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His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and several members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America are participating in the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, which opened in Cleveland, OH with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

On the eve of the Assembly’s opening, a reception was hosted by the Greater Cleveland Council of Orthodox Clergy, at which Priest Alessandro Margheritino, Rector of the OCA’s Saint Innocent Church, Olmsted Falls, OH and Council President, welcomed the bishops.

“On behalf of the brotherhood, I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to sponsor tonight’s reception,” Father Alessandro said in his welcoming remarks.  “We like to consider it as our tiny contribution to the annual gathering of your Assembly—perhaps a small way through which we can share in your holy work, which we consider of the highest importance and priority, and to which we direct our fervent prayers.

“The diversity we have here makes Cleveland a special place and, in fact, a great example of pan-Orthodox relationships and cooperation that started almost a century ago,” Father Alessandro continued, highlighting a number of joint initiatives and ministries conducted in the Cleveland area.  “And, perhaps, the experience in and of Cleveland can be used as a model for other metropolitan areas in this country.  This pan-Orthodox work goes beyond the concelebration of liturgical services – which, without a doubt, remains the most important thing we do.  Our cooperation is in fellowship, in ministry, in education, and in mission.”

The hierarchs held their first plenary session on Tuesday afternoon, at which time the Assembly’s Chair, His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, addressed the bishops.  Reports also were offered by the Assembly’s Treasurer and Secretary.  The hierarchs considered a proposed Communications Plan and reviewed Assembly activities and accomplishments during 2017.

A variety of other reports, including an academic presentation and discussion on Baptism, Chrismation and the Reception of Converts, will be reviewed before the official closing of the Assembly on Wednesday evening, October 3.  A message from the Assembly will be issued at that time.

In related news, Metropolitan Tikhon accepted the invitation to attend the meeting of the Assembly’s Executive Committee convened by Archbishop Demetrios at the New York headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese on September 18, 2018.  In addition to Archbishop Demetrios, the Executive Committee includes His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, Assembly First Vice-Chairman; His Eminence, Metropolitan Gregory of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Assembly Secretary; and His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of the OCA’s Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Assembly Treasurer.  Other invited guests included His Grace, Bishop Saba of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Archpriest Thomas Zain of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and Nicholas Anton of the Greek Archdiocese.

Additional information on the Assembly will be posted as it is received.