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1980-1989. The Eighties

Fr.Panteleimon was appointed second priest in November 1979. He started publishing weekly bulletins and attempted a lecture series. The Divine Liturgy was served in English once a month. Separate services in English and Slavonic were tried for a time.

In 1981 Archbishop Sylvester retired. Metropolitan Theodosius became locum tenens of the Canadian Archdiocese. In 1982 Archbishop Basil of San Francisco came for the Patronal feast.

The III Assembly of the World Council of Churches was held in Vancouver on July 24-Aug.10, 1983. On the invitation of the Holy Synod of the OCA, the delegation from the USSR – including His Holiness Ilia II, Patriarch of Georgia, and His Eminence Philaret, Metropolitan of Minsk – concelebrated the Pontifical Liturgy at Holy Resurrection church with His Beatitude Theodosius on July 31. 14 other bishops were present, and over 30 other clergy and Assembly delegates. Patriarch Ilia II awarded a golden altar cross to Fr. Cyril in memory of this event. Two more pontifical liturgies were served during the Assembly;- by Metropolitan Dorotheos of Prague, with bishop Simon of Lodz, and by Bishop Seraphim of Sendai and Eastern Japan.

This welcome extended to hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate caused a split in the parish. 36 parishioners left and joined the RCA (Synodal) churches, including the choir director. Matushka Henrietta assumed the duties of choir-leader.

In 1983 at the ROS annual meeting a Church Committee was formed of 11 persons, chaired by the Rector. The Council considered inviting Metropolitan Vladimir of Winnipeg to the post of Rector, but later withdrew that offer.


In March 1984, 90 parishioners signed a petition requesting not to introduce more English into the church services. The matter was discussed throughout the spring. The move toward more English in the services was continued “in accordance with the numerical proportion of Russian and non-Russian worshippers”. Sub deacon Anthony taught the adult class of religious education. The St. Nicholas Church in Langley was consecrated on June 16; the ROS donated vestments, utensils and icons.

The 60th anniversary of the parish was celebrated on Sept. 30, 1984. Metropolitan Theodosius celebrated the Pontifical Liturgy. In November Fr. Cyril accepted the post of second priest at Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral in Montreal. Fr. Vadim Pogrebniak of Seattle was appointed the Primate’s representative to Holy Resurrection Church.

Instead of renovation, a new, bigger one at the expense of Mr. Alexei P. Levitsky replaced the rectory building. A bell-tower was built over the church entrance for the bell donated by Mr. Levitsky, also at his expense. Architect Lubor Trubka was retained.

Priest Victor Sokolov visited in January 1985. He was appointed Rector and arrived with his family in September. Fr. Panteleimon declined a transfer to Winnipeg and was released from priestly duties. Holy Resurrection Church was temporarily attached to the Pacific Northwest Deanery.

Bishop Gregory of Alaska visited with the Sitka icon of the Mother of God on Aug.19-20. He came for the Patronal feast on Oct. 6 and blessed the new Rectory. Mr. and Mrs. Levitsky were awarded the Cross of St. Herman. The 90th anniversary of St. Spiridon Cathedral in Seattle was celebrated in December; many of our parishioners participated in the joyous event.

Fr. Victor introduced more English to the church services, up to 40%. The number of communicants increased up to 30 each Sunday. New aluminum-frame windows were installed with money from the estate of the late Mr. V. A. Mitchell. The library books were moved upstairs, and the reading room renovated. The English library was started. A Refugee Fund was created for sponsoring refugees coming to Canada. Ms. Diane Kolbowicz and Ms. Svetlana Briggs attended the Summer Liturgical Institute at St. Vladimir Seminary. Contacts were established with the Canadian Bible Society. A number of non-Orthodox groups visited the parish. Several parishioners disapproved of the changes and left.

Metropolitan Theodosius attended “Expo-86” in Vancouver and celebrated the Pan-Orthodox Divine Liturgy at the Kodak Pacific Bowl on July 13. He also visited our church.

A conflict arose between Fr. Victor and several Council members. The situation came to a head at the semi-annual meeting in September. Mr. Portnoff resigned as ROS President. Leave of absence was granted to Fr. Deacon Andrew. Fr. Victor announced his resignation in December.

The St Nicholas parish in Langley split; the founding group left and reformed as the mission parish of St. Herman of Alaska in Surrey.

A special ROS meeting was held in January 1987. The financial situation was critical; the parish was losing members, and some others stopped receiving Holy Communion. Pledges were collected to remedy the situation. Archpriest Daniel Hubiak, chancellor of the OCA, came to deal with the crisis. Fr. Vadim Pogrebniak was appointed temporary Rector of the Holy Resurrection Church in April.

Fr.Victor left in June; he was granted a leave of absence and subsequently served for a while at the St. Elias Arab Orthodox Church in New Westminster. Fr. Deacon Andrew served the Vespers, the and performed other services in the absence of a priest. In February of 1988, the Council petitioned the Primate to elevate Fr. Dn. Andrew to the priesthood.

In August the Romanian Holy Trinity Orthodox Community started renting the church and hall for services and meetings; the agreement was renewed on different terms until 1989. The Rectory was leased. The St. Herman of Alaska mission received in June a new priest, Fr. Lawrence Farley, and was granted canonical transfer to the OCA.

Fr.Seraphim Storheim was consecrated auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton at the Diocesan Assembly in Edmonton on June12. He came to Holy Resurrection Church for the Patronal feast on Sept.20-21. Three delegates and eight observers from our parish attended the Assembly.

Fr. Evan Lowig came from Winnipeg in January to celebrate the feasts of Nativity and Theophany. He accepted the post of Rector and started serving in April.

The church building and domes were painted in July-September. Mr. Felix Zampini did landscaping work on the church grounds. The stage in the upper hall was re-equipped and re-decorated. Matushka Henrietta designed the first stained-glass window pictures. Mrs. Mary Kosikar paid for the image of Christ the Savior, the Levitsky family – for the images of St. Sergius of Radonezh, St. Seraphim of Sarov, St. Herman of Alaska and St. Innocent of Alaska; Mrs. N. Prescesky – for the images of Sts. Cyril and Methodius – teachers of the Slavs, and numerous parishioners donated for the images of Sts. Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves. Also, images of Sts. Vladimir and Olga of Kiev were added as the parish project for the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia. These windows were installed in the fall

Fr.Evan started a cycle of lectures. Quarterly publication of “Parish Life” was resumed. On Oct.2, the Patronal feast was celebrated together with the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia. Archbishop Sylvester and Bishop Seraphim concelebrated the Divine Liturgy. Soloists and five choirs performed in the concert.

In January 1989 Fr. Deacon Andrew resigned from the ROS in view of its failure to amend its By-Laws. Bishop Seraphim came to deal with the matter and criticized the Society’s lack of progress.

A Lenten Concert was held at Holy Resurrection Church on April 2; on July 7, the St. Vladimir Seminary Octet performed. Monk Panteleimon returned to our church as reader and singer.

The 65th anniversary of our parish was celebrated on October 1. Bishop Seraphim celebrated the Divine Liturgy. A banquet and concert were held in the upper hall.

A poll was conducted among parishioners concerning the proposed switch to the Gregorian calendar; the majority were in favor. The switch was approved and came into effect with the Christmas celebration on Dec. 25, 1989.