On Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th of November, the parish of Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Atlanta, GA held their parish celebrations in honor of the patronal feast day (November 6), and held a conference on the topic "100 Years of the Russian Local Council of 1917-1918."
The gathering began with a moleben before an icon of the Holy Fathers of the Local Russian Council of 1917-1918. It is likely that this is the first time in ROCOR that the moleben has been served before this unique icon, and the first time the troparion and kontakion have been sung to the Holy Fathers of the Council. A digital copy of the icon was lovingly donated to the conference by the iconographer, Natalia Soboleva.
During the days of the conference’s work, holy relics were set out in the church for veneration: a piece of the Holy Cross of the Lord, a piece of the omophorion of the Mother of God, a piece of the relics of St. John the Baptist, the Twelve Apostles, the Holy Apostle Paul, the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene, the Holy Great-Martyr Panteleimon, the Holy Hierarch Michael, first Metropolitan of Kiev, Venerable Sergius of Radonezh, Venerable Job of Pochaev, Venerable Alexander of Svir, Venerable Anatole I of Optina, the Holy Hierarch Luke of Simferopol, the Holy Hierarch John of Shanghai, and many others – over 50 relics in all.
Speaking at the conference were Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen), on the topic "The Russian Local Council of 1917-1918" and Deacon Andrei Psarev, professor at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, on the topics "A Crash Course on the History of the Russian Church," "When a Layman can Disagree with a Bishop: The Inter-Council Presence as a Phenomenon in the Russian Church," and "Key Moments in the History of ROCOR."
Himself a member of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church, Fr. Andrei presented the Inter-Council Presence as an organ of the catholicity and conciliarity of the Church, affording the broadest opportunity to discuss documents of Church-wide significance. The clerics and parishioners of Joy of All Who Sorrow Church and other Orthodox parishes present posed a multitude of questions to the speakers, demonstrating a significant interest in the subjects being read.
On Sunday, November 5, Metropolitan Jonah celebrated Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with His Eminence were Archpriest Dimitri Oselinsky (OCA cleric, retired), Archpriest Sergei Okunev (cleric of the Diocese of Australia & New Zealand), parish rector Priest Eugene Antonov, and Deacons Andrei Psarev and Anton Kouznetsov (parish cleric).
For his fervent participation in the divine services, donations toward supporting the existing church and toward the construction of the new church, and his active participation in parish life, parishioner Vladimir Sapronov was awarded a diocesan gramota.
Upon completion of the service, the parish sisterhood invited all present to a festal luncheon. The feast day concluded with a second and final conference session.