Skip to Navigation

Charles Ajalat to Speak at Summer 2009 Conference

Summer Conference 2009 to focus on the shaping of Orthodoxy in America

OCA Chancellor Archpriest Alexander Garklavs (center) will deliver a public keynote at 7:30 p.m. on June 18th on the campus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, to commence the 2009 Summer Conference, which has as its theme “The Council and the Tomos: Twentieth-century Landmarks towards a Twenty-first-century Church.” [Photo courtesy of]

[Yonkers, NY St. Vladimir’s Seminary] Mr. Charles Ajalat, Chancellor of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA), will be a principal speaker at the 2009 summer conference to be held at St. Vladimir’s Seminary (SVS) June 18–20, 2009 for clergy and laity. The conference has as its overall theme “The Council and the Tomos: Twentieth-century Landmarks towards a Twenty-first-century Church” and will focus on the formation of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and its future. Mr. Ajalat will be discussing the interface of the OCA with the multi-jurisdictional Orthodox Christian communities in the United States and Canada, and the common future of Orthodox Christians in North America.

Conference speakers will focus on two watersheds that have shaped the Orthodox Church in America (OCA): the All-Russian Council (Sobor) of 1917–18 and the Tomos of Autocephaly granted in 1970 by the Russian Orthodox Church to its daughter church, the OCA, then known as the “North American Diocese.” As well, conference speakers will address the significance of the OCA’s presence in North America, and paths and possibilities open to it.

The conciliar nature of the Orthodox Church, expressed so powerfully in the Russian word "sobornost," was an important theological theme at the All-Russian Council. The 2009 summer conference will re-address that theme, to enrich current reflection on church structure and administration, which remain areas of especial interest to all Orthodox Christians in America.

The V. Rev. Alexander Garklavs, Chancellor of the OCA and SVS alumnus (’82, ‘93), will deliver a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. on June 18, 2009 to commence the summer conference. He will speak about the pre-history of the All-Russian Council, especially about related events in the North American Diocese during that period. At the conference closing, Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the OCA and SVS alumnus (’85, ’88), will speak about the vision for the OCA.

To register and view the notable speakers’ roster and the schedule for the conference, visit, “Upcoming Events.” Registration for the conference closes June 1, 2009. Questions about the summer conference may be addressed to