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2008 Spring Meeting Minutes

Diocesan Meeting

St. George, Lowell

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Antiochian Women

Diocese of Worcester and New England


Opening Prayer – The meeting was opened at 10:45 with the Antiochian Women’s prayer led by President Nora Walker. There were 25 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,

Absent: Corresponding Secretary – Joan Hanna., Past President - Priscilla Goss

Coordinators Present: Public Relations – Pam Samara,

Absent : Humanitarian - Kh. Anna Hughes, Website – Melissa Nassiff , Membership –Kh. Margaret Wilhelm,

Religious – Kh. Louise Ferguson


Parish Delegates:

St. Mary, Cambridge - 3

St. John, Dedham - 2

St. George, Lawrence – 1

St. George, Lowell - 4

St. George, Norwood - 0

St. George, W. Roxbury - 1

St. George, Worcester - 1

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 St. George, West Roxbury on February 9, 2008 were read by Nancy. A motion to accept was made by Louise Homsy. The motion was carried after being seconded by Mary Ellen Mabardy.

Treasurer’s ReportCarol Swydan

Our checking account balance was reported, along with the total in CD’s. A motion to accept the report was made by Louise Ansara. The motion was passed after being seconded by Violet Robbat.

Parish Life Conference: Salwa Khoury

Since Salwa was unable to attend the meeting, papers for the 2008 Annual Parish Life Conference which will be held in Providence, RI from June 25th – June 29th were given out by President Nora Walker. The AOCWNA luncheon will be $25.00 and registration $10.00. It will be held on Thursday, June 26, 2008 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. followed by the meeting at 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. She asked everyone to make reservations as early as possible so they will know how many will be attending. Violet Robbat put into motion that Carol Swydan inquire if the Conference would give AOCWNA the price of $200.00 instead of $250.00 for a full page ad in the Parish Life Conference AD Book. The motion was passed after being seconded by Laurice Kurker.

Vice President – Project ReportDelores George

Vice President Delores George read her report. She asked that each chapter send her a report describing their Project and the amount of the Collection proceeds so that she can submit them to Violet Robbat, Vice President/NABProject. The treasurer of each chapter should send the checks for the proceeds from their chapters’ Projects to Treasurer Carol Swydan with a cover letter explaining how the money was collected before May 1, 2008.

Coordinators and Committee Reports:

Website – Melissa Nassiff

President Nora read Melissa’s report because she was unable to attend. She encouraged everyone to take a look at the News and Events page where Photos from the February 9th winter meeting and the Secretary’s Minutes have been added. There are photos and a brief report from the Pre-Lenten Retreat. 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 copies of the newsletter for our Diocese of Worcester and New England which should be copied and given to chapter members. She has sent 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

Since Kh. Louise was unable to attend the meeting Carol Swydan read her report. During the annual Pre-Lenten Retreat held at St. George of Norwood on March 1, 2008 the speaker, Deacon Seraphim Solof discussed the Orthodox Perspective on Bioethical Issues. The Retreat was attended by 35 people despite the snow. Carol suggested that we choose guest speakers from the New England area for our future retreats as we have any number of excellent speakers in our archdiocese.

Membership – Kh. Margaret Wilhelm

Marilyn Robbat has replaced Kh. Margaret Wilhelm as Membership Coordinator. She got everyone’s attention by passing nails to each member and a paper explaining the purpose of the nails is to remind us of Jesus’s love for us each time we look at it. We must not forget Jesus was held to the cross not by nails-but by love. She suggested each chapter review copies of Guidelines for Increasing Membership in the Antiochian Women. Suggestions for programs to bring in new members were outlined on copies of an e-mail from the Chapter in Worcester.

Humanitarian – Kh. Anna Hughes

Gladys Laham has replaced Kh. Anna Hughes as Humanitarian Coordinator temporarily. She reported our annual charity project this year will be Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI. Nora Walker and Gladys will determine what will be the appropriate donations for the children who are patients at the hospital. Suggestions were given for teddy bears, coloring books, puzzles, or games, etc. Gladys will send letters to each chapter explaining what they can donate and that each chapter can spend the amount they wish to on items.

Old Business

President Nora Walker reviewed the tentative dates for the 2008-2009 meetings. Dates will be coordinated with the Youth Group, Clergy and Fellowship. They are as follows: 9/20/08 - St. George, Lawrence; 1/24/09 - St. John, Dedham; 5/2/09 -St. Mary, Cambridge; 6/25/09 - Parish Life Conference

N.A.B. Report – Violet Robbat, Vice President of N.A.B, thanked everyone for the phenomenal amounts of donations from each chapter for the Retired Clergy Project. The goal was originally $500,000 to be raised in five years. Metropolitan Philip will decide if we have reached our goal at the end of the fourth year. The nine chapters in the Diocese of Worcester and New England have raised proportionately more than all the other Dioceses.

Spiritual Advisor’s Remarks Fr. Edward Hughes

Fr. Hughes explained that in the Orthodox Church, March is a special Ladies’ month because of the Akathist Feast Day, which is the most important feast of the Virgin Mary through out the year. It is celebrated the first Sunday of lent to proclaim the return of Icons that had been burned and destroyed during an Islamic movement in Asia Minor in 600 B.C. The feast of the Annunciation was moved to the time of lent to celebrate the freedom to venerate icons after centuries of denial.

New BusinessNora Walker asked for members to attend the N.A.B conference which will be held July 25 – 27, 2008. If anyone is interested please contact Nora or Carol Swydan. A new Humanitarian Coordinator is needed for the 2008-2009 session. In order to increase our membership she suggested that at the June Luncheon each member be inspired to bring a guest for their Chapter Meeting in September.

President’s RemarksPres. Nora Walker

Nora read her President’s Report. Then she passed out one test for word recognition and another for matching religious terms. She rewarded all members with lovely candles just for participating

A Motion to Adjourn was made at 1:30 by Mary Ellen Mabardy and seconded by Laurice Kurker. Fr. Hughes led us in a prayer.

clip_image004Respectfully Submitted,

Nancy Ghantous, Secretary