“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
One of the blessings we have in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is our Spiritual Metropolia Center, which provides care for the administrative and spiritual needs of the entire Church.
The Spiritual Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, located in South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ, daily reflects this goodness created by the Lord. The grounds of the Center are a tranquil piece of the world, removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here time seems to stand still.
With the chill of early autumn, the trees have begun to change colors and now glow bright yellow, orange and crimson, as the shrubs, having dropped their flowers regale in their brightly colored berries. Birds sing and chirp, as the first rays of sunshine turn the morning clouds hues of soft pinks and blues. The ethereal mist that covers the grounds begins to lift as herds of deer emerge, the stags with their large antlers leading the way to the open green fields of sweet dew-covered grass around the St. Andrew Memorial Church.
Further behind them the foxes yawn as they retreat to their burrows, and the rabbits emerge from their underground nests to frolic among the tombstones of the St. Andrew cemetery. Through the mist, the graves adorned with flowers, wreaths, candles, and angels seem to unite the living and the dead.
In this tranquil environment the creatures of God feel safe and make their homes, living out their lives through the seasons, raising their young, and enjoying the lives God has given them. The birds of the air, the animals of the land, and the fishes of the sea who swim up and down the river located on the property all have found a home in this peaceful portion of the earth.
The beautiful grounds are also home to many of God’s people who reside at or visit the Metropolia Center. Nestled beneath ancient trees, the snow-white St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary is busy daily as students take their classes. The stall spire of the St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church invites people from near and far to come worship the Lord. The staff of the Consistory Office building quietly and efficiently handle all the Church business.
As the seasons change, the days grow shorter. The setting sun paints the sky a deep purple, as the last rays reflect warmly off the cross atop the St. Andrew church. In the growing darkness, warm candlelight glows from the windows of the Seminary, as each day closes with Evening Prayers. The voices of the seminarians can be heard from the Seminary Chapel, echoing throughout the grounds, as they praise the Lord, and ask for His continued mercy and protection. The deer pause momentarily, glancing in through the seminary windows, before disappearing back into the mist.
Nature has a way of inspiring awe and appreciation for the world around us, and it is clear that the Spiritual Center of the UOC of the USA holds a special and tranquil beauty that allows visitors to connect with the divine and appreciate the wonders of creation.
“And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning.” Genesis 1:13