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The Recently Concluded Meetings of the Archdiocesan Synod and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees – June 2 – 4, 2006

During the weekend of June 2nd through June 4th, the Archdiocesan Synod of Bishops and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees held their Spring meetings at the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. In addition, the Village Council, and the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch held their meetings on Thursday and Friday of that same weekend.

Our Archdiocesan Synod dealt with many issues that are critical to the people and parishes of our Archdiocese. The following are some of the items discussed in the Synod meeting:

  1. A new “Policy and Guidelines Manual” from the Department of Communications and Information was reviewed and accepted. This document governs the electronic communication of information which originates from all Archdiocesan entities, including our website.
  2. The proposed budget for the Archdiocese for the time period from February 1, 2007 through January 31, 2008 was reviewed and accepted. This is a balanced budget which, for the first time, exceeds five million dollars, and it reflects the increase in income that is expected from the new Proportional Giving System. It provides for part-time secretarial assistance for the Diocesan Bishops.
  3. The hierarchs confirmed the protocol by which a hierarch, other than the Diocesan Bishop, may be invited to an event within a diocese. The pastor desiring to invite the hierarch must make the request in writing to his own Diocesan Bishop who will consider it. If the Diocesan Bishop approves, the Diocesan Bishop will send a written request to his brother hierarch.
  4. A parish or mission that wishes to solicit contributions from other communities within its own diocese must first receive the permission of the Diocesan Bishop. Once approved by the Diocesan Bishop, the solicitation must be limited to only those communities within that diocese.

The Archdiocesan Board of Trustees dealt with many important issues, including the approval of the Archdiocese Financial Report for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2006 and the budget for Fiscal year 2008, which was mentioned above. By the grace of God, and through the most careful fiscal management, the budget is balanced, and this God-protected Archdiocese remains free of any debt. The Board heard reports on the outstanding work being done by the following departments:

  1. Antiochian Village Camp - Fr. Michael Nasser
  2. Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center – Bruce Jabbour
  3. NAC Fellowship of St. John the Divine – Joan Farha
  4. Department of Clergy Insurance and Retirement – Very Rev. Michael Ellias
  5. Department of Communications and Information – Sean Buscay
  6. Department of Christian Education – Carole Buleza
  7. The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch – Edward Assile
  8. Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America – Fr. John Abdalah in behalf of Laila Ferris
  9. Department of Planning and Future Development – Joseph Samra and Ruth Ann Skaff

In addition, the Board heard a report on the 2007 Archdiocese Convention from Very Rev. Peter Shportun, pastor of the host parish of St. Nicholas in Montreal Quebec, Canada. Fr. Peter indicated that detailed convention information would begin to be available by August 1 of this year. During the Board meeting, Bruce Jabbour, General Manager of the Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center made a special presentation to His Eminence of a silver medallion which commemorates the 40th Anniversary of Metropolitan PHILIP as the Primate of this Archdiocese. The Fall meeting of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees will be held from October 6-7 in Troy, Michigan.

On Saturday evening, a dinner was held for all of those in attendance, and a special surprise was the presentation of a cake by Chef Tim Johnston to His Eminence for his birthday. In addition, Dr. George Farha, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees, gave a tribute to His Eminence, including the recitation of selections from His Eminence's poetry.

The weekend concluded on Sunday morning with the celebration of Matins and the Divine Liturgy in the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul.