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Notice of Special Convention - May 25, 2004


May 26th, 2004



To:  Venerable Hierarchs, All Reverend Clergy, Archdiocesan Trustees, Parish Councils, and

       Faithful of our Archdiocese

Greetings and Blessings in the Name of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ!

This letter serves as the official notice of our Special Convention of 2004.  This Special Convention will be held at the Hilton Pittsburgh, Gateway Center, Downtown, from July 16-18, 2004, and is being hosted by the parish of St. George, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The purpose of this Special Convention is to implement the self-rule status of our Archdiocese.

We would like to direct your attention to the following important matters:

1.  All parishes and missions are required to send official delegates to vote in behalf of your community.  All parishes and missions are entitled to one vote for each one hundred baptized persons, or fraction of one hundred that exceeds fifty persons.  The official Census Report that you submitted as of December 31st, 2003 is used to determine this number.  You must submit the names of your official delegates to the Department of Statistics and Credentials, using the form that was sent to you in early May, 2004.  If necessary, you may assign your votes by proxy using the proxy forms which have already been sent to you by the Department of Statistics and Credentials.  All delegate forms and proxy forms must be returned by June 30, 2004.

2.  All Reverend Clergy and delegates must be in Pittsburgh no later than Thursday evening, July 15th, 2004.  This will insure that we can begin our General Assembly promptly at 10:00 a.m. sharp on Friday July 16th, 2004.

3.  The current Archdiocese assessment is $30.00 per baptized Orthodox person, regardless of age (except for tithing communities who are contributing 10% of their budgets).  In order for your community to be seated at this Special Convention, all of the following must be in order:

          (a)  You must have paid your entire 2003 assessment and Special Trays in full

          (b)  Your 2004 assessment and Special Tray payments must be up to date as of the


          (c)   You must have submitted a valid Census Report as of December 31st, 2003

4.  It is the sacred obligation of the clergy, and lay delegates to attend this Special Convention.  It is also the sacred duty of every Parish Council to pay the expenses for their pastor to attend this Special Convention.

5.  A Special Convention is called for a very specific purpose.  As such, no resolutions will be accepted either in advance, or from the Convention floor.

6.  The following items are enclosed with this letter:

          (a)  A Schedule for the Special Convention

          (b)  An agenda for the Special General Assembly

          (c)  A list of names and biographies for the candidates for the office of Diocesan

                Bishop.  Your delegates will vote to nominate candidates who will be submitted to

                the Local Synod of this Archdiocese for election of new bishops.

          (d)  An Advance Registration Form for those attending the Convention

      Please note that a copy of the Archdiocese Constitution showing the proposed

      Amendments required to implement self-rule will be sent to you by mid-June, after it is

      Approved by the Board of Trustees.  Your delegates will be asked to vote to approve this

      New Constitution.

7.   Every person attending this Special Convention will be asked to pay a special registration fee of $20.00 in order to help us cover the expenses for this Special Convention.  You will be issued a registration badge, which will be required in order to enter any of the Convention events.  There will not be much time at the Convention for the registration process, so we are asking you to help us by registering in advance.  Please follow the instructions on the enclosed “Advance Registration Form”, and send the form and your payment as soon as possible.

This Special Convention is an historic event in the life of this God protected Archdiocese.  We urge you to properly prepare yourselves, and to participate fully in the work which must be done.

Praying that our Lord will bless your preparations, and your travel to Pittsburgh, I remain

Your father in Christ,

Metropolitan PHILIP
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America



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