2008 Fall Meeting Minutes


Opening Prayer – The meeting was opened at 10:40 a.m. following the offering of prayers led by V. Rev. Edward Hughes. There were 29 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`

Recording Secretary – Nancy Ghantous

Coordinators Present: Public Relations – Pam Samara, Humanitarian – Mary Ellen Mabardy, Membership – Priscilla Goss, Religious – Kh. Louise Ferguson

Absent: Website – Melissa Nassiff ,

Parish Delegates:

St. Mary, Cambridge - 2

St. John, Dedham - 1

St. George, Lawrence – 1

St. George, Lowell - 1

St. George, Norwood - 5

St. George, W. Roxbury - 4

St. George, Worcester - 2

St. Mary, Pawtucket - 4

St. Michael, Cotuit - 0

All Saints Mission, S. Weymouth - 0

St. Elias Mission, Fall River - 0

St. Emanuel, Warren - 0

St. Stevens, Springfield - 0

Secretary’s ReportNancy Ghantous

The Minutes of the Diocesan meeting at the Parish Life Conference, Providence, RI, June 26, 2008 were distributed for everyone to read. A motion to accept the minutes was made by Martha Stewart. The motion was carried after being seconded by Beverly Defalaminies.

Treasurer’s ReportCarol Swydan

Our checking account balance was reported, as well as the total in CD’s. We need to decide which charity we will donate our 10% tithing to for this year’s conference. Each year we donate 10% of our total account balance. Chapter Dues are due by the end of December 2008. Payments from each club should be sent to Carol Swydan who will send letters giving information. A motion to accept the report was made by Gladys Laham. The motion was passed after being seconded by Cindy Hayes.

Vice President – Project ReportDelores George

Vice President Delores George reported she and Violet Robbat will coordinate and send information to each Chapter announcing the new Project for the 2008-2009 session.

NA.B. Report - Violet Robbat, Vice President/NABProject

Violet distributed copies of the History of Antiochian Women, so members could learn about how the women’s club was started 35 years ago and how far it has come today. The Antiochian Women’s new Project for the 2008-2009 session will be Children with Special Needs. Metropolitan PHILIP will announce which Special Needs organizations will receive a donation. He has set a goal of $150,000 for this year. Special Needs touches everyone all over the whole world. The funds could go to several organizations such as Special Olympics or ALKAFAT which is a Lebanese organization that helps children with physical therapy, education, and development of useful skills.

Delores George will distribute posters and letters explaining the Children of Special Needs Project to Chapter Presidents. The posters are to be displayed by each Chapter in their Church. The funds that will be collected are to be sent by check to Treasurer Carol Swydan by April 15, 2009.

Coordinators and Committee Reports:

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

Melissa Nassif was absent. Her written report was distributed to members. Members can contact her with new information to put on the site by using her e-mail address: mnassiff@rcn.com.

Public RelationsPam Samara

Pam passed out copies of the newsletter for our Diocese of Worcester and New England. She brought the members attention to the announcement on page 2 of the ordination of the two priests who will be serving in the two new churches in our Diocese, St. Emanuel and St. Stevens. She distributed copies of the Fall DIAKONIA if anyone needed them. Pam would like news from each Chapter by the January meeting. 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

Louise announced the tentative dates for the February Retreat could be February 21st or February 28th, 2009. It will be at St. George Norwood. The Speaker will be announced when it is clear which date will be chosen. She asked for members to remember Kh. Joanne Bitar in their prayers. When Louise receives her copy of the Sophia Publication, the quarterly religious magazine of NAB, she copies and gives it out to every chapter.

HumanitarianMary Ellen Mabardy

Mary Ellen asked for members to get in touch with her to give her ideas for this year’s Humanitarian Project. She suggested churches affected by the hurricanes. Donations are to be given to her at the Parish Life Conference meeting in June 2009.

Membership Priscilla Goss

Priscilla announced the Spring Fling will be a trip to the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA on Saturday, April 4, 2009. If members choose they can go by bus from the Church of the Epiphany in Roslindale, MA. She passed out a report with details of the trip. She will send out a copy to each Chapter President who will pass out the forms to be returned by the January meeting. When Priscilla has a definite count she will notify the members of the cost. It is open for family and friends.

Corresponding Secretary – Joan Hanna

Joan read a Thank You note from the Matook Family. Nora sent letters to the two new churches, who have joined our Diocese, St. Emanuel and St. Stevens. She sent a letter of congratulations to V. Rev. John Abdalah for his elevation to Archmandrite.

President’s RemarksPres. Nora Walker

Nora referred to her President’s Report in the Antiochian Women’s Fall newsletter. It describes her trip to the Antiochian Village in Pennsylvania for the mid-summer meeting of Antiochian Women as such a touching experience. She returned with a renewed awareness of the Spirituality of our organization. She recommended that more people emphasize the Spiritual in their clubs along with the social aspects. Members should attend Vesper services mid-week.

Spiritual Advisor’s Remarks Fr. Edward Hughes

Father Hughes reminded the members that November 15th is the beginning of the Nativity Fast. It is the feast day of St. Guria, St. Shamuna and St. Habib the Deacon. They were martyrs of Edessa which included Turkey and Syria. Around the 300 A.D. the Goths from Russia invaded and took over most cities before 1000 A.D. This over turned the beliefs of the world. Pagans became Christians then Ayrians. A visiting Goth promised a girl’s mother he would take care of her daughter if she let him take the girl back to Russia to be his wife. When they returned to Russia the girl was given as a slave to the original wife of the Goth. When she was entombed by the Pagans she remembered that the Goth had swore to her mother he would take care of her daughter. She prayed to the Saints Guria, Shamuna and Habib to help her bare the entombment. Then she appeared to her mother in Edessa. When we need help we should pray to these Russian Icons. Special Saints like St. Kathryn, St. Barbara, St. Hermogenes can help us with their powerful love to be able to bare what is put upon us.

Old Business –

Salwa Khoury gave a report on the Parish Life Conference 2008. She thanked everyone for attending and said it was successful with 381 guests participating. She passed a written report of the number of members attending each group meeting, family dinner, luncheon, hafli, and the over all expenditures and net profit. Metropolitan PHILIP recommended the Bishop be able to meet with the clergy and that there be no guest speaker when the Bishop is present. It was good that we combined brunch with the Choir Festival. The Antiochian Women’s Luncheon will be scheduled on a Friday. The net was $9,649.93. A check for 10% of the net in the amount of $965.00 was presented to Antiochian Women.

New Business

Nora asked for answers to the “Women of the Bible” crisscross puzzle, which she had passed out at the June meeting. She gave each member a lovely votive candle.

Nora referred to the schedule of Meetings for the winter, spring and that the Retreat might be changed to Feb. 28th

The next Parish Life Conference will be at the Windom Hotel in Lawrence, MA Rt 93.

The brochure for the Youth Ministry is to be put in a conspicuous place in each church.

Carol Swydan said she had CD’s for sale that are titled Make a Joyful Noise – Select Hymns from Divine Liturgy by Regional Choirs of New England.

Gladys made a motion that the Antiochian Women send $500.00 to the N.A.B. scholarship fund each year.

The motion was then amended to send $500 to the N.A.B. scholarship fund for one year. The motion was passed after Salwa Khoury seconded it.

Mary Mabardy made a motion to table the discussion of where the 10% tithing should go this year. The motion was carried after Martha Stewart seconded it.

Martha suggested each church send a list of members’ relatives who are serving in the Arm Forces to the January 31st meeting.

A Motion to Adjourn was made at 12:00 by Martha Stewart and was passed after being seconded by Kh. Louise Ferguson.

Respectfully Submitted,

Nancy Ghantous, Secretary