Hierarchs, Clergy and Lay Delegates begin arriving for OCA 13th All-American Council

Members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, together with clergy and lay delegates from across North America, began arriving at the Renaissance Orlando Resort here on Friday, July 19, 2002 for the 13th All-American Council.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, arrived at the hotel early Friday afternoon, where he was greeted by many clergy and laity. In the evening, he met with members of the Holy Synod of Bishops to review last-minute Council details.

On Saturday, July 20, several pre-Council workshops will be held at the hotel, while Metropolitan Theodosius and other members of the Holy Synod will attend Great Vespers on Saturday evening.

The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be concelebrated by Metropolitan Theodosius and membrs of the Holy Synod of Bishops on Sunday morning at the hotel, where a chapel has been set up and will serve as the venue for worship throughout the week-long convocation.

The 13th All-American Council, which will honor Metropolitan Theodosius on his 25th year as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will also be his last in that capacity. In the spring of 2002, he asked the Holy Synod of Bishops to honor his request to retire, effective Monday, July 22, the first full day of Council deliberations. After his primatial “State of the Church” address, delegates will elect a new Primate for the Church, the first such election in 25 years.

According to preliminary statistics, a record attendance is anticipated at the Council, with some 2000 hierarchs, clergy and lay delegates, observers, youth and young adult observers, consultants, and support staff registered.

Daily reports on Council activities and decisions will be posted on the OCA web site, http://www.oca.org, by OCA Communications Office staffers.