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Washington, DC: St. John the Baptist Cathedral honors Russian Ambassador to USA

On Thursday, July 13, the feast day of the Holy Twelve Apostles, St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC, hosted an evening honoring the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to the United States of America, Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, and his wife, Natalia Mikhailovna.

At 7:00 PM, the parishioners and friends of the Russian ambassador and his spouse gathered at the cathedral, where the rector, Archpriest Victor Potapov, performed a thanksgiving moleben, co-served by Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur (cleric of St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY).

Afterwards, Archpriest Serafim Gan, Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops, with the blessing of His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, awarded Sergei Ivanovich the Synodal Medal of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, 1st Class – the highest honor in the Russian Church Abroad – and read along a decree from the Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops:

TO THE EXTRAORDINARY & PLENIPOTENTIARY AMBASSADOR OF RUSSIA TO THE USA
Sergey Ivanovich and Nataliya Mikhahilovna Kislyak

From a report by Mitred Archpriest Victor Potapov, rector of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, we have learned of your many years of participation in a multitude of cultural, youth, and philanthropic events. Your genuine friendship and close cooperation with our church community in the U.S. capital has made it possible to provide much-needed aid to people in both Russia and the United States of America.

In great appreciation of your earnest support, we express our profound gratitude to you for your kindness and efforts, and invoke divine blessings upon you.

In witness thereof, we present you with this benedictory certificate, duly signed and imprinted with the Synodal seal in the God-preserved City of New York on July 12, in the Year of our Lord 2017.

Metropolitan Hilarion
President of the Synod of Bishops

In recognition of his earnest efforts for many years, and in gratitude for his ready willingness to provide needed support and aid to the Hierarchy, clergy, and laity,

SERGEY IVANOVICH KISLYAK
EXTRAORDINARY & PLENIPOTENTIARY AMBASSADOR OF RUSSIA TO THE USA

is awarded the Synodal Order of the Sign, 1st Class.

In witness thereof, we present you with this benedictory certificate, duly signed and imprinted with the Synodal seal in the God-preserved City of New York on July 12, in the Year of our Lord 2017.

Metropolitan Hilarion
President of the Synod of Bishops

In response, a clearly moved Sergey Ivanovich expressed his genuine gratitude to the Synod of Bishops and Metropolitan Hilarion, who is at present leading a pilgrimage to the holy sites of Russia, expressing his high regard for the important role played by St. John the Baptist Cathedral in the spiritual and cultural life of the Russian community of Washington.

After the response of the Russian ambassador, Protodeacon Eugene, in a booming voice, intoned the Polychronion to Sergey Ivanovich and Natalia Mikhailovna.

The participants of the celebration then had dinner at the neighboring parish hall, where they enjoyed an interesting program.

After dinner, a slideshow presentation of the collaboration of St. John the Baptist Cathedral and the embassy of the Russian Federation in organizing various benevolent events over the years was shown on a large screen, including Cheesefare Week, Tatiana Youth Ball, and Ambassador Kislyak’s frequent participation in parish events.

The slideshow set the tone for the evening. Parishioners, including accordionist Artem Starchenko, singer Victoria Sukhareva, guitarist Tatyana Trubetskaya, and others then performed some favorite Russian songs of Sergey Ivanovich and his spouse. The musical numbers were interspersed with touching speeches addressed to the Kislyaks.

One of the most original pieces of the evening was performed by parents of participants in the parish’s dance group "Matryoshka." They composed, sang, and danced short, humorous songs dedicated to Sergey Ivanovich.

As the evening drew to a close, a visibly touched Ambassador Kislyak said that he and his wife Natalia Mikhailovna would never forget the parish’s kind farewell, thanked the event’s organizers, and wished the Washington church community every success.

After three hours spent together from the start of the moleben and the dinner, the guests did not disperse for some time, clearly wishing to continue their warm, brotherly interaction.

Photos

Washington, DC: St. John the Baptist Cathedral honors Russian Ambassador to USA - 07/13/17

Photos: www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws 

(13 images)

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