by Fr. Joseph Antypas
The visit of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to St. George Church in Troy, Michigan was such a blessing that it brought parishioners together around their father in Christ, who wanted to get to know them and to enjoy the fellowship with his spiritual children whom God has given him. The theme of his visit was taken from Isaiah 8:16 which read: "Behold, I am the children whom God hath given me."
St. Ignatius teaches: "Where the bishop is there is the church". This does not mean that the church is the bishop alone. Rather, it means that there is no bishop without his people. The bishop is the bishop of a certain geographical region (diocese, archdiocese, or patriarchate). There is no such thing as 'bishop at large'. So where the bishop is there you have all fabrics of the whole church; men, women, the youth, and the children, all forming one symphony, with cooperation and synergy, with Christ as the corner stone of the structure, and to the effect that there is one shepherd, and the logical sheep, that together are given the full understanding of spiritual life and church membership.
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph endeared himself to all parishioners who listened to him during the past weekend. Throughout his meetings with the members of the parish council, the ladies of St. George, and our teens, he brought them the message of hope and love. With humility, he told us not to give up on our priorities of keeping silent and serene before God in a true and genuine prayer. He appealed to us to be attached to our spiritual roots and identity as Orthodox Christian believers, and he encouraged us to be one in Christ, so we may be led into full unity in Christ.