Open House and Dedication in Oakland

 Open House and Dedication in Oakland
 Open House and Dedication in Oakland
 Open House and Dedication in Oakland
 Open House and Dedication in Oakland

Open House and Dedication at the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Oakland, California

The entire week following Easter is to be set aside by Orthodox Christians for the celebration of the Resurrection. According to the 66th canon of the Council in Trullo: “From the holy day of the Resurrection of Christ our God until New Sunday (i.e. Thomas Sunday) for a whole week the faithful in the holy churches should continually be repeating psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, rejoicing and celebrating Christ, and attending to the reading of the Divine Scriptures and delighting in the Holy Mysteries. For in this way shall we be exalted with Christ; raised up together with Him. For this reason on the aforesaid days that by no means there be any horse races or any other public spectacle”.

The joy of Easter continued to spread in the parish of Saint George in Oakland, where about 70 guests with priests from nearby parishes and parishes from Sacramento and Jackson gathered. It was the time for Easter Open House, which was organized by Bishop Maxim, the San Francisco Deanery and the parish of Saint George in Oakland, and was held on the Thursday of Bright week, April 12, 2018, at the Saint George Church in Oakland.

This parish once became the spiritual center for Serbs in the East Bay, with hundreds of weddings, baptisms and other sacraments being performed over the years. That’s why Bishop Maxim decided to honor this legacy and establish a Diocesan office in this parish for Northern California. Moved by this pastoral attention, the president of the Church board, Mr. Milan Vezmar, gave a welcome speech to Bishop Maxim and all the guests. He thanked the Bishop for the love and care he showed towards parish of Saint George in Oakland. Mr. Vezmar also informed all attendees about the opening of the Diocesan office for Northern California on the premises of Saint George Church in Oakland.

Bishop Maxim greeted all attendees and expressed his gratitude to the organizers of this gathering, especially to the board of the parish of Saint George and to the Episcopal Dean for San Francisco Father Slobodan Jovic (Saratoga) and to all other present priests: Vasilije Cvijanovic (Moraga), Dane Popovic (Sacramento), Djurica Gordic (San Francisco), Zoran Savic (Auckland), Marko Bojovic (Jackson) who was with Protodeacon Paul Triva and Deacon Dragan Stojanovic who made this gathering more special with a good number of their parishioners.

Attendees were also greeted by Vice President of Western American Diocese Mr. Ron Radakovic who informed everyone about a new Sebastian Press’ project - The Serbian Christian Heritage of America: The Historical, Spiritual and Cultural Presence of the Serbian Diaspora in North and South America 1814-2019 , a monograph specially being prepared in order to celebrate 800 years of the Autocephaly of Serbian Orthodox Church.

All the guests had the opportunity to taste the latest wine – “Sebastian Wine” which is a product of the Opolo Winery in Paso Robles. They were also informed about the latest publication which is “The Sacred and Divine Liturgy оf our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom”, a new English edition of the primary divine service of the Orthodox Church, published by St. Sebastian Press of the Western American Diocese, and edited by Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic of Western American Diocese.

Throughout the evening, the faithful continued to joyously greet each other with the salutation of Christ is risen, followed by the response Indeed He is risen or Truly He is risen, as the whole of creation is renewed by Our Lord and Savior.

The services of Bright Week are done with the Royal Doors fully open. And St. George’s Parish opened its doors to everyone in the Bay area. This unblocked view of the Altar and the Diocese symbolizes the open door of Christ’s empty tomb.

May this event be considered as a new chapter in the history of the Serbian Western American Diocese.

Christ is risen!