Members of the Orthodox Church in America’s Metropolitan Council held their semi-annual meeting here November 15-16, 2000 under the chairmanship of His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.
After leading Metropolitan Council members in prayer, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS delivered an address in which he highlighted major events in the life of the OCA since the spring of 2000. Among the many topics he addressed was the need for nurturing priestly vocations. He also spoke of the recent Glorification of Saint Raphael Hawaweeny of Brooklyn, canonized in May 2000 during services celebrated at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA.
Protopresbyter Robert S. Kondratick, OCA Chancellor, addressed the Metropolitan Council on a number of issues, including current operations at the Chancery, the status of the OCA’s three seminaries, and recent developments in the life of the Church in North America and abroad.
His Eminence, Archbishop HERMAN presented the report of the Acting Treasurer, after which he presented the Proposed Budget for 2001 and led the Metropolitan Council systematically through its various categories. Metropolitan Council members approved the 2001 Budget as proposed.
Council members accepted the Audit Committee report presented by VRev Paul Suda, who stated that the audit of the OCA’s 1999 financial records was completed on October 5, 2000.
VRev John Dresko presented a progress report related to his visits to diocesan assemblies concerning the “Resolution on Fair Share Giving” passed at the 12th All-American Council, held in July 1999. He also spoke on options for developing alternatives to the current Central Church Assessments for funding the work of the Church.
VRev Dimitri Oselinsky reported on the OCA Pension and Life Insurance programs, noting that studies are being conducted to ascertain the possibility of offering increased or additional benefits to retired clergy and widowed clergy wives. Fr Kondratick emphasized that both the Pension Program and the Life Insurance Program are mandatory, as promulgated by decision of previous All-American Councils.
On behalf of VRev Alexander Garklavs, who could not attend the meeting VRev Joseph Fester presented a report on the Summer Internship Program, one of two Church Wide Initiatives mandated by delegates to the 12th All-American Council. The first year of this program, which places seminarian interns into parishes to work under the mentorship of seasoned pastors, was a success, and prospective interns and host parishes are already being sought for summer 2001.
Dr Constance Tarasar reported on the second Church Wide Initiative involving development of the new FOCUS parish education curriculum. A sample four-session program on Holy Week will be available by February 2001. Dr Tarasar noted that the FOCUS curriculum is being especially designed to meet the needs of parishes with limited numbers of students of various ages.
Metropolitan THEODOSIUS reported on plans for the 13th All-American Council, slated to be held in Orlando, FL, in 2002. The Metropolitan Council approved the following individuals to serve on the Preconciliar Commission, pending confirmation by the Holy Synod of Bishops: Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, Chancellor; VRev Paul Kucynda, Secretary; VRev Dimitri Oselinsky, Treasurer; and VRev Myron Manzuk, Council Manager; Anne Fuleras, Assistant to the Chancellor; VRevs. John Dresko, William Evansky, John Zdinak, and Basil Zebrun; and Mary Caetta, Michelle Jannakos, Joseph Kormos, John Koretski, Dr Paul Meyendorff, Katherine Vitko, Dr Alice Woog, and Daria York. It was also announced that Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko; VRevs Alexander Golubov, Jason Kappanadze, Leonid Kishkovsky, and Andrew Morbey; Rev John Garvey; and Dr John Erickson, Maureen Bezuhley-Galterio, and Dr Constance Tarasar will serve as consultants to the Preconciliar Commission.
Before the close of the meeting Metropolitan THEODOSIUS moved that VRev Paul Kucynda, Acting Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America, be recommended to the Holy Synod of Bishops for appointment to the position of Secretary, and that VRev Dimitri Oselinsky, Assistant to the Treasurer, be recommended to the Holy Synod of Bishops for appointment to the office of Treasurer, and that these appointments become effective January 1, 2000, subject to the approval of the Holy Synod of Bishops that will be undertaken by written ballot. Metropolitan Council members unanimously approved these appointments, pending the approval of the Holy Synod.
Metropolitan Council members heard numerous other reports on the Clergy Assistance Program, the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, the Office of Development, the Office of Humanitarian Aid, the Office of Church Growth and Evangelism, and other ministry units of the Church.
In addition to Metropolitan THEODOSIUS, Archbishop HERMAN, and Frs Dresko and Kondratick, Council members participating in the meeting included VRevs. Vladimir Berzonsky, Vladimir Fetcho, Joseph Hirsch, Paul Kucynda, Gregory Pelesh, Ernesto Rios, Gregory Safchuk, Igor Soroka, John Tkachuk, and Eugene Vansuch; Revs John Garvey and Mark Sherman; Hegumen Benjamin [Peterson]; Deacon Christopher Rowe; and Cheryl Andrew, Maureen Bezuhly-Galterio, Leda Dzwonczyk, Dr John Erickson, the Hon. Harold Kalina, George Ludko, Gregory Nescott, Gary Popovich, Mark Stokoe, Katherine Vitko, and Dr Alice Woog.