Holy Trinity Church, Parma, OH, will be the site of the 17th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, a one-day gathering on Tuesday, November 13, 2012—the Feast of Saint John Chrysostom—at which a new Primate of the Orthodox Church in America will be elected.
“The Holy Synod of Bishops met in Detroit on August 13, 2012 and decided that they needed to hold the special Council as soon as possible so the work of the Church could move forward,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary. “It will be called the 17th All-American Council because it meets the statutory requirements as a special Council and due to the precedence of the 12th All American Sobor in 1965.” [Prior to 1970, such Councils were referred to as “Sobors.” Visit here for additional information.]
“The bishops expressed their desire to hold a low key and penitential gathering, keeping costs as low as possible for parishes, dioceses, and the OCA inasmuch as it constitutes an unbudgeted expense,” Father Eric added. “Many sites were looked and, it was decided to hold the special Council at Parma’s Holy Trinity Church because it is one of the few churches large enough to accommodate a large number of delegates and is centrally located, within reasonable driving distance for many parishes. Hotel space in the area is also quite reasonable.”
The Council will open with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, followed by brunch. An electoral plenary session will follow, after which the newly elected Primate will be installed prior to the closing session.
“Several hotels near the church will be used,” Father Eric said. “Information will be provided shortly with a special code for reserving rooms. We are looking into providing transportation from the hotels to the church and back.”
The registration process will be the same as that observed in the past, requiring clergy and lay delegates per Statute Article 3, Sections 2 and 6. The formal agenda, logistical information, instructions and registration forms will be provided on-line by September 15 in order to comply with the 60 day Statute requirements.
Members of the Preconciliar Commission, nominated by the Metropolitan Council and approved by the Holy Synod, include His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, chair; Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor; Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, Secretary and Council Supervisor; Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky; Archpriest Myron D. Manzuk, Council Manager; Ms. Melanie Ringa, Treasurer; and Mr. Peter Ilchuk, Logistics Manager. Clergy and lay chairs will be announced well in advance, as will chairs of the local committee and its members.
Space for observers will be limited. Additional information will be released in the coming weeks as final plans become available.