The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA elected a new metropolitan over the weekend.
The church elected His Eminence Archbishop Antony, born John Scharba, at an Extraordinary Sobor at the Metropolia Center of the Church in South Bound Brook-Somerset, NJ.
"As I find myself in these circumstances today – elected by this Holy Sobor as the fourth Metropolitan and First Hierarch of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, I realize that there is very little human involved in the sequence of events that surround me," he said in a response completed after the sobor.
"It is as if Heaven has invaded this space and the human will and Divine Grace are united. Heaven descends and earth ascends. I think in the weakness of my humanity that I offer myself to God, but in reality He once again makes a gift of Himself to me and I am bathed in His Grace and in His Light," he said.
Metropolitan Antony succeeds the late Metropolitan Constantine in leading the church, which had 90 parishes listed on its website as of September 11, 2012.
The sobor included a message for participants from Patriarch Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.
"The election of a metropolitan hierarch is a profoundly liturgical and essentially theological event for the life of a Church. It is primarily a responsibility of servant-hood to the Body of Christ and a function of service to the Communion of Saints. It can never be reduced to a purely administrative obligation or merely a political role," part of the message stated.