2009 Archdiocese Convention
The 49th Convention of our Archdiocese is being held at JW Desert Springs Marriott Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, California, from July 19-26, 2009. This section will be our home on www.Antiochian.org for the daily coverage we'll be providing from the Convention itself. May our gathering be greatly blessed!
by Fr. William Olnhausen, pastor of St. Nicholas Church in Cedarburg, WI – the article was published in the Church’s Sept. 2009 newsletter:
FATHER BILL'S ARCHDIOCESE CONVENTION REPORT
It was 114 in Palm Desert California the day I arrived & well over 100 every day. Lord have mercy. But our delegate Mike Hubergot off the plane, breathed it in & said "I love it!"
Cheryl Haska also represented St. Nicholas. Our teens Nicole Haska, Abe Newhouse, Lydia Newhouse & Ana Treptow & coach Mary Beth Newhouse, our Midwest Bible winners, represented our Diocese at the national Bible Bowl - which didn't go as well as at the Midwest, but they are still one of the top teams in the Archdiocese. Be very proud of them! It was fun to have so many St. Nicholas people there.
Our Antiochian Archdiocese is doing well financially & spiritually: united, growing, enthusiastic, dynamic. Since 1988 this little Archdiocese has established over 125 new missions, most of which are now self-supporting churches. His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP at age 78 is in fine form & delivered a brilliant keynote address. The worship services, more than 2 hours daily, were well attended and beautifully celebrated. (I am now accustomed to services with 3 metropolitans, 7 bishops, a congregation of 1,000 & a choir of 50!) The many departments of the Archdiocese are doing really good things. Our clergy are high quality.
Be ever mindful of the fruits of your labor
Your Eminence, Your Graces, Beloved Clergy, Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees, Members of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Members of the Antiochian Women, Members of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Members of SOYO, Parish Councils and the Faithful of our God-protected Archdiocese:
The theme of our convention this year is taken from the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom: “Be mindful, O Lord, of those who bear fruit and do good works in thy holy churches and who remember the poor.” The prayer of the Anaphora continues, “Reward them with thy rich and heavenly gifts; give them things heavenly for things earthly; things eternal for things temporal, things incorruptible for things corruptible. Be mindful, O Lord, of those in the desert, the mountains and in caves; be mindful, O Lord, of all those who live in chastity and godliness.” And in the Ektenia of fervent supplication at Vespers, we sing, “Again we pray for those who bear fruit and do good works in thy holy and all-venerable temple, for those who serve and those who sing.”
The Department of Missions and Evangelism
V. Rev. Peter E. Gillquist, chairman
2007-2009 Bi-Annual Report to the 49th Convention of the
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Prepared June 8, 2009
1. New Missions. Since His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP established a full-time Department of Missions and Evangelism in 1988, the Archdiocese has founded 117 new Eastern Rite missions throughout the United States and Canada, of which 62 have grown to full parishes. At present we are developing 5 mission projects, and exploring the possibilities for mission starts in over a dozen additional cities and towns.
Archdiocese member and Order of St. Ignatius Historian Judy Braun has put together a collection of photo albums open to all Antiochians. On her Public Gallery, browsers can currently find eight albums from the Archdiocese convention. Headings include the Oratorical Festival, the Board of Trustees Luncheon, and the Grand Banquet. All can be viewed at: http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/AOCAphotos
“I love taking pictures and I love editing them!” notes Judy, for whom photography is a serious hobby. “Originally, I had 1,500 photos of the Convention that needed editing.” Mother of three and grandmother of two, Judy attends St. Athanasius Church in Goleta, California, where she often photographs weddings and parish events. Her work can also be viewed on the St. Athanasius website.
Judy plans on adding to the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese (“AOCA”) Picasa page, as she attends and photographs different events in the life of the Archdiocese.
At the 2009 Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, attendees were treated to the excellent speeches prepared by the diocesan oratorical festival winners. An expert panel of judges deliberated before choosing the grand prize winner for the Senior Division, Joel Schaefer.
The Oratorical Festival is a program sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. It was designed to serve as an avenue for our youth to learn, enhance and share the knowledge of their faith based on a given topic by giving an oration. For some youth, it is a door into the life of the Church, and for others, it is an expression of their continuing experience of Christ and His Church.
In response to a popular wish for more information on the subject, it will be useful, I believe, to share my impressions of the recent Archdiocesan Convention. By way of organizing these reflections, I want to consider the varying expectations of those who attended the Convention. After all, those sundry expectations necessarily established the individual criteria for judging whether or not the Convention was a success.
I begin with Metropolitan Philip, who has presided over several such conventions during his long service as our Archbishop. As a steady listener and reader of everything he has to say, I was able to identify only one personal expectation mentioned by the Metropolitan---to wit, that everything at the Convention be public and transparent. He several times spoke of “the light of the sun” to describe what he wanted to prevail at that gathering.
By that criterion, Metropolitan Philip must be pleased by what transpired. He not only insisted on total openness of information at the Convention; he also took direct and effective steps to insure that such a policy would prevail. Chief among these was his provision that each part of the Convention would be broadcast over Ancient Faith Radio.
Metropolitan Philip should receive proper recognition and credit on this point, because the provision for radio coverage required a measure of resolve on his part. I violate no confidences by mentioning there were influential individuals at the Convention who endeavored to undermine the Metropolitan’s policy.
I am very glad he resisted those efforts, because scores of Antiochian Christians all over the country are already listening to those radio recordings and drawing their own conclusions about the Convention. Indeed, I encourage everyone to do so.
The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America held their annual meeting at the 49th Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, California, on Wednesday, July 22, 2009. The meeting was well attended by the Diocesan Presidents, their Spiritual Advisors, and their delegates, along with the Officers and Coordinators of the North American Board of the Antiochian Women. The meeting was presided over by NAB President, Cindy Nimey. The Antiochian Women’s Hierarchical Overseer, Bishop JOSEPH, was also present. The meeting opened with a message from Bishop JOSEPH which revolved around the work of the Antiochian Women and that they must always stay the course of service and spirituality. The Antiochian Women not only worked through their business agenda, but networked and shared their successes at the Diocesan and Local levels.
The 2009 Antiochian Archdiocese Convention in Palm Desert, California concluded over the weekend of July 25-26. After Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning, the day was taken up with events such as the Oratorical Festival and other youth activities. Attendees enjoyed a banquet and dance on Saturday evening, followed by a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.
Click here to view more photos of the final days of the convention. The entire Oratorical Festival and the closing banquet program may be heard on Ancient Faith Radio.
Click here to listen to Ancient Faith Radio's broadcast His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP's address to the general assembly at the 2009 Archdiocese Convention on Friday, July 24.
The address ran for well over 45 minutes, and covered a wide range of topics, including Metropolitan PHILIP's response to what he termed criticisms of his leadership, particularly those involving finances.