On Sunday, September 28th, the Council of Orthodox Christian Churches of Metropolitan Detroit (COCC) held its 4th Annual Benefit Concert, performed by the Orthodox Choir of Detroit, to benefit the IOCC’s aid to the suffering in the Middle East and North Africa. Approximately 35 singers, directed by Matushka Victoria Kopistiansky of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Detroit, performed a variety of Orthodox liturgical music in English, before an enthusiastic audience of several hundred people. The free-will offering benefits the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in its aid for the suffering people in the Middle East and North Africa.
Protopresbyter Laurence Lazar, Dean of St. George Romanian Cathedral in Southfield, and current Spiritual Advisor of the COCC and Acting President of the Clergy Brotherhood, chose to use this COCC-sponsored event as the occasion for publicly honoring Archpriest Roman Star for his 30 years of dedicated service to the COCC and to the Clergy Brotherhood of Metro-Detroit, and the overall Orthodox community of Metro-Detroit. He gave his tribute near the end of the concert, and spoke about Fr. Roman’s great contributions to the Orthodox Church community. Fr. Laurence then presented Fr. Roman with a gift from the Clergy Brotherhood of a beautiful contemporary Illuminated Gospel of St. Matthew by iconographer Vladislav Andrejev. After the Vice President of the COCC presented Fr. Roman with a bouquet of flowers, the Orthodox Choir then sang Many Years as a tribute to Fr. Roman.
It was most appropriate for Fr. Roman to be publicly honored at a COCC function, because for 30 years he has sacrificially dedicated himself to promoting Inter-Orthodox unity and good relations among the almost 40 canonical Orthodox churches and their clergy in the Metropolitan-Detroit area and throughout Southern Michigan, through leadership positions as president, vice-president, Spiritual Advisor, and other posts with the COCC and the Clergy Brotherhood, including many years as president of both organizations. He has sought to reach out into the metropolitan community making Orthodoxy more visible, and to serve through education, music, mission/evangelism and charity. The current President of the COCC, Richard Shebib, wrote in the September-October 2014 issue of the COCC’s 20-page bi-monthly publication, “Good Works,” that if it were not for Fr. Roman’s “devoted service, there would not be a Clergy Brotherhood nor a Council of Orthodox Christian Churches in Detroit today,” and commends him for his “30 years of devoted and dedicated service,” saying that even when there was a decline of interest in the COCC, “he never left, always believing in the work of the Council and kept the COCC a viable organization...We owe Fr. Roman a debt of gratitude...”
Article and Photographs Courtesy of
Sister Ioanna, St. Inocent Church, Redford MI