76th National FOCA convention opens near Harrisburg, PA

— The 76th annual National Convention of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA] opened at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center here on Thursday, August 29, 2002 with the
celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.

National FOCA President Sandra Fedorko welcomed delegates from chapters across North America at the opening plenary session on Friday, August 30.

According to Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, the mood at the convention opening was “extremely enthusiastic and positive.”

“There is a great deal of excitement about the recently completed 13th All-American Council, about the OCA Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries’ efforts to identify youth in each deanery and diocese to participate in national and local youth events, and the Church’s missionary efforts,” said Father Kondratick. “I sense a renewed sense of commitment to ongoing cooperation with the Church’s efforts, especially in the areas of mission, youth and lay ministry, and stewardship.”

A highlight of the convention will be the presence of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, who retired in July. According to Mr. Nicholas Ressetar, Convention co-chairman, “Metropolitan Theodosius was the national spiritual leader of the FOCA and a life member of the organization, while Metropolitan Herman, who serves as the FOCA’s new spiritual leader, has been active in the fellowship for many, many years.”

Metropolitans Herman and Theodosius, together with His Grace, Bishop Nikon of Baltimore and numerous clergy, will concelebrate the convention’s Sunday Divine Liturgy.

In honor of Metropolitan Theodosius’ retirement, the video tribute titled “The More Excellent Way” will be shown during the convention Grand Banquet. The video, which highlight’s Metropolitan Theodosius’ 25 years of service as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, made its debut at the 13th All-American Council, held in Orlando, FL July 21-26, 2002.

Established as the Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs [FROC] in Pittsburgh, PA in 1927, the organization adopted its present name in the 1990s when it was designated an official arm of the Church by the OCA’s Holy Synod of Bishops.

The FOCA maintains senior and junior chapters in nearly 200 parishes across North America.

For further details on the convention, log on to the FOCA web site at www.76FOCA.org.