On Monday, March 17, 2008, the Preconciliar Commission preparing the 15th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America met for its regular meeting at the OCA Chancery.
In his opening remarks, Commission Chair, His Grace, Bishop Nikon stated that the conciliar process begins with the preparation of the Council and culminates in November with the All-American Council itself. He said that two areas of the preparatory process that need continued attention are greater communication of plans for the All-American Council, and the preparation of study papers. His Grace also stated that a crucial part of the upcoming Council will be the resolution procedure.
In December 2007, an email address was set up to obtain feedback from the wider membership of the Church on the upcoming Council. An updated list of submissions, including submissions since the first posting of AAC ideas, can be read here. The Commission thanks all who sent in ideas. Commission members agreed that the intent of the email address was specifically as a means for our members to share input on the All-American Council, not as a forum discussing the general state of the OCA. Ideas that fall within the mandate and competency of the Commission will be considered, with these suggestions being posted on the OCA.org web site.
The Commission discussed at length a proposed resolution procedure. Present for this discussion was Resolution Committee Chair, Archpriest John Erickson. It was again stressed that the AAC agenda must allow adequate time for discussion and open debate of resolutions. The full resolution procedure will be published shortly.
Commission members also discussed study papers in preparation for the Council. Possible themes for study papers include the spiritual preparation for the All-American Council, Church polity, and reconciliation. Others themes will be identified based on the content of resolutions received.
Honoring its commitment to hear feedback on Council preparation from as wide a range of Church membership as possible, the Preconciliar Commission will be planning a consultation to discuss ongoing plans for the AAC. The Commission is also discussing other ideas for consulting with Church membership on Council plans.
The next meeting of the Preconciliar Commission is planned for April.