Thursday, October 04, 2018
Remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 1:3).
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
We, the members of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, gathered in Cleveland, Ohio, for our ninth annual meeting on October 2-3, 2018, greet you all with love in Christ as we offer glory and gratitude to Him.
Twenty-five Hierarchs assembled in order to remember and reaffirm our unity in the Orthodox faith. We express our deep gratitude to all those who planned and prepared for this year’s Assembly. The Assembly opened with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at St. Sava Serbian Cathedral. We extend special appreciation to our host, Bishop Irinej, and the community, especially the Circle of Serbian Sisters, for their hospitality.
Once again, we called to mind our brother Hierarchs kidnapped in Syria, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi (brother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch) and the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop John Ibrahim.
In the opening session, the Chairman, Archbishop Demetrios of America, delivered his keynote address, which can be found on the Assembly’s website. The officers of the Assembly, Metropolitan Gregory (Secretary) and Archbishop Michael (Treasurer) also presented their official reports.
Afterward, the staff of the Assembly ministries and Chairmen of the Assembly committees offered an overview of their work during the last year. The assembled Hierarchs discussed how to further support these ministries as well as how to strengthen the organization and effectiveness of the committees. We heard presentations from Rev. Dr. Alkiviadis Calivas, Professor Emeritus of Liturgics at Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology, and V. Rev. Dr. John Morris, Pastor Emeritus. They presented on baptism, chrismation and the reception of converts. Metropolitan Gregory presented highlights of the study entitled “Go and Make Disciples: Evangelization and Outreach in US Orthodox Parishes (Part 1).” Metropolitan Nicolae, Chairman of the Committee on Canonical Regional Planning, presented a summary report of the study entitled “Places of Greater Orthodox Unity in America: State of Local Parish-to-Parish Inter-Orthodox Cooperation and Communication.”
After due deliberations on the role and responsibility of the Church in contemporary society, we reached the following conclusions, which we convey to our communities throughout America:
In conclusion, we extend our paternal prayers for all of our faithful. May the abundant blessings of our all-merciful God be with you all.
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the dominion now and to the day of eternity (2 Peter 3:18).
Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman
Metropolitan Gregory, Secretary
Archbishop Michael, Treasurer