Text of Letter Translated into Each Respective Language and mailed/emailed along with a Translation of the Declaration for Unity in America to Patriarchs with Jurisdictions in America and within the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA.
Your Holiness (Your Beatitude),
Asking for your blessing.
We, the undersigned, are representatives of a rapidly growing number of American Orthodox believers who have signed the Declaration of Unity that is attached to this letter. We are laity and clergy together, and we come from all American Orthodox Christian jurisdictions.
It is our honor to write to you, one of our esteemed Hierarchs of the historic Orthodox churches from which our ancestors came to American shores. We thank you and all the past leaders of your venerable Church for your support and leadership that have helped to establish the Orthodox Christian presence in America and overcome many challenges; so that today, Orthodox Christianity is an esteemed part of the American religious landscape.
After much prayer and thought, a group of Orthodox Christian laypeople and clergy composed the Declaration document. We believe that the Declaration speaks for itself. In it, we call upon
the American Assembly of Orthodox Bishops to declare itself a Synod, elect its own leaders and articulate its governing procedures, thereby establishing an autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church for America to serve the local church in this land. We recognize that this is an historic step in the life of our Orthodox Christian Church, but one that is necessary for the Church’s stability, growth and impact in the hearts, minds and souls of the faithful in America.
One point that the Declaration raises, which we would like to emphasize especially, is the positive role that an administratively united Orthodox Christian Church in America will have in the practical application of the beliefs that unite all people of our Faith worldwide. Rather than weakening the Mother Churches from whence we came, a single canonical American Orthodox Church will speak with a united voice and display a strength that is not possible in the current, overlapping administrative structures. This strength will join that of your own Church to help define a new era for World Orthodox Christianity.
We ask you then to read and consider this Declaration with love and understanding. It presents the vision of a brighter and more vibrant Church of Christ in America that will support and benefit the Orthodox Church in every other part of the world. We look forward to your response.
With love in Christ, with great respect, and asking your holy prayers,
Peter Zarras, President George Karcazes, Secretary