(OCA-DOS) - Dear Brothers and Concelebrants, Faithful, and Friends,
Christ is in our midst!
At last month's session of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, two men were vetted who might be potential episcopal candidates for our diocese. It was the judgment of the Holy Synod that both men need more experience. Therefore, we are taking steps to transfer one of these potential candidates, Fr Gerasim Eliel, into the Diocese of the South where he can begin working as a priest in our diocese and get some of the experience the members of the Holy Synod think important. We plan to put him into a position where he will be visible to members of our diocese and also which will allow him to begin working collegially with the priests of the Diocese of the South.
Unfortunately, without vetted and approved candidates, we will not be having a special nominating assembly as part of this summer's assembly at St Justin Martyr Orthodox Church in Jacksonville, FL. I know we were all looking forward to a nomination and possible election this summer. I would encourage us, however, to see this decision by the Holy Synod as the result of prayer and discernment as how best to proceed with the election of a hierarch for the Diocese of the South. In the meantime we can look forward to the move of Fr. Gerasim to the Diocese of the South and the gathering of experience by other potential candidates as small, but significant, steps toward a nomination at a later date.
Wishing you every blessing as we reach the midpoint of the fast, I remain faithfully yours
in Christ Jesus