On behalf of the Board and Advisors of Orthodox Christian Laity, thank you to Metropolitan Isaiah for blessing OCL’s 29th Annual Program and Meeting and for participating in the events of this weekend’s activities. His Eminence has been with us in prayer and direction, as a spiritual guide and father, since our formation. During the last 29 years, we have shared church concerns together. Also, thank you to His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel for sharing his prayers, love, advice, time and fellowship with us for 15 years. He has been an exceptional wise counselor, spiritual father and friend and has been present at almost every meeting despite his demanding schedule. His patience has helped us to understand the phronema (common mind) of the Church. Recently, much-needed levity has been provided by His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin with his wisdom and sense of humor.
Thank you to the new parish community, St Anna, under the pastoral guidance of Father Anthony Savas and Deacon Anatoli Kireiev. OCL appreciates their philanthropia and hospitality as well as the efforts of so many people who have worked with them to make this weekend memorable. Following the Holy and Great Council, held in Chania, Crete on June 17-26, 2016, we are in a historic and demanding conciliar era and need to be guided by Patriarch Bartholomew’s advice “…to move beyond words to action…putting our theology into practice…moving beyond what is mine and yours, to what is ours. “
St Anna parish and OCL share the love and spirit of the Souvall Family. Bill, Kim, their children and grandchildren are role models for us that reflect hope and faith. We are blessed to have their time and talent.
For almost three decades, OCL Annual Meetings have featured distinguished speakers, thoughtful panels and relevant topics (click here for OCL’s accomplishments and meeting topics). Our guest speakers this year are not strangers to OCL. This is the third discussion and presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou and the second presentation by Dr. Helen Theodoropoulos. They are both brilliant scholars, theologians and activists. Helen graduated first in her class at Holy Cross School of Theology, Brookline, MA, and Elizabeth has served as Vice Chair and Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. More importantly, both are devout Orthodox Christians who are active in the life of their parish communities. Dr. Prodromou was one of three women allowed to sit in meetings of the bishops attending the Holy and Great Council. We are grateful for their participation during this weekend.
The OCL Board and Advisors welcome you. Where are we going as a global, conciliar Orthodox Christian Church in the 21st Century? What is our role in the transformation and renewal of a unified, self-governing, canonical Orthodox Church in the USA? Join us in these critical discussions and pragmatic challenges that Orthodox Christian faithful face today.
George Matsoukas, Executive Director, Orthodox Christian Laity