On Saturday, November 2, 2019, in the Church of St Thomas in Jakarta, Indonesia, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, an assembly of clergymen of the Indonesian Mission was held. Chaired by His Grace Bishop George of Canberra, Vicar of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand of ROCOR, the meeting included by invitation the Patriarchal Exarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Sergy of Singapore and Southeast Asia.
Bishop George began the meeting by relaying the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Metropolitan Hilarion. During the meeting, Bishop George explained the state of affairs in the mission and announced the establishment by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church of a Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia, consisting of four dioceses: Singapore, Korea, Thailand and Philippines-Vietnam. The Republic of Indonesia in within the canonical bounds of the Singapore Diocese, headed by Metropolitan Sergy.
Bishop George then answered questions and led a general discussion. The assembly made the decision to unite with the new Singapore Diocese due to the lack of diocesan structures in Indonesia and for pastoral reasons. It was clarified that such a transfer accords with the Act of Canonical Communion of 2007, which anticipated the consolidation of diocesan structures in cases where it corresponded with pastoral needs.
“The next stage in the establishment of the Orthodox Church in Indonesia has begun,” noted Vladyka Sergy. “We still have a great deal of work to do. The potential for the Orthodox Church in this region is enormous, and we see this in the attitude of the clergymen and flock. This new step will demand a great deal of love, faith, diligence and sacrifice, because the work here bears a missionary character.”
On November 3, the 20th Sunday after Pentecost, the Indonesian clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated Divine Liturgy at the church. Metroplitan Sergy and Bishop George officiated, and were joined by ten priests and two deacons.
According to local tradition, the services were sung by all the parishioners in the Indonesian language.
Vladyka George delivered the sermon, noting that today’s celebration coincided with the namesday of Metropolitan Hilarion, who has headed the Australian Diocese for several decades and did a great deal to benefit the faithful of Indonesia.
Metopolitan Sergy then noted that the joint service bears witness to the unity of the Church of Christ, and that the clergy and laity shared a common Chalice. “As the Holy Fathers say—there is one God, one faith, one Church. The Lord will always help those who are united together for the common good. He is pleased when people live according to the law of love, and strive for unity. The Orthodox Church in Indonesia is very young, and I believe that if we are guided by the commandment of love in our lives and if we preserve unity, this will lay the foundation for spiritual victory.”