SCOBA Hierarchs Convene for Fall Session
The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021
November 29, 2005
SCOBA Hierarchs Convene For Fall Session
South Bound Brook, NJ - The Fall Session of the Standing Conference
of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) was convened here
on November 15, 2005 at the headquarters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
of the USA (UOC). Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
of America, chairman of SCOBA, chaired the session. Metropolitan
Constantine of the UOC was the host and welcomed all to the Ukrainian
Other Hierarchs present were Metropolitan Herman of the Orthodox
Church in America, Archbishop Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese,
Metropolitan Nicholas of the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan
Joseph of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Bishop Antoun of the Antiochian
Orthodox Archdiocese (representing Metropolitan Philip), Archbishop Antony
of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, general
secretary of SCOBA. Also present were members of the SCOBA Study and
Planning Commission and the directors of four SCOBA Agencies.
Actions taken at this session included the final approval of
documents submitted to formally establish Orthodox Christian Prison
Ministry (OCPM) as the seventh Agency of SCOBA. Upon appointment of its
board, the election of officers and the hiring of staff, this new Agency
will begin to function early in 2006.
An extensive report was offered by Mr. Dean Triantafilou, executive
director of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), especially
in reference to the response of IOCC to the hurricane Katrina and hurricane
Rita disasters. It was reported that IOCC has provided over $4 million in
assistance, while continuing its ongoing long term development projects on
the West Bank and Gaza, in Lebanon, Ethiopia, Romania, Serbia and
elsewhere. It is also offering significant aid in Asia to meet needs
resulting from the disastrous tsunami and the earthquakes in Pakistan. The
Hierarchs expressed deep gratitude to the staff, board, volunteers and
donors who make the work of IOCC possible.
Another action involved final approval of an agenda for the October
2006 Conference scheduled in Chicago for all canonical Orthodox Bishops of
the nine jurisdictions belonging to SCOBA. The Study and Planning
Commission was charged with selecting persons to prepare papers on the
topics scheduled during the four day conference.
Before breaking for lunch, the Hierarchs heard a report from Fr. Mark
Leondis on behalf of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship ministry of SCOBA.
This rapidly expanding campus ministry program now has chapters on more
than 200 campuses in North America. The significant efforts of OCF were
received with joy and praise by the Hierarchs.
Following lunch, a report from the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN)
ministry was given by Fr. Christopher Metropoulos, executive director. The
Hierarchs were updated on the efforts to expand this radio ministry and
reaffirmed their support of the January 15, 2006 Share The Light Sunday
observance in all Orthodox parishes of the SCOBA jurisdictions.
The final SCOBA Agency report was that given by Fr. Paul Kucynda,
executive director of the Orthodox Christian Education Commission (OCEC).
Fr. Kucynda spoke of the publications of the OCEC and the teacher training
seminars offered throughout the country for all the teachers in the
religious education programs of Orthodox parishes.
A final project approved at this session was the convening of a
Clergy Seminar early in 2006, in the Dallas area, on Christian/Muslim
Relations. Based on this model, to be coordinated by Fr. Nektarios Morrow,
seminars will then be offered in other regions to assist clergy in dealing
in the concerns resulting from the rapid growth of Islam in America.
The session concluded with the sharing of news from the life of the
Church and the scheduling of the Spring Session in May at the Serbian
Orthodox Cathedral in New York City. This session started with prayer at
10:10am in the Memorial Chapel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Consistory, and
concluded with prayer at 4:00pm.
SCOBA General Secretariat
8 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10021