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2009 June Meeting Minutes

Opening Prayer – The meeting was opened at 12:00 p.m. with a prayer led by Bishop Antoun and the singing of the Troparian of the Dormition. There were 39 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, Past President - Priscilla Goss

Absent: Corresponding Secretary – Joan Hanna

Coordinators Present: Website – Melissa Nassiff, Public Relations – Pam Samara, Membership – Priscilla Goss,

Humanitarian – Mary Ellen Mabardy

Absent: Religious – Kh. Louise Ferguson

Parish Delegates:

St. Mary, Cambridge - 4

St. John, Dedham - 1

St. George, Lawrence – 4

St. George, Lowell - 3

St. George, Norwood - 1

St. George, W. Roxbury - 4

St. George, Worcester - 2

St. Mary, Pawtucket - 1

St. Michael, Cotuit - 0

All Saints Mission, S. Weymouth - 1

St. Elias Mission, Fall River - 0

Emmanuel, Warren - 0

St. Stephen, Springfield - 0

Secretary’s ReportNancy Ghantous 

The Minutes of the Diocesan meeting at St. Mary, Cambridge, MA on May 2, 2009 were distributed for everyone to read. A motion to accept the minutes was made by Martha Stewart. 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. Copies of the treasurer’s report were distributed for everyone to read. A motion to accept the report was made by Laurice Ansara. The motion was passed after being seconded by Violet Robbat. 

Vice President – Project ReportDelores George

Vice President Delores George reported the total collection for the 2008-2009 Children with Special Needs Project was $12,973.00. The funds have been sent to the N.A.B. A motion to accept the report was made by Gladys Laham. The motion was passed after being seconded by Helen Haddad.

NA.B. Report - Violet Robbat, Vice President/NABProject

Violet thanked President Nora Walker and the officers for their two years of service. The N.A.B. thanked our Diocese for the funds that were raised for the Children with Special Needs Project 2009. Diane O’Regan has recorded 500 DVD’s featuring stories from the Sophia Newsletter about the lives of famous Orthodox women saints. They will be distributed for purchase by individuals and Chapters. The Antiochian Women will celebrate their 35th Anniversary at the annual Archdiocese meeting of the N.A.B. in July, 2009 in Palm Springs, CA.   AOCWNA, which stands for Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America was founded in 1973.  The name was later changed to Antiochian Women in order to include members who live in Canada.  In the beginning there were 63 Chapters out of approximately 99 that participated in our first project, Continuing Pastoral Education and Spiritual Vocation, raising a total of $8,666.05. Today we have a total of 267 chapters and growing, throughout our Archdiocese. As of 2008 a combined total of $2,249,932.00 has been raised for various Annual Projects over the past 35 years.

Coordinators and Committee Reports:

WebsiteMelissa Nassiff

The website has been updated with the Calendar, News and Events, and the Newsletter at the top of the list. A counter has been added to the site to tabulate how many hits there are to the site. She encouraged everyone to look at the new improvements to the website. Members can contact her with new information to put on the site by using her e-mail address:

Public RelationsPam Samara

Pam passed out copies of the newsletter for our Diocese of Worcester and New England. She has sent e-mails to each chapter with a colored copy of the newsletter attached. She asked that each Chapter send her the dates of their annual fund raisers. Anyone can send information for their club’s events to her by mail (304 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545) or e-mail . Please give Pam you e-mail if you are not included on the list or if you have changed you e-mail. 

ReligiousKh. Louise Ferguson

Since Louise was absent Nancy Ghantous distributed a written report on the 2009 Lenten Retreat presentation of Dr.Elizabeth H. Prodromou entitled “Orthodox Christian Unity: What, Why, Why Not Yet?”

HumanitarianMary Ellen Mabardy

Mary Ellen has received donations for our 2009 Humanitarian project “Women’s Lunch Place” from each Chapter. They will be used to provide a safe, comfortable daytime shelter, nutritious food and services for women who are homeless or poor. Louise Kurker received a thank you card from a recipient of our donation to the Homeless Shelter for Women Veterans.

Membership Priscilla Goss

Priscilla did not have any current events to report on.

Corresponding Secretary – Joan Hanna

Joan Hanna was absent.

Spiritual Advisor’s Remarks Fr. Edward Hughes

Bishop Antoun speaking on be half of Fr. Hughes, brought a blessing from METROPOLITAN PHILLIP who was preparing for a SCOBA conference and could not attend this years Parish Life Conference. Bishop Antoun was remembering when he was ordained 50 years ago at St. George Orthodox Boston by METROPOLITAN KURBAN. With his mother’s encouragement, Bishop Antoun joined the Monastery in 1945 and studied to become a priest. In 1973 Bishop Antoun became the first Spiritual Advisor of AOCWNA. The Ladies are the back bone of the Archdiocese volunteering their services to raise funds for special projects each year. For example the Antiochian Women raised $600,000.00 which has been invested as an endowment that benefits orphanages all over the world annually. METROPOLITAN PHILLIP appreciates everything the Antiochian Women have done to help Teen SOYO care for the Children with Special Needs at the Antiochian Village.

Old Business –

The Constitution Committee had a meeting to decide on recommendations to update the bi-laws. Each chapter will be able to discuss the changes to the bi-laws before voting to accept them at the next meeting. The suggested changes are:

  1. To change the current regional meetings from four annually to three.
  2. To increase the reimbursement of delegates to the N.A.B. conference from the current amount of $150.00

The 2010 Parish Life Conference will be hosted by St. George, Worcester.

The list of Chapter Officers and delegates will be updated for the coming year. Each Chapter is allowed 4 delegates for voting purposes at the regional meeting.

In the interest of brevity copies of each annual Chapter report were distributed to everyone. Martha Stewart gave an oral report for the St. George Lowell chapter

New Business

Former President Priscilla Goss presented a slate of officers for nomination. After asking for other nominations for the required three times for each office separately, the 2009-2011 executives were chosen.

The following is the list of Antiochian Women Officers for 2009 – 2011:

  1. President – Marilyn Robbat was elected by acclamation.
  2. Vice President – Delores George was elected by acclamation.
  3. Treasurer – Valerie Irving was elected by acclamation.
  4. Recording Secretary – Katy Birtwell was elected by acclamation.
  5. Public Relations – Pam Samara agreed to remain in her position.

Delegates to the Archdiocese Convention in Palm Springs, CA from July 19 – 25, 2009 are:

  1. Gladys Laham
  2. Kh. Louise Ferguson
  3. Kh. Margaret Wilhelm
  4. Elaine Saliba
  5. Elizabeth Votruba
  6. Marilyn Robbat - President

Fr. Edward Hughes congratulated the new officers and gave his appreciation to the former officers for performing their jobs diligently.

Vice President of N.A.B. Violet Robbat drew everyone’s attention to the new Antiochian Women Public Relations Banner, which was a gift to each Diocese from the North American Board of Antiochian Women and was designed for them by Marilyn Robbat.  It illustrates all the Antiochian Women’s Projects during their 35 years of existence from 1973 – 2009. It is recommended that it be utilized as a Public Relations tool at all meetings, Parish Life Conferences and Archdiocese Conventions.

President’s RemarksPres. Nora Walker

President Nora stated it had been an honor and her esteemed pleasure to serve with all of the officers for the past two years. Everyone was very well organized, and took on extra responsibilities when called upon. She wished Marilyn Robbat the best of luck as President for 2009-2011 and promised coordination between the outgoing officers and the newly elected officers. The meeting was adjourned then followed by a wonderful luncheon.

A Motion to Adjourn was made at 1:00 p.m. by Martha Stewart and was passed after being seconded by Violet Robbat.

Next Meeting: Saturday, October 31, 2009
St. George, Worcester, MA

Respectfully Submitted,

Nancy Ghantous, Secretary