Diocesan Council Meeting - 11/15/11

A meeting of the Diocesan Council was held on November 15, 2011 at the Agia Sophia Coffee House and Bookstore in Harrisburg. The location provided an opportunity for the members of the Diocesan Council to see first-hand the missionary outreach of the coffeehouse which has been operational since the beginning of September following several years of careful planning.


After partaking of coffee and refreshments at the coffee house, the members of the Council adjourned to a nearby office where weekly Bible studies are offered in conjunction with Agia Sophia. The use of this office space has been generously donated by Mr. John Harbilas, a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill and a great supporter of the work of the Orthodox Christian Charities of Greater Harrisburg.


The meeting began with the singing of “O Heavenly King” and with the intoning of “Memory Eternal” for the repose of the newly departed Dorothy, mother of John Buckeye, the lay Council representative from the Wilkes-Barre Deanery. His Grace, Bishop TIKHON, presented an outline of his report to the upcoming Diocesan Assembly. He also gave an update on the work of the Holy Synod and touched upon several items addressed at the recent All American Council held in Seattle.  


His Grace also highlighted the work of the Diocesan Revitalization Committee and presented that committee’s work on the revised Parish Health Inventory for possible use within our diocese.


The Diocesan Chancellor, Fr. John Kowalczyk, 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 a summary of the 2011 census results.


The Diocesan Treasurer, Fr. Martin Browne, presented his report, including an update on the diocesan finances and the upcoming final audit. He also presented the 2012 budget which calls for a $2 increase in the Diocesan assessment. After discussion, the budget, as presented, was approved by the Council.


Mr. Mark Linnehan, a member of the Revitalization Committee, offered a summary presentation of the work of the Committee and discussion followed. It was noted that a presentation would be made by the Revitalization Committee at Holy Trinity Church in Catasauqua, at which time a more concrete plan for moving forward will be discussed. There will also be a large section of the agenda devoted to this subject at the Diocesan Assembly in Williamsport.


A report on the Metropolitan Council was presented by Fr. David Mahaffey, with additional comments offered by Mr. David Yeosock, both of whom are our Diocesan representatives on the Metropolitan Council. They noted that several meetings were planned to address the consequences of the resolution on assessments passed at the All American Council.


The Council also reviewed the details of the upcoming Diocesan Assembly, which will take place on December 3rd at Holy Cross Church in Williamsport.