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The Fall Session of the Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America concluded on Friday, September 21, 2018.

Among the highlights of the three-day meeting, according to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, were the following.

  • In his opening address, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon spoke specifically about the Chancery reorganization plan.  While more information will be made available following the Fall Session of the Holy Synod of Bishops, Metropolitan Tikhon reported that he has accepted the resignation of the three officers of the Church and will move forward on the transition and reorganization.  Metropolitan Tikhon thanked the officers for their years of dedicated service to the Church.
  • Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor, noted that this was his final report to the Metropolitan Council.  He offered thanks for the seven years he has served in this capacity and expressed satisfaction that the transition team has developed a structure and new job descriptions for the officers that will enhance the effectiveness of the Chancery and Office of the Metropolitan.  He also reported on efforts regarding parish compliance with mandated training to maintain safety and prevent abuse and on the current work of the Office of Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations [ORSMA].
  • Father Eric delivered the Secretary’s report, in which he updated Council members on the Archives Project, the updating of the OCA website, and other administrative matters.  The Metropolitan Council endorsed a new Social Media Policy and Guidelines for the Church,  which includes a Code of Conduct and Media Posting policy and forms.  This will be referred to the Holy Synod for their blessing, after which the policy/guidelines will be disseminated.
  • Protopresbyter Leonid Kiskhovsky, Director of External Affairs, reviewed developments in world Orthodoxy and gave a report on recent developments in Ukraine.
  • A detailed report on the 19th All-American Council and the post-AAC survey was presented.  Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer, reported that expenses for the 19th AAC were $65,000.00 under budget.  This surplus will be used for the planning of the 20th All-American Council, slated to convene in 2021.
  • In her report to the Council, Ms. Ringa presented the updated financial report for 2018.  She also reported the results of the external and internal audits.  In addition, the proposed budget for 2019 was presented and adopted by Metropolitan Council members, who also approved the internal auditors for the next triennium.
  • Church Planting Grant requests for 2019 were presented and approved by the Metropolitan Council.
  • The Metropolitan Council approved a request by the Charity Committee to send $3,000.00 to assist parishioners of Saint Basil Church, Wilmington, NC, who were displaced by Hurricane Florence.
  • Reports also were given by the Metropolitan Council’s various committees and the OCA Pension Board.  A Metropolitan Council Committee Reorganization Plan is slated to be presented at the Spring 2019 Session of the Metropolitan Council.
  • Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak reported on the work of the Stewards of the Orthodox Church in America[SOCA] and plans for the upcoming annual Church-wide appeal on October 21, which has been designated SOCA Sunday.  Funds raised through the annual appeal help to fund the various OCA ministry departments.
  • An extensive discussion on the use of funds raised at the 19th AAC for a national youth director was held.  Metropolitan Tikhon presented a plan that was approved by the Council.  The plan includes a one-year pilot program to establish the feasibility and definition of a full-time youth director/coordinator and allocated up to the total of the received pledges, not to exceed $87,000.00.  Additional information will be released in the near future.

Metropolitan Council minutes and reports will be released as they become available.

See related photo gallery.