On December 29, 2008, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America met at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, DC. Members of the Holy Synod were in Washington for the Enthronement of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, on Sunday, December 28.
The first order of business at the meeting was a discussion of the preparation for the strategic plan that was mandated by the OCA’s 15th All-American Council in Pittsburgh, PA, November 10 to 13, 2008. The hierarchs heard a presentation from Metropolitan Council members Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, Deacon John Zarras, and Dr. Dmitri Solodow, on possible processes for developing the plan. In his comments, Metropolitan Jonah stressed that strategic planning must be carried out under the initiative and guidance of the Holy Synod, but that it is critical that the planning process also involve the Metropolitan Council and the Church at large. The Synod will further discuss the development of the strategic plan at a meeting in mid-January in Mexico City, coinciding with the Enthronement of His Grace, Bishop Alejo of Mexico City and the Exarchate of Mexico, and also at their coming retreat in February.
Other business at the December 29 meeting included a progress report on St. Tikhon’s Monastery, Book Store and Seminary, and the appointment of the Lesser Synod. For the year 2009, members of the Lesser Synod will include, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, His Eminence, Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest, and His Grace, Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West.
A number of episcopal candidates were also reviewed at the meeting. The discussion of possible episcopal elections will be continued at the Synod’s 2009 spring session, when candidates, and elections are normally considered.