Father Constantin's Message
Beloved family in Christ,
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your warm welcome to St. John the Forerunner community! We are excited to have met so many of you already, and we look forward to meeting our entire community in the coming months! Alexandra and I, and our children - Ileana, Natalia, Sofia, and Luca- cannot wait to get to know all of you!
In our transition from New York to Ohio, which at times has been a little overwhelming…, we gained strength from knowing that we are joining an amazing community of people who strive to follow Christ and to live their lives in love of God and neighbor.
Archimandrite Roman Braga, of blessed memory, and whom I had the great blessing to spend time with, once gave a talk on the Orthodox Christian understanding of humanity. One of the central messages that he shared was that we, as followers of Christ, see ourselves not as individuals – which implies separation, but as persons. A person belongs to a community. A person is born, grows and develops within the context of a community.
Being an Orthodox Christian implies that we are part of a community of faith, that we all, together, form the Body of Christ. Building on our relationships with one another and with God, and belonging to this Body is what takes us through the journey of life. It is God’s desire that we dwell in these relationships now, in this world, and eternally, in His Kingdom.
What moves us along in this journey is strength. We each individually find strength in being together, and in being together we form a strong community: our strength is in our togetherness and our togetherness is our strength. Christ Himself says that “where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I, in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). And, as the Psalmist says, “the Lord is the strength of His people” (Psalm 28:7-8).
As my family and I are joining your families and your parish family, on the journey of faith, I pray that God gives us all the wisdom to see and understand the path that is before us. May we all make the effort to journey together-- to support, encourage, and be present in each others' lives. God bless our family of St. John!
With much love and gratitude in Christ,
Fr. Constantin Ursache