Thursday, June 30, 2005
New York, NY — The Spring Session of the Standing Conference of
Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) was convened on June
21, 2005 at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of
America in New York City. Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of SCOBA,
chaired and hosted the session.
Other Hierarchs present were Metropolitan Herman of the Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Christopher of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese, Metropolitan Nicholas of the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church, and Archbishop Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Representing Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese was the
V. Rev. Elias Bitar.
Also present were Bishop Dimitrios, SCOBA General Secretary, members of the SCOBA Study and Planning Commission and the directors of two SCOBA agencies.
The Hierarchs endorsed a statement on the environment entitled, "God's Earth is Sacred: An Open Letter to Christians in the United States." They approved proposals creating two new commissions, the Orthodox Research Commission and the Orthodox Information Technology Commission. They received with gratitude a statement entitled "Barriers Do Not Bring Freedom," which was issued by a National Council of Churches of Christ delegation to the Middle East.
It was determined that the SCOBA celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy in 2006 will be held in Chicago, IL, and profound thanks were extended to the Council of Orthodox Churches in Worcester, MA, for hosting the 2005 celebration.
The Hierarchs voted to convene in the fall of 2006, the third Conference of all Canonical Orthodox Bishops under the SCOBA jurisdictions and drafted a preliminary agenda for the conference.
Following lunch, the Hierarchs heard reports from International Orthodox Christian Charities, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, the Task Force on Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, relations with the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches, and matters concerning Military Chaplaincy. They approved the appointment of two new members to the ongoing Orthodox/Roman Catholic Theological Consultation; Prof. John Barnet and Fr. Theodore Pulcini.
The session concluded with the sharing of news from the life of the church, and the scheduling of the Fall Session in November at the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in South Bound Brook, NJ.
The meeting began at 10:00am in the St. Paul Archdiocesan Chapel with a memorial service for the late Archbishop Iakovos, who served as Chairman of SCOBA from its founding in 1960 until his retirement in 1995. The session concluded with prayer at 3:45pm.