Metropolitan Council Concludes Meeting


The meeting of the Orthodox Church in America’s Metropolitan Council was held at the Chancery here Wednesday and Thursday, September 28-29, 2011. In addition to members of the Metropolitan Council, members of the Lesser Synod of Bishops also participated.

A number of guests — including Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, advisor; Archpriest Matthew Tate, consultant on finance; Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, consultant to the Interim Chancellor; and Thaddeus Wojcik, General Counsel, were also present.

According to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, “the Metropolitan Council’s primary work involved going through all the reports to be presented at the 16th All-American Council as well as specific reports for the fall Metropolitan Council meeting.

Father Eric also noted the following specific Metropolitan Council actions.

In his opening remarks, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, addressed issues in the Church, emphasizing the need to look at financing of the Church. He also spoke on issues pertaining to the All-American Council and answered a number of questions on recent activities.

His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek, Interim Chancellor, reported on his work over the past five months. He discussed various personnel issues, Chancery operation, and the work of the Misconduct Advisory Committee. In a related matter, a report by Committee members provided information on the status of policy revisions and updates on current cases.

Father Eric reported on Chancery personnel issues, various meetings, issues of insurance coverage, archives, property maintenance, and planning for the 16th All-American Council. There was lengthy report on the new website and new communications efforts.

Father Matthew updated Council members on the Finance Committee’s recent visits to diocesan treasurers. He discussed various concerns and proposed finance options. He also spoke of a plan to bring all treasurers together for a meeting on funding for the next two years and discussed a number of proposals for presentation at the 16th All-American Council.

Dr. Dmitri Solodow gave a report in executive session on the work of the Crisis Management Committee and addressed ongoing issues.

Also, in executive session, Archpriest Theodore Bobosh gave an update on ongoing ethics investigations.

Protodeacon Michael Meyers gave the Charity Committee report and updated Council members on disbursements.

Protodeacon Peter Danilchick gave report on Council development and outlined a plan to for the revision of the Council Handbook and future retreat plans.

Priest David Garretson gave a report on human resource issues. In executive session, a nominee for the position of Chancellor was presented. The nominee will be present at the meeting of the Holy Synod of Bishops during the first week of October for appointment, as provided for in the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, Article 2, Section 7M. After approval, the nominee will be announced.

Dr. Solodow gave a report from the Internal Governance Committee and spoke of the triennial review of the Best Practices policy.

Priest John Vitko gave a report on the Strategic Plan and shared plans for the All-American Council and for implementing decisions after the Council.

Gregory Nescott, chair of the Legal Committee, led an executive session, during which various ongoing issues were discussed in depth.

The implementation of the recommendations of the Special Investigation Committee approved at the 15th All-American Council, presented by Dr. Solodow, was discussed.

Lambrides gave an external audit report and recommendations concerning the new policy on the various restricted accounts due to a new New York state law governing non-profits.

John Sedor provided an update on the Pension Plan and various initiatives he will propose to the Holy Synod of Bishops.

Father Eric reported on the 16th All-American Council, paying particular attention to its organization, liturgical service schedule, and open items. A discussion on proposed resolutions and the agenda ensued.

Protodeacon Peter reviewed the work of the Metropolitan Council during the past three years. An extensive discussion on priorities and focus for the upcoming year was held.

Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer, gave an extensive financial report, in which finances for the past six months and three years were presented. There was an extensive discussion on the 2012 budget and implications. Various budget scenarios were examined and discussed.

Priest Gleb McFatter reported on a plan for financial investments. Plans call for presenting a clear investment strategy which clearly shows who and what the OCA is investing in.

Finally, according to Father Eric, a written report from the internal auditors, detailing their work during the past six months, was presented. There were no issues found.