The members of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL are prayerfully grateful for the dedicated and exhaustive work of the Assembly of Bishops and its Committees in developing the blueprint for a canonical, self-governing Orthodox Church in the United States. We are hopeful that the time, talent and resources that have been expended these past five years to establish such a canonical Church will result in a blueprint that meets the spiritual and religious needs of the faithful People of God who live in this geographic area. A good result will enable the Church to retain its faithful, inspire its youth, and be a vibrant and eloquent mission Church in the USA.
We are grateful to the Autocephalous Primates who have directed the bishops of the United States to assemble and develop a plan that they can all agree upon. The eyes of the world are on the work of this Assembly, because it is the largest and most diversified Orthodox Church in the lands outside of the traditional Orthodox territories. We are grateful to His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, for his vision of gathering the Autocephalous Orthodox Primates at the Phanar on two occasions to charge and reaffirm the work of the Assemblies of Bishops throughout the world.
We are grateful to His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, for his inspiring charge to the Dallas Assembly in September, asking the bishops to accept the tremendous challenge before them and to move beyond words to action and to perform the duty they were ordained to do which is to work in unity and love in teaching the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for the salvation of souls.
We are grateful to Archbishop Demetrios for gathering the bishops together and shepherding them to this point in time. He now needs our prayers in gathering the resources that will assist the bishops to make the necessary adjustment of differences, accommodations, and concessions and move beyond what is ‘mine’ and what is ‘yours’ to what is ‘ours.’ We also thank Bishop Basil for the work of the Secretariat and Archbishop Nicolae for the work of the Regional Planning Committee. We sincerely thank all the other bishops and their committees for their conscientious work and the plans that they have developed.
We are grateful to the dedicated staffs that are assisting the bishops. We are grateful for the generous benefactors who have contributed to making the meetings possible. We are grateful to the lay and clergy participants at the Open Forums which have discussed the work of the Assembly that have taken place in Dallas TX, Cleveland OH, Washington DC, West Palm Beach FL, and Moraga CA. We also thank all the faithful who affixed their names to the Petition Supporting the work of the Assembly of Bishops. This petition was sent to all the bishops for whom we had email addresses.
We ask the faithful People of God to continue to fervently pray for the bishops and work of the Assembly as they begin to finalize a workable plan for a canonical autocephalous ORTHODOX CHURCH OF AMERICA that can be presented to the Great and Holy Council in 2016.
Continue to be informed by checking the websites of the Assembly of Bishops and OCL.
George Matsoukas, OCL Executive Director
But a canonical autocephaly has already existed in North America for 40 years. The Assembly is not doing a thing to declare a united jurisdiction by 2016 or any time after. The only condition placed on the work of the Assembly is that it not challenge the supremacy (sic) of the Ecumenical throne.