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His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon opened the Fall Session of the Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America at Immaculate Conception Seminary here on Tuesday morning, September 19, 2017.

Metropolitan Tikhon is chairing the four-day session, at which the members of the Standing Synod of Bishops—His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin; His Eminence, Archbishop Michael; and His Grace, Bishop Paul—are also in attendance.

According to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, the session will open with the Metropolitan Council’s annual retreat.  The retreat theme will focus on the 50th anniversary of the granting of autocephaly to the OCA, slated to be celebrated in 2020.  OCA Archivist Alexis Liberovsky will present an overview of the history of the OCA.  Also speaking will be members of the original delegation  who traveled to Moscow in 1970 to receive the Tomos of Autocephaly—Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, Archpriest John Nehrebecki and Dr. Constantine Kalluar.  A working session will be held in the afternoon to discuss initial plans for the 2020 celebration.

“Among the highlights of this Metropolitan Council session will be the approval of the budget for 2018, a review of the plans for the 19th All-American Council, to be held in July 2018, and reports from His Beatitude, the OCA officers, and the Metropolitan Council’s various committees and departments,” Father Eric added.  “Per the cycle of department reports, Priest John Parker will update Council members on the work of the Department of Evangelization, while Archpriest Ian Pac-Urar will present a report on the work of the Department of Continuing Education.”

Metropolitan Council members also will participate in the Saint Sergius Day celebration on Saturday, September 23.

The Metropolitan Council is the permanent executive body of the Church Administration which exists for the purpose of implementing the decisions of the All-American Council and continuing its work between sessions.  Members include the Metropolitan, who serves as Chair; the Chancellor, the Secretary, and the Treasurer; one priest and one layperson elected by each diocese; and three priests and an equal number of laypersons elected by the All-American Council.