Preconciliar Commission meets, finalizes All-American Council plans

Members of the Preconciliar Commission [PCC] of the Orthodox Church in America met at the Chancery here Wednesday and Thursday, May 11-12, 2011, under the chairmanship of His Grace, Bishop Benjamin.

Other members attending included Prof. David Drillock; Archpriest Victor Gordenchuk; Peter Ilchuk, Logistics Manager; Archpriest Myron D. Manzuk, Council Manager; Lisa Mikaelevsky; Archpriest John Pierce, Local Committee Chair; Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary; Priest John Vitko; and Valerie Zahirsky. Also attending were His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek, Barry Migyanko, and Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer.

Highlights of the meeting included the following.

  • Plans are being finalized for the post-Council pilgrimage to Alaska. Information will be forthcoming from FOS Tours and Travel.
  • Father Eric updated PCC members on contracts that still need to be signed. A mailing to vendors and exhibitors has been sent out; additional copies of contracts and related information are available on the OCA web site at
  • Registration forms will be mailed to all parishes in the next two weeks. The revised Strategic Plan will be released next week. This will be the first of the study documents in preparation for the AAC. The remaining study papers are still in process.
  • The Resolution Committee is ready to receive resolution proposals and possible amendments to the OCA Statute.
  • All stavropegial institutions and departments are in the process of assembling reports for the Council. All reports will be posted on the OCA web site in the near future. Hard copies of reports will not be mailed to parishes or delegates as a result. At the Council, notebooks and bags will be distributed, into which delegates may place resources downloaded from the web site.
  • PCC members agreed to engage an outside parliamentarian for the Council and a professional secretary to record minutes. Arrangements are being made to podcast the AAC.
  • Local Committee members gave an update on their work. They noted that a pan-Orthodox Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on the eve of the Council—Sunday, October 30. A new iconostasis for use at the Council is being constructed by members of a local parish.
  • Father Myron Manzuk updated PCC members on hotel arrangements. [Information on hotel and travel arrangements may be found at
  • The Council agenda was reviewed in detail. It was noted that a booth will be available for new clergy portraits, while another booth will be available for clergy and laity alike to “tell their stories” about the OCA, parish, or significant individuals or events in the life of the Church during the past 40 years.
  • A number of dioceses will hold their assemblies on Monday, October 31. A variety of other meetings and receptions are being finalized.
  • A formal dinner/banquet will be held on Thursday evening.
  • Two break-out sessions will be based on the Strategic Plan working groups, which will offer an opportunity for in-depth discussion.
  • The Wonderworking Sitka Icon of the Mother of God will be present throughout the Council, as will the relics of the North American Saints.