OCA’s 16th All-American Council To Convene in Western Diocese

March 12, 2010  []

SYOSSET, NY [OCA] — For the first time in the history of the Orthodox Church in America, an All-American Council will be held in the Diocese of the West.

“After exploring a dozen cities across North America, Seattle, WA was confirmed by members of the Holy Synod of Bishops and Metropolitan Council as the site of the 16th All-American Council, October 31 through November 4, 2011,” said Archpriest Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary. “A major consideration in the site selection was the desire to garner full participation by clergy and lay delegates from the Diocese of Alaska. In past years, travel costs from Alaska to Councils held in east coast and midwest US cities prohibited most Alaskan parishes from sending participants.”

All sessions will be held at the Hyatt Regency in suburban Bellevue, WA.

Father Eric, accompanied by Archpriest Myron Manzuk, Council manager, and Peter Ilchuk, logistics manager, visited the Hyatt Regency in February to make a final assessment of the venue and meet with members of the local planning committee, co-chaired by Archpriest John Pierce and Lynnell Brunswig. Dmitri Pletz and Michelle Mewhinney-Angel will serve as local treasurer and secretary respectively.

“The local committee has started organizing working groups, establishing local accounts and contacts, and overseeing ongoing site preparation,” Father Eric added. “Initial response from the region’s parishes has been quite enthusiastic.”

His Grace, Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West, will chair the Preconciliar Commission, which is responsible for selecting the Council theme and developing its agenda and related materials and resources. The Commission will meet for the first time shortly after Pascha 2010.

According to the organizational timeline mandated by the Statue of the Orthodox Church in America,

  • the Preconciliar Commission will publish the proposed AAC agenda, notices and final arrangements on August 24, 2011.
  • the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council will approve the final agenda at their fall session in September 2011. All proposed changes to the Statute, resolutions, and related actions must be submitted by this date.
  • the Chancery will issue delegate credentials and certification and distribute Council reports on September 30, 2011.

In addition to plenary sessions, the AAC schedule will include liturgical services, workshops, displays and exhibits, and related activities. Other Council-related events, including two possible pilgrimages to Sitka and select sites in the Pacific Northwest, are in the planning stage.

In addition to Bishop Benjamin; Fathers Tosi, Manzuk, and Pierce; and Mr. Ilchuk, other members of the Preconciliar Commission include Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, Chancellor; Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer; Priests Victor Gorodenchuk, Alexander Rentel, and John Vitko; and Prof. David Drillock, Lisa Mikhalevsky, and Valerie Zahirsky. Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky will serve as a consultant, while Archpriest John Matusiak, OCA Media Coordinator, will oversee press and public relations and communications efforts.

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