From the 35th Diocesan Assembly of the Canadian Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church held at St. Symeon the Myrrh Gusher in Calgary, February 3-5, 2017.
- We, the clergy, monastics and laity – representatives and delegates of all diocesan parishes and church-school congregations throughout our God-protected Diocese of Canada, gathered at 35th Annual Assembly of the Diocese of Canada, under the omophorion of our Hierarch, His Grace Bishop of Canada Kyr Mitrofan, at St. Symeon the Myrrh Gusher church-school congregation in Calgary, February 3-5, extend our sincere filial greetings to His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Kyr Irinej and to all Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
You, however, young people need to know that, whether you like it or not, you are loved. God loves you even though you are sometimes overlooked by people. Yet, God wants you to experience His love and to be His children, His apostles. Do not accept too easily perverted morality that is now publicly and unreservedly propagated. Freedom is a double-edged sword, because not every person uses the freedom for the common benefit, or for the benefit of their fellow men. Be, therefore, by your exemplary life the pride to your parents and teachers, joy of the Church and the nation, and decoration and example to the world.
- Traditionally, from this Assembly we extend special greetings to the Government of Canada, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As immigrants or descendants of immigrants to Canada, we are proud to live in one of the best socially regulated systems in the world; a society in which diversity is viewed as ennoblement. Bearing in mind the tolerance for the diversity of opinions and views of life, we cannot help but look at the tendency of suppression of traditional Christian values in our society. Again this time we speak to the relevant authorities of the State in which we live, work, contribute and create families, that the Christian principles inextricably woven into the foundation of this country must be respected. It is striking how modern society - a society of the twenty-first century - arrogantly imposes certain principles that are completely alien to the man of culture only a generation or two earlier. We wonder whether the culture becomes obsolete so quickly? Why Canadian culture represses its principles - Christian principles - on which was created?
12. Finally, as always, being grateful to the Lord for all the gifts that he has blessed us with in the past year, we pray that this year as well our Creator and Sustainer of everything does not withhold from us His mercy and His abundant blessings, to fortify and strengthen us to uncompromisingly witness Christ the Lord, especially among those who are yet to know the Lord and that we may never be ashamed of His name. Again and again we repeat, ours is to put efforts, to believe, to pray and hope with humility and meekness, with longsuffering, bearing one another in love, struggling to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph.4:2-3).
In Calgary, Alberta, Canada February 4, 2017