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Diocese of the West Priest in Russia - 09/11/19

An icon with particles of the relics of the Russian New Martyrs Sts. Nikolai Chernishev and his daughter Barbara from Votkinsk was ceremoniously gifted to a parish of the Orthodox Church in America in California on Sunday.The solemn event took place following the Divine Liturgy at the Archangel Michael Cathedral in Izhevsk. The relics were given to Fr. Edward Henderson, rector of the Church of St. John the Baptist in Berkeley, California (OCA Western American Diocese), who was visiting the area for several days, by Izhevsk Dean Archpriest Roman Voskresensky, reports the press service of the Izhevsk and Udmurtia Diocese.

Handing him the icon with the relics, Fr. Roman asked Fr. Edward to tell about the life of his parish in Berkeley, where there are many parishioners from Votkinsk, who preserved the memory of Sts. Nikolai and Barbara throughout the past century.


St Eugene Youth Camp - 08/27/19

St. Eugene’s Orthodox Youth Camp is a place where you meet new people and leave with a strong bond and connection, knowing they are going to be in your life forever. You can find St. Eugene’s at Sugar Pine Christian Camps at Timber Mountain, nestled high up in the trees in Oakhurst, California. The location is beautiful. The campsite is surrounded by woods, and the temperatures rest in the high 80s during the day, coming down to the 50s at night. It is the perfect weather in which to learn, play, and pray.

From July 7th through July 13th, over fifty campers, nine clergy members, and thirty volunteers from across the diocese and even across the country, gathered to spend time together dwelling in the beauty of God’s creation. The theme for this year’s camp was “Life in Christ Today” where we spent the week reflecting on how we can all give our talents and time to our communities and be present to see how Christ comes into our lives in the twenty-first century.


Our Youth Becoming Athletes in Christ. - 08/09/19

by Father Stephen Osburn

What an amazing time we all had this year at the Rocky Mountain Orthodox Youth Camp! By far one of the best camp experiences one could have. Now myself, I had the pleasure of being the speaker for this year’s camp and as such, my topic was on how to become a good Athlete in Christ. For those who don’t know, I am a huge sports fan (“Go Knights Go!”) and when I was asked to give the talks, I knew exactly what topic to pick for a couple reasons: One, in our faith, especially through Parables, relating to things within the world helps expand our understanding of what we believe. It makes us better Christians. It makes us better Orthodox. It helps us spread the Gospel. Two, St. Paul when first preaching the Gospel used sports as his allegory both from a deep admiration for sports but also because sports and faith are interconnected. They both come from the same model. You see, when someone wants to be a good athlete they have to train. They have to practice. They have to hone their craft. If they don’t, they won’t win, they won’t be very good. They will struggle. Same goes with our faith. If we don’t learn to pray - if we don’t practice praying - if we don’t come to church - if we don’t fast - we won’t be much of a Christian. So St. Paul uses the imagery of sports because of its deep rooted connection with our daily struggles as Christians. 


Diocesan Pilgrimage to Spruce Island and Alaska - 08/01/19

Join your fellow Orthodox believers in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of St. Herman of Alaska’s glorification and the 50th Anniversary of the OCA’s autocephaly in 2020. There will be weekly trips to Alaska over the summer of 2020 sponsored by each of the dioceses of the OCA. The Diocese of the West will sponsor their trip July 8-14, 2020. This will be a special trip for all Orthodox believers. Sign up early and reserve your space. Final cost to be determined.

Core package includes:

*          7 days/6 nights accommodation

*          Round trip air fare to Kodiak from Anchorage

*          Excursion to Spruce Island

*          Touring and sightseeing as listed in itinerary

For terms and conditions, passports, visas, baggage fees, air, additional taxes and travel insurance information visit https://www.culturallycreativetravel.com/pilgrimage-to-alaska-2020/or email douglas@culturallycreativetravel.com 713-688-6793.

Download the flyer here.


St Peter's Monastery Youth Camp 2019 A Success! - 07/22/19

With almost sixty campers and staff members, St Peter's Monastery Youth Camp 2019 nearly doubled in size this year.  Campers came from as far away as Pennsylvania and Ohio, and Portland almost matched the numbers coming from Colorado Springs.  We made great progress with the work on the monastery and are in a position to begin work on the cloisters next summer.  In addition to this work, campers joined Brother Donald to pick several loads of rock from a meadow near Pony and make riparian repairs at the bridge, beautifully refinished the massive doors given to the Monastery by Holy Trinity in Butte, pruned the olive trees, and planted sixteen rose bushes and twenty-four Ponderosa Pines (Montana's State tree).

Hieromonk Innocent established as the week's theme the study of the saints, and everyone received a binder containing the lives and wisdom of many prominent saints.  This prompted much good discussion about how these exemplary lives might inform our own lives in an often virulently secular world.  And besides study and discussion, there was regular worship and afternoon excursions and evening softball games before Vespers at the cross.  

One of our evenings was spent in discussion with Archbishop Benjamin who flew in to "inspect the work." 

While the Archbishop was here, the Foundation board met to reflect on this year's work and to plan for the coming year when we hope to host another youth camp during the last week in June 21-27, 2020.  Applications will be available on the web site this fall.

My great thanks to Hieromonk Innocent and Brother Donald, Fathers David and Moses, Mary Matthews our extraordinary chef (as Bishop Benjamin pointed out, we "fasted sumptuously'), Josh Hicks and James Latimer for their icon and choir workshops, and all the staff members from Portland and Colorado Springs who made this year's camp so enjoyable, productive, and inspiring.

-David Hicks


Tacoma Parish Burns Mortgage - 06/21/19

Holy Resurrection church, Tacoma, Washington was blessed to have His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin visit the weekend of June 1st & 2nd. At Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, His Eminence tonsured Theodore Kvamme a Reader, awarded the Jeweled Cross to Fr. Joseph Velez and the Gold Cross to Fr. James McKee. At the conclusion of Liturgy His Eminence, assisted by Fr. John Pierce, Rector, and Parish Council Senior Warden, John Hamre, burned the mortgage to the Tacoma property. At the community meal that followed Divine Liturgy, the parish honored Archbishop Benjamin on his 65th birthday.

Founded in 1896 in the town of Wilkeson in the Cascade foothills near Mount Rainier, the parish moved to the outskirts of Tacoma in 1996. The parish owns ten acres there, utilizing a "temporary" church building that can hold 160 people, a small fellowship hall and classrooms. The local county has given the parish the green light to establish a cemetery. A traditional Orthodox Temple and larger parish hall are also part of the future plans. The parish maintains its original Holy Trinity Temple in Wilkeson, which was built in 1900 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Diocese of the West Video Now Available - 07/30/18

A video highlighting the work going on in the Diocese of the West, prepared for and debuted at the 19th All-American Council held July 23-27 in St. Louis is now available online. If you wish to view the video, click

HERE






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