Crucial to the success of the 17th All-American Council, slated to convene at Holy Trinity Church, Parma, OH on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, is a full complement of delegates representing parishes of every diocese of the Orthodox Church in America.
In an effort to assist delegates from the Dioceses of Alaska and Mexico, for whom travel costs easily can approach the astronomical, a special appeal has been issued with the concurrence of the Metropolitan Council to raise $15,000.00 to help offset expenses.
“As we gather for the important task of selecting a new Primate, we need to have as much representation as we can, and every diocese should be well represented,” said Hieromonk David [Mahaffey], who was recently nominated by the Diocese of Alaska to fill the vacant See of Sitka, Anchorage and Alaska. “For the majority of the delegates, their travel and lodging will be a sacrifice of their parishes’ time, talent and treasure. But for the Dioceses of Alaska and Mexico, the expense can be ‘a burden grievous to be borne.’
“For Alaskan residents, a ticket from the Anchorage hub to Cleveland can cost nearly $800.00—if purchased today; in a few weeks, a ticket can cost over $1,000.00,” Father David observed. “Add to this the cost of getting from a local village to Anchorage, which can cost as much or more than the flight to Cleveland, and the expense can indeed be burdensome, especially for those who support themselves and their families on subsistence fishing and hunting. Mexico is in a similar position, and while fares may be slightly less than those from Alaska, the rate of peso-to-dollar exchange is not especially favorable.”
Ensuring that the Dioceses of Alaska and Mexico are well represented at the Council is possible with sacrifice, conviction, and commitment, however.
“If we can secure about $15,000.00 now—by mid-October—we will be able to fund delegates from our oldest and youngest dioceses,” Father David adds. “We hope that many will respond to this worthwhile endeavor.”
Those clergy and faithful who wish to assist their “northernmost” and “southernmost” brothers and sisters participate in the important and historic 17th All-American Council are invited to send donations to the Orthodox Church in America, PO Box 675, Syosset, NY 11791. Please make checks payable to the “Orthodox Church in America,” writing “17th AAC Travel Fund” in the memo line. All donations will be used exclusively for their intended purposes, and accounted for accordingly.
“We’re counting on many of our faithful to ‘step up to the challenge’ by responding to this appeal and to help those for whom attendance normally would be out of reach participate in the Council as the valuable members of the OCA that they indeed are,” Father David added.