On August 18, 2021, a meeting of the Synod of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia was held at the Bishop’s residence at the Church of the Great Martyr George in Surgut, under the chairmanship of the Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia, Metropolitan Sergiy of Singapore and Southeast Asia.The Synod was attended by Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, Archbishop Theophan of Korea, as well as the secretary of the Synod, Bishop Pitirim of Jakarta (via remote communication), who participates in the meeting with the right of advisory vote (according to paragraph 7 of the Internal Regulations on the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia).
The Synod members expressed filial gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church for their attention to the state of Orthodoxy in Asia, the development of the life of church communities and the organization of their canonical existence. During the meeting, a wide range of issues of the life of the Patriarchal Exarchate was considered.
On August 18, 2021, on the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia, Metropolitan Sergiy of Singapore and Southeast Asia, led the Divine Liturgy in the church in honor of the Apostle John the Theologian at the diocesan administration of Surgut.
His Eminence was co-served by Metropolitan Pavel of Khanty-Mansi and Surgut, Archbishop Feofan of Korea, Secretary of the Thai Diocese Archimandrite Oleg (Cherepanin), Secretary of the Khanty-Mansi Diocese hegumen Anthony (Kirpichev). The deacon’s rank was headed by Deacon Daniel Matveev.
The liturgical hymns were performed by Filipino students of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy.
At the end of the service, Metropolitan Sergiy addressed the audience:
“Your Eminence, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, Bishop Theophan, my Korean fellow, dear fathers, brothers and sisters! Vladyka, I thank you cordially, everything is going right in your life, apparently you are under the special protection of the Mother of God, thank you for your invitation to come here to your land and hold a meeting of the Synod of the Exarchate of Southeast Asia. Thank you for organizing this important event for the Orthodox Church of Southeast Asia, but most importantly – for the common prayers.”
In his response, Metropolitan Pavel noted:
“Thank you, Your Eminence, for your kind words, because only together we can glorify our Heavenly Creator. Today most of our dioceses in Southeast Asia are represented here, and of course, we would like to ensure that the common prayer is not lost due to the spread of coronavirus infection. But despite all the restrictions, we are together today, thank you for your joint service and prayers!”
We congratulate all Russian and Filipino people with the national holiday- Day of sovereignty and independence! Especially we congratulate our Metropolitan Pavel because today is 10 years of his bishop’s ordination!
The clergy of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia took part in the congress of missionaries of the Russian Orthodox Church.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the VI All-Church Congress of Diocesan Missionaries of the Russian Orthodox Church was held in Moscow from May 14 to 16, 2021. More than 250 participants of the Congress, chaired by the head of the synodal missionary department of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan John of Belgorod and Starooskolsky, considered topical issues of spiritual enlightenment and discussed the most effective methods and ways of developing missionary service in modern Russia and in the external mission of the Church.
In the direction of “External Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church”, the co-chairs were: Hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, member of the Academic Council of the Orthodox Missionary School and Priest Anthony Skrynnikov, Head of the Missionary Department of the Stavropol Diocese. Father Cornelius in his report touched upon the problems of the impact of the practice of shamanism on the Filipinos, with the severe consequences of which Orthodox priests have to face in their ministry. And Priest Dimitri Lavrentiev continued the topic with the report “Organization of missionary activity in the Philippines”.
Missionaries, translators, and representatives of foreign and Russian dioceses also made presentations:
- Elena S. Mahler, representative of the Argentine and South American diocese in Russia, organizer of the Orthodox missionary society “Southern Cross”.”Prospects and directions of the Orthodox Mission in South America”
Hieromonk Innokenty (Karpov), Cleric of the Argentine and South American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church ” Modern Orthodox Mission in the territory of the Argentine and South American Diocese»
Mark S. Dasic, Serbian Orthodox missionary and translator “Current missionary projects for the South American region”
Missionary work with foreigners in Russia
Priest Dionysius Grishkov, member of the Commission for Missionary Work and Catechism in Moscow, responsible for the mission among migrants, founder of the “Near Home” migrant aid fund. “Experience and problems of missionary work with migrants in Moscow»
Konstantin Dmitrievich Gorditsa, responsible for missionary work in the Moskvoretsky deanery of the Central Vicariate, teacher of the Orthodox Missionary School. “Features of missionary work among foreign diasporas in Moscow»
Erofeeva Natalia Anatolyevna Japanist, guide, translator; head and author of the project “The Way of St. Nicholas of Japan from the Birch to the Cherry Tree” “Missionary and educational projects for the 150th anniversary of the Orthodox Mission in Japan”.
The participants performed both remotely and in person. Representatives of foreign dioceses got in touch via zoom, and the audience could ask their questions to the speakers from the conference hall in Moscow. At the end of the session, the participants took a general photo and continued to communicate and exchange experiences of missionary service in the context of the pandemic in an informal setting.
Most Reverend Archpastors, Venerable Fathers, beloved brothers and sisters
CHRIST IS RISEN!
On this bright, salvific and sacred day, I address all of you with this ancient greeting and congratulate you on the Lord’s Pascha.
Today our hearts are filled with inexpressible joy, because the Giver of life Christ not only resurrected by the power of His Divinity, but also abolished the power of death, destroyed the gates of hell and granted all those who believe in Him the opportunity to be with Him not only here on earth, but also in blessed eternity.
During the time that has passed since last spring, since last Pascha, people have begun to think more often about the meaning of life, about enduring values, about their soul, about God, and it is important for every believer to understand what the greatest event of the Resurrection of Christ means for him personally. We must remember that the Lord accepted the death on the cross and rose from the grave for the salvation of each of us, so that the light of eternal life might shine on everyone, that the joy of the presence of God and His unceasing care for us might touch every heart. We believe that this joy of being with Christ, Whom we have loved with all our souls, with all our lives, will accompany us into eternity, will become complete and never end.
I wish you all, my dear ones, that the wonderful Paschal light transform each of you and inspire you to perform deeds of love and mercy, so that you share this light and this joy with your family and friends, so that you overcome all difficulties and sorrows with hope in the Savior and confidence that we can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13).
Again and again I greet you with the feast of the Lord’s Pascha and proclaim with special feeling:
CHRIST IS RISEN!
TRULY CHRIST IS RISEN!
Metropolitan of Singapore and South-East Asia,
Patriarchal Exarch of South-East Asia
Students from Indonesia and the Philippines celebrated the Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem in the house church of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, where they continue their studies. During Holy Week, the seminarians are within the walls of the Academy and do not leave its borders, preparing for the Bright Holiday of the Resurrection of Christ on long divine services. Let us pray for our brothers in Christ and turn to the words of the troparion of the first three days of Holy Week, calling the faithful to spiritual vigil: Behold, the Bridegroom cometh at midnight, / and blessed is the servant, whom he will find watching,/ but unworthy is he, whom He will find despondent./ Beware, O my soul,/ lest thou be weighed down with sleep,/ lest thou be given up to death,/ and be shut out from the kingdom. But arise, calling:/ Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God,// through the Theotokos have mercy on us.
Press service of the Moscow Patriarchal Exarchate of the Southeast Asia
Dear brothers and sisters!
Wholeheartedly, I congratulate all of you on the great feast of the Meeting of the Lord, on which, according to the tradition that has developed in our Church, we also celebrate the Day of Orthodox Youth. Today we remember a significant event, which has not only historical, but also great spiritual significance. On the one hand, a symbolic meeting of the Old and New Testaments takes place in the person of the righteous elder Simeon and the Divine Infant Jesus. On the other hand, this is a meeting of a man with God.
Meeting God takes a very special place in our life. Together with faith, we acquire the true meaning of being and a solid moral foundation, and when we strive to actively embody the Gospel words in our daily exploits, the Lord grants us spiritual vision and the ability to look at many things with reasoning. These valuable qualities, as we can see, are in great demand today, because it is sometimes extremely difficult to understand the flow of information. How difficult it can be to resist attempts by malicious forces to drag us into reckless adventures, dubious and even dangerous enterprises.
Spiritual vision is not at all the lot of the gray-haired elders, as it might seem at first glance. You probably remember well from the history lessons about the heroic deeds of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevskiy, whom the Russian Orthodox Church venerates as a saint. I would like to remind you that at the age of 19 he already won the Crusaders on the Neva, and he defeated the Livonian knights on the ice of Chudskoe Lake, before reaching the age of 21. Despite his youth, he was endowed by God with amazing wisdom and spiritual strength, as well as a deep understanding of what is beneficial for the country and people. This year we are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the birth of the blessed prince. In commemoration of the church and state celebrations timed to this date, I am glad to declare this jubilee year «The Year of Alexander Nevsky». May the life feat of this wonderful Russian saint inspire you to serve as an example to follow, and to help someone to meet God and join the rich spiritual treasury of Orthodox culture.
Calling the blessing of Christ upon all of you.