Archpastoral Letter for the Nativity 2015/2016

Protocol. No. 21/2015

December 25, 2015 / January 7, 2016


Dear Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I greet you with great joy and love in the Name of our Incarnate Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  I give thanks to Almighty God by whose grace we have been given the opportunity to celebrate the Birth of His Son.  Looking around, we still see hatred, mistrust, violence, suffering, and the absence of peace in our world.  This reality of life in this world makes us cry out for God’s help, assistance and intervention.

 The holy gift of God’s Son at Christmas reveals to us His love and care for all humanity.  As human beings, we are awed by the miracle of God becoming man: the divine glory revealed in a child born in poor circumstances, the omnipotent Creator a little baby in His Mother’s arms.  Indeed on this night the Redeemer becomes one of us, as St. John Chrysostom says, He took on our flesh to make us holy, and gave us His Spirit so that we can be reconciled with our Creator and enter into eternal life with Him.

Therefore as we celebrate the miracle of His Birth, let kindness come with every gift, and compassion, forgiveness and love with every greeting.  Let us beautify our hearts with prayer and charity, so that all people may enter into the joy of the Feast of the Nativity with us.  Let us give our families and friends the lasting gift of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Let us pray for one another, that we may forget about our own concerns and truly love our neighbor as ourselves.  Let us worship the One who came from the highest heaven to dwell with us on earth, raising us from this world into the Kingdom of God.

Today may all of us, Priests, Panis, Deacons, Subdeacons, Readers, Parish Officers, Parishioners, Friends, and Supporters of our God-protected American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese experience the joy and wonders of the Shepherds and the awe and respect of the Three Wise Men at the arrival of the Messiah, our new born King.  Christ is Born!

Greetings from Johnstown with much love,

+His Grace, Bishop Gregory of Nyssa

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