OCA Preconciliar Commission reviews preliminary plans, theme for 16th All-American Council
SYOSSET, NY [OCA] — The Preconciliar Commission [PCC], charged with organizing the 16th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America October 31 through November 4, 2011, held its first meeting at the Chancery here during the first week of June 2010.v
The Council — the first to be hosted in the Diocese of the West — will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, WA, a Seattle suburb.
His Grace, Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West, chaired the meeting.
After reviewing the organizational timeline outlined in the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, PCC members established a detailed working agenda. Archpriest John Pierce, local co-chair, reported on the council site and preliminary logistical work undertaken by members of the local committees.
Members of the Strategic Plan Committee briefed the PCC on the particulars, status and plans for the Strategic Plan, including the anticipated presentation of the plan to dioceses and parishes before the Council and the integration of the plan into the Council theme and agenda.
PCC members approved the Council logo and theme — “The Household of Faith,” the closing passage of Galatians 6:1-10. The logo and theme had been approved by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah. One aspect of the theme will involve “telling our story” of the Church within the context of looking toward the future. Suggestions in this regard included production of a video and companion book detailing the OCA’s “story” through the eyes of the Church’s dioceses, parishes and individuals. It was also suggested that a booth be available at the Council at which individuals’ stories could be recorded. Archpriest Michael Oleksa and Ms. Eleana Silk will explore these and other related possibilities.
Other issues discussed included more effective ways to use breakout sessions; the integration of observers into Council proceedings and activities; Council reports and study materials; luncheon forums highlighting the work of the OCA’s departments and dioceses and various facets of the Strategic Plan; visits to regional sites of special interest to Orthodox Christian faithful, including the historic parish in Wilkinson, WA, which was consecrated by Saint Tikhon; and a pilgrimage to Sitka immediately after the Council closes.
PCC members noted that, due to Seattle’s relatively close proximity to Alaska, broad participation on the part of the Alaskan Diocese’s faithful will make it possible to fully highlight the OCA’s growing cultural diversity.
Other PCC members and advisors in attendance included Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, OCA Chancellor; Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary; Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer; Archpriest Myron Manzuk, Council Manager; Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky; Priests Victor Gorodenchuk and John Vitko; and Prof. David Drillock, Peter Ilchuk, Lisa Mikhalevsky, and Valerie Zahirsky.