The theme of the conference is “Strong Family — Strong Church.” The host is the Ukrainian Baptist Church in North Port, 3950 Wall Lane (off Salford Boulevard), whose pastor is Vitaliy Bernatskiy.
This is the first time that the UEBC is holding its annual conference in Florida.
The conference will begin Sept. 4 with a service from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the church, and will include readings, sermons by Pastor Bernatskiy and Pastor Stan Gruntkovski of Ukraine, and singing (solos and choir). The moderator will be Anatoly Moshkovsky of Trinity United Methodist Church, 4285 Wesley Lane, North Port.
Sept. 5 will consist of prayer and a business session at the church starting at 9 a.m. (elections of commissions, reports of officers, etc., as well as prayers, singing of hymns and seminar, “Wisdom of Parenthood,” moderated by Pavlo Demyanyk of Vancouver, Canada). Another seminar will take place at 2:30 p.m., moderated by Dr. Yaroslav Pyzh, president of L’viv Theological Seminary, Ukraine.
An evening youth program (from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) will take place at the North Port Performing Arts Center at North Port High School, 6400 W. Price Blvd. In addition to Victor Pilipchuk, pastor of a Cleveland, Ohio, church and secretary of the UEBC, who will moderate the session, there will be singing (choir and soloists) and two sermons by pastor Sergio Savchuk in English, and pastor Stan Gruntkovski in Ukrainian. Sept. 6 at the Performing Arts Center, there will be a solemn divine service at 10 a.m., including the sermon “Fathers’ Authority” by Vasyl Rudnytsky, pastor of the church New Hope in Charlotte, and singing of hymns. It will end with the readings of the conference’s resolutions, other reports and a concluding sermon by Pastor Gruntkovski.
All are invited to attend all sessions of the conference at the church and at the Performing Arts Center. The singing of the United Choir of Philadelphia, Pa., area churches and the music group of Cleveland, as well as soloists, are close to professional level.
The observance of the 24th anniversary of the restoration of Ukraine’s independence (Aug. 24, 1991) by the Southwest Florida Ukrainian American community, included special “Molebens” (novena-like services) in the local Ukrainian churches last Sunday, and the traditional raising of American and Ukrainian national flags Monday morning in front of North Port City Hall by veterans of the local Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans.
The raising of the flags was accompanied by the playing and singing of the American and Ukrainian national anthems, with all veterans rendering hand salutes. The invocation by the Rt. Rev. John Fatenko of North Port, pastor of the Southwest Florida Ukrainian Orthodox congregation, was followed by the reading of the North Port City Commission proclamation designating Aug. 24 “Ukrainian Independence Commemoration Day in North Port” by Commissioner Linda Yates. The Rev.
Vasyl Petriv, pastor of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Rev. Michael Jakubovich, pastor-emeritus of the Ukrainian Baptist Church, and retired Col.
Roman Rondiak, USA, post commander of UAV Post 40, spoke briefly.
Then, the attendees, more numerous than in all previous years and most attired in traditional embroidered shirts, blouses and dresses, sang a historic patriotic song in Ukrainian.
Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians
By Atanas Kobryn