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Working Committees, Archdiocesan Synod, Board of Trustees, and North and Central American Episcopal Assembly to Meet

May 17, 2010, Englewood, NJ

Over the course of the next two weeks, several meetings that are critical to the future of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, and all Orthodox faithful in North and Central America, will take place.

Beginning on Wednesday May 19th and Thursday May 20th, two working committees of this Archdiocese will meet in Englewood, NJ. Both committees were appointed by His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP in October 2009, and are chaired by His Grace Bishop JOSEPH. The Constitutional Reconciliation Committee will meet on Wednesday May 19th. The goal for this committee is to reconcile any remaining differences between the current Archdiocesan Constitution (approved by our General Assembly at a special meeting which was convened in Pittsburgh, PA in July 2004), and the Constitution that was approved by the Holy Synod of Antioch in October 2004. The second committee is chartered to study the current “Manual of Hierarchical Duties and Responsibilities” (originally approved by the Archdiocesan Synod on June 4, 2004, and amended on July 23, 2008). The committee will recommend changes to this manual in light of all of the events that have transpired since the last amendments were made.

The Archdiocesan Synod of Bishops will convene their regular Spring meeting in Englewood, New Jersey on Thursday May 20th in the evening, and will continue on Friday May 21st in the morning. Among the agenda items to be discussed will be the North American Episcopal Assembly which will convene in New York City on May 26th. In addition, each of our hierarchs will give a report on important developments in his diocese since the last meeting.

The Archdiocesan Board of Trustees will convene their regular Spring meeting on Friday May 21st in the evening, and will continue on Saturday May 22nd in the morning. This meeting will be held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Among the agenda items discussed will be a review of the Archdiocese Financial Report for the fiscal year which ended on January 31, 2010, and a presentation of the proposed budget for the fiscal year which will end on January 31, 2012. On Saturday evening May 22nd, a banquet will be held for the benefit of the Al-Kafaat rehabilitation and developmental center in Lebanon. On Sunday May 23rd, the Feast of Pentecost, our hierarchs will celebrate the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at various Antiochian parishes in the New York/New Jersey area.

Next week, an historic event will occur in the life of the Orthodox Church in North and Central America. More than 50 Orthodox hierarchs will attend the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North and Central America, to be held in New York City from May 26th through May 28th. The Assembly is the result of a decision taken by the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, which met in Chambesy, Switzerland in June of 2009. This Assembly will be one of twelve convened around the world in regions where multiple Orthodox jurisdictions are present. All of the active canonical Orthodox bishops who reside in North and Central America are members of this Assembly. It is expected that all of the Antiochian Orthodox bishops will attend this most important meeting. The goal of the Assembly is to embody an active and unified witness to the Orthodox Faith.

We ask all of the faithful to pray for our hierarchs, clergy, and lay leaders who will participate in these most important meetings over the next two weeks. May they be blessed for the glorification of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, and His Holy Church.