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2008 Winter Meeting Minutes

Diocesan Meeting

St. George, West Roxbury

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Antiochian Women

Diocese of Worcester and New England

Opening Prayer – After the meeting was opened at 10:45 a.m. with a prayer led by Fr. Leonard Ferris, we had a moment of silence for Violet Robbat’s mother, Lillian Khouri, “May her memory be eternal”. There were 34 members present. In the absence of President Nora Walker, Vice President Delores F. George conducted the meeting.

Roll Call

Executive Board Present: Vice President – Delores George, Treasurer – Carol Swydan, Recording Secretary – Nancy Ghantous, Corresponding Secretary – Joan Hanna., Past President - Priscilla Goss

Absent: Advisor – V.Rev. Edward Hughes, President – Nora Walker

Coordinators Present: Public Relations – Pam Samara, Website – Melissa Nassiff , Membership – Margaret Wilhelm, Religious – Kh. Louise Ferguson

Absent : Humanitarian - Kh. Anna Hughes


Parish Delegates:

St. Mary, Cambridge - 3

St. John, Dedham - 4

St. George, Lawrence – 0

St. George, Lowell - 2

St. George, Norwood - 4

St. George, W. Roxbury - 4

St. George, Worcester - 1

St. Mary, Pawtucket - 4

St. Michael Cotuit - 0

All Saints Mission S. Weymouth - 0

St. Elias Mission Fall River - 0

Secretary’s ReportNancy GhantousMinutes of the Diocesan meeting at St. George Cathedral, Worcester , on October 13, 2007 were read by Nancy. A motion to accept was made by Salwa Khoury. The motion was carried after being seconded by Joyce Hanna.

Treasurer’s ReportCarol Swydan

Our checking account balance was reported, as well as the total in CD’s

A motion to accept the report was made by Martha Stewart. The motion was passed after being seconded by Katie Birtwell.

Spiritual Advisor’s Remarks Fr. Edward Hughes

Fr.Edward Hughes was unable to attend the meeting due to a funeral in his parish.

Vice President – Project ReportDelores George

Delores sent letters to the parishes with posters for the Retired Clergy Fund. They are to be hung on the bulletin boards during the women’s month of March to explain the 2007 – 2008 Antiochian Women’s Project for Retired Clergy fund. A second collection should be made for the Project during the Liturgy on one Sunday during the month of March. Carol Swydan suggested that each chapter President should give a sermonette during the Liturgy explaining the purpose of the Project. Carol added that March 30th, the Sunday of the Cross, would be a good day to have the collection for the Project.

Parish Life Conference: Salwa Khoury

Salwa reported the 2008 Annual Parish Life Conference will be held in Providence, RI from June 25th – June 29th. The AOCWNA luncheon will be held on Thursday, June 26, 2008 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The meeting will follow at 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. It will be $25.00 and she will pass out the menu at our next meeting. All of the churches will be receiving the information about the schedule during the week of February 9th. An Award Brunch has been added featuring a keynote speaker, Rev. Fr. Emanuel Chris, who will speak about marriage. She gave out a few of the schedules.

Coordinators and Committee Reports:

Website – Melissa Nassiff

Melissa reported the AOCWNA website has been totally reconstructed. She encouraged everyone to take a look at the new website. Members can contact her with new information to put on the site by using her e-mail address:

Public Relations – Pam Samara

Pam passed out beautiful copies of the newsletter for our Diocese of Worcester and New England region which should be copied and given to chapter members. She will be sending e-mails to each chapter with a colored copy of the newsletter attached. The presidents of each chapter can send information for their club’s events to her by mail (304 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545) or e-mail .

Religious – Kh. Louise Ferguson

Louise passed out copies of the new newsletter Sophia with a letter from Dianne O’Regan, the N.A.B. Religious Coordinator. It is to be copied and given out to chapter members so it can be read at the monthly meetings. St. George of Norwood will host the annual retreat on March 1, 2008. The speaker will be Deacon Saraphim Solof who will discuss the Orthodox Perspective on Bioethical Issues. She gave out copies of the registration form for members to fill-out and return so she can have an idea how many will be attending. The fee of $15.00 can be sent by check or paid at the door.

Membership Margaret Wilhelm

Margaret had no report.

Humanitarian – Kh. Anna Hughes

Anna was not present to give her report.

Old BusinessV.P. Delores read the Tentative Schedule to remind members of the important dates of the retreat and meetings for the 2008 – 2009 sessions.

New BusinessThe Mid-Winter meeting for N.A.B. in Pennsylvania was attended by Pam Samara. She has copies of hand outs she has collected at the meeting if anyone would like to see them. Metropolitan Philip reported the Project for Retired Clergy was doing so well this year that it could be finished this year. Carol Swydan added that it was suggested that we continue the Project for Retired Clergy for the full five years. The funds from the Project are being used to support 59 retired priests and 15 widows so far. Metropolitan Philip asked for suggestions for a new project.

Salwa Khoury introduced Carol Wartenberg as a guest speaker. Carol spoke about the “Sanctity of Life Conference” she had attended. It is held in response to the anniversary of Roe versus Wade to make people aware of the serious issues of abortion. According to the Sixth Commandment abortion is murder in the Orthodox religion. Non-denominational anti-abortion members have set up centers called Woman’s Concern Centers to help girls and women, who have crisis pregnancies, make the correct decision. Many couples are waiting to adopt children. Every January there is a “Sacred Gift of Life Sunday”. Father Joseph Purpura said women need to talk and work with teenage girls who may have problems. They can offer help to the youth counselor in their parish.

President’s RemarksSince President Nora Walker was unable to attend the meeting Vice President Delores read Nora’s written report.

A Motion to Adjourn was made at 11:50 by Martha Stewart and seconded by Gladys Laham.

Respectfully Submitted,

Nancy Ghantous, Secretary