St Ignatius Orthodox Church Cultural Center
April 10-12, 2013
Wednesday Evening, April 10, OCL Board Members attended the Lenten Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at the new Sanctuary of St Ignatius and following the Liturgy participated in a fellowship pot-luck dinner. Father Stephen Rogers greeted His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel and the OCL Board. The 25th Anniversary video was shown to the group and a short introduction to the work of OCL was presented by President Susan Haikalis. A highlight of the Lenten Pre-Sanctified Liturgy was sharing the service with many families and their children of all ages.
Formal Board meeting convened at the Cultural Center at 9:00am on the 11th. Those attending included Archbishop Nathaniel, Fr. Gordon Walker who helped organize our visit to this area, Susan Haikalis, Peter Haikalis, George Karcazes, Andy Kartalis, George Pontikes, Peter J. Petkas, Dr. Gayle Woloschak and Chris Xeros. A highlight of the meeting was meeting our new enthusiastic board member Dr. Gayle Woloschak.
Agenda was reviewed and Fall 2012 Washington DC minutes were reviewed. There were a number of clerical corrections and a clarification of the website as an educational vehicle rather than a blog. Andy Kartalis made the motion to accept the corrected minutes. George Pontikes seconded this motion and the minutes were unanimously accepted.
Discussion on the work and progress of the Assembly of Bishops followed. Executive Director’s Report indicated ways OCL was informing the laity about the work of the Assembly. General board discussion concluded that these past few years of meetings show that the bishops are beginning to develop an understanding of how they need to work together, including developing effective working relationships. They also need to identify ways to keep the Laity informed about the activities of the Assembly and the work of the Committees. The Bishops need to give their Priests a blessing to publicize the work of the Assembly at local levels. The Laity need to understand that One Bishop per diocese is the canonical norm for the Church. The website will be used to promote work of the Assembly and will pull subjects/reports from the Assembly website –especially interviews of the Bishops themselves which are on the Assembly site. We will help encourage our readers to also use the Assembly site.
During Lunch a presentation was made by John Meese on the reorganization of Orthodox Christian Fellowship. John is the South East Regional Coordinator for OCF and is working in that capacity as a volunteer/intern. Efforts are being made to make this region a model for the reorganization of all regions of OCF. Mickey Hodges of the National board and Brian Short a local board leader accompanied John and contributed to his presentation. OCF National is in the process of redefining and developing an organizational structure to grow. It is taking inventory of where chapters exist and who are their advisors. It is concentrating on training regional leaders, district leaders and local leaders. They were encouraged to define their financial needs for the National and local chapters. They are focusing on the mission of OCF, being a clearing house for the 250 local chapters that have campus fellowships and helping to connect students to parish life after college.
The executive director of OCL had been in touch with the National Office of OCF and a few of the needs of the organization were discussed. John was informed that His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel would assist OCF in organizing its summer training program for regional and other leaders and offered space and other resources including speakers for this summer program. OCL has been interested in the work of OCF for many years and has provided scholarships for Winter College Conferences, grants to provide leadership in certain regions. Two board members have developed a model OCF program in Cleveland at their own initiative which is now being funded by the various parishes. This program has a paid staff which helps oversee the needs of four separate OCF programs at 4 different local universities in this geographical area.
Following the lunch-discussion with OCF the OCL board discussed the need to put together its financial records. Board requests that treasurer send the last 7 years of tax returns to Joanne Nikides and the previous years of tax returns are to be sent to OCL Archives at DePaul University. Due to the illness of George Aravosis and at the request of Jim Koulogeorge who has indicated his wish to resign it is necessary to find successors and new signatories for our OCL accounts. George Karcazes and George Pontikes indicated a willingness to oversee our accounts until a new Treasurer is elected in October. (E mail went out to board members asking for ratification of these two members as signers on May 15 and a majority of board approves) They will also assist Jim in getting the records to Joanne and the Archives. Board wants Joanne to handle the day to day financial and bookkeeping operations of OCL with the oversight of the Treasurer. It was also suggested that George Matsoukas and Joanne Nikides will have authorization to sign checks up to $500 value on behalf of the business of OCL. Any checks beyond that amount will be signed by George Karcazes and George Pontikes with proper backup. George Matsoukas and Joanne Nikides will not sign payroll checks. This proposal was sent out in the May 15th e mail to board members and was approved by a majority.
Friday April 10 2013 George Pontikes presented a thorough and inspired overview of the Jesus Prayer.
Fall Meeting time, place and topic were discussed. Board authorized Susan to speak with her network in California to see what could be planned. The date of the meeting will be November 5-9th 2013. Details will be forthcoming. October 30-November 2 is an alternative date for the meeting.
The board voted to make the following gifts: $350 gift to the reorganization of the SE Region of OCF; $200 to DePaul University OCL Archives; $350 to the Pan Orthodox Meeting of Youth of Akron, Ohio; $200 to St Ignatius Church, Franklin TN; and $750 advertisement in the Year Book of the National Antiochian Assembly.
Peter J. Petkas and Chris Xeros will work together to check on the commitment of Alin Voicu-Comendant to serve on the OCL Board. He is from the Dallas area.
Foundation meeting was held presided by Peter Haikalis. Should the endowment fund be used to underwrite the website? Should the Endowment and OCL Boards Merge? Should the loan to OCL Be forgiven? Peter will draft a letter for an Endowment Appeal. Issues raised will be discussed in October.
Meeting was adjourned at 12 noon.
Minutes Approved by Susan Haikalis, George Karcazes and George Matsoukas