OCA Episcopacy to Participate in SCOBA-Sponsored Conference of North American Hierarchs

For the first time in several years, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas will host a gathering of all North American Orthodox hierarchs here May 1-3, 2001.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, together with the entire episcopacy of the Orthodox Church in America, plan to be in attendance.

Preliminary plans for the meeting indicate that the meeting will open on Tuesday evening, May 1, Metropolitan Theodosius will deliver the opening prayer, while His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America will deliver welcoming remarks and His Grace, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will provide introductions. His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese will introduce the keynote speaker, His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Archdiocese. His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarchate will lead evening prayers and meditation.

Two papers on themes yet to be announced will be delivered on Wednesday, May 2. Following opening prayers and meditation led by His Eminence, Archbishop Vsevelod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, His Grace, Bishop Antoun of the Antiochian Archdiocese will introduce the first speaker, His Grace, Bishop Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese. A second paper will be delivered by His Grace, Bishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada, who will be introduced by His Grace, Bishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest. Both papers will be discussed in small groups led by His Eminence, Metropolitan Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Chicago, His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, and His Grace, Bishop Basil of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

On Tuesday evening, the hierarchs will gather at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral for the celebration of Vespers by the Rev. John Tablarides, cathedral Dean. Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA Chancellor, will serve as Master of Ceremonies at the banquet which follows, at which Archbishop Demetrios is slated to speak.

On Thursday, May 3, the hierarchs will gather at the OCA’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral, where the Dean, the Very Rev. Constantine White, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. His Eminence, Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Boston, will deliver the homily.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the hierarchs will adopt and release a conference message and hold a press conference.

The gathering will be the first since SCOBA’s hierarchs issued their widely-circulated Pastoral Letter marking the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium.