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http://www.oca.org/News.asp?ID=1529&SID=19

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SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- On April 17, 2008, His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman issued a letter to the clergy of the Diocese of Alaska.

The text of Metropolitan Herman's is as follows.

"The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, meeting at the OCA Chancery in Oyster Bay Cove, NY, on April 17, 2008, has issued the following statement.

'His Grace, NIKOLAI, Bishop of Sitka, Anchorage, and Alaska, after having heard the report of His Eminence, Archbishop NATHANIEL, and His Grace, Bishop TIKHON; and after the deliberations of the Holy Synod of Bishops, has agreed to take a voluntary leave-of-absence, to be reviewed at the May 2008 Session of the Holy Synod of Bishops.'

"I have, in my capacity as Administrator of the Diocese of Alaska, appointed His Grace, the Right Reverend BENJAMIN, Bishop of San Francisco and the West, to assist me in the administration of the Diocese of Alaska, effective April 17, 2008. I encourage your prayers for His Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN as he assumes the responsibilities that have now been entrusted to him. In accordance with canonical order and accepted liturgical practice, Bishop BENJAMIN is to be commemorated during the Divine Services only when he is present. On such occasions, his name is to be commemorated as 'The Right Reverend BENJAMIN, Bishop of San Francisco and the West.' His name will be commemorated following the usual commemoration of His Grace, Bishop NIKOLAI of Sitka, Anchorage, and Alaska. In circumstances on which other hierarchs are present, his name is to be elevated according to rank. In light of the fact that he is assisting me in administering the Diocese of Alaska, I also bless his name to be elevated at all Divine Services in the Diocesan Cathedrals of St. Michael the Archangel, Sitka, AK and St. Innocent Cathedral, Anchorage, AK."

Through the prayers of St. Innocent of Alaska, St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. John of San Francisco, and the Most Pure Theotokos, O Christ our God, grant healing and salvation to the Diocese of Alaska and to Bishop Nicolai.

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Lord, we pray especially for the long-suffering clergy of the OCA Diocese of Alaska. We praise You for their perseverance and faithfulness to Your ministry in the face of
such abuse.
Grant them Oh Lord, the strength to carry on to the end of Lent and to rejoice with their flock on that joyful day of the celebration of your resurrection.
May their joy be unceasing.

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May the Lord open His hand and grant many blessings to the peoples of Alaska, especially his Orthodox children. And may their Paschal celebrations be followed by a spring and summer of bountiful harvest to sustain the people and their entire families.

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Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy 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. Amen.

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Prayers for Bishop Nikolai, for Metropolitan Herman and the Holy Synod of the OCA, and especially for our brothers and sisters of the Diocese of Alaska


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Prayers for a time of healing for the OCA, for the Holy Synod of Bishops and for Bishop Nikolai and the Orthodox faithful in Alaska and the US.

In ICXC,

Gordo

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With prayers for all the clergy and faithful of the diocese! Christ is Risen!


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