Pan-Orthodox Town Hall Meeting at St. Elijah, Oklahoma City, OK
The evening of August 12th, 2010 will go down in history as another leap forward in the journey towards Orthodox unity in North America. Over a hundred clergy and lay people from seven Orthodox Churches in the greater Oklahoma City area came together to pray the Paraklesis service to the Mother of God, which was chanted by the teens of St. Elijah Church, followed by a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the future of Orthodoxy unity in America. This was the first such Town Hall Meeting to take place since the historic Episcopal Assembly.
The first part of the Town Hall Meeting was dedicated to watching the video of His Grace, Bishop BASIL’s address at the 2010 DOWAMA Parish Life Conference, hosted by St. Elijah, Oklahoma City. His Grace, who was elected at the Episcopal Assembly as Secretary, explained to all of the clergy and laity some of the progress that the fifty-five Hierarchs who met had accomplished, and the next steps in preparing North America to be united administratively.
The Priest’s panel then took questions and concerns from the mixed congregations, concerning this unity. Fr. Constantine Nasr commended the congregations in the area for having a Pan-Orthodox spirit, as they have had for many years.
The Oklahoma City Churches for years have been holding Pan-Orthodox “Family Nights”, liturgical services, mission and evangelism outreach, Vacation Bible School, Annual Parish Council dinner, State Fair and “Come Receive the Light” radio station, as well as genuine love and support for each other’s parish families.
The Churches that are a part of these events are St. Elijah (Antiochian – Fr. Constantine Nasr & Fr. Jeremy Davis), St. George (Greek – Fr. John Tsaras), St. Andrew (Western Rite Antiochian –Fr. Mark Wallace), St. James (Antiochian – Fr. Basil McMurry), St. Mary (Ukranian – Fr. Raphael Moore), St. Benedict (ROCOR – Fr. Anthony Nelson), and Holy Ascension (Antiochian – Fr. Justin McFeeters).