Members of the Preconciliar Commission finalized plans for the theme, logo and general direction of the 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America at their second meeting, held at the Chancery here April 7-8, 2014.
The 18th AAC is slated to convene in Atlanta, GA July 20-24, 2015.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, opened the two-day meeting by celebrating the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at Saint Sergius Chapel on Monday, April 7, the Feast of the Repose of Saint Tikhon and the Metropolitan’s name day. The AAC theme—“How to Expand the Mission”—is derived from and inspired by the opening address delivered by Saint Tikhon at the First All-American Sobor, held in Mayfield, PA in 1907. [See oca.org/history-archives/aacs/the-1st-all-american-sobor for additional information on this historic event.]
According to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, Commission members “discussed major AAC activities, which will include workshops, reflections from each Diocese, and departmental offerings designed to focus on the work of expanding the Church’s mission in North America. Two major decision components involving revisions to the OCA Statute and finances will be the focus of the AAC’s plenary sessions.”
The Statute Revision Committee has been working diligently on a draft revision of the Statute, which will be released for general review by early fall 2014, “allowing for diocesan assemblies and parishes to discuss the revisions and offer input to the committee for final revisions,” said Father Eric. “Revisions will also be discussed at a series of proposed regional town hall meetings prior to the AAC.”
With regard to finances, Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer and the diocesan chancellors and treasurers are developing a new financial plan for the OCA, as mandated by delegates to the 16th All-American Council. Their proposals also will be released for commentary and discussion in the fall.
In related matters
- The AAC website will be launched in July 2014—one year before the Council opens. It will provide regularly updated information on Atlanta, a commentary on the AAC, preparatory resources, and feature for discussion on the Statute revision and financial plans. “It is also planned to make an internet simulcast available throughout the Council,” said Father Eric.
- Council registration and voting, allowing for greater interaction at the AAC, will be available electronically. Companies offering these services are being explored. AAC registration will open in January 2015.
- PCC members established a working budget and assessment scales, which will be presented to the Holy Synod of Bishops for approval. AAC assessment levels will be announced in the summer of 2014, thereby enabling parishes to budget accordingly.
- Beginning in April 2015, final AAC resources and related materials, including resolution request forms, will be made available and posted on-line.
- PCC members also considered potential speakers and reviewed plans for the AAC youth program and activities. Priest Benjamin Tucci will be soliciting volunteers to assist in the youth program and will release requirements and training information in the near future. It is anticipated that the youth will offer a presentation at the Council’s closing plenary session.
- The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA] will hold its annual convention on the weekend before the AAC. Additional information will be forthcoming.
His Grace, Bishop Mark of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, chairs the PCC. In addition to Fathers Eric and Benjamin and Ms. Ringa, other PCC members include Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor; Archpriest Myron D. Manzuk, Council Manager; Carol Deerson, representing the FOCA; and Peter Ilchuk, Logistics Manager.
- General background information on the AAC is available at oca.org/history-archives/aacs.
- Links to information on the 18th ACC released to date is available at oca.org/history-archives/aacs/the-18th-all-american-council.
- A gallery of photos from the April 7-8 meeting may be viewed on the OCA web site and Facebook page.