Cardiff by the Sea, CA – On February 4, 2011, over 65 Orthodox Christians from over a dozen canonical Eastern Orthodox churches gathered at Sts. Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church for a “Together as One” Workshop to get to know one another and to make plans for the future within their ministry areas.
The activities started with an opening prayer from Fr. Simeon Corona and a delicious luncheon that was prepared by ladies from Saint Constantine and Helen and members of Orthodox San Diego.
Expressions of gratitude for what Orthodox San Diego accomplished over the past year along with some hopes and dreams for our future were offered by Fr. Simeon Corona, and an informative presentation on the state of Orthodox Parishes was provided by Orthodox San Diego Chair, Matushka Wendy Cwiklinski.
“I thought this event was a great way of getting together as one Orthodox body in San Diego County. I have come to the understanding that it is not about our ethnicities; it is about being Orthodox Christians. I am excited to witness the fruits of this meeting and look forward to Pan Orthodox activities this year,” explained Ariana Aram, a youth ministry programs participant.
In addition to the youth program and student-led ministries, other groups that met during the breakout sessions were: Clergy, Parish Council members, Choir & Chanters, Sunday School, and Ladies’ Auxiliary.
The purpose of the breakout sessions was to allow people to meet their peers from other parishes and discuss how they can work together to further the Orthodox faith in the San Diego area.
Matushka Wendy: “God has blessed our local parishes with many gifted people. Bringing them together to share those gifts and to make plans to work together across parish and jurisdictional lines can only serve to strengthen the ministry and work of all the Orthodox Churches in San Diego.”
Fr. Simeon: “We have been grateful to work together as an Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood over many years. Our Bishops are now getting together and when, by God’s grace and their cooperation, they become more unified, we hope to serve as a local example of how working together ‘as one’ can, and has, served the Mission of the Church. With FOCUS/God’s Extended Hands Ministry, we’ve made great strides this past year. In June, we hope to build a house for a needy family residing in Tijuana via Project Mexico and use our increased cooperation and organization to bless the many Ministries right on our doorstep. We hope to continue growing in our love and witness for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. In the meantime, it sure has been great fun working with our extended Church Family of San Diego. May we continue to grow, ‘in wisdom and stature and in favor of God and man’”.
The Orthodox San Diego Mission/Vision Statement is: “Our mission is to witness as one church in communion and fellowship to the Orthodox Christian Faith within the greater San Diego region. The mission will be accomplished by providing opportunities to participate in the following: Worship – Education – Service – Celebrations – Outreach.”
The Eastern Orthodox Clergy Conference of San Diego and Orthodox San Diego groups meet monthly and facilitate Pan Orthodox worship services at various times throughout the year. For more information on the Eastern Orthodox Clergy Conference of San Diego and Orthodox San Diego, please visit our website and Facebook page.