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Guardians of the Vatra


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Author: Administrator
September 26, 2008

GUARDIANS OF THE VATRA

Most members of the American ROEA (Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America) consider that the “Vatra” represents our religious heritage here in North America.  Love of our Church unites us, and hence we want what is best for her.  We who share the same chuch pews, regardless of age, generation or place of birth, worship in our ancestral faith and protect the religious heritage we have chosen or received.  We have also chosen to attend the churches we frequent that together form our Episcopate, our “Vatra”. We care for her and cherish her.  In this way we become “Guardians of the Vatra”.

The discussion regarding the possible unity of the American ROEA with Romania’s ROAA, and this under the Romanian Patriarchate, should now be an informed and open discussion among concerned Vatra members.  We need this debate to take place, and this, without rushing the process, always following proper procedure, going through the checks and balances foreseen in our Constitution and by-laws, respecting the legal basis of our Episcopate as established by the courts in the 1950’s, being aware of the impact that our decisions may have on the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and other Orthodox Churches, understanding the political ramifications of possible actions, and excluding “ad hominem” attacks.  We must be made aware of the ROAA’s religious, administrative, financial and juridical situation, analyze it and then compare it to our own, before any further steps towards unity can be made.  This entire process cannot be exclusionary and carried out without divulging all pertinent facts.  We should all have faith that an informed ROEA membership body, clergy and faithful together, will make the right decision.

This is our way of solving problems, even disagreements and differences, the Orthodox way, with hierarchs, clergy and all the faithful together.  Finally, we owe this exhaustive “due diligence” approach to our forefathers, to ourselves and most importantly, to our children.  In this time of need, our Church requires our participation; it calls on us to contribute the very best we have to the discussion.  This is no time for complacency or indifference.  In fact, this is the time each of you can make a difference by putting forth the facts, contributing your knowledge and analytical skills, and then praying for guidance in developing your opinions.  Decision time is fast approaching and Guardians of the Vatra should now be developing informed opinions, always considering what is best for their children and their Church here in North America.


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PRAYER OF ST. EPHREM

O Lord and Master of my life,
leave me not with the spirit of laziness,
of despair, of domination, or idle words.

Rather, give me, your servant, the spirit of integrity,
of humility, of patience, and of love.

Thus, Lord, grant me the wisdom to see my own faults,
and not condemn my brother;

for You are blessed, now and forever. Amen.



OUR FATHER

Our Father, who are in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day
our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.