48th Annual Diocesan Assembly in Williamsport - 12/03/11

The 48th Annual Assembly of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania was held at Holy Cross Orthodox Church, in the city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Saturday, December 3rd. The day began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy with prayers being offered for the health and development of our Diocese.


In addition to his detailed report posted online, His Grace, Bishop Tikhon, recounted six stories: three tragic and three hopeful. The first two stories (the lyrics of Jimi Hendrix’s Hey Joe and the story of the Titanic) described a tragic internal struggle and a tragic external struggle. The next two stories were about hopeful struggles: the life of St. Mary of Egypt and her internal struggle, and the external struggles faced by the Apostles in preaching the Risen Lord. In the final two stories, His Grace suggested that the Diocese had a choice in facing its internal and external struggles either with hope or with resignation and despair. He concluded with a call to follow the path of hope by committing ourselves as a Diocese to the process of revitalization.


All Administrative and Departmental Reports were posted ahead of time on the Diocesan website and are available under the special tab labeled “Diocesan Assembly 2011.” The Diocesan Chancellor and Diocesan Deans offered comments on their reports, which were accepted. A comprehensive report was offered by Diocesan Treasurer, followed by a lengthy discussion on the funding of the Church. The report of the Diocesan Auditing Committee was offered, noting that four audits were held this year and that all receipts were in order.


Paul Berdy, CPA, of Kronick, Kalada, Berdy & Co., P.C., gave his report which was made available at the meeting. He focused on items that had changed from the prior year, noting that the reports are always done on a cash basis. He stated that this year the Diocese had a healthier balance - $57,000 this year compared to last year’s $34,000. He also said that there was a $17,000 change in assets because of an increase in equity this year.


The Metropolitan Council Report was given as a separate hand-out detailing highlights of the Metropolitan Council meetings. Other reports from the Office of Communications, the Office of Young Adult Activities, Institutional Chaplains, Holy Apostles Mission, the Russian Mission, and the Agia Sophia Coffeehouse were given, discussed and approved.


The Revitalization Committee offered a special presentation facilitated by a member of the Committee, Mr. Mark Linnehan, of Holy Apostles Mission, Mechanicsburg. His presentation focused on the 8-part Parish Health Inventory Model that will be made available online to parishes in our Diocese to use as a tool for assessing parish health, identifying obstacles and opportunities, and establishing a framework for change. The report was well received and a lively discussion ensued.


The proposal of the Budget for 2012 was presented by Fr. Martin Browne. He recommended a $2 increase in the Diocesan assessment, up from $46 annually to $48 annually for 2012. Following a discussion, the budget was approved by the Assembly. Bishop Tikhon reminded the delegates that he is requiring 100% compliance with the administrative requirements of the Diocese as mandated by last year’s Assembly. This compliance includes submission of sexual misconduct prevention paperwork, budget information, and parish bylaws.  


Bishop Tikhon conluded by thanking Fr. Daniel Kovalak and the faithful of Holy Cross for their hospitality and for hosting the Assembly.