The Orthodox Church in America’s department chairs and officers met at the Chancery here on January 16, 2012 for a day of lively discussion and focused planning.
The meeting kicked off a week of strategy sessions that also will include diocesan chancellors and treasurers beginning Tuesday, January 17.
After opening remarks from His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, the officers addressed the attendees. Chancellor Fr. John Jillions encouraged each individual to ask himself or herself, “What must be done? What should be done? What would we like to do if we are able?” Fr. Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary, asked each department chair to consider how to implement the objectives of the Strategic Plan. “Our dioceses are not the same, and one size won’t fit all. Coordination is important; we need focus on how we are aligning our resources. We are here to help you.” Treasurer Melanie Ringa thanked the heads of the departments for their sacrificial labors and stewardship, explaining that the OCA finished the year in a sound financial position.
Among the departmental initiatives discussed were expanding the youth and young adults section on the OCA website, a YouTube speaking project for youth, a summer conference cosponsored by several of the departments, a living history project, increased efforts to reach out to people with no religious background, and an on-line course in choral conducting and liturgical singing.
Using the Strategic Plan’s goals as a starting point, discussion centered on how each department could serve the whole Church more effectively through inter-department coordination and by leveraging the Church’s existing resources.
All but one department chair attended the meeting. In addition, Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky of the Office of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations and OCA Archivist Alexis Liberovsky presented reports at the meeting.
“We have a lot of work to do; some solid projects have come to us from the AAC and more are in development that need to be brought to fruition,” Metropolitan Jonah told the participants. “I am grateful for your work, often done invisibly as a labor of love.”