A timely reminder as school is starting for many families in the US.
(Orthodox Herald) - Blessings to the Vicars, Assistant Vicars, and faithful of the Northeast American Diocese, especially our students.
His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos
As many of you are preparing yourselves for a new chapter in your lives, whether it be in a new grade, entering into Middle School or High School, or beginning your College Education, or Post Graduate education, we remind you of your vocation – to be a child of God. When we read the Holy Scriptures, taken from Wisdom of Sirach 10:5, we read “The success of a man is in the hand of the Lord…” In this day and age, there are many different hands offered to you. These hands may be ones that bring you only temporary happiness. Seek the Hand of God which brings you eternal joy, which is in the life of His Church, and never sacrifice your life as a Christian, even for your academic career.
Finally to the parents. It is true that our children learn from brilliant and noble teachers. However, many parents fail to realize, they are the first and truest teacher of their son and/or daughter. Parents are not only called to encourage their children to pray, but also to pray with them. You are called to ensure your children are participating in the Divine Services held in the Church. Parents are called to encourage a healthy balance in all things in the lives of their children. Never have our children pick between God and education (or sports or social events for that matter). God must come first in all things, and then only their education and other aspirations will come true. If our elders and children are faithful to God, God will surely be faithful to them. Always encourage your children in love and, never compare them to other children, lest you plant the seed of jealousy in their hearts.
Finally, to our clergy, especially our Vicars and Assistant Vicars; we direct you to have college freshmen fill out the attached form, and have this form submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, September 1, 2013. This is to ensure the MGOCSM of our Diocese is able to reach out to our students and provide spiritual resources to them on a consistent basis.
May the God Who surpasses the knowledge of this world; bless our students and their parents this coming academic year, so they may become fruitful citizens of the Kingdom of God, and faithful stewards to our society.
Yours in our Lord,
Zachariah Nicholovos, Metropolitan
Northeast American Diocese
CK No. 13/2013
August 16, 2013