Fall Session of OCA Holy Synod Opens October 15

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will open the Fall Session of the Holy Synod of Bishops at the OCA Chancery here on Monday evening, October 15, 2001.

The Holy Synod is comprised of all diocesan bishops of the Orthodox Church in America under the presidency of the Metropolitan, who may also invite auxiliary bishops to attend.

Following an opening Service of Thanksgiving in Saint Sergius Chapel, members of the Holy Synod will hear the Address of Metropolitan Theodosius and reports by His Eminence, Archbishop Herman of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, who served as Temporary Administrator of the Orthodox Church in America during the four-month medical leave taken by Metropolitan Theodosius between May 1 and September 1, 2001. Holy Synod members will also hear the report of the OCA Chancellor, Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick.

On Tuesday, October 16, members of the Holy Synod will hear reports from the Board of Theological Education, the Office of Interfaith Relations and Ecumenical Witness, and other Church ministry units, boards and commissions. The hierarchs will also hear reports on the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas [SCOBA] and review the final text of an official Synodal Statement on Stem Cell Research and Cloning.

His Grace, Bishop Nikolai of Baltimore, Auxiliary to Metropolitan Theodosius, will offer a detailed report on the life of the Diocese of Alaska, which he has been overseeing since June 2001.

A demonstration of the OCA web site will open Wednesday’s session, which will follow the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Reports will also be offered by the Very Rev. Dimitri Oselinsky, OCA Treasurer; the Very Rev. Joseph Fester, Director of Development; and the Very Rev. John Dresko, who will present viable alternatives to the current every-member assessment method for funding the work of the OCA. The hierarchs will also be briefed on the status of the OCA pension fund and clergy life and health insurance programs, the Seminarian Internship and Education Church-wide initiatives, and the pastoral conference held at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary in June 2001.

On Thursday, October 18, the Holy Synod will close its fall session with a review of plans for the 13th All-American Council, slated to be held in Orlando, FL in July 2002 and for the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Metropolitan Theodosius’ service as Primate.

In addition to Metropolitan Theodosius, and Archbishop Herman, other members of the Holy Synod include His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania and the Bulgarian Diocese; His Eminence, Archbishop Peter of New York and New Jersey; His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South; His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate; His Grace, Bishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest; His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco and the West; and His Grace, Bishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada and Bishop Nikolai of Baltimore, Auxiliary to Metropolitan Theodosius.

His Grace Bishop Innocent of Hagerstown has been invited for the Episcopal Session.