His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, opened the Fall 2017 Session of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America at the Chancery here on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.
After gathering for opening prayers in Saint Sergius of Radonezh Chapel, Metropolitan Tikhon welcomed the members of the Holy Synod before delivering his report on the State of the Church, in which he spoke of a number of initiatives for the next triennium.
Reports are also being presented by the OCA’s officers. Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor, will offer updates on the Sexual Misconduct Policy Advisory Committee and the Office of Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations and the work of the Department of Pastoral Life. He will also review progress made on the spiritual abuse resolution adopted at the 18th All-American Council [AAC]. Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, Secretary, will review a number of issues related to the 19th AAC, including the finalization of the agenda, as well as the ongoing website redesign, Archives renovation and other projects. Melanie Ringa, Treasurer, will present the recommended 2018 budget for blessing by the Holy Synod as well as a review of the audits and the year-to-date 2017 budget.
General Counsel Judge E. R. Lanier will offer an update on a number of legal matters related to the Statute and bylaws. Mitered Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky will present a report on external affairs, which will include a recommendation for a new representative for the OCA’s Saint Catherine Representation Church in Moscow. The seminaries and monasteries also will present updates, and the work of the OCA’s other departments—specifically the Departments of Continuing Education and Evangelization—will be reviewed. Reports on the Stewards of the Orthodox Church in America and the Pension Board also will be presented during the week.
Other agenda items, according to Father Eric, include discussions with regard to the 50th anniversary of the granting of autocephaly and the canonization of Saint Herman of Alaska, slated to be celebrated in 2020. The work of the Canonization Commission and the Board of Theological Education and the reestablishment of the Bioethics Committee also will be reviewed.
On Wednesday, November 15, the hierarchs will gather in Saint Sergius Chapel for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
The Fall Session will conclude on Friday, November 17. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.