General Assembly Continues on Friday, July 24
Today is the second day of the General Assembly of the Archdiocese Convention. Douglas Cramer and Ginny Nieuwsma, of the Dept. of Internet Ministry, will be updating this post with news from the assembly throughout the day. Ancient Faith Radio will be posting audio segments of the General Assembly throughout the day as well. Please check back as the day progresses for updates.
2:05pm: Extensive discussion continued during and following the report from the Dept. of Legal Affairs. Scheduled new business regarding the 2013 Convention and the appointment and election of Archdiocesan Trustees concluded the General Assembly, which adjourned at 2:00pm with concluding prayers led by Bishop JOSEPH.
1:05pm: Reports followed from the Dept. of Chaplain and Pastoral Counseling Ministry, and from Charles Ajalat concerning the new Pan-Orthodox charitable ministry FOCUS North America.
12:50pm: Metropolitan PHILIP's presentation was followed by the report of the Dept. of Finance. Many comments from the floor followed, initiating a lengthy back-and-forth discussion with Metropolitan PHILIP, Robert Laham, the bishops, officers of the Archdiocese, and others, around the topic of the need for and nature of financial audits of the Archdiocese. Much of the discussion centered on the technical details of auditing, what entities would need to be audited, the costs of auditing, auditing requirements and pros and cons, and more. The discussion was closed when a motion was approved to accept the Dept. of Finance report.
11:55am: His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP followed with his official presentation to the General Assembly. 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. The address, and the responses from the gathering during it, cannot be easily summarized, and the presentation will be best understood by listening to it in full on Ancient Faith Radio. Antiochian.org will attempt to post a more thorough summary of this address at a later time.
11:00am: Dan Abraham of the Order of St. Ignatius reported on their progress, emphasizing the work they have been able to accomplish by God's grace to support many of the ministries of the Archdiocese. The report was followed by a tribute video commemorating the service of the Order for the sake of the Church. The video was followed by comments from the floor thanking the Order for its support of Archdiocese teens, of Archdiocese seminarians, and of Project Mexico.
10:50am: Delegates gathering today also received at their tables the Annual Financial Report of the Archdiocese for the Fiscal Year ended January 31, 2009. In addition they received a set of resolutions: Resolution Welcoming Metropolitan PAUL (Saliba); Resolution of Appreciation for the Host Parish; Resolution Welcoming Myriam Shwayri and Commending the Al-Kafaat Rehabilitation and Skill Center; Resolution on Orthodox Unity; and Resolution to Recognize and Celebrate the 50th Anniversary to the Holy Priesthood of Our Father in Christ Metropolitan PHILIP.
10:40am: The Assembly opened promptly at 10:30, with His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP leading the gathering in the Lord's Prayer, followed by the presenting of gifts to him from NAC Teen SOYO and from the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. The Fellowship presented their report, and their president Joan Farha in return was presented with a gift from His Eminence in gratitude for her years of service.