Thursday, July 26, 2018 opened with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon; the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America; and the guest hierarchs, after which a variety of reports were delivered during the sixth Plenary Session of the 19th All-American Council [AAC].
The session began with greetings by His Eminence, Metropolitan Seraphim of Zimbabwe on behalf of His Beatitude, Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa. He emphasized the key virtue of brotherly love amongst Orthodox Christians. Greetings were then offered by His Grace, Bishop Flavian of Cherepovets and Belozersk, who represented His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. He reflected on the intimate shared history of the Church of Russia and the Church in America dating back to the Alaskan missionary period in the late 18th century. Finally, His Grace, Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwest America offered greetings on behalf of His Holiness, Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He spoke movingly concerning the unity of Orthodox Christianity.
Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky updated delegates on the work of the Office of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations, while a report on the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America was given by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York. Matushka Valerie Zahirsky provided an update on recent developments in the Department of Christian Education. A report on the Department of Christian Service and Humanitarian Aid was presented by Donna Karabin, while Archpriest Ian Pac-Urar reported on ongoing efforts by the Department of Continuing Education. Reporting on the work of the Department of Evangelization was Archpriest John Parker. Other reports were delivered by Dr. David Drillock [Department of Liturgical Music and Translations], Hieromonk Nikodhim [websiteDepartment of Pastoral Life], Archpriest Christopher Rowe [Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry], and Marge Kovach, Immediate Past President of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA].
The busy session concluded with the election of at-large Metropolitan Council representatives and Pension Board members. Elected to the Metropolitan Council were Archpriests Thomas Moore and Kirill Sokolov, Mark Linnehan, and Lynnell Brunswig. Archpriest David Rucker and Michael Thompson were elected as alternates. Elected to the Pension Board were Archpriests Matthew Tate and John Zdiniak, Mary Ann Bobulsky, and Barry Gluntz were elected. Joanne Wevodau was elected as a lay alternate member.
On Thursday evening, a formal banquet was held, during which Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky was the main speaker.