Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christ is in our midst!
A significant element of Orthodox ecclesiology is that the Church Universal resides in her fullness in every local parish. This means that when we gather together, particularly for the Eucharistic celebration, the whole Church is present. Each local parish is not merely a part of the Church, but a manifestation of the Church entire.
This brings me great comfort when problems arise between patriarchates or schisms erupt somewhere in the world. I find rest in the knowledge that Christ's presence is never partial. When he is present as we say in every Liturgy (and he always is), he is fully present and we can rest in that truth.
I love this little quote from Anne Dutton: ''Silent in God's presence, you can relax yourself completely."
We always pray for the Church throughout the world and our sisters and brothers wherever they are because we are united with them in nature and faith. And we suffer when they suffer and rejoice when they rejoice.
Still we know that making peace where we are, in our parish, in the Liturgy that is celebrated here, in our service to others, is how we contribute to the ''the life of the world,'' how we bear witness to the Gospel of our Lord and Savior.
May God bring peace to His Church, to the world, and to all people everywhere.
With deepest Affection,