On Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon presided over the 60th Diocesan Assembly of the Diocese of New England, held at Holy Transfiguration Church in New Haven, CT. This was the sixth assembly His Beatitude has presided over in the diocese as its locum tenens, since the repose of His Eminence Archbishop Nikon of blessed memory.
His Beatitude opened the assembly on Friday morning with a Service of Thanksgiving. Though typically done over two days, the assembly was carefully planned for a single day to allow for the Special Nominating Assembly to take place the second day.
Archpriest John Kreta, in his Chancellor’s Report, gave thanks to God for two years of growth in the diocese. He also reported filling all but one parish vacancy after years of struggle and new diaconal and catechist training programs designed to raise up new leadership in parishes. Reports also were heard from numerous ministries and departments of the diocese, and at the conclusion of the day, delegates had the opportunity to ask questions of Priest Benedict Churchill, whose name was to be put forward the next day by the Special Nominating Committee.
That same day there was a guest presentation by Babette Basil, the great-granddaughter of His Eminence Platon, the first Metropolitan of All America and Canada.
The day closed with the celebration of daily vespers followed by a festive banquet at a local restaurant.
On Saturday morning, His Beatitude presided at the celebration of the hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were Archpriest John Kreta, Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Stephen Voytovich, Rector of Holy Transfiguration Church and Dean of the Connecticut Deanery, and numerous other clergy of the diocese.
In his homily, His Beatitude preached on the Lord instructing us in the Gospel that a lamp is set on a lamp stand, not hidden, and the saints illumine us in this way. As the psalmist writes, “God is glorified in the council of His saints.” At the same time, the glory we behold is not set out just for us to marvel at, but we all are called to strive to be filled with that light.
During the Liturgy, His Beatitude, on behalf of the Holy Synod, also awarded Fathers Robert Dick and John Eissman with the jeweled cross and elevated Father Steven Hosking to the dignity of Archpriest.
At the conclusion of the service, His Beatitude added a few more remarks, noting that the Lord in the second appointed Gospel called on us to take His yoke upon ourselves. “We are considering whether to ask Father Benedict to take this yoke upon himself to serve Christ in leading this diocese,” he said.
Following a brunch provided by the faithful of Holy Transfiguration Church, His Beatitude convened the Special Nominating Assembly.
Archpriest John Kreta formally presented the name of Priest Benedict Churchill for nomination by the Diocese of New England. His Beatitude later announced Father Benedict Churchill as their nominee.
On Saturday evening and Sunday morning, His Beatitude made an archpastoral visit to Three Saints Church in Ansonia, CT. Concelebrating with His Beatitude at the hierarchical Divine Liturgy were Archpriest John Kreta, Priest Patrick Burns, Rector of Three Saints, Archpriest Michael Westerberg, Priest Benedict Churchill, rector of Saint George Mission in Edenton, SC. During the liturgy, His Beatitude elevated Fr. Patrick to the dignity of archpriest and ordained Mr. Peter Romanovsky to the holy diaconate.