On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Mr. John Hudanish met with HTOS seminarians to share highlights and insights from more than 30 years of experience working closely with a group of Old Believers in the Willamette Valley in the state of Oregon. This fascinating presentation gave an unusually intimate and comprehensive view of both the history of migration and the current state of Old Believers today, focusing on possibilites of pastoral work and reconciliation.
Mr. Hudanish was recruited by the State of Oregon's Education Department as a teacher for the children of the Old Believers who had settled in the fertile Willamette Valley. He taught all general subjects (English, Math, Social Studies, and Science) for 30 years in the Russian Language. He was intimately acquainted with the events that let up to the possibility of receiving the Old Believers back to the bosom of the Church, and has now prepared for publication a compilation of materials relating to this process. They include a letter from Alexander Solzhenitsyn to the bishops of ROCOR, a decision to lift the anathemas of the ROC against the Old Believers, and active movements to bring about reconciliation from individual clergymen. An announement will be made when they are available.
The two-hour lecture was attended by members of the brotherhood and faculty as well, and continued after the official conclusion well into the night. An audio recording may become available soon.