(MOSPAT-USA) - On Friday, November 14, His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA led a regular session of the Bishop's Council of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA in St. Nicholas Cathedral, NYC. This meeting will mark Bishop John's first Bishop's Council meeting since his appointment as Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA in August of this year.
Before the start of the meeting, Bishop John presented Archpriest Roman Star with an icon set commemorating his 30th Anniversary to the priesthood.
After a light lunch, the meeting officially opened at 11:55am. Present at the meeting were all members of the Bishop's Council with the exception of Archpriest Igor Tarasov and Matushka Pamela Micek who were unable to attend due to extenuating circumstances.
At the invitation of the Bishop's Council, Mr. John Apostolos, of Compass Rose Services Inc. was present to answer various questions members of the council had regarding church liability and insurance opportunities.
His Grace then proceeded to announce that the Statutes of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA recently accepted at the recent Special Convocation of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA were approved by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. Vladyka then thanked the members of the council, and especially Archpriest Alexander Golubov for their labors in the drafting up the updated Statutes. A full version of the Statutes will be made available to each parish by postal mail and electronically through the official website of the Patriarchal Parishes once they become available.
Reader George Konyev then presented to the council a draft of future clergy identification cards and other matters pertaining to communication within the Patriarchal Parishes. The cards will be used to verify the clerical status of clergyman when visiting the infirm and other numerous uses. A final draft will be presented to the council upon which they will be available to the clergy. More information will be found on the official website as it becomes available. These ID cards are an important effort that I know of only one other jurisdiction doing. I hope to see this process moved to the Assembly of Bishops level in the near future.
Archpriest Vincent Saverino presented a proposal to the council for a clergy retreat to be held in 2015 in the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. The date and theme for the retreat has yet to be decided and will be presented at the next meeting of the Bishop's Council. It would not have been many years ago that the idea of using another jurisdiction's retreat space would have been a tough political sell. It's heartening to see the AV getting more use by American Orthodoxy.
The council resolved that a historical analysis of Orthodoxy in America be produced for distribution. Archpriest Alexander Golubov was appointed to the position and any interested party can contribute to the publication.
Bishop John then opened the floor to discussion in which council members had the opportunity to discuss matters pertaining to parish life.
His Grace Bishop John and the council members proceeded upstairs to the main cathedral for a commemorative group photo after which Vladyka thanked everyone for their participation in the meeting and wished them a safe journey to their parishes.
The next meeting of the Bishop's Council will be held on February 17, 2015 in St. Nicholas Church, Bayonne NJ.