Today our parish celebrated 60 years since its founding. Our bishop, also Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, served along with many priests and deacons. The choir was fuller than usual (I think 40 voices according to our conductor) since we are also hosting the annual Youth Convention.
My grandfather was one of the first church wardens of the Melbourne Orthodox church, giving most of his time and supporting the bishop with various issues within Australian parishes. He died of cancer at the age of 45. Some of his close friends, including those who came over on the same ship as he did, still play a valuable part in the life of the parish, giving up much of their time to help things run smoothly. This is a photo of the wife of one of my grandfather's best friends, who is still actively involved in the parish despite illness.
My husband's relatives who live in Russia send photos and write warm, interesting emails. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if my family hadn't been forced to leave their country. This recent photo is from St Petersburg - a contrast to our own weather.