The members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America will hold their Spring Session from Tuesday, April 17 through Friday, April 20, 2018 at Saint Sergius Chapel at the OCA Chancery.
The gathering will open with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the “Day of Rejoicing” on Tuesday by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, after which he will deliver his report to the Holy Synod and present drafts of documents slated to be released to the Church in anticipation of the 19th All-American Council [AAC].
The Holy Synod will review and offer its blessing for the final agenda, schedule, Statute Amendments and Resolutions for the Council, slated to convene in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018.
Other agenda items include the annual review of awards for clergy and lay persons and the canonically required annual review of the state of the dioceses, according to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary.
“Other reports and discussions include those of the Chancellor, Secretary, Treasurer, Legal Counsel and the Office of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations,” Father Eric added. “Members of the Department of Liturgical Music and the Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry also will meet with the Holy Synod to update its members on their work. The Synod will review and bless the proceedings of the 2018 Spring Session of the Metropolitan Council and meet with the seminary deans.”
A report will be offered by the Office of Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations [ORSMA] on the implementation of the Policies, Standards and Procedures of the Orthodox Church in America on Sexual Misconduct [PSP] in parishes, institutions and dioceses. An update on the work of the committee on the Spiritual Abuse Resolution, adopted after the 18th AAC, also will be given.
Among other matters to be considered by the Holy Synod is a review of candidates for ordination through the Diaconal Vocations Program, as well as clergy cases requiring canonical review. Plans for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the granting of Autocephaly and the Canonization of Saint Herman of Alaska in 2020 also will be discussed and committee to oversee the events will be established.
The members of the Holy Synod also will host a dinner with 2018 seminary graduates and discuss with them expectations on parish life.
The Holy Synod of Bishops is the supreme canonical authority in the Orthodox Church in America. Chaired by the Metropolitan, the Synod includes as voting members all diocesan bishops.