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A strong majority, thirty-eight, of the fifty-one canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States of America began their two-day meeting today to discuss Orthodox Christian Unity in the country. The meeting, which took place online due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, was the first since the transition of the chairmanship to Archbishop Elpidophoros.

In his opening remarks, The Archbishop stated, “we have all faced tremendous trials and tribulations, but we do so in the joy of the Holy Spirit, Who is the root of our authority and the fruit of our labors on behalf of the People of God … we are the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the USA, Hierarchs who represent disparate communities, but One People of God. Our oneness is a gift, a blessing that is not ours to refuse. There is so much that we can do together for the sake of all our faithful.” Read the full address here.

Furthermore, the august body adopted the 2021 budget, re-elected Metropolitan Gregory as Secretary and Archbishop Michael as Treasurer, and passed a number of motions set forth by the Executive Committee, the Committee for Agencies and Commissions, Affiliated Ministries and Associations, and the Committee for Youth. More detailed information pertaining to said motions will soon be released.

Finally, recognizing the youth as the future of the Church, the Assembly of Bishops declared 2021 the Year of the Youth. A number of initiatives are expected to be launched that will bring together Orthodox Youth from across the nation.

Tomorrow, October 7, 2020, the Bishops will re-convene to discuss their Strategic Vision for the Assembly.