The Right Reverend Bishop Ambrose of Methone Lectures at Seminary
The Right Reverend Bishop Ambrose of Methone delivered a public lecture at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary.
During the course of a stay in Etna, California, the Right Reverend Bishop Ambrose of Methone, a member of the Holy Synod of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, delivered a public lecture at the Saint Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary. His Grace was visiting Etna to celebrate the Feast Day of the Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery on March 24 and to attend the Fortieth-Day Memorial of Metropolitan Chrysostomos on March 27. At the invitation of the Most Reverend Bishop Auxentios, Ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of Etna and Portland and Rector of the Seminary, Bishop Ambrose graciously addressed an extemporaneous talk to the local community on the evening of March 27 about his extensive missionary activities.
His Grace’s pastoral responsibilities, which began with his Consecration to the Episcopacy in 1993, are of an astonishing breadth. As a member of the Synodal Μissionary Commission of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, His Grace acts as the Locum Tenens of five Dioceses: the Metropolis of Sydney (Australia), the Metropolis of Kananga (Democratic Republic of Congo), the Diocese of Alania (South Ossetia), the Diocese of Richmond (United Kingdom), and the Diocese of Embu (Kenya). In addition, he oversees communities, both monastic and lay, in the Republic of the Congo, France, Belgium, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, as well as working with the Diocese of Luni (Italy) and facilitating relations between the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece and its Sister Church, the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania. Until recently, His Grace also managed a mission in Uganda, which is now under the care of the Most Reverend Metropolitan Demetrius of America.
A polyglot and a globetrotter, Bishop Ambrose has, by the very nature of his ministry, become “a citizen of the world,” to use the expression of the philosopher Diogenes. “As you see, I have to become all things to all people,” His Grace explained. “I often get told, you know, you’re half Georgian, or you’re half Ossetian, or you’re half Kenyan, or whatever—so many halves. The most difficult thing about this is the change in mentality between each particular place. You have to get into the place, into their heads, in order to understand what they’re thinking, how they’re reacting.” As was clear from His Grace’s engrossing lecture, bearing the Apostolic cross of missionary work requires “a lot of patience, a lot of goodwill; you’re going to be accused, you’re going to be abused, you’re going to be misinterpreted many times. That’s the case everywhere, so nothing special about the missionary field. But also a lot of zeal and love for the Orthodox Faith; without that, you’re not going to get anywhere. And to understand and to be able to adapt yourself to the local circumstances. To be a visitor is easy enough, but it’s not enough; you have to be one of them.”
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