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2007 Fall Meeting Minutes

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Antiochian Women

Diocese of Worcester and New England


Opening Prayer - The meeting was opened at 10:45 a.m. with the Antiochian Women’s Prayer led by Fr. Edward Hughes and the singing of the Troparian of the Dormition. There were 29 members present.

Roll Call

Executive Board Present : Advisor – V.Rev. Edward Hughes, President – Nora Walker, Vice President – Delores George, Treasurer – Carol Swydan, Recording Secretary – Nancy Ghantous, Corresponding Secretary – Joan Hanna.

Absent: Past President - Priscilla Goss

Coordinators: Public Relations – Pam Samara, Website – Melissa Nassiff , Humanitarian – Kh. Anna Hughes,

Membership – Margaret Wilhelm, Religious – Kh. Louise Ferguson


Parish Delegates:

St. Mary, Cambridge - 1

St. John, Dedham - 3

St. George, Lawrence – 2

St. George, Lowell - 3

St. George, Norwood - 1

St. George, W. Roxbury - 2

St. George, Worcester - 4

St. Mary, Pawtucket - 2

St. Michael Cotuit - 0

All Saints Mission S. Weymouth - 0

St. Elias Mission Fall River - 0

Secretary’s ReportNancy Ghantous

Minutes of the Diocesan meeting at the Parish Life Conference in Plymouth, MA on June 28 were read. A motion to accept was made by Joan Hanna and seconded by Lillian Khoury.

Treasurer’s ReportCarol Swydan

The balance in our checking account and CD's was reported.

A motion to accept the report was made by Katie Birtwell and seconded by Joan Hanna.

Spiritual Advisor’s Remarks Fr. Edward Hughes

Fr. Ed spoke of the importance of mothers and grandmothers in teaching their children and grandchildren about the Antiochian Orthodox faith. Parents and grandparents should tell their children and grandchildren what to do. Children absorb their ideas and values when they are infants at home. Mothers have a duty to keep Christian homes. He gave examples of St. Sofia, St. Thekla, St. Barbara and St. Kathryn, who were brave single minded women who knew what was right and with the power of God were able to guide their families and sacrifice their lives for their faith. President Nora thanked Father for his message.

Vice President – Project ReportDelores George

Delores read a letter from the new President of N.A.B., Cindy Nimey, in which she thanked everyone for their work to raise funds for the Retired Clergy fund, which as of July 2007 totals $404,058.00. Delores then read a report of the N.A.B. July 2007 Conference in Montreal written by former President Priscilla Goss.

Coordinators and Committee Reports:

Website – Melissa Nassiff

Melissa reported the AOCWNA website has been totally revised. She will be updating our information when the site has been reconstructed. Members can contact her with new information to put on the site by using her e-mail address, which was provided.

Public Relations – Pam Samara

Pam passed out copies of the Fall 2007 DIAKONIA, which is published three times a year. Each chapter president should copy them and pass out to their members. She is publishing a newsletter for our Diocese of Worcester and New England region which should be copied and given to chapter members. The presidents of each chapter can send information for their club’s events to her by mail or e-mail.

Religious – Kh. Louise Ferguson

Louise read a letter from the new N.A.B. religious coordinator, Diane O’Regan. Louise will be publishing a monthly newsletter called “Sofia” in which a Saint will be highlighted. It is to be copied and given out to chapter members. St. George of Norwood will host the annual on March 1, 2008. The speaker will be Deacon Saraphim Solof who will discuss the Orthodox Perspective on Bioethical Issues.

Membership Margaret Wilhelm

Nora read a letter from Jaimey Issac the new N.A.B. membership coordinator. Margaret will make copies of the N.A.B. correspondence and send to each chapter.

Humanitarian – Kh. Anna Hughes

Anna was attending another meeting at the time and could not give her report.

Old BusinessPresident Nora Walker explained the annual 10% tithing donation given to a charity that is chosen by the members. It is 10% of the amount in the region’s checking account. She described the purposes of the I.O.C.C. (International Orthodox Christian Charity), the Al Kafaat (a rehabilitation program for special needs children in Lebanon) and the O.C.F. (Orthodox Christian Fellowship). A motion was made by Salwa Khoury to send our 10% tithing to O.C.F. specifying that it is to be used for traveling. It was seconded by Carol Swydan. Salwa then amended the motion to read that we give 10% tithing to the O.C.F. (Orthodox Christian Fellowship) without specifying what it is to be used for. A motion was then made to round up the amount from $403.13 to $405.00. A vote was taken with 13 members approved and 3 opposed.

New BusinessSalwa Khoury announced the Parish Life Conference for 2008 will be hosted by St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church of Pawtucket, R.I. on June 26th through June 29th 2008. It will be held at the Marriott Hotel, Providence, Rhode Island. Marilyn Robbat questioned the schedule of the Ladies’ luncheon on Thursday. Carol Swydan said this year’s schedule was made so members could be free to attend plans on Friday.

President Nora Walker passed out a CD entitled “A Guide to Making Holy bread’ for each chapter to show at their meetings. A religious quiz was passed out to be brought back to the next meeting. Marilyn suggested inviting women from other Orthodox churches to local chapter meetings to see what we do as AOCWNA members. Nora read the schedule of our meetings for the 2007-2009 sessions. She passed out a list entitled “Antiochian Women Purposes and Pitfalls” which also explains the structure of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

Carol Swydan reported the collection for the luncheon was $215.00.

President’s RemarksPresident Nora Walker presented an essay entitled “Bishop’s Crusade Toward Orthodox Unity”. It asks the questions of “How can we form a Pan-Orthodox union including all Orthodox ethnic groups? How do we identify ourselves as Orthodox Christians? What strategies can we use to attract the younger generation to participate in church services?”

A Motion to Adjourn was made at 1:50 by Laurie Kurker and seconded by Linda Bowab. Fr. Ed led us in a prayer.

Respectfully Submitted,

Nancy Ghantous, Secretary