Archdiocese Convention 2011


Metropolitan Philip Addresses the 50th Antiochian Archdiocese Convention

(First published in The Word, September, 2011)

Your Eminence, Your Graces, Beloved Clergy,

Esteemed members of the Board of Trustees of our God-Protected Archdiocese,

Beloved 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 Council Members,

And all the faithful of our Archdiocese,

It seems like yesterday that we were in Palm Desert, California, to celebrate the work of this Archdiocese and the various departments which we have established for the edification of our Church.

This year the theme for our Parish Life Conferences and Archdiocese Convention is taken from the Anaphora of the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great: “Be mindful, Oh Lord, of the priesthood, the diaconate, and every priestly rank.”

Video Salute to Metropolitan Philip

The following video salute to Metropolitan Philip was presented at the 2011 Archdiocese Convention in Chicago, IL, to honor him for his 45 years of episcopal leadership and his 80th birthday. These introductory remarks were made by Fr. Anthony Gabriel:

Your Eminence Metropolitan Philip, Metropolitan Paul, Metropolitan Silouan, the hierarchs of this God protected Archdiocese, Reverend Clergy, esteemed members of the Board of Trustees, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen:

I have been honored by Economos Nicholas Dahdal with a request, for which I thank him from the bottom of my heart, as one who journeyed for 45 years with His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, to share a few reflections on the life of our Chief Shepherd and Father in Christ. With the business of this convention now completed, it is time to celebrate at this concluding banquet.  This evening we joyously commemorate two milestones in the life of our beloved Primate: Saidna Philip’s 45th anniversary to the Holy Episcopacy and his 80th birthday.

Resolution to Oppose the Recent New York State Legislation Legalizing Same Sex Marriage

WHEREAS, on June 24, 2011 the State of New York Legislature, following controversial debates, passed a new law legalizing same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed.

WHEREAS, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, under the direct leadership of his Eminence, Metropolitan Archbishop PHILIP (Saliba), and the Local Synod of the Archdiocese, continues to shepherd its faithful members throughout all of North America, and as such, are deeply concerned about the recent developments regarding “same sex marriage”.

WHEREAS, the Holy Orthodox Church recognizing marriage to be a fundamental institution and teaching that marriage and sexuality, which are firmly grounded in Holy Scripture, Two thousand years of church tradition, and canon law, hereby holds that marriage consists in the conjugal union of a man and a women and that authentic marriage is blessed by Almighty God as a sacrament of the Church.

WHEREAS, The Holy Scripture attests that God created man and women in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:27-31), that those called to do so might enjoy a conjugal union that ideally leads to procreation. While not every marriage is blessed with the birth of children, every such union exists to create of a man and a women a new reality of “one flesh”. This can only be achieved in a relationship between individuals of opposite gender. “God made them male and female...So they are no longer two but one flesh” ( Mark 10:6-8).

Resolution Demanding Even-Handed and Fair Treatment of U.S. Policy in the Middle East

WHEREAS, the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of this God-protected Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America have met as the General Assembly at the 50th Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Convention;

WHEREAS, there exists today in the Middle East serious social upheaval that has greatly affected the economies creating high unemployment rates and resulting in untenable human conditions;

WHEREAS, there is great concern over the present conditions existing in certain of the Middle East states, specifically those of Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, regarding the living conditions and general welfare of its citizens;

WHEREAS, many people in the Middle East have been victimized and suffer greatly from such conditions including poverty, scarcity of food and clean water, inadequate medical care and other such conditions, all in violation of fundamental and basic human rights and dignities;

WHEREAS, the State of Israel has and continues to implement a specific policy toward Judaizing Jerusalem and usurping Arab lands and permitting the illegal establishment of settlements, which have been at the center of much conflict in the Middle East and such policies are supported by United States and Canada;

WHEREAS, the Holy City of Jerusalem is an integral part of the three major monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam;

Metropolitan Philip Announces Election of New Auxiliary Bishops

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on Saturday, July 30, at the 50th Convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip announced that the Synod had elected three archimandrites of the Archdiocese for elevation to the episcopacy.

They are: the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite John Abdalah, who will serve as the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Worcester and New England; the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Anthony Michaels, who will serve as the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest; and the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Nicholas Ozone, who will serve as the auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and assist His Eminence at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, NJ.

Please remember these servants of our Lord in your prayers, and may God grant them many years!

Convention General Assembly Concludes

The official business of the General Assembly of the 50th Convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese concluded Friday, July 29. Much fruitful work was conducted during the two days of the Assembly, highlighted by the announcement Friday by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip that the Synod of the Antiochian Archdiocese will be expanding with the addition of not two (as previously announced) but three new auxiliary bishops. Metropolitan Philip declared that our Synod would be electing auxiliary bishops to serve the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest and the Diocese of Worcester and New England, with a third auxiliary bishop serving to assist His Eminence at the Archdiocese headquarters in Englewood, NJ.

Reports from the various departments and organizations of the Archdiocese were presented and accepted with great enthusiasm, and a number of invited guests honored the gathering with special presentations, including Ms. Myriam Shwayri of the Al-Kafaat Foundation of Lebanon and Mr. Michael Homsey of International Orthodox Christian Charities. Ten new members were elected by general proclamation to the Archdiocese Board of Trustees. Seven timely resolutions were introduced and passed, and will be made public via this website as soon as possible.

The extensive exhibit halls continued to be a popular attraction, the teens of the Archdiocese warmed the hearts of all in attendance with their comings and goings to the program of youth activities, and all benefitted from the opportunity to fellowship with old and new friends alike. Ancient Faith Radio continues to add to their collection of recordings from the Convention, available here for those who would like to listen online.

AFR Convention Podcasts Now Available

Ancient Faith Radio announces that it is attending the 50th Biennial Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocesan Convention in Chicago, Illinois, and is posting recordings of speeches, events, and gatherings.

The first post, created on Thursday morning, July 28, is titled "The 2011 Bible Bowl" and the descriptive text reads: "Young people from each Diocese participated in the 2011 Bible Bowl based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew. You will have to listen to the end to learn who the winner was!"

Listen to the Bible Bowl and other podcasts.

St. George Church of Cicero, IL, Holds Convention Kick-Off Celebration

Thursday, July 21, proved to be a day of celebration for many reasons.  In addition to being the last day of a sizzling heat wave across the Midwest, an excitement filled the air in the courtyard of St. George Church, Cicero, Host Parish of the historic 50th Archdiocese Convention beginning this Sunday, July 24th.   Balloons and banners, posters and streamers, food and music, people young and old, witnessed a great announcement!  Fireworks lit up the sky brightening the smiling faces as they all heard: 

The Convention begins this weekend!  

The Committee gathered to celebrate several years of tireless planning and a very anticipated week-long journey called the Archdiocese Convention.  The full schedule is available at www.archdioceseconvention2011.org and awaits the entire Archdiocese.  

Parish Life Conference Season Ends; Archdiocese Convention Begins July 24

Diocese of Los Angeles and the West PLC PostcardDiocese of Los Angeles and the West PLC PostcardWhen asked for a statement summarizing the Parish Life Conference season just ending, Fr. Michael Ellias, co-chair of the Dept. of Conventions and Conference Planning, said humorously, "Thank God they are over!" PLC host parishes breathe a sigh of relief when the conferences are successfully completed, and Antiochian Christians who attend know why: they are a huge undertaking, requiring years of planning and legions of volunteers. This year's lively PLC's, which as always could be described as family reunions but on a large scale, were packed with events, starting with morning services and extending beyond evening vespers. The conferences took place over two long weekends, June 15-19 and June 28-July 3.

Fr. John K. Teebagy, pastor of the Church of St. John of Damascus, host of a PLC in June, describes the Worcester and New England Conference. "This year the Church of St. John of Damascus of Dedham, MA hosted the 73rd Parish Life Conference of the Diocese of Worcester and New England at the Resort and Conference Center in Hyannis, MA, which is located on beautiful Cape Cod and served as the summer White House for President John F. Kennedy. For the second year in a row, the diocese was pleased and honored to welcome His Grace Bishop Thomas as our presiding hierarch.

Photographer Judy Braun Captures Archdiocese in Unique Galleries

Metropolitan Philip's 80th Birthday CelebrationMetropolitan Philip's 80th Birthday CelebrationOrder of St. Ignatius Historian Judy Braun invites you to view her twenty six (and counting!) Antiochian photo galleries, dated from 2003 - 2011. In her public gallery, the albums feature Archdiocese conventions, banquets, Oratorical Festivals, Board of Trustees Luncheons, and even Metropolitan Philip's 80th birthday party. 

“I love taking pictures and I love editing them!” notes Judy, for whom photography is a serious hobby.  Mother, grandmother, and parishioner at St. Athanasius Church in Goleta, California, Judy often photographs weddings and parish events. Her work can also be viewed on the St. Athanasius website.

Judy plans on adding to the Antiochian Picasa page, as she attends events with camera in tow. Look for many more photos after the Archdiocese Convention, July 24-31, in Chicago.

Coming Soon to Chicago: Archdiocese Convention, July 24-31

Magnificant Mile Marriott HotelMagnificant Mile Marriott HotelSt. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Cicero, Illinois, reminds all Antiochian clergy and lay members that the 2011 Antiochian Archdiocese Convention is nearly here!

For those who plan on reserving a hotel room, limited rooms are still available online or by calling 800-266-9432. 

All hotel and convention registration information is available at the convention website. The Conference Committee of St. George reminds all those planning to attend that convention registration is mandatory to attend convention events, whether they be workshops, festivals, meetings, or social events. The advance registration is encouraged in order to save valuable convention time, so visitors are urged to register online today.

Transportation reservations to and from the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificant Mile Hotel can be made online by obtaining information here. The fixed rate of $29 per person has been established to allow for those arriving in Chicago's airports to obtain easy and direct transportation to the hotel. 

The Convention's mailing address is:

50th Antiochian Archdiocese Convention

1220 S. 60th Ct.

Cicero, IL 60804

Telephone: (708) 656-2927