Program. The day began with Matins and Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Cathedral Dean Fr. Nicholas Ceko and Cathedral clergy: Fr. Ilija Daikovich, and Fr. Norman Kosanovich. Then the children prepared for the festive program that featured song and dance by the RCA's folklore dance groups – Andjeli, Opancici, and Sokoli – a presentation by the combined Preschool and Kindergarten classes, the beautiful song presentation by our Sunday School Music class and Youth Chorale directed by Jonny Braun, as well as individual student recitations in both Serbian and English. A delicious lunch, tasty desserts, ice cream sundae bar, and folk dancing by young and old alike rounded out another satisfying celebration, for which we give thanks to our Lord and His servant, Sava.

Family Winter Camp
Over the weekend of February 6-8, 2015, the third year of the new, expanded winter camp saw even more students and parents attending than at the previous two! There was no snow to enjoy this year, but there were additions to the camp program that made up for it. The weekend began with a pizza dinner awaiting the families as they arrived at the Cathedral to board a charter bus for Wrightwood; once there, Director John Pecel greeted everyone and directed them to their cabins to stow their gear and prepare for orientation. Included in the orientation was the introduction of Jonathan Braun, newest member of Saint Steven’s educational staff, to his first Family Winter Camp. Jonny’s students, in either the Sunday school music class or the Youth chorale, made up one third of all the kids attending camp. The theme this year was “Not Just A Mustard Seed,” and class discussions explored Jesus’ assertion in the Gospel that faith like the tiniest mustard seed can move mountains. Students were divided into three age groups and rotated between discussion, music, and arts & crafts led by Cyndi Stepich, which featured using a variety of seeds to personalize drinking mugs and photo frames!
For the first time in several years, a volunteer kitchen crew consisting of camper parents prepared delicious meals Saturday and Sunday. Everyone had high praise for Marko & Kris Dobrilovic, Jeff & Jennifer Ratkovich, and Vaso Adzich. Speaking of parents, when the Friday night icebreakers ended and campers headed to their cabins, Fr. Nick led a fireside discussion with parents on contemporary song lyrics that featured a sing-a-long component with Jonny and his guitar! On Saturday, Fr. Norman discussed the camp theme with the parents, which included examples of ‘mountains that have to be moved’ in pursuit of a family’s healthy sacramental life.
A steady Saturday afternoon drizzle slightly altered the plan for outdoor recreational activities: several campers and parents were still able to hike the camp trail, but for others, whiffle ball, football, and volleyball were replaced by taking turns on a popular air hockey table and drinking hot chocolate. Something new to include during this time was preparing for the talent/variety show scheduled for after dinner! The Kindergarteners and First Graders combined to sing two songs to start the show, followed by Grades Three through Seven. The rest of the show featured campers in a variety of brief skits that had everyone laughing and applauding. Several group activities kept everyone entertained until it was time to retire in anticipation of the Divine Liturgy in the morning.
Even the worship services had some new elements this year: Saturday morning featured an Akathist hymn: Glory to God for all Things, chanted and sung almost entirely by the campers; Vespers in the evening also had more verses for campers to chant during the service, and the Liturgy provided the music class students an opportunity to lead everyone in praising God with arrangements they have been learning in class.
As the bus pulled away Sunday afternoon and headed back for Alhambra, campers shared memories just made and anticipation for 2016 Family Winter Camp Program had already begun!

Cathedral Faith Lecture Series:
The Future of Orthodoxy in America Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic)
On February 24, 2015, Saint Steven's hosting the first of two in a series of special Faith Lectures for the year. The dinner talk was about the future of Orthodoxy in America, led by His Grace, Bishop Athanasius, visiting from Herzegovina. After visiting ten American states during a month-long stay, Bishop Athanasius stated that our (Orthodox) Faith in America has a future and he believes that an authentic Orthodox mission is deep evangelization. These were among the words he shared with us that day:
Young people in America, who seek Orthodoxy, seek to confront secularism. The Orthodox Church and her missionary work needs to help them in this endeavor. Not some kind of cheap missionary work likened to that of some zealots in our country, rather a deep tilling and sowing of evangelical seed in the souls of young people. That is not only the religious teachings, nor is it catechesis or homiletics, rather it is the awakening of new life in Christ and renewing and life-giving grace which the Holy Spirit gives through the holy virtues and the Holy Sacraments. An authentic Orthodox mission is deep evangelization. Orthodoxy has existed in America for over two centuries, but it is only in the twentieth century that its existence was strengthened. Since my last visit to the United States, Iʼve noticed significant improvement in Orthodoxy in America. I served in many parishes and visited monasteries. I was especially pleased to visit and serve in the newly opened Greek, Russian and Serbian monasteries where the monks and nuns are American. Thanks to the good intentions and good will of devout bishops, clergy and people, new monasteries are now opened on the West Coast. They say that California is ahead of everyone else in America, both in the good as well as the bad. It seems as if the Orthodox believers in California are trying to keep up with the States’ advanced status. My impression is that Orthodoxy has its deeper future. There is no doubt that America is a new missionary field for Orthodoxy. Not in the sense of propagation or obtaining supporters, for there is too much religious and Christian proselytizing in America. America is, generally speaking, a Protestant country. However, the Protestant divisions, along with partial and flawed understanding of the reality of the Church of Christ has not contributed, and does not contribute, to authentic evangelization and complete ecclesial Christianization of America. Protestantism came as a reaction to the wrongful and erroneous doings of the Roman Catholic Church. Nevertheless, Protestantism did not find a way to return to authentic Christianity. Even though they have accomplished much on the humanitarian, social and other aspects of life, they are in ever so great a danger of being secularized, regardless of their humanitarian organizations which suits official America and which are supported by it for the purpose of the worldly wellbeing of its society. But the Church is not “the society of this world,” yet it is in this world and she, the Church of Christ, and not America, is the salvation of the world. I have had the opportunity to reflect on Godʼs wondrous ways and works throughout the world and its history – that the Gospel as the Good News of salvation is preached to the end of the universe and to the end of the ages, and that all people, as the children of God, are called and brought home into the Church of Christ through the grace of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father.”

Sunday of Orthodox: Triumph of Faith
The first Sunday of Great Lent commemorates the return of Icons to the worship of the Church in 843, A.D., following the defeat of the heresy of iconoclasm. Orthodox Christians in the metropolitan Los Angeles area gathered here at the Saint Steven’s Cathedral on Saturday, February 28, 2015, and Sunday, March 1, to conclude the first week of Lent with a youth rally for students in Grades 5 through 12. The Vespers Service for the feast included an icon procession with the participating clergy, and a homily by special guest speaker, Very Reverend Dr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY. The Vespers hymns were sung by the newly-formed POYAC singers established by Cathedral Dean, Fr. Nicholas Ceko and Cathedral lay assistant, Jonny Braun. The evening then concluded with a short concert by POYAC, the Pan-Orthodox Young Adult Choir and with refreshments fellowship in the Social hall. On Sunday morning, the Matins and Liturgy were celebrated with Father Chad as guest and another festive procession of icons in honor of the feast.

Pascha, The Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord
Following the solemn services of Holy Week, Saint Steven’s Pascha Celebration on April 12th was bursting with joy, complete with a Midnight candlelight procession and Liturgy, Agape feast banquet and afternoon picnic with a traditional Easter egg hunt for all of the children of the parish.

3rd Annual Festival of Learning
The Central aim of Christian education in our Church is to evoke and nurture faith in Jesus Christ according to the Orthodox Teaching and vision, out of which issues a genuine Orthodox way of life. The Church nurtures a living awareness of the risen Christ in our midst, who is the true Celebrant of Sacraments and the true Teacher of His people, and makes Himself known to us by the grace of the Holy Spirit. The whole range of Orthodox educational material- books, visuals, Bible Studies, lives of saints contemporary discussion of Christian values-becomes effective to the degree that communicates the love and sprit of Christ. 
Throughout the school year, beginning in September, children, parents, family members, and our Sunday School staff begin collecting samples of work from ongoing lessons and projects and reserve them for display, reflection, discussion, and expanded learning during the festival in May. The theme each year is merely to showcase aspects of the program that we are already working on with our children and teens, and helps to make visible how students are growing in the Orthodox Christian faith and learning through our Cathedral School Program.

The Feast of Saint Nicholai
Cathedral Young Adults celebrate their Patron Saint
On Sunday, May 3, 2015, Saint Steven’s Cathedral in Alhambra, Los Angeles California, celebrated the feast day of Saint Nicholai Velimirovic, the patron saint of the Cathedral’s Young Adult Fellowship.
To help honor this day, with the blessings of His Grace, Bishop Maxim, the young adults invited Fr. John Finley to be their guest for the feast. Fr. John serves St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara and is an active field staff member of the Department of Missions and Evangelism for the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. For more than a decade, Fr. John has admired and studied the writings of Saint Nicholai, incorporating them into his daily prayer, reading and study. In his homily, Fr. John shared his personal joy in celebrating this feast day, and elaborated on how Saint Nicholai views suffering as an opportunity for repentance and spiritual growth towards the Kingdom of God.
The feast day featured the full participation of the parish in the Matins service, Divine Liturgy, lunch and program presented by the young adults of the Cathedral. The program featured a hymn of Saint Nicholai sung by Saint Steven’s Youth Chorale, excerpts from the writings of Saint Nicholai shared by young adults Pace Rommel and Cassie Vossmeyer, and a keynote address by Fr. John Finley. Fr. John shared his observation as to why Saint Nicholai is known as the “New Chrysostom,” reflecting on the preaching and writing style of the saint, in particular his Paschal homilies. The Cathedral parish has special devotion to Saint Nicholai for many obvious reasons, including the fact that the Cathedral Church was consecrated in 1952 by this beloved saint.

June Vidovdan and Special Olympics

On Sunday, June 28, 2015, with Matins, Liturgy and a festive banquet, Saint Steven's Cathedral parish gathered to celebrate the feast of the Great-Martyr Lazar of Kosovo. The holy prince Lazar (affectionately known as Tsar to his people) and those who perished with him are numbered among the martyrs of the Serbian Orthodox Church. They gained the Heavenly Kingdom on June 15/28 1389, on the feast of the Holy Prophet Amos (St. Lazar's family patron) and of the Holy Martyr Vitus (from which we get the name of tile. day-known in Serbian history as Vidovidon), on the "field of blackbirds" (Kosovo). And though Prince Lazar was betrayed by the of his closest nobles. (arising from a discord sown by the evil one), he and his brave warriors merited the crown of martyrdom. In a way they symbolize the martyrdom of the entire Orthodox people by the impious Turks. Through St. Lazar and those with him on the field of Kosovo, the Orthodox people laid down their lives for their Faith-submitting themselves to continuous martyrdom and slavery for over 500 years, rather than give up or compromise their Orthodox Christian Faith.
Also commemorated was Saint Anastasia, the Patron Saint of our Cathedral Women's Auxiliary. The legacy of Holy Anastasia, the beloved Mother of St. Sava and Saint Steven, is one of steadfast love and committed faith to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which she manifested in her earthly life by her support of her husband, Holy Grand Zhupan Stephen-monk Simeon the Myrrh-gusher, by her zeal for her sons Sava, Steven the First-crowned, and Vukan, by her love of all God's people, and by her beautiful imaging of the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love which were brought to fruition in her by the power of the Most Holy and Life-giving Spirit of God. For all these reasons, our Women's Auxiliary honors her and asks for your prayers in their ministry at Saint Steven's. Honored as kuma for the feast, was Tanya Skundric, who is a marvelous and inspirational example of virtue and love for God and His Church. On behalf of the auxiliary, Vera Russo presented Tanya with a beautiful icon in gratitude for the example that she sets for all of the woman and all parishioners.

This day is also celebrated as "Endowment Recognition Day." Steve Burge, Cathedral Treasurer and Trustee highlighted the work and progress of our Cathedral Endowments. The newest endowments that have been established over the past year were especiall acknowledged with gratitude and they include: The Ann Petrovich Memorial Endowment, Bozidar L. Vasiljevich Memorial Endowment, Steven Daniel Colich Memorial Endowment, Danica Marvosh Legacy Fund, Bessie R. Ball Memorial Endowment, Michael P. Mitrovich Memorial Endowment, and the Mildred Zarubica Memorial Endowment.
This year's celebration was dedicated to Special Olympics. With 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and some 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – in Los Angeles July 25-August 2, 2015 – was the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. Special Cathedral guest, Jodi Price spoke to the Cathedral community on the upcoming 2015 Special Olympics World Games, reflecting on the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events. The Opening Ceremony, held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, attracted over 80,000 spectators. Saint Steven's Cathedral joyfully dedicated all proceeds from this banquet celebration to Special Olympics, earmarked for athletes participating from Serbia. Another guest on this day was Fr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of Saint Vladimir's Seminary. Fr. Chad spoke with gratitude about the annual support that the Cathedral and its members give to Saint Vladimir's. He also spoke about the role that the Seminary publishing house, SVS Press has played in the spiritual growth of so many through its work and ministry in the Church and world. He introduced the newest publication, a children's book "Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins" which was made possible by a generous donation from Cathedral member and Trustee Emeritus, Brian Gerich. He then called upon Brian to say a few words about this book. In his remarks, Brian revealed that he made this gift in gratitude and honor of our Cathedral Dean, Fr. Nicholas Ceko, "an ardent laborer in the vineyard of Christ," as the book dedication reads. This special gift and dedication truly surprised Fr. Nick, who emotionally thanked Brian for such an expression of love. 
The program also featured the popular song "Jecam Znjela Kosovka Devojka" so beautifully and inspiringly performed by our Cathedral Youth Chorale, under the direction of Jonathan Braun. All in all, each aspect of this memorable day, planned and unplanned, was honored and celebrated by the over 300 gathered with love and joy, and gratitude to God for His many blessings upon our Saint Steven's Cathedral.

Cathedral Vacation Church School
“Holy Everest: Climbing the Mountain to Heaven,” was the Vacation school theme for August 3-6, 2015. Fourteen students and seven staff participated. The lessons illustrated what was beneficial for mountain climbing – strength, energy, protection, rest – and offered the spiritual equivalents for ascending in one’s faith. Additions to this year’s program included a full family breakfast each morning, and a brief children’s presentation to, and shared lunch with, the Senior Citizen’s Club on Thursday, August 6, before the children began their water-slide fun!

First Annual Pan-Orthodox Music Festival of Greater Los Angeles
With the blessings of the canonical Orthodox bishops on the West Coast, some two hundred Orthodox faithful from Southern California gathered on August 22 for the First Annual Pan-Orthodox Music Festival of Greater Los Angeles when various parish choirs presented a concert of hymns dedicated to the Theotokos, “the Mother of Life, our unshakeable hope, ever-vigilant intercessor and protector.”
Co-founders of the event, Fr. Nicholas Ceko and Jonny Braun welcomed everyone and especially expressed their gratitude to his Grace, Bishop Maxim, host bishop and to His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, for his presence, blessings on behalf all the bishops, and inspiring all with his words and special greeting. Each of the choirs that performed shared the beauty of Orthodox music and above all, glorify God by offering back to Him the gifts He has graciously given to them, in honor of His Most Holy Mother.
The day was especially exciting as everyone witnessed the debut of POYAC, the Pan-Orthodox Young Adult Choir, a vision which Fr. Nick and Jonny started at a Young Adult Forum in June, 2014, when in a conversation, they acknowledged the abundant talent of young adult Orthodox singers in the area of Greater Los Angeles. Sharing both a love for Orthodox Church Music, as well as gathering young adults together within the Orthodox Church, this opportunity was too golden for to ignore. Thus, this vision inspired to build POYAC, the Pan-Orthodox Young Adult Choir.

Saint Steven’s hosts Special Event: The Canonization of Sts. Mardarije and Sebastian
The Holy Assembly of Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church during its regular session on May 29th, 2015, added the names of Archimandrite Sebastian (Dabovich) of Jackson, and Bishop Mardarije (Uskokovic) of Libertyville, the Clergymen and Preachers of the Gospel, God-pleasing servants of the holy life, and inspirers of many missionaries, to the Dyptich of Saints (Calendar of Saints) of the Orthodox Church.
On September 4-6, 2015, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, together with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, His Eminence Archbishop Alejo Mexico City and all Mexico, His Grace Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West, His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, vicar of the Moscow Diocese, His Grace Bishop Sava of the Georgian Patriarchate in the US, His Grace Bishop Daniil of the Bulgarian Diocese, His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America, His Grace Bishop Justin of Zicha, His Grace Bishop Grigorije of Hercegovina and host hierarch, our bishop, His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America and the faithful of the Western American Diocese assembled for the Canonization of two new American Saints in the Orthodox Church, Sts. Mardarije of Chicago and Libertyville, and Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson.
“How beautiful and what a great blessing it is to be gathered here in church, in God's house," His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej exclaimed with joy at the conclusion of the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the third and final day of this year's Diocesan Days. And truly what a blessing it is each and every year when the entire diocese - the clergy and laity - come together and gather in one place, around one altar, around their hierarch on that most sacred day of Sunday, the Lord's Day, for the Holy Eucharist. This year the faithful of the Western American Diocesan had the added joy of having the first hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, lead them in that Eucharistic joy. 
In his homily following the gospel reading, His Grace Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West interpreted the morning's gospel reading of the marriage feast and the need for us to lead such lives that our garments be without blemish when we too are called to the feast. The bishop touched upon St. Sebastian's many great qualities and the great blessing of his glorification that he be an example not only to the Serbian community, but to all Orthodox. He thanked Bishop Maxim and presented him with an icon of St. Sebastian holding the Russian church he grew up in as a child in San Francisco. 
The faithful who filled the church for the morning's liturgy filled both the main hall and patio for the banquet. The host priest, Protopresybter-Stavrophor Nikola Ceko, emceed the program which included a performance by the Phoenix singing group "Breza" and a reading of the life of St. Sebastian by Zeljka Gortinski. A wonderful moment during the banquet was the bestowing of the Order of St. Sava to Ron Radakovic and Brian Gerich, two instrumental members of the Western American Diocese and active members of their respective home parishes. His Holiness, in his keynote address, could not contain his delight at the gathering, not only of the Serbian community, but the pan-Orthodox community which gathered this weekend for the canonization of not only a Saint of Serbian origin, but for the entire Orthodox Church. It is true, the Patriarch noted, we are divided administratively, but we share one faith, we are one church!
The Diocese of Western America, with the glorification of the new St. Sebastian, established a new award of recognition, the Order of St. Sebastian which, during the banquet, was bestowed to two very active parishioners and stewards of the church, Pance Smirkovic from the St. Petka Church in San Marcos and, His Grace Bishop Maxim surprised the receipt of the third Order of St. Sebastian, Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Nikola Ceko, for his many years of dedicated and selfless service.

With the conclusion of the banquet, the rest of a very beautiful Sunday afternoon was spent in fellowship, concluding a most memorable weekend of inspiration in holiness and Orthodox Christian witness.

Annual Parish Festival—SerbFest
On September 19-20, with the help of so many volunteers and generous donors, our Cathedral held our Annual Festival, hosting many guests and friends from throughout Southern California. Once again, we express our gratitude to everyone who helped make the festival a success!

Cathedral Faith Lecture Series: Salvation: An Individual or Ecclesiastic Event?
Visit of Professor Christos Yannaras, Ph. September 24

Author of more than 30 books and Professor Emeritus of Social and Political Science in Athens, Greece. “Professor Yannaras has been for several decades one of the most prolific, original and contemporary Orthodox writers in Greece...and perhaps one of the most significant Christian philosopher in Europe” - Rowan Williams, Ph.D., former Archbishop of Canterbury. Professor Yannaras was guest speaker for the second in our Cathedral Faith Lecture Series. The topic was salvation, and the ramifications of individualism in the spiritual life.

Cathedral Slava: The feast day of Saint Steven
On Sunday, October 11, 2015, the Cathedral celebrated the feast of it's Patron Saint, Steven, Simon the monk. The festive liturgy had a special dynamic quality of antiphonal singing with the Cathedral Choir and the Cathedral Youth Chorale and Sunday School singers. Honored kumovi for the feast were John and Ilona Pecel, Ian and Renee Kleinsasser and Paul Kosanovich, who all faithfully serve the Church in numerous capacities. John is a member of the Cathedral Board of Trustees and Cathedral Family Winter Camp Director, while Ilona is always helping out in the kitchen for Sunday lunches, including being part of the team that prepared the slava banquet, and they both are regular volunteers for our annual "facility clean up day." Ian and Renee are both Sunday School teachers, and participate in the young adult forum, where they met and in 2014, were married in the Cathedral. Ian also serves in the altar and Renee is one of the Cathedral cantors. Paul represented the Sunday School. He regularly serves in the altar, is a member of youth chorale and epistle reader.
The festivities for the day which followed the matins and liturgy, included the festive procession around the Cathedral temple, a memorial service for all departed founders, benefactors and faithful Cathedral members, as well as the blessing of the festive bread (slavski kolach) and wheat.
The program included greetings from Cathedral Dean, Fr. Nicholas Ceko, Executive Board President Christopher Nikchevich, and Executive Board Vice-President Steve Spilker. It also featured a performance by some of the members of the Youth Chorale, under the direction of Jonny Braun. The audience enjoyed the two songs they performed: "Jecam Zela Kosovka Devojka”, a beloved from Kosovo, and "Love never fails," a song from the writings of Saint Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians.
The delicious banquet and beautiful table decorations were all prepared by the Cathedral Women's Auxiliary, with Sylvia Simpson and her dedicated crew preparing a meal thoroughly enjoyed by all!

Children’s Day Festivities
An annual combination of observances every December makes for a most special day and this year’s edition on Sunday, December 20, 2015, was no exception. As the Matins service led into the Divine Liturgy, and Father Nick intoned “Blessed is the Kingdom…,” the sound of the “Amen” indicated the first treat of the day: the combined Music class and Youth chorale was leading the congregation in responses. These singers from throughout the Sunday school enjoyed offering praise to the Lord with the beautiful voices He has bestowed upon them. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, the singers and all the school children headed straight for the social hall to rehearse and fine tune one of the special observances on this day: the Nativity pageant. After a delicious luncheon was prepared by the parents of the RCA-Religious Cultural Association, the children got into costume and took their places, as did the student singers, for a production of The Other Wiseman, a Nativity play with a unique way to consider the idea of “audience participation.” The story of “The Other Wise Man” is an adaptation from a book by Henry Van Dyke, and an addition and expansion of the account of the Biblical Magi, recounted in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. It tells about a "fourth" wise man, who like the other Magi, sees signs in the heavens proclaiming that a King had been born among the Jews. Like them, he sets out to see the newborn ruler, carrying treasures to give as gifts to the Child. The story is about his journey to the manger and only at the end do we learn of his surprising and inspiring identity! He is revealed to be every believer, each one of us, who worships the Lord and, like the Magi, offers him our gift, a life of virtue. This is what we are all in fact called to do. We are all “the Other Wiseman,” called to be like the other three and do the same: bring the gifts of our life of virtue, love, praise, and worship to our Lord, and minister to our neighbours with acts of kindness in obedience to God’s teachings. To really honor the birth of Christ, our gifts to Him will not be confined to the season of Christmas alone, but, rather, all throughout our life.
The play concluded with the singing of the popular Christmas carol, “Hark the Herald.” As soon as the last refrain of “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” ended, the chorus led everyone in singing “Nicholas The Saintly” just as Saint Nicholas surprised the children on the stage, another special observance on this day, and led them in procession to the Christmas tree at the other end of the hall, in order to present each of them with a gift: Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins, a beautifully-illustrated inspirational story book about this man of great compassion and generosity. Many of the children were tied with red string by their parents in observance of Children’s Day on the third Sunday before Christmas. The tying emphasizes, in part, the holy bond of love children have with parents and the holy bond we all share with God, who created us out of love. This day vividly illustrated that love!

Yours in Christ,
Steven Spilker, Congregation Board President
V.Rev. Nicholas Ceko, Dean 


St. Peter of Korish

Diocesan Annual Assembly 2016, Jackson, California

To: His Grace Bishop Maxim and the Diocesan Assembly

2015 Annual Report – The Venerable Peter of Korish Serbian Orthodox Parish,Anchorage, Alaska

The first Serbian immigrants came to Alaska during the Gold rush which occurred at the end of 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Alaska is considered the Cradle of Orthodoxy on this continent. In addition to the great work of the Russian Orthodox missionaries, most especially St. Herman, the Serbs contributed by erecting the Church of St. Sava in Douglas, Alaska with the help of Fr. Sabastian Dabovich. The new parish of Venerable Peter of Korish was established by His Grace Bishop Chrisostom in 1992. Besides the descendants of early immigrants and some newer immigrants, the church serves recent refugees who fled the war and persecution in the former Yugoslavia. In spite to a severe climate and harsh weather changes which caused some families to move from Alaska, the remaining small Serbian Orthodox community which includes about 50 souls is determined to stay in Alaska. . For the last few years a group of young students from Serbia about 300 of them come and spend Summers in Alaska working on a student visa. Some of them are trying to stay there permanently. Two parishioners of blessed memory Ljubisa and Lana Gavrilovic donated property very close to downtown Anchorage.

Initially Divine Liturgy was served once every two years, but, last year the Divine Liturgy was served 1 time and the parishioners are encouraged to regularly attend other Orthodox Churches in Anchorage.

In August of 2015 The Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Greek Orthodox Church of Holy Transfiguration. Our main goal this year is to increase the number of Divine Liturgies and to pursue the idea of strengthenin Serbian community in Alaska .

We continue to pray that the Lord will grant us strength and wisdom to persist in these pursuits and, with our efforts and gracious assistance from our sister Churches, succeed in keeping the mission and community more active in the Church life in Alaska. 

With Love in Christ God,
Father Blaško Paraklis, Parish Administrator
Slobodan Kitanovski, President of the Parish Council



St. Basil of Ostrog




Christ the Savior Serbian Orthodox Church
1424 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007-7923




St. Stephen Nemanja
A parish of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Diocese of Western America
PO Box 5666 - 216 Park Avenue
Bisbee, AZ 85603

Annual Report
September 2014 – August 2015

St. Stephen Nemanja traces its history to the heyday of mining in Bisbee, Arizona, in the late 19th and early 20th century. Like many mining communities, Bisbee attracted a large Serbian population. Vintage newspaper articles document visits by early priests – most notably Fr. Sebastian Dabovich, canonized this year as St. Sebastian of Jackson - for the feast day of St. Stephen and other special occasions. By the mid-20th century Bisbee’s Serbian community was thriving, and with it the St. Stephen Nemanja parish. A spacious hall was dedicated in 1939. The church itself, with its distinctive copper dome and door, was dedicated on Pentecost Sunday, June 1954 – an event whose 60th anniversary the parish marked with special activities throughout 2014-15.

The decline and eventual termination of mining operations in Bisbee led to a dramatic decline in the city’s population and, in turn, to a steady decline in parish membership, as the younger generation looked elsewhere for employment. For decades the parish depended on visiting clergy for sacramental needs and services on special occasions. Fortunately, thanks to the dedication of the remaining local parishioners and loyal support from former parishioners now living far from their beloved hometown, parish facilities and cemetery sections were lovingly maintained – as they are to this day. Projects in 2014-15 included refinishing of the floors of the hall and lounge and removal of a failing evaporative cooling unit in the altar area of the church.

Since spring 2010, Fr. John H. Erickson (retired professor and former dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, now living in Tucson AZ) has been serving at St. Stephen Nemanja on a part-time basis, with Divine Liturgies usually on the second Sunday of the month. Though composition of the worshippers varies from service to service, overall attendance has been fairly stable, at twenty-five to thirty persons, with considerably higher numbers at Pascha, Christmas (Julian Calendar), and other special occasions. Besides regular Divine Liturgies, over the past reporting year Fr. John has performed one baptism, multiple memorial services, ten Theophany home blessings, one blessing of a new home, one family slava, and multiple hospital and home visits.

A high point during this past reporting year was the visit of His Grace Bishop Maxim, accompanied by Deacon Zoran Aleksic, for the feast of the Holy Great Martyr Dimitrije (November 8, 2014). Concelebrating with His Grace for the Divine Liturgy were Fr. Dragomir Tuba, Administrator of the parish and priest of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Phoenix, and Fr. John. Joining them in the altar were visiting clergy from Holy Resurrection Antiochian Orthodox Church in Tucson. Popadija Helen Erickson led St. Stephen Nemanja’s dedicated and enthusiastic group of singers. In the course of the dinner and entertainment that followed the Divine Liturgy, His Grace presented Fr. John with an Episcopal Gramata honoring him for his service to the Orthodox Church and the parish. In receiving the award, Fr. John expressed his thanks for the opportunity to serve at St. Stephen Nemanja and noted his appreciation, as a retired professor of church history, for the community’s rich cultural heritage.

Core membership in the parish has remained constant over the past reporting year, at 22.  Of these, most live in or near Bisbee, but some live in other parts of Arizona or even farther afield, and a growing number have health problems that limit participation. Besides officially recorded members, an additional dozen or so Orthodox Christians from southeastern Arizona regularly worship at St. Stephen Nemanja, participate in its activities, and support its work. These include retirees, military personnel, and civilian defense contractors from Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca AZ (about twenty-five miles from Bisbee). Unfortunately regional economic problems over the past several years have hindered efforts to develop a solid and stable base of new members. The parish has lost two families and is about to lose a third due to defense contract cancellations and budget cuts at Fort Huachuca. In addition, programs that brought young Orthodox military personnel from the Balkans and Eastern Europe for short-term training have been eliminated. Also adversely affecting membership and potential membership has been concern about health care availability (causing one long-time attendee and her husband to move to Tucson) and school quality (causing a doctor and his young family to move to a Tucson suburb with an outstanding school system). This out-migration from Bisbee and southeastern Arizona as a whole has also slowed efforts to implement a stewardship approach to parish membership. Nevertheless, despite regional economic problems, parish finances remain stable, with collections, candle offerings, and other expressions of financial support running about the same this year as last. 

Fr. John and Popadija Helen have continued their efforts to develop liturgical singing in the parish. A small group of singers rehearses with Popadija regularly. In addition to a booklet containing the complete text and music for the Divine Liturgy, Fr. John has prepared supplementary texts and music for services throughout the year (the well-attended Badnje Veče, Christmas Divine Liturgy, Pascha, Pentecost, Small Memorial Service, Sunday troparia and kontakia, etc.). Most of these are available in electronic format as well as paper.

The parish’s mailing and email lists are considerably more extensive than the parish membership. In addition to members and regular worshippers, they include friends and supporters of the parish and “old-timers” with Bisbee ties who now live in other parts of the country. Typically people on these lists are notified, whether by Parish President Sam Sorich or Fr. John or both, of upcoming services and events. In addition, information on services and upcoming events is posted on Facebook.

Respectfully submitted,
(V.Rev.) John H. Erickson 



Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Mission
1606 South 1000 West, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84104

This report covers the period from September 2015 to July of 2016. 

The Divine Liturgy is served 8 times in the Greek Church of Saints Constantine and Helen. At the Divine Liturgy attended 15-20 believers. 

There were 5 bapstisms, 1 funeral, and now weddings. 

There are about 20 families in the Parish who are related ot the Parish. 

The Parish is income from faithful donations, New Year banquet and other events (Easter, Church Slava...).

Fr. Milan Dragovic, Parish Priest
Igor Todorovic, President



Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church
2100 Continental Drive, Butte, Montana 59701 • Office Tel & Fax: (406) 723-7889

Fr. Russell Radoicich, Parish Priest
Rev. Deacon Theophan Wiese 

Parish Report - Sept. 2015 – Aug. 2016

Our parish continues witnessing Christ in western Montana.  We are learning that Christ’s great commission, to be evangelical and mission minded, is also ours to fulfill. The parish is actively supporting the gathering of the faithful and the spread of the faith in our area cities of Helena, Great Falls, Dillon.   Overall, we all realize what treasures we have in our Faith and our parish, and we are willing to ‘share it’ with those who seek the Truth.  We are looking to the near future start-up additional clergy and parishes in our area.     As Montana grows in the Orthodox Christian Faith, so does Butte.   In the spirit and inspiration of St. Sebastian Dabovich who founded us, and St Tikhon, the bishop who consecrated our parish.  (113 years ago)

SUNDAY CHURCH PARTICIPATION. (more partake of Holy Communion)
Percent of people who attend Sunday who prepare for and partake of Holy Communion
2006 = 35%,     2015=91%

Sept. 2015-Aug. 2016
Burials – 6,  Remaining Catechumans – 4,   Divine Liturgies – 79,  Vespers- 79, 
Matins-20,   Pre-Sanctified-10,  Slava – 6,  Baptisms/Conv- 9,  Total number of church services = . 190
Retirement of Dn. Theophan Wiese.  He will retire in Bozeman MT.

Adult Education
In addition to individual Catechuman Classes.   Monthly  Adult Education Inquirer classes have been taught in neighboring Cities.    Additionally, Classes were taught at the University Levelat University of Montana Western.   College credit was available for those enrolled.

 Donated for a Diocese Center  = a 1000 acres of Lake Front Property in Montana with a 7,000 sq ft mansion and a 2600 sq ft.residence.   Plans are underway to establish Monasticism just 50 miles away from Butte. (construction has now started.) May this be an additional place of spiritual growth and perhaps, some day, be a source for a LOCAL area bishop that crosses jurisdictional lines.  A “Country Bishop” (this has been submitted to the Assembly of Bishops for consideration)

PRISON Ministry.  (about once a week)
At the State Penitentiary.   There are 1400 men with time to read their bible, study, and pray.  We do Baptisms in the Prison.   Almost all of the inmates will be getting out at some time. Our parishioner, John Peskey, has now moved out of state and no longer joins in the prison ministry.  Let us beseech God that this vineyard will be fruitful, pouring forth a steady stream of faithful….In CHRIST !

Fr. Russell helped lead the National Youth Conference held this year in Indianapolis sponsored as a program from our National Church Central Council.   Leadership Training classes facilitated by Fr. Russell.

All of these projects were made possible through sincere prayers and faithful stewardship.

  • Education and outreach to visitors through our Frescoed church interior project.
  • Missions and Evangelism work established across western Montana.
  • Web Site upgraded, and updated regularly.  “360 deg. View” added
  • We continue to use local media for Orthodox education.  News paper articles published.
  • Established a successful Wine Tasting fundraising event in Butte parish center.
  • Our auxiliary organizations and the church participated in various events: church bazaar, sarma sale, povitica, silent auction.
  • 4 month display of Serb. Orth. Culture in Butte. (At Butte Historic Archives) With Lectures.
  • Add double paned windows to Social Hall.
  • Full INSULATION of Social Hall Walls.


  • We have established guidelines for the Endowment Funds in our parish. 
  • Continue property improvements:,renovate brick planters in front of church, Seal parking lot, lighting, install new two-sided curbside marquee, Complete the Insulation in the Church Temple.
  • Catechesis – With the large number of people interested in becoming Orthodox Christians, and the vast geographic area, the logistics of personal Spiritual Guidance and Catechesis is an ongoing challenge.  An additional Priest in Kalispell has been one solution.

BAPTIZING MONTANA, “In the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit “. 

Respectfully Yours in Christ,

Denise Horne, Parish President
Father Russell Radoicich, Parish Priest  



Annunciation to the Mother of God Serbian Orthodox Mission Parish
4055 Autumn Heights Unit-F, Colorado Springs, CO 80906




St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Mission
9305 W. Cedar Ave., Lakewood, CO 80226




Monastery of the Meeting of the Lord
Escondido, CA




St. John the Wonderworder Serbian Orthodox Church
304 Blair Blvd., Eugene, Oregon 97402

Total number of parishioners (Orthodox who identify our church as their parish): 109. Average weekly attendance is 60, of whom usually -32 are communicants prepared to receive. We have 7 catechumens actively preparing for baptism. Our statistical breakdown for liturgical services and pastoral work includes: The Divine Liturgy: 88, Matins: 205, Vespers: 202, Vigil & First Hour: 74, Third Hour: 75, Sixth Hour: 75, Hour: 3, Typika: 13, Compline: 8, Molieben with Akathist: 5, Paraklesis: 2, Pastoral meetings (with either groups or individuals): 130, Catechism sessions (for adults): 22, Book Studies: 39, Baptisms/Chrismaiions: 1, House Blessings: 34, Marriage enrichment sessions: 3, Marriages: 0, Visitations to the sick:. Visitations to prison/jail: 2, Funerals: 0, Panikhidas: 8.

Financial Outlook and Stewardship: Our financial base of stewardship and donations is stable but we appear to be on track to fall short of our budget goal, primarily because donations have been consistently low every month.

Summary: On July 2, 2016, His Grace Bishop Maxim led the community of St. John the Wonderworker in a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on the 50^ anniversary of the repose of our beloved Holy Hierarch John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco. Concelebrating were eight priests and Protodeacon Stephen, who was elevated to protodeacon on October 31", 2015. In addition to the 50"' anniversary of St. John's repose, we also celebrated the 25"* anniversary of the founding of the parish (May 1991) during this year's Slava. Former parishioners and visitors from as far as Pennsylvania, Chicago, Seattle (where St. John reposed) and Chilliwack, British Columbia, traveled to Eugene to celebrate the memory of St. John. An eighty-page commemorative book featuring the life of St. John, history of the parish, and other features was given to everyone present. The celebration was attended by 150-170 people. At the Slava, the people of Eugene and guests were given an exceptional opportunity of being the first parish to hear of Bishop Maxim's experience as a participant of the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church in Crete. 

The Slava also marked the culmination of thirteen months of a mostly-volunteer remodel of the church building, whose purpose was to conform our eighty-year old building to the aesthetics and symmetry of Orthodox Christian architecture and design. During the remodel, the ceiling in the back of the nave was vaulted and plastered to match the ceiling of the original nave, two pillars were added, as well as arches, The configuration of the north and south entrances to the nave were changed and arched. The bathroom hallway was relocated to be accessible from the narthex instead of the nave, a kitchen pantry was added in addition to a back entrance to the kitchen to reduce traffic flow through the nave. Four unnecessary entrances to the nave were walled up and custom benches now line the perimeter of the nave. Custom storage cabinets were built for the children's room and the door to the office was moved. Extensive dry rot in the office was repaired and drainage was improved. Egress lighting, emergency lighting and signage, and lights were aestheticized, including the addition of two chandeliers and the preparation for a custom-made choros by Presvytera Sara Gascoigne to be installed in September. Approximately one third of the church was rewired. Complimentary projects included a hand-carved cathedra (for the High Place) made by a parishioner; two custom-built benches for priests around the High Place; two custom-built pieces for the Altar: a new Proskomedia Table and new chest-of-drawers; also two new chairs were purchased for the Altar; the Altar Table was trimmed out with decorative stone at its base. One intention of the remodel was to prepare the walls and ceiling for iconography, which has now begun by local iconographer Daniel Baiter.

From July 19-22"", the four-unit apartment that we purchased with the intention of demolitioning in June of 2015 was knocked down. During the past year we had used it to provide homeless with housing. The property will allow us to develop a traditional western approach to the church with parking.

The 2016 St. John the Wonderworker Family Camp, hosted by the parish, included 175 participants over fivedays: July 4-8"'. The 13'" annual Camp, which takes place in a beautiful lakeside natural setting a half-hour from Eugene, is now the only Orthodox Christian Family Camp in the country, offering unique opportunities for Orthodox Christians - single adults, parents, infants, toddlers, pre-teens, and teens - especially those throughout the Northwest, for prayer and fellowship together. The theme this year, the SO"* anniversary of the repose of St. John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, was, appropriately, "The Holiness of the Life of St. John." Our keynote speaker was His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey. This was the first visit of a bishop to the Camp, which began in 2000.

Our First Saturday Neighborhood Breakfast, which feeds anywhere from 100 to 180 homeless people and neighbors in our area with a full service dining experience, continued. The Breakfast has now entered its twelfth year. It remains an important opportunity to work alongside our brothers and sisters from St. George Greek Orthodox Church. For the first time in twelve years, we had to cancel a Breakfast in July due to the Slava. However, despite the construction for thirteen months, we were able to serve meals to the homeless, usually
passing out bagged meals in the front of the church.

This August, we continued our involvement in the local neighborhood festival, the "Whiteaker Block Party" that is now in its tenth year. Eight-to-nine thousand people are on our doorstep for the first Saturday of August. During this event, we have our Pilgrim's Way Bookstore open, a food booth ("The Onion Dome"), bell-ringing demonstrations and tours of the church, and a "bicycle valet parking lot" with on-site security until midnight for the hundreds of bicyclists who attend the event and look for a place to lock their bicycles. These events generate
good will with our neighbors.

In August, we had a "tiny house," constructed by students of Lane Community College, delivered to St. John the Wonderworker to house a homeless member of the community.

Classes continued at St. John the Wonderworker. Fr. Daniel teaches an ongoing Adult Education series on alternating Tuesday evenings. These classes are preceded by Vespers and a potluck meal so that learning about our Faith follows prayer and fellowship. He also leads a book study on Tuesday mornings.

Our Pilgrim's Way Bookstore continues to offer the people of Eugene a storefront location that sells icons. Orthodox Christian books, and imports from various Orthodox countries. We have Pilgrim's Way open during the once/month Friday Art Walk. The Bookstore is the "public face" of the church during the week.

In November of 2015, the new St. John the Wonderworker website (stjohnthewonderworker.org) debuted. Two years in the making, it is an attempt to accurately depict the community-focused life of our parish as well as be a useful resource for both parishioners and inquirers. This website is now the home to Fr. Daniel's three-part slideshow movie. What is Orthodox Christianity? An Answer in Three Parts, which has been viewed now 15,000 times in XX countries. The website also gives access to an exhaustive 13,000-word history of the St. John the Wonderworker community that Fr. Daniel finished in November after interviewing a dozen people. The website also features webpages for the Pilgrim's Way Bookstore, St. John the Wonderworker Family Camp, The First Saturday Neighborhood Breakfast, and the Onion Dome Food Booth; in total, the website provides access to XX words worth of documents.

Respectfully submitted.

Rev. Daniel Mackay
Parish Priest
St. John the Wonderworker Serbian Orthodox Church 



Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Serbian Orthodox Church
7777 Sunset Avenue, Fairoaks, California 95628




St. Peter the Apostle Serbian Orthodox Church
3502 North First St. Fresno, CA 93726

Parish report to the Diocesan Annual Assembly — September 3, 2016

Diocesan Days — Jackson, CA

Slava Kolach's blessed…….………18
Communicants: (including children under 7)........ 178

In the past year we had 156 pledged stewards. Our stewardship program continues to be at the forefront of our financial support. Approximately two-thirds of our income is through the financial stewardship of pledged members and parishioners.

Our parish continues to have a full liturgical cycle. Along with the Divine Liturgies on Sundays, Feast Days and Saints Days, Vespers were served every Saturday evening, and on the eve of feasts. Lenten services such as the Presanctified Liturgy was served each week, Vespers of Forgiveness, the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, Akathist, Bridegroom Matins and the remaining Holy Week services. The attendance at the services is good, and can always improve. The choir and congregation sing the responses at all of the services.

We have a Church School enrollment of 38 students, with an average attendance of 25.  We have eight teachers on our staff, and five classes that meet each Sunday following Holy Communion for 45 minutes. On the fourth Sunday of the month a children's sermon is given following the Gospel. We have spiritual and social actives planned for the children throughout the year. Vacation Bible School was held from July 18 to 22, with 24 children ages 4-12 participating. We also have a joint Holy Friday retreat for the children, which concludes with their participation in the 3:00 p.m. Vespers and Burial Service.

The church school program this year included a Thanksgiving food drive for the needy during the month of November with distribution of food to the Evangel Home. The Evangel Home is a local non-profit rehabilitation and training facility for addicted and abused mothers with young children.  During the previous Advent our Youth Group held Vespers at the home and served a meal which they had prepared a meal earlier that day.  During Lent the children participated in the Orthodox Christian Mission Center coin box program. The children contributed a total of $650.00 in coins for Orthodox Missions.

We have an active Youth Group which meets every Saturday following vespers with the youth of the local Greek Orthodox parish..

We also participated in the annual IOCC Sunday on November 23 with a special collection and were able to forward $1350.00 to IOCC.  Our parishioners also participated in a “Change for Babies” campaign sponsored by the Fresno Pregnancy Care Center.  Baby bottles were distributed to parishioners on Mother’s Day and collected on Father’s Day.   We collected $836.00 for the Pregnancy Care Center.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Grace, Bishop MAXIM, together with the clergy, monastics and faithful throughout the parishes and monasteries of our diocese for all of your prayers, love and well wishes for healing from my accident last July and during my recuperation in the past year.  I am grateful to all of the clergy who called and visited me in the hospital, and came to Fresno on weekends to serve during my 9 week hospitalization.  I was released from the hospital after Labor Day last year and the following Sunday was given permission by the doctor to only serve the Divine Liturgy on Sundays.  By the start of Advent I was able to resume serving Saturday Vespers and was released to fully return to work on June 1 of this year. God has truly blessed me and my family through all of your prayers.  Thank you!

Respectfully submitted by:
Father George Gligich, Parish Priest         



St. Lazar Serbian Orthodox Parish
P.O. Box 23173 Honolulu, HI 96823-3173

Diocesan Annual Assembly 2016, Jackson, California

To: His Grace Bishop Maxim and the Diocesan Assembly

2015 Annual Report – St. Lazar Serbian Orthodox Parish in Honolulu, Hawaii

The first Serbians, mostly from the Western parts of United States, came to live in Hawaii about 50 years ago. During the last thirty years, quite a few immigrants from Serbia settled on these exotic and beautiful Islands. Today the Serbian community in Hawaii includes 50 to 70 souls mainly young people. The Missionary Parish of St. Lazar in Honolulu, Hawaii was established with the blessings of His Grace Bishop Chrysostom on Vidovdan in 1992. At first, a few Divine Liturgies and some baptisms took place, and other events were organized. Due to the relocation of the first organizers of the parish during the last 10 years, the activities of the community were reduced to a minimum. After Pascha 7 years ago, His Grace Bishop Maxim visited Hawaii, reestablished the Parish, served Divine Liturgy and performed five Baptisms.

Like every other missionary parish community, the Serbs in Hawaii have to work very hard to produce true spiritual fruits, the ground upon which a permanent church and community will be established. One of the main difficulties is the economy situation which makes people move to the other parts of US. During the Summer of 2010 a three Serbian Families from Chicago moved to Hawaii. They made a great impact on the Community and church life.

During 2015. the Divine Liturgy was celebrated 2 times. The Divine Liturgies are served at the Russian Orthodox Church. The Annual parish meeting held in May 2015 was a very important. A new Parish Council was re-elected under the leadership of Parish administrator Fr. Blasko Paraklis and Igor Puskic the president.The community decided to have more services throughout the year establish a bible study and cultural classes for our children including the Serbian Language class and National Folk dance classes. They all realized that they have to work harder in building up the community. Slavica Miskovic held Serbian language classes last year which gave more motivation and life to the Community. Following the Divine Liturgy lunch and the annual meeting and Fr. Blasko answered the questions of the Faithful about Faith and church life.

Our main goal in 2016 is to increase the Divine Liturgies and to increase Stewardship program and to organize some fund-raising events One of the plans is to bring a choir Istocnik of the Most Holy Theotokos Church from Orange County to give several concerts.

We continue to pray that the Lord will grant us strength and wisdom to persist in these pursuits and, with our efforts and gracious assistance from our sister Churches, succeed in building Him a dignified home in Hawaii.

We beseech Your Archpastoral blessings,
Father Blaško Paraklis, Parish Administrators
Igor Puskic President of The Parish Council



St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
724 North Main Street
P. O. Box 1243 Jackson, CA 95642

Your Grace:

The last twelve months have been extremely encouraging for the St. Sava parish in Jackson, CA. Our parish statistics show a continuation of modest, but steady growth on many levels.

We continue to experience an increase in attendance at Divine Liturgy on Sundays, as well as at the weekly Great Vespers. While the numbers are small (three more each Sunday and one more each Saturday evening) they equal a ten percent growth in both cases. In addition to the weekly services on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings, we also offered fifty-three other services during the lenten periods and for Feast Days.

Along with our growth in attendance, we have also seen an increase in the number of stewards who support our church and in the amount of their generosity. The total amount of stewardship donations increased an astonishing forty percent over the previous twelve-month period.

We are delighted to report that three new souls converted to Orthodoxy in the last year. We recognize that the growth of our parish will be centered on three main sources-t.) the return of Orthodox who have strayed from the faith, 2.) the conversion of local residents who have discovered the Orthodox faith through self-inquiry or through marriage, and finally, 3.) through welcoming Orthodox of other jurisdictions beyond the Serbian. St.  Sava,Jackson is now the home of Russian, Greek, Middle Eastern and American Orthodox.

We rejoice in the thought that we celebrated one baptism and one wedding this last year. I did not serve a single funeral. We celebrated numerous joint family slavas in our parish hall during the year.

Canonization of Fr. Sebastian Dabovich
The high point of the year had to be the proclamation of sainthood of Fr. Sebastian, the first parish priest of St. Sava,Jackson. We eagerly anticipate attending the canonization services in Alhambra, CA at St. Steven's Cathedral in the presence of His Holiness Patriarch lrinej as well more than twenty hierarchs and numerous clergy. We have already begun to see pilgrimages to our church, as Orthodox faithful come to venerate the saint's relics and ask for his intercession with our Lord

We are very thankful for all of our blessings and for your prayers on our behalf:

Very Reverend Stephen Tumbas



St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Mission Parish
544 5th Avenue West, Kalispell, MT 59901

Sept. 2015 - Aug. 2016

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By God's mercy, since His Grace, our father Bishop Maxim's visit last ]uly St. Herman's has grown steadily and been blessed in countless ways. Last fall the new temple building was paid for outright through the generosity of a family in the parish. Church beautification has also moved forward on several fronts, including the purchase of a new kouvouklion and ceremonial table, new iconography and a candle stand for the narthex, as well as a new fence for the parish yard and garden.\

Two regular Church classes have been running smoothly since last fall, including an introductory course to the Orthodox Faith and an in-depth study on Orthodox spirituality for the parish faithful. Class participation has been high and has coincided with seven adults becoming catechumens and serious growth for parishioners.

Through the last year the parish council has been working hard with Fr. Daniel to learn the ropes in the smooth operation of the parish business and maintenance. St. Herman's continues to function financially in the black, while being able to make significant steps forward in building improvements and priest's salary. As of the Annual Assembly in]uly 2016 Fr. Daniel's compensation was increased to the Serbian Church's minimum requirements of $2500 per month salary as well as providing him with a $1500 housing allowance.

St. Herman's continues to look toward the future in presently establishing a plan for substantive networking and advertisement in the community beginning this fall. Several ideas for higher visibility and opportunity for community service and outreach are being discussed, including regular lectures, social gatherings hosted by the parish and outreach to the needy. The parish also is actively searching for an appropriate piece ofland to purchase in order to establish an Orthodox cemetery and to serve for a future permanent temple location.

Respectfully Yours in Christ,
Fr. Daniel Kirk) Presbyter



St. Simeon Mirotocivi Serbian Orthodox Church
3950 S. Jones Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89103




St. Nicholai of Zhicha Mission Parish

Diocesan Annual Assembly 2016, Jackson, California

To: His Grace Bishop Maxim and the Diocesan Assembly

2015 Annual Report – St. Nicholai of Zicha Serbian Orthodox Parish Mexico City, Mexico One of the main missionary accomplishments last and this year was two visits of His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America to the Orthodox faithful in Mexico City, 2014, together with V. Rev. Blasko Paraklis and the second visit with V. Rev. Stamatis Kliris. The pastoral-episcopal responsibility of the bishop of Western America to the Serbian residents living in Mexico is expressed in the decisions of the Holy Assembly of Bishops.

In an effort to preserve the gathering and meetings with our Orthodox compatriots during the Pascal period, a great help was Archimandrite Nectarios and his brotherhood of the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery in Mexico City, who showed their unselfish support,

inviting Bishop Maxim and showing him the hospitality of Abraham. During the second visit His Grace Bishop Maxim served the Hierachical Divine Liturgy with His Grace Bishop Alejo the Orthodox Bishop in Mexico who has about 30 parishes and missions in Mexico comprised mainly of Mexican people. During this time His Grace Bishop Maxim made several visits to our compatriots who live and work in Mexico City. Goran Meshic, Serbian ambassador to Mexico, made a special reception for His Grace Bishop Maxim and guests at the facility of the Serbian Embassy. Also, Mr. Ambassador and his Staff were very instrumental in informing the Serbian population of the bishop's visit. His Grace Bishop Alejo (Exarch of the Orthodox Church in America – OCA) together with his priests met and had dinner with the guests from California at the historical center of Mexico City.

Hierachical Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Grace Bishop Maxim, Archimandrite Nectarios, Fr. Hieromonks Chrysostom, Arsenius and Fr. Blasko was held on Sunday June 7th at the Holy Trinity Russian monastery in Mexico City. Besides The Serbian Ambassador Goran Meshic, his personel, other Serbians, Orthodox Mexicans, Russians and other Orthodox Christians attended the Divine Liturgy.

Following the Divine Liturgy a lunch was served at the monastery social hall. During lunch time His Grace Bishop Maxim gave some books from Sebastian press as gifts to all those in presence which were accepted with deep gratitude. The next visit is planned for September of 2016.

Yours in Christ, Fr. Blasko Paraklis



Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church
1700 School St., Moraga, CA 94556




St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
94-9th., Oakland, CA 94607-4702




Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos Serbian Orthodox Church
2148 Michelson Drive, Irvine, CA 92612

Diocesan Annual Assembly 2016,  Jackson, California

To:  His Grace Bishop Maxim and the Diocesan Assembly
2015 Annual Report - Nativity of The Most Holy Theotokos Parish of Orange County
The Nativity of The Most Holy Theotokos Serbian Orthodox Parish has maintained its regular activities through Divine Liturgy every Sunday and Feast days    extending spiritual services to about 100  Serbian and other Orthodox families in Orange County.

The following clergy visited and served in our parish last year: His Grace Bishop Maxim,  Fr. Sava of Monastery Abbot of Tvrdos  monastery, Protojerej-stvrofor Lazar Vasiljevic, Fr. Michael Lafoon, Deacon Zoran Aleksic.

Besides regular church feasts and celebrations, several lectures and events took place in our parish.

We continue to bring speakers to help us grow in our understanding of our Orthodox Christian Faith. In the beginning of the year we hosted Dr. Michael Pravica a great Scientist who spoke on the Science and Religion giving us scientific facts of God’s presence in the World. The topic was very interesting and draw people from other parishes to attend. Dr. Steve Harris spoke on Understanding of Meanings of Emotional Symptoms and our dear Professor Dr. Radmilo Dostanic spoke on topic of Vidovdan the dark days in our Orthodox Christian history under Turkish Occupation.  

Special events:
Besides regular feasts and events such as Christmas, St.Sava, Pascha, Parish Slava, our parish sponsored two special events and fundraisers.  For the second time last year we organized food festival featuring delicious cuisine and children games. This was not only a celebration for our community to enjoy within itself, but also a vital opportunity to reach out to the neighborhood and general Southern California community – sharing our faith, cultural backgrounds and communal spirit with all of our guests.

A special concert in honor of canonization of Sts. Mardarije and Sebastian on December 12th was truly a special and spectacular event. This is one of the most prestigious events we had last year. We marked the canoziation of these two new Saints of Serbian decent with the highest quality of musical program performed by Milena Kitic a famous opera singer, Gorjana Zekic pianist, our choir Istocnik and other Artists. 

Youth Dance Group
Another beautiful ministry and program at our church created by the parents is the Folklore dance instructions. We have Sandra Konstantinovic the Instructor and about 16 children mostly teenagers receiving instruction in traditional National Serbian dancing every Friday. They contributed so much to our St. Sava program and food festival. In addition they performed at festivals in Irvine and Newport Beach representing our culture and our Church. I was very proud of their performances and they were true ambassadors or our Community.  

Charity activities
During last year, our church contributed to the IOCC fundraiser. Another charity project our church participates is the FOCUS organization. Focus organization is helping homeless and jobless people temporary stationed at Valencia Inn in Anaheim and surrounding parks. In addition to serving food to homeless at Valencia Inn we managed  often to get some food products from Mothers Market and took it directly to Valencia Inn or St. Paul Greek Church in Irvine for Focus. 

Participation at the Diocesan Days
Our Parish took  part  in organizing the Diocesan Days during the Labor day weekend in Alhambra. It was a great honor and a blessing that our Choir Istocnik joined by other choir members from various parishes in the Diocese was asked to sing  at the Liturgies on Saturday and Sunday for this glorious celebration which was spiritually edifying for everyone in attendance. They got so many compliments from His Holiness  Patriarch Irinej, Bishops, clergy and Faithful

During the Summer Fr. Blasko took a very few pilgrims to visit the Holy Monasteries in Serbia, Montenegro most especially in Kosovo.

The opportunity to “go back in time” to see how the Serbian Orthodox Church evolved in its strongholds of  Serbia Montenegro and especially Kosovo region where it still endures and  flourishes in the hearts and souls of  the  Serbian people today , was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity given to Americans of Serb ancestry and others who went on a monastery pilgrimage this summer with  Fr Blasko Paraklis, of the Most Holy Theotokus Church in Irvine, CA,.  We visited 15 monasteries, where we spent our  nights in the  guest rooms at the monasteries.  We shared  meals with the priests,  monks and nuns,  who cultivate their own fruits and vegetables,  bake their own bread and pastries,  raise their own chickens, sheep, cows and goats, and, at some monasteries, maintain their own fish hatcheries stocked with trout and various fish, which is the mainstay of their diets.  

We continue to worship in our leased facility in Irvine.  The Sunday Divine Liturgy attendance varies between 40 and 70, and for special celebrations it is approximately 150 to 200 people.  Throughout the year we maintained regular Sunday School program and Bible Study for Adults.

St. Sava and Vidovdan celebrations
In addition to regular Sunday children activities, children of our Parish prepared wonderful programs for St. Sava and Vidovdan celebrations. Beside St. Sava Poems our Floklore group Dunav gave a wonderful performance for both celebrations. Several children attended the Summer Camp at St. Sava church in Jackson, CA 

Relationship with other Churches   
Our Parish is blessed with excellent relationship with other Serbian Orthodox parishes, as well as Greek and Antiochian Orthodox communities in Orange County. 

Financial situation
With respect to the financial situation, we did not meet our budget this year due to the additional expenses for rented facility and the current economy situation. We will continue to invest maximum efforts and prayer to grow the stewardship in the coming months. 

Our most important objective for 2016 is to continue to spread the Orthodox faith and spirituality in Orange County, thus increasing regular attendance of Divine Liturgy for our faithful and catechumen alike. We believe that, through increased participation in the life of Church, our stewardship base will also grow.  Our second challenge continues be the purchase of a permanent facility for the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos Church.  We continue to pray that the Lord will grant us strength and wisdom to persist in these pursuits and, with our efforts and gracious assistance from our sister Churches, succeed in building Him a dignified home in Orange County.

We beseech Your Archpastoral blessings,
Father Blaško Paraklis, Parish Priest
Aleks Zlatic, President of the Parish Council  



Saint Herman of Alaska Serbian Orthodox Men’s Monastery
10 Beegum Gorge Road, P.O. Box 70, Platina CA 96076

Annual Report, 2016

Your Grace Bishop Maxim, Reverend Fathers,and Diocesan Council Members:

Bishop’s Visit
On Thursday, March 3, 2016, His Grace Bishop Maxim visited the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery and St. Xenia Skete in nearby Wildwood, together with an honored guest, Protopresbyter Vasileios Thermos of Athens, Greece. Fr. Vasileios is a priest of the Church of Greece. Together with his priestly ministry in Athens, he is a practicing psychiatrist, and is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Psychology at the University Ecclesiastical Academy in Athens. The author of many books and articles, he has offered programs and retreats in Greece, the United States, Albania, and Cyprus.
Bishop Maximserved the Divine Liturgy, along with Protopresbyter Vasileios, Abbot Damascene, and Hieromonk Paisius. After the Liturgy, Fr. Vasileios gave an edifying talk in the trapeza on the complementarity of asceticism and the Eucharist. Then he, together with Bishop Maxim and the hieromonks of St. Herman Monastery, went to visit St. Xenia Skete.

In addition to thedaily cycle of services, the monastery priests celebrated or concelebrated the Divine Liturgy 155times since our last Diocesan Assembly.At these Liturgies, there were a total of 2,201communicants.

Capital improvements
Since our last Annual Report, we have made several capital improvements, including:
1. The completion of a brick shrine dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ.
2. Kiots above the monastery gate, housing icons painted in our monastery icon studio.
3. Partial renovation of several of the original monastery buildings.These will now function as (1) a library/reading room for monks and pilgrims; (2) an archontariki (reception room) for guests, which can also serve as a meeting room for the monastic brotherhood; (3) an adjoining kitchenette; (4) a sewing room; and(5) a small adjoining room with a small bed. The renovated rooms will be lit with solar powered LED lights.

While Abbot Damascene served at the monastery, Hieromonk Paisiusservedthe Divine Liturgyfor the followingparishes during the absence of their priests: one time at the St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Russian Orthodox Church in San Francisco (ROCOR); two times at the St. Nicholas of Japan Orthodox Church in Redding, California (OCA); one time at the Holy DormitionOrthodoxChurch in Santa Rosa (BulgarianDiocese); one time at the St. Peter the Apostle Serbian Orthodox Church in Fresno; and one time at the St. Innocent’s Orthodox Church in Eureka (OCA).
Abbot Damascene served one Liturgy and Hieromonk Paisius served four Liturgies at St. Xenia Skete in Wildwood, California.
Abbot. Damascene took part in the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church in Eugene Oregon, with the Liturgy celebrated by His Grace Bishop Maxim, and also in the Patronal Feast (Slava) of the Holy Archangel Gabriel Church in Ashland, Oregon (OCA), with the Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin, followed by the erecting of a cross and the blessing of the cornerstone of the future church building.
Two brothers from the monastery participated with monks from the Monastery of St. John in a week-long work project at the site of the future St. Peter’s Monastery near Harrison, Montana.

St. Herman Press
In the fall of 2015, we sent out the St. Herman Calendarfor 2016,in which the Orthodox Saints of Crimeawere highlighted, with small articles on different saintsfor each month. Work is completed forthe 2017Calendar,featuring the Saints of the Iberian Peninsula (Spainand Portugal).
In May 2016 we published The Love of God: The Life and Teaching of St. Gabriel of the Seven Lakes Monasteryby Archimandrite Symeon Kholmorogov,about a Russian Elder who reposed in 1915. In July of the same year, we sent to the printer A Little Corrner of Paradise: The Life and Teachingsof Elder Paisius of Sihla, about a Romanian Elder who reposed in 1990. We are now waiting for the book to be printed.
Since our last Diocesan Assembly, we have reprinted the following titles to replenish our stock: The Soul After Death, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology,The Purple Mantle,and Father Herman: Alaska’sSaint.
The monasteryhas continuedto publishthe print edition of its bimonthly periodical,The Orthodox Word.Since 2014, we have also been making the magazine available in a digital edition.

Monastery Icon Studio
The St. Herman Monastery Icon Studio has produced icons for the monasteryand for the monastery’s patrons. In October 2015, two brothers from the monastery spent a week at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Yakima, Washington (Antiochian Archdiocese), to learn iconography from Serbian iconographer Ugljesa Mileta.

Monastery Websites
1. Monastery website and Facebook page
New posts, with photos, can be foundon the monastery’s website: sainthermanmonastery.org. We postall the text and photos fromour monastery website also onour monastery Facebook page (St. Herman of Alaska Monastery).
2. St. Herman Press website
Our web store, www.sainthermanmonastery.com, offers aninventory of over 200 items: books, greeting cards, CDs, subscriptions and back issues of The Orthodox Word.The website also offers the above-mentioned downloadable issues of and subscriptions to The Orthodox Word, digital edition.

Financial Support and Benefactors
We are grateful for any support that we receive, whether from prayers, words of encouragement, purchasesof our publications, gifts, ordonations.
We express our gratitude to the clergy and faithful of the Western American Diocese for the love and support we have been shown since our last Diocesan Assembly. We welcome the clergy and faithful of our Diocese to visit our monastery, participate with us in our monastic life, and join us in common liturgical prayer.

Respectfully submitted by Iguman Damascene and brothers.



St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
4436 East McKinley Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008  




St. Nikola Serbian Orthodox Church
11640 N. 16th Place, Phoenix, AZ 85020  

St. Nikola Church Year Recap!

At the annual meeting held on February 23" , 2016, new church Board members were chosen. The meeting was peaceful and successful. Djordje Ristic held the president position for three (3) years and had asked me to that he would like to take a break. I personally asked Zoran Gajanovic to accept the function as Board president and a couple of other young and successful individuals. All of them accepted. Immediately we started fixing problems throughout the church grounds. The church Board members found helpers and qualified maintenance personnel who addressed issues with the church dome and roof leak in the hall. We also completed a wall on the south side of the port. In efforts to obtain expert opinion, we met and spoke to an architect on how to expand the hall so we can have additional storage for children dressing and classrooms.We are in great need of this as we have a lot of kids who have joined Folklore and Vjeronauka, and more space is needed. We also spoke to an engineer to install adding tubes on church hall to help with the extreme monsoon weather we experience in Arizona. All of these meetings were scheduled in hopes of creating a new playground for children to ensure tha t we take proper steps and obta in expert opinion first.

We are happy to announce that the church hall bathrooms underwent complete renovation. The renovation included changing all of the bathroom furniture, floors and paint ing of the walls. The project was mainly completed by our church members who are excellent and qualified maintenance workers. Like they promi sed they donated their t ime, knowledge and monetary assistance in the amount of $12,000.

We have a lot of church members who attend regular liturgy services and accept communion every Sunday. I am very blessed to see that there is a new generat ion of parents who came to the United States after the world as young children . Currently they bring their own children to Folklore and Vjeronauka and are eager to help our church prosper and attend service. Ivana Komljenovic continues to teach Vjeronauka classes and has a program going which all of the children and parents love. The children work hard on creating special program throughout the year (St. Petka, Christmas, St. Sava, Easter, Church Siava and Vidovdan) , learn recitals and about their religion and culture. In regards to Folklore, in the interim Vera Jelic has taken over to teach the group choreography along with help from ot her volunteers. We implemented Vjeronauka classes for parents and ot her church members as well.

Since we have a lot of children that keep joini ng Folklore/Vjercnauka program we have established a soccer team "Srblja". The parents along with kids attend football tournaments in many cities across the southwest which include: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Jose. It's great to see all the members come together as friends to travel. We are very excited to have established a good relationship with the Phoenix Suns/Mercury team director who has Invited us to join them during the September is'" Mercury Game (and Suns game in November). The Folklore/ Vjeronauka team and children are working hard on their routine to ensure that the Serbian Night is successful and our cult ure/traditi ons are presented in th e best light possible.

We are asking Bishop Maksim's blessings for what we have accomplished thus far and to please pray for us for the stuff we are still working on. We are aiso extending a warm invitation to Bishop Maksim to please come visit us here in Phoenix, Arizona.We are very excited to continue all the traditions and improve our church grounds together.

Father Stanislav



St. Stephen Archdeacon and Protomartyr Serbian Orthodox Church
11447 SE. 27 Ave, Milwaukee, OR 97222




St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Mission Parish
Mailing Address: 1011 Cour de la Celedon, Sparks, NV  89434


This year continued the gradual growth of this missionary vineyard of the desert. We remain 30-45 members. The priest often Is fond of comparing Reno to a trampoline-people "bounce" out to other geographical jobsltes regularly.

This "biggest little parish" has the blessings of many ministries. The bookstore in downtown Reno where many unreached are reached. The Prison Ministry, where we had 1 new Baptism and 2 groups of prisoners, of which, 5 are baptized.

The "Feeding the hungry" program where Gabriel, our Church Warden, takes a warm meal and goodness to the lost and forgptten by "The River Truckee", We have the "Orthodox Chapel of St. Nicholas" at Barbara Cummings home, where Vespers and an occasional Divine Liturgy are celebrated.

Speaking of Barbara, she, Reader Nektari, Susana and others are starting an Orthodox School--beginning September, 2016 with a small group of students. Their aim is to develop K-12, full, traditional education in the saving context of Christ's Holy Church.

Our dear vladilca quide us and blessed us on our last Siava with a visit'andshocked Fr. James by elevating his unworthiness to Protopresbyter.

Please keep us in your Holy Prayers.
Unworthy priest
Fr. James Barfield



St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Parish
1606 South 1000 West, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84104


To: Western American Diocese

This report covers the period from September 1st 2015 to July 31 2016.

In our parish Divine Liturgy and Vespers are served every Sunday and major Feast days.

At the Divine Liturgy on Sundays attend, on average, 40-45 believers, of which 15-20 take Communion every Liturgy.

Until now, there was a need for more visit the sick and elderly in hospitals and homes. Most of them took Communion.

Conversations about faith and life with adults are held on Friday during children's dance practice and catechism for children aftertheir dance practice.

In the Parish is founded a soccer club for kids - "Angels" leaded by Mr. Dragan Bosnjak. Also, we have the Church Folklore Ensemble "Rastko" leaded by Mrs. Jelena Sladojevic.

Based on the records of baptisms, marriages and death certificates, as of September 2015 until July 2016 were 1 baptism, 2 funeral services and no weddings.

The parish has about 70 families on the mailing list. 20 of them are committed to the stewardship of the Church in the annual amount that they have set themselves.

About 30 families call for blessing homes. 

The Parish had income from donations, banquets andbasketball tournament.

Last year we installed air conditioner at parish house. There was no major works on church building.

Fr. Milan Dragovic, Parish Priest
Mr. Vladimir Tomic, President



St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
3025 Denver Street, San Diego CA 92117

Parish Report for the Year 2015

To the Diocesan Annual Assembly, Jackson, California
September 3, 2016

Liturgical and Sacramental Life
The year of our Lord 2015 at St. George parish was filled with the grace, mercy and love of God, with many blessed events, all for the glorification of God and the Church’s growth. We begin this report with a short reflection on the Liturgical life – that which is central to our life and ministry. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of participation in the Liturgy and other services on Sundays and Feast Days of our Church. This serves as a way of our communion with the Lord and each other, the renewal and strength to carry out the mission and Gospel to those near and far off.

Christian Education
          Orthodox Christian Education is an ongoing activity of our entire parish. I am grateful to our Sunday school teachers and parents for their support and regular participation.
         The Holy Land pilgrimage is planned for March 2016. A smaller pilgrimage to St. Paisius monastery in Safford, AZ, is planned for the fall of this year.
         Our parish hosted Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije Orthodox Institute, February 22–25, 2016.

Speaker was Fr. Maximos of Simonopetra; Topic: Virtue and Knowledge in the Theology of St. Maximos the Confessor.

Ø  Church School: In 2015, we had 26 children registered in our Church School. We have four Sunday School Teachers and one superintendent.

Ø  Bible Study: We have, for now, one bible study group for adults.

Ø  Book Club: Book Club was started in 2012. We read four books so far and had around eight participants.

Ø  Summer Camps: We participated in the Summer Camp Program of our Diocese.

Ø  Serbian Cultural Program: We have three dancing Instructors and over 50 participants.

Ø  Music Ministry: In addition to our St. George choir, we, for now, have a small group of cantors who regularly sing and chant the Vespers, Matins, Liturgies and special feast day services. We are also further developing our Children’s Choir in our Sunday School.

Culture and Heritage Programs
Our folklore groups: Morava Sr., Morava Jr., and PeeWees continue to promote a part of our Serbian culture and heritage through folk songs and dance. I am especially grateful to the Morava seniors for having me visit them occasionally for a fifteen-minute spiritual reflection (questions and answers with Fr. Bratso). They have my full support and I am grateful to all directors, choreographers and parents for their active participation.

Some of the Projects/Ministries Completed in 2015

  • We had several very successful events, e.g., San Diego Serbian Festival, Orthodox New Year, etc.
  • Served regular Liturgical services; home blessings and pastoral visits to the sick and hospitalized.
  • Sunday Matins/Jutrenje is now served regularly.
  • “Voice” published quarterly (Thank you to Marsha Jovanovic and Srdan Dragic) and weekly bulletins.
  • We sent out regular e-newsletters every Monday morning at 5:30am.
  • Our new parish website was regularly updated: www.StGeorgeInSD.org.  Our parishioners and supporters are now able to make a donation online through a secured account.
  • Participated in the Diocesan Summer camp in Jackson, CA, July 20–25, 2015, and July 18-23, 2016.
  • During the Vidovdan celebration on Sunday, June 28th, 2015, we were able to award the Professor Srbich Annual Scholarship ($1,000.00), to a graduating high school student in the San Diego County area. The scholarship is awarded by the Prof. Srbich Endowment, established in his memory by his beloved family. Endowments are a great way to build a legacy for our parishioners and provide perpetual care for our parish.
  • Served meals to the homeless on the third Wednesday of each month at God’s Extended Hand in downtown San Diego.
  • Sunday School related activities: Vrbica, Nativity Play, etc.
  • We now have a Book Review Group that meets on Tuesday of each week. Everyone is welcome to join us for an evening of fellowship and informal conversation about one chapter per week from a book chosen for that particular month.
  • Fr. Bratso frequently hosted regular San Diego Orthodox clergy meetings.

Some of the vital statistics are as follows:

  • Divine Liturgy: 87
  • Vespers: 69
  • Matins: 61
  • Baptisms/Chrismation: 32
  • Pastoral Meetings: 151
  • Visitations to the sick (hospital & home): 42
  • Funerals: 8
  • Marriages: 4
  • Marriage Enrichment sessions: 12
  • Catechism sessions for adults: 12

Total Number of Congregation Stewards/Parishioners

Year # of Family Stewards 

# of Active Households/Contact List
2015 175 175/620

Financial Outlook & Stewardship
            Our stewardship program continues to be the greatest source of revenue for our parish, both in terms of volunteer efforts and financial contributions on the part of parishioners. The effects of the economic crises were felt mostly in our property remodel funds, which were not able to generate income to sustain the remodeling efforts, mainly of the social hall. This project is carried out in stages as funds become available. This year we are finishing the transfer of four (four buildings on four different addresses in San Diego area) properties into parish’s name. These four properties (three duplexes and one guest house) were endowed to St. George by our parishioners. This attests to our parish’s effort of stewardship and endowment program as a continued care and stewardship of St. George parish.

Regular Publications
            In addition to the regular publication of our parish quarterly newsletter, The Voice, a weekly Sunday bulletin is published and weekly e-news letter are delivered via email to our parish subscribers.  

Buildings and Maintenance
            All maintenance of our facilities is now done regularly. Though we are still working on remodeling of our social hall, we know that the church edifice will need, in addition to regular maintenance, some major repair work as well. These will be carried out as funds become available. Our Church Board/Parish Council and the Master Planning Committee work together on this endeavor.

Parish Website
            We continue to maintain our parish website – www.StGeorgeInSD.org – that is now regularly updated with new information about the parish. We continue our weekly e-news-letters that we sent out every Monday morning at 5:30am to 702 subscribers.

Parish Auxiliaries and Other Parish Ministries  
Another area of accomplishments during the year was through our parish auxiliaries and ministries. Some 65 volunteers continue to offer their time and talents in various ministries ranging from outreach to the elderly and charitable outreach to the community to parish support through auxiliary work.

Pan-Orthodox Work:
We work closely with the other Orthodox Churches in San Diego area. Our clergy help facilitate joint efforts in education, mission, philanthropy and liturgical celebration.

Respectfully Yours in Christ,
Protopresbyter Bratso Krsic, Parish Priest
Kathryn Thickstun, President of the Parish Council/Church Board   



St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
900 Baker St., San Francisco, CA 94115

Parish Report forYear 2015

To the Diocesan Annual Assembly – September 3, 2016

The year of our Lord 2015, at St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Cathedral parish was filled with the grace, mercy and love of God, with many blessed events.

Of special note for our parishioners was the honor and blessing of Patriarch Irinej’s visit to the Bay Area, following the Canonization of St. Sebastian Dabovich during Diocesan Days celebration in Los Angeles in September.

Our church Board delegated Mr. Stevan Davidovich to coordinate this important event among the four Bay Area Serbian Parishes.  All of the feedback we have gotten was that the event was a very successful endeavor for all.  During this visit in the bay area, His Holiness, had a group of 35 people that included Bishop Longin of Midwesst and New Gracanica, Bishop Justin of  Zicha, Bishop Grigorije of Herzegovina and our Bishop Maksim.  They visited the Colma Chapel and Serbian Cultural Center located at the Serbian Cemetery and operated by the First Serbian Benevolent Society, the oldest Serbian Fraternal organization in American.  In addition, the group accepted an invitation by the Russian Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco to visit their Cathedral on Geary Street.  While at the Cathedral the presence of St. John the Wonderworker of Shanghi and San Francisco could be felt by many.  After the visit to the Russian Cathedral his Holiness and guests attended a fundraising event at the Saratoga Parish.  The following day, after touring the city, our congregation was blessed by his Holiness visiting our Cathedral.Many parishioners came to greet and take blessing from his Holiness and other bishops. We provided a dinner free of charge for all attending. All expenses related to patriarchal visit were covered by our parish and various donors.  A summary of the costs for the visit are provided below.

Item  Cost  Provided by 
Monday Evening ethnic snacks upon arrival to Hotel  $    250 Saratoga Parish
Gift Baskets for each attendee at Hotel  $    800 San Francisco KSS
Wine during the stay  $ 2,400 San Francisco KSS
Lodging Portion for 3 nights covered by San Francisco Parish  $ 2,774 St. John's Cathedral
Lodging Portion for 3 nights covered by Moraga Parish  $ 2,800 Moraga Parish
Lodging Portion for 3 nights covered by Oakland Parish  $ 2,800 Oakland Parish
Lodging portion for 3 nights covered by Saratoga Parish  $ 2,800 Saratoga Parish
Transportation for 2 days  $ 2,800 Anonymous
Tuesday Morning Breakfast  $   450 Anonymous
Tuesday Wine Tasting in Sonoma  $   250 Will Ivancovich
Tuesday Evening Dinner at Saratoga  $   700 Saratoga Parish
Wed Brunch at the Presidio Officer's Club  $   750 St. John's Cathedral
Wed Afternoon Bay Cruise  $ 2,067 St. John's Cathedral
Wed Reception at St. John's Cathedral  $ 1,225 St. John's Cathedral
Wed Dinner at St. John small hall  $ 1,415 St. John's Cathedral
Our Parish community was also honored and privileged to host last December the 10th Annual Four Kolos Humanitarian banquet. It was a great success! The Four Kolos Humanitarian fund was established in order to help Serbian people in Kosovo, Serbia, Republika Srpska and Crna Gora. As of the end of 2015, they disbursed over $300.000 over its 10 years in existence.

Our congregation has approximately 150 parishioners around the San Francisco Bay area. This number is slowly growing, since young Serbian professionals are moving to this area for work in software/computer industry. 

Among our parishioners, for year of 2015 there are 56 members and 26 families as stewards (most members are stewards).  The Parish council does not aggressively solicit membership or stewardship dues, but continues to encourage their active role in attending church services, participate in sacraments and support of our parish activities.  The average Sunday attendance is 40-60 parishioners. The results of serving this community can be reflected in the following services:

a)   87 Divine Liturgies,
b)     8 baptisms,
c)     2 weddings,
d)     4 funerals,
e)   26 home blessings, and
f)    28 family slava services.

We continue to have religious education lectures once a month following Saturday vesper service. Sunday school is prepared for new school year. Sunday School is held every other Sunday, in order to have better participation, since many children have sport activities at their schools. Last year we had 15 children ages 5-10. Sunday school organizes field trips for kids, sponsored by our parish.

Right now we are completing a gardening project in the front of our Cathedral church. All plans and labor are donated. 

There is a strong working collaboration and relationship between the Priest and the Board in guiding and coordinating our auxiliary organizations, such as St. Sophia Sisterhood, Sunday School and St. John’s Choir.             

Respectfully Yours in Christ,
Fr. Djurica Gordic, Parish Priest
Stan Grgich, Parish Board President
Stevan Davidovich, Church Board member



St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
1640 South San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel CA 91776




St. Petka Serbian Orthodox Church
1854 Knob Hill Road, San Marcos, CA 92069




St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church
18870 Allendale Ave., Saratoga, CA 95070-5239

July 20, 2016

Your Grace,
Reverend Fathers,
Brothers and Sisters Delegates,

It is with great joy that we file our Annual Report to our Western American Diocese during 2015-2016. This is a time of great enthusiasm and hope, to see the completion of our beloved Church. We hope and pray that 
our Church will be ready for regular services by the next year 2017. Having all this in mind, we would like to take this opportunity and express our sincere gratitude to Almighty God in Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to our beloved protector St. Archangel Michael for all good things that we have seen in progress during 2015-2016.

Here is the brief report:


Currently, we have no physical labor on our Church. However we are working hard to raise funds for all the basics to be constructed inside of the Church. We already have several bids for the completion of the interior construction of the Church, but our plans are to raise enough of funds that would include the cost of frescoes.

A few years ago we dropped membership dues and established Stewardship as a way we serve our Church. So far we have 102 stewards, hoping to increase this number in a period to come.

During 2015 and 2016 (August 1 st to July 31 st ), the parish priest had 106 Divine Liturgies, 3 Great Vigils, 10 Vespers, 22 Memorial Services, 4 Funerals, 1 Wedding, 10 Baptisms, 1 Conversions into Orthodox Faith, Blessed Graves at Colma Serbian Cemetery and other cemeteries on Memorial Day. The priest also paid numerous visits to elderly and sick parishioners, heard numerous confessions, offered a fair amount of counseling and other spiritual activities. Priest also issues weekly bulletins and he sends them by e-mail. Also, there are numerous of other electronic publications, news, and advertisements for certain events that are also sent through e-mails. Also, as a parish priest I do serves parishioners as translator to those who are not comfortable with their English yet.

The main challenge is how to increase the number of stewards, establish better church discipline and commitments of our parishioners. But with God’s help we believe we will move ahead into a better future.


2015/16 School Year

Saint Sava Sunday School from Saratoga,offers lessons in Serbian culture and language, religious education, and a myriad of extracurricular activities such as  folk dancing, children’s church  choir, adult  choir etc.)

Religious Education is organized in the following groups: Youngest Children Group (4 to 7 years old)  - teacher Dragoslav Grbovic; Middle Group (7 to 10 years old) - teachers Ljiljana Bjegovic, Dragica Kostic and Kosta Kostic; Older Group (11+ years old) teachers Visnja Miloicic, Kristina Bjegovic, Marko Macura and Pedja Jovic 

Serbian Language and Culture classes are organized in the following groups: 
"Bubamaric" (Ladybugs) for children 3 and 4 years old - teacher Ana Stojanovic;
“Leptirici” (Butterflies) for children 4 and 5 years old - teachers Mirjana Petrovic and Tamara Herman
“Baloni" (Baloons) for chidlren from 6 to 8 years old - teacher Jelena Pesic, teacher helper Lora Beribaka
"Zmajevi" (Dragons) for children between 9 and 11 years old - teacher Dragana Culjkovic
"Zvezde" (Stars) for chidlren 12 and over - teacher Bisera Rakicevic-More, teacher helper  Visnja Miloicic

During the lunch time our School Library was open to the public. The library was last year completely reorganized by the students from the oldest student group Baloons together with their teach Bisera Rakicevic- More. All the books were catalogued. The project was led by our student Kristina Bjegovic. This project continues to be developed as our parishioners Mihailo Djordjevic and Mihailo Vrcelj joined the team.

They will assist with furthering organizing the library and moving it to other part of the hall where our parishioners will have an opportunity to socialize and form a club to enjoy watching movies together, have discussions and enjoy reading.

School Superintendent, Maja Grabovac, was responsible for organizing the  meetings, communication with the parents and parish as well as helped with all aspects of organization.

School Secretary, Sanja Pesich (conducted teachers’ meetings, ,kept meeting minutes and sent reports, organized School Rules of Order as well as helped with all aspects of organization.

Serbian Language and Culture Teachers:  6

KOLO SRPSKIH SESTARA also has a report that we would like to include:
Listed below is our 2015/16 report for the upcoming Annual Assembly.
September 28 Balkan Night and Kolo Slava
Our project took us to an evening reflecting the traditions, music, food and folklore of the many Balkan countries.
December: Four Kolo Humanitarian Fundraising Banquet was very well attended and the Fund generously donated to.
January – Christmas Eve
Our Kolo members as well as many ladies from our parish organized, prepared, and served a traditional bakalar dinner. As always, it was very well attended.
January 26 The Kolo held its popular annual St. Sava dinner/dance. The following day the Sunday School students prepared a fine program commemorating St. Sava.
Our banquet was attended by a capacity crowd. The Kolo held its annual bake sale, and as in the past, our parishioners highly praised the delicious homemade pastries and sweets.

Respectfully submitted
Dragana Siljak, Kolo President

SOCCER CLUB DRINA, promotes friendship, sportsmanship, and love among our younger parishioners. During the year, members organize tournaments, picnics, and support for the Church whenever they are 

Respectfully Submitted by, 
Very Rev. Stavrofor Slobodan Jovic, Parish Priest Chris Milosovich, President of the Board



St. Paisius Serbian Orthodox Woman's Monastery
P.O. Box 1075, Safford, AZ 85548

Your Grace Bishop Maxim,

Asking your archpastoral blessing! This past year was again a year of blessings and continued building of the monastery.

Our Sisterhood
Your archpastoral visit just before Great Lent was a joy to us, especially with the tonsure of Sr. Syncletica. We also received into the sisterhood with your blessing, Sr. Eulalia, from a Serbian monastery in France, and await the arrival of a young novice from Romania later this year. Young women continue to come to try monastic life, with two more coming this summer.

Liturgical Services
With God’s help, we continue fulfilling the daily cycle of services, along with our night vigil, and with the blessing of having four Liturgies served every week. A memorial service is served each Saturday, and the Blessing of the Waters several times a year. We also had one baptism, of an infant whose family lives nearby, and one burial.

We received about 2500 guests this past year, with several groups brought by their parish priests or presbyteras.

New Serving Priest
With your blessing, Priest Michael Boyle with his presbytera are moving to Safford to help with serving the liturgical services and to be part of our extended community.

Construction has begun on the cemetery chapel dedicated to Archangel Michael with plans to finish later this year.

With God’s help, we published two new Akathists in our series this past year: the Akathist to St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon of Simferopol, and the Akathist to Sts. Peter and Fevronija, named by the Russian Orthodox Church as Protectors of Orthodox Marriage. Later this year we will finish work on reprinting The Spiritual Life and The Path to Salvation by St. Theophan the Recluse, with a new design and cover.

Ever grateful for your prayers and intercessions before the Lord,

Abbess Michaila
   and the sisters in Christ with me



Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God
833 S. Thistle Street., Seattle, WA  98108

Parish Report from 2015 to 2016

Our congregation is made up diverse nationalities: Armenian, American. Bulgarian, Chinese, English, Georgian, Romanian, Russian, Tartar and Ukrainian. Our services are in Church Slavonic and English and pastoral talks are given in English and Russian. Despite the high mobility in the job market, we continue to maintain a constant number of members. People are also beginning to attend, having found information on our website: www.pokrov-seattle.org

On Sunday, 23rd February, 2016, we held our annual funding raising dinner and musical evening. Guests enjoyed Russian and Georgian cuisine and entertainment consisting of classical recitals, folk music, Bulgarian and Serbian dancing.

Baptisms – 4.

Confession is heard on Saturday evening and/or Sunday morning during the reading of the hours. Average number of communicants 40 on Sunday, 5 on weekdays, Feasts 15, Pascha 82, Nativity 40, Theophany 40.

There have been 3 house blessings plus 25 Theophany blessings. Hospital visits number 8 – Fr Serafim is listed with local hospitals. Most visits are parish related.

Panikhidas have been served on memorial Saturdays and by request - 12.

Once a month during the fasts, a molieben and talk take place in the homes of parishioners.

We continue to be the only Orthodox Church in South Seattle. Our current family membership is 35. However, Sunday attendance is 60+, with occasional visitors from the local non-Orthodox community.



St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
Issaquah, Washington



August 2015 –August 2016

We begin this report with a brief summary of that which we know to be our anchor of support for our life in “The Body of our Lord”-Church. In 2015/2016 we had a very full liturgical life, the opportunity to meet our Lord Jesus Christ, one another, past, present, and future, anticipating never ending day of His Kingdom. We had Divine Liturgy each Sunday and on feast days, and also Vesper Services celebrated each Saturday evening and on the eve of all feasts. We were also blessed by one visits of our father, His Grace Bishop Maxim, in the month of March of 2016. Confessions were heard after Vespers, before Divine Liturgy or by appointment at other times. The choir regularly sings at Divine Liturgy.

Pastoral Services: Birth Prayers 3, Baptisms 6, Marriages 1, Funerals 3, Parastoses 15, Pomens 18, Home Blessings 45, Slavas 80.

380 families in the Seattle Metro Area, 30 families in the Spokane Area and 30 families in the Tri-cities Area. Of these 125 families contribute regularly and 69 families signed the pledge cards thus becoming official voting members of the parish. About one-third of total parishioners contributes money and/or time to the Church and participates in the life of the Church. In comparison to 2015 when we had 59 steward families, in 2016 our number of stewards has increased by 10 and we hope and pray it will continue its growth in coming years.

Our Church building, land & 3 rental properties are paid off in full and we own it and maintain it regularly and responsibly. In 2015-2016 we painted the church building, both inside and outside, and partially replaced the siding. We also acquired few large painted icons for the Sanctuary. Our 3 rental properties have not been remodeled in years so this year we decided to do a major remodeling on all 3 of them and to finally deal with issues we have been having with two of our tenants. By the Grace of God the remodeling projects were successfully completed and all 3 units are now being leased by new tenants.

Our Ministry to adults brings together young & mid-aged men and women who through fellowship are being integrated more into the life of the parish. Fr. Predrag initiated regular spiritual gatherings/lectures in the homes of various parishioners and it has been very well received and attended. Our parish has established a new adult folklore group called “Bozuri”. They practice regularly and have already had few successful public performances.

Our local KSS is very active, providing assistance in the activities and mission of our Parish.

45 children were enrolled in Sunday school. Christian Education Classes are held every Sunday. A stand-alone theme is presented each Sunday. Participation in the Savindan program was good and well attended. The children’s folklore group is active.

In March of 2016 we started the “Serbian Language Classes” pilot project and it has been very well accepted. Some 60 children have enrolled and have been divided in 4 groups according to their age and knowledge of Serbian. To our great joy, some families, who do not normally come to church, started now coming because of the Serbian Language classes, and we hope and pray they will be fully integrated into our Liturgical Community in near future.

We also have an annual 3 day Kids&Families Camp on the premises of our church, usually held in the month of July, and it has been very well attended.

We have many goals for the future period and we pray and hope that our God will give us wisdom, hope, and send us The Spirit of Truth and understanding to strengthen us in the path of salvation.

Respectfully submitted this 26th day of July 2016

With Love in Christ our God and Savior,
V. Rev. Predrag Bojovic, Parish Priest
Milan Stefanovic, President of the Executive Board  


St. Xenia Serbian Orthodox Monastery
40500 Highway 36 W., Wildwood, CA 96076

July 13/26, 2016

Your Grace Bishop Maxim, Reverend Fathers and Council Members,

Master, bless. Our respectful and warm greetings in Christ to you, and to all of the Faithful.

The following is our Annual Report for the previous year.

Divine Liturgies: The Divine Liturgy was served by visiting clergy for our patronal Feast of holy St. Xenia in February, as well as on the date of her canonization in September; for the third day of the Nativity of our Lord; the winter Feast of St. Seraphim (in the winter chapel dedicated to him); the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord; the Sunday of St. John of the Ladder; a Pre-sanctified Liturgy on the day of Martyr Polycarp; and a Divine Liturgy on Bright Wednesday.

Episcopal Visit: We were blessed to receive Your Grace with Rev. Father Vasileos Thermos of Athens, for a special afternoon visit in March of Great Lent.

Hospitality: As many of you know, one of last summer's Trinity Co. fires came very close to our Skete (less than a mile). It was a huge fire (one of several in our area), covering thousands of acres and causing much smoke in our Skete and general locale. Because of the smoke and fire danger, we were not able to receive many pilgrims in August, and the scheduled annual Women's Retreat Day had to be cancelled. We are very grateful to God for preserving our monastery, and to Your Grace, to the Fathers, and to all the Faithful, for your prayers for us.

Pilgrims this past year came from California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Holland, Greece, and Latvia, the majority being from California and the Northwest. In October, we were very happy to receive Popadiya Betsy and Susan Anderson, both skilled choir directors, who taught us two days of music classes, which were exceptional. They truly know how to teach and make the whole process inspiring and enjoyable. Thank you, Popadiya, for your wonderful idea, and for making it all possible.

In last year's report we mentioned that one of our pilgrims had decided to return and try out the monastic life. After over a year in the Skete, with God's grace she was clothed as a novice at Small Vespers on the Feast of Pentecost in June.

Non-profit Publishing: The Meaning of Suffering and Strife and Reconcilation by Archimandrite Aleksiev were reprinted.

Buildings and Grounds: During the fire danger in August 2015, pilgrims from San Francisco and from the St. Andrew's Church in Anderson, CA, worked hard on fire defensiveness throughout much of the Skete grounds, for which we are very grateful.

In October, pilgrims from the Annunciation Church of Portland came for their annual work 'party,' to help prepare our wood for winter: splitting, moving, and stacking it in our woodsheds. Later in the same month, a work party from St. Andrew's Church spent the day on a number of different projects for the Skete: erecting the new St. Xenia shrine at the gate, doing repairs on the driveway, streambed cleanup, preparing the garden drip system for winter, and putting up the drywall and first coat of 'mud' for the new St. George guest cell. The sisters worked in November and December on completing the cell: mudding, sanding and painting, laying the linoleum, and putting up the window and wall trim. At Nativity the new cell, which is close to the church, was ready for pilgrims.

A youth group from the St. Herman Church in Port Townsend, WA came at the the end of June with their two sponsors and spent two days on grounds projects for the Skete. The main focus was to fence in another of the Skete gardens to prevent damage from deer, which has worsened during the drought; the fence is well done, even though most were new to fencing. They also worked in the gardens, helped make herbal tinctures, and cleared more brush and some small dead trees for fire prevention.

We are very thankful to God, to all of the participants in these work 'parties' who worked so cheerfully and well, and to all of our pilgrims who pray and labor with us throughout the year.

Thank you, your Grace, and all who keep us in your prayers, for your loving care and support.

With our love in Christ,
Abbess Dorothea & Sisters


St. Nilus Serbian Orthodox Monastery
P.O. Box 18 Ouzinkie, AK 99644




St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Skete
P.O. Box 90 Ouzinkie, AK 99644




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