Diocesan Council Meets and Serves at Soup Kitchen - 08/11/11

A meeting of the Diocesan Council was held on August 11 at St Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Allentown. The meeting was held at this location in order to provide an opportunity for the members of the Diocesan Council to participate in the Soup Kitchen which is sponsored daily by the Lehigh County Conference of Churches.


The members arrived early to help prepare the food and then began their meeting with the presentation of the Treasurer’s report offered by Father Martin Browne. A discussion followed on the financial situation of several parishes in the Diocese. His Grace, Bishop TIKHON, then presented his report in which he gave an update on the work of the Assembly of Bishops, the Holy Synod and the upcoming All American Council.


At noon, the meeting adjourned for the serving of the meal. Over 130 people were served a healthy meal and were also treated to the traditional opening and closing prayers sung by the Diocesan Council. The Diocesan Council expressed its gratefulness to the volunteers and coordinators of this ministry and sang “Many Years” for them. Following the meal, the meeting of the Diocesan Council reconvened.


His Grace highlighted the work of the Diocesan Revitalization Committee which has met regularly and is currently reviewing a Parish Health Inventory for possible use within our diocese. He also spoke about his desire to focus on clergy health, noting that he is preparing a questionnaire for the clergy to begin addressing this broad but important area. His Grace also noted some upcoming events within our diocese, including:


• Lectures by Dr. Tristram Engelhardt (September 7th-11th)

• Memorial Service and Concert for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 (All Saints, Olyphant, September 11th)

• Reconsecration of All Saints in Olyphant (September 17th)

• Centennial Celebration, St John the Baptist in Nanticoke (October 22nd)


Bishop TIKHON concluded his report with some updates on St Tikhon’s Seminary and Monastery, asking especially for prayers on behalf of the Dean of the Seminary, Fr. Alexander Atty, who will be undergoing further treatments for cancer.


The Chancellor, Fr. John Kowalczyk, then presented his report, highlighting the recent travels of the Bishop and giving updates on the census and on diocesan compliance with the Policies, Standards and Procedures of the OCA on sexual misconduct. He summarized recent clergy movements and offered congratulations to Fr. Matthew and Mat. Jennifer Cantrell on the birth of their son, Theodore. Prayers were requested for Fr. Theodore Orzolek who was recently hospitalized.


The Council also finalized the location of the Diocesan Assembly which will take place on December 3rd at Holy Cross Church in Williamsport. Since this will be a one-day Assembly, a motion was made that no assessment would be collected for this Assembly. The next meeting of the Diocesan Council will take place at the Agia Sophia Coffee House in Harrisburg on November 15.