July 1, 2001
Dearly-beloved Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful:
On behalf of His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS, who is currently on a medical leave of absence, it is with great joy that we officially announce that the Thirteenth All-American Council will be convened in Orlando, Florida, July 21-26, 2002. The theme chosen for the first Council of the Third Millennium is The Parish Community: Our Life in Christ. Delegates and observers from throughout our Church will be given the opportunity to pray and reflect upon the life and mission of our parish communities as well as the challenges which face them.
Under the guidance of His Grace, Bishop JOB of Chicago and the Midwest, Chairman of the Preconciliar Commission, the members of the Preconciliar Commission and its Project Team have been working on an agenda and format that will encourage active participation by parish delegates in a way that will benefit the parishes they have been chosen to represent.
Between October 2001 and June 2002, parishes will receive resource materials that are intended to assist in preparing for the All-American Council. These mailings will include documents that will focus on the topics that will be discussed at the Council. Parishes are asked to begin the delegate selection process in a timely manner so that their elected delegates may prepare themselves for significant and meaningful participation in the Council. Election of parish delegates is to be in conformity with The Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, Article III, Section 6.
While the Council’s first session will convene on Monday, July 22, 2002, we encourage delegates and observers to arrive in Orlando earlier so that they may participate in the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 21. The faithful and clergy of the Orlando area and the Diocese of the South have been invited to join with all the members of the Holy Synod and faithful from throughout the Church for the Divine Liturgy.
It is our sincere prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire and guide us as we prepare ourselves, corporately and individually, for this significant moment in the life of Christ’s Holy Church in North America.
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
Temporary Administrator of the Orthodox Church in America