2008 June (Parish Life) Minutes


Diocesan Meeting
Parish Life Conference
Providence, RI
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Antiochian Women
Diocese of Worcester and New England



Opening Prayer – The meeting was opened at 2:30 p.m. with the Antiochian Women’s prayer led by Marilyn Robbat. There were 20 members present.

Roll Call

Executive Board Present: Advisor – V. Rev. Edward Hughes, President – Nora Walker, Vice President – Delores George, Treasurer – Carol Swydan, Corresponding Secretary – Joan Hanna., Past President - Priscilla Goss`

Absent: Recording Secretary – Nancy Ghantous

Coordinators Present: Public Relations – Pam Samara, Humanitarian – Gladys Laham, Website – Melissa Nassiff ,

Membership – Marilyn Robbat, Religious – Kh. Louise Ferguson

Parish Delegates:

St. Mary, Cambridge - 4

St. John, Dedham - 2

St. George, Lawrence – 0

St. George, Lowell - 1

St. George, Norwood - 3

St. George, W. Roxbury - 2

St. George, Worcester - 1

St. Mary, Pawtucket - 4

St. Michael Cotuit - 0

All Saints Mission S. Weymouth - 0

St. Elias Mission Fall River - 0

Secretary’s ReportNancy Ghantous

Since Nancy was unable to attend the meeting, the Minutes of the Diocesan meeting at St. George, Lowell, MA, April 12 , 2008 were distributed for everyone to read. Joan Hanna will record the minutes for the meeting of June 26, 2008. A motion to accept the minutes was made by Mary Ellen Mabardy. The motion was carried after being seconded by Katie Birtwell.

Treasurer’s ReportCarol Swydan

Our checking account and CD balances were reported. A motion to accept the report was made by Priscilla Goss. The motion was passed after being seconded by Martha Stewart.

Vice President – Project ReportDelores George

Vice President Delores George reported the total Project Money, $14,202.79, has been sent to NAB. She submitted a written report detailing the total amounts collected by each chapter. A motion to accept the report was made by Marilyn Robbat. The motion was carried after being seconded by Delores Elias.

NA.B. Report - Violet Robbat, Vice President/NABProject gave a report on the conception of the Antiochian Women. In 1972 Metropolitan Philip said the women have a definite ministry in the life of the Church besides being in the kitchen of the Church. Therefore, he asked Helen Rihbany to explore this line of thinking. She spent one year and visited every diocese. She compiled her report and gave it to the Metropolitan. The first President was Pauline Maloof. Violet mentioned all our projects. Every Christmas we give the Seminarians a gift which they can spend anyway they wish. With an original goal of five years we have reached the $500,000 mark for the Retired Clergy within four years. The New England Region has raised more money than any other diocese. The next new challenge has not been announced. Violet will attend the National meeting at the Heritage and Learning Center at the Antiochian Village in July 2008.

Coordinators and Committee Reports:

WebsiteMelissa Nassiff http://www.antiochian.org/neraocwna

Melissa Nassiff updated us on the newsletter on the website. Members can contact her with new information to put on the site by using her e-mail address: mnassiff@rcn.com.

Public RelationsPam Samara

President Nora thanked Pam for all her work. In her recent newsletter she highlighted facts about Fr. Hughes in a quiz for everyone to answer. She had copies of the Diakonia if anyone needed them. She would like any news by the September meeting. Pam passed out copies of the newsletter for our Diocese of Worcester and New England which should be copied and given to chapter members. She has sent e-mails to each chapter with a colored copy of the newsletter attached. Anyone can send information for their club’s events to her by mail (304 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545) or e-mail pms@townisp.com .

ReligiousKh. Louise Ferguson

When Louise receives her copy of the Sophia Publication, the quarterly religious magazine of NAB, she copies and gives it out to every chapter. She stressed the importance of daily prayer and requested suggestions of a new topic for our next retreat 2009. Violet suggested we put the request on the AOCWNA website.

HumanitarianGladys Laham

Gladys Laham thanked all the chapters for their contributions to the Hasbro Children’s Hospital. All gift cards were signed Antiochian Women. She displayed all the items for all to see. Next year Mary Ellen Mabardy will be Humanitarian Coordinator.

Membership Marilyn Robbat

Marilyn gave out copies of the favorite “Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow” written in the summer copy of the Diakonia in loving memory of Kourieh Joanne Abdalah. She gave out an article on Saints and hopes more people will become committed to becoming contemporary apostles for the Orthodox Church.

Spiritual Advisor’s Remarks Fr. Edward Hughes

Fr. Hughes repeated Metropolitan Philip’s admiration for the Ladies’ Groups. Every Parish in the Archdiocese is founded by the women. He recounted how women have come along and taken on a major role. How important we are to the life of the Church and our children. Women have a special bond with the Holy Spirit. Women have shown up in every aspect of Jesus’ life. Some women in the community live alone in monasteries. Nuns started with St. Ann mother of the Theotokos. The Parish is a family. Women set the tone and atmosphere of the Parish. Young women of today are not as involved in the Church. They don’t have enough time for family, work and Church. Encourage young people to set priorities and put the Church in our lives.

New BusinessNora Walker encouraged members to bring an extra person to the meeting in September.

Priscilla Goss gave out a survey to fill out. It was suggested at one of our meetings we have a program about Icons of Women Saints. Christine Ferguson (St. George, West Roxbury) is in contact with a woman who would be willing to give a presentation at one of our meetings. Our Vice President Delores suggested we visit the Icon Museum in Clinton, MA.

Nora will be sending out a calendar to all Chapter Presidents so they can list all their events from September to June, fill it in and return to her. She read next year’s schedule and is going to make sure Teen Soyo, and St. John the Divine are aware of these dates.

President’s RemarksPres. Nora Walker

Nora gave out a “Women of the Bible” crisscross puzzle, which she asked the group to fill out and bring back in September. Gladys Laham and Marilyn Rabbat will be co-chairs for a 35th anniversary party of AOCWNA in November. Our new members joined from the Charismatic Evangelical Church of West Brookfield, MA. Their entire congregation will be joining the Archdiocese. They will be under the Worcester Diocese.

A Motion to Adjourn was made at 3:45 by Jameely Aoude and was passed after being seconded by Rose George.

Respectfully Submitted,

Nancy Ghantous, Secretary