19th AAC resolutions, Statute amendments, now being accepted

The Resolutions Committee of the 19th All-American Council [AAC] of the Orthodox Church in America is now accepting proposed resolutions for consideration by AAC delegates.

“Parishes and other Church bodies — deaneries, dioceses, stavropegial institutions — are asked to submit proposed resolutions and amendments for consideration well before the AAC convenes in St. Louis, MO on July 23-27, 2018,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary. “All information relating to resolutions and statute amendments is posted on the web site of the 19th All-American Council.”

Proposed resolutions should be sent via e-mail to resolutions.19aac@oca.org or by mail to the Resolutions Committee, 19th All-American Council, c/o the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America, PO Box 675, Syosset, NY 11791. The deadline for submitting proposed resolutions is April 25, 2018.

“After review by the Resolutions Committee, proposals will be published and posted by May 24, 2018 — 60 days before the AAC, as required by Article III, Section 5 of the current Statute of the Orthodox Church in America,” Father Eric added. “Resolutions also may be proposed during the course of the AAC itself.”

The Resolutions Committee will review all submitted proposals and, if necessary, will discuss possible editorial changes with the submitting body. Should substantially identical resolutions be submitted, the Committee will consolidate them into a single resolution, again after consultation with the submitting bodies. If, in the estimation of the Committee, a proposed resolution clearly lies outside the AAC’s competence, whether on canonical grounds or due to conflict with the OCA Statute, the Committee will inform the submitting body accordingly. In case of doubt, a proposed resolution will be submitted to the Holy Synod to determine whether it can be brought before the AAC. Should a proposed resolution be determined to lie outside the competence of the AAC, the Committee, in consultation with the Holy Synod and the proposing body, will consider alternative ways of bringing issues underlying the proposed resolution to the attention of the Council’s delegates.

“After review of submissions, the Resolutions Committee will turn over proposed resolutions to the Preconciliar Commission for inclusion on the All-American Council agenda,” Father Eric explained. “Deliberation on proposed resolutions will take place in plenary sessions throughout the course of the Council.”

Resolutions from parishes normally shall bear the signatures of the parish priest and the president of the parish council; those submitted by deaneries shall bear the signatures of the dean and other priests of the deanery. Resolutions from dioceses shall bear the signatures of the bishop and the diocesan chancellor, while those submitted by stavropegial institutions should bear the signatures of the abbot, dean or rector and at least one other member of the institution in question. Resolutions will be sent to the respective diocesan hierarch, who will sign and forward them to the Resolutions Committee.

In line with the OCA Statute, Article XVII, amendments to the OCA Statute may be submitted to the Commission on Statutes and Canons prior to the 19th All-American Council.

“An amendment may be proposed by the Holy Synod, the Metropolitan Council, diocesan assemblies, diocesan councils, deaneries, parish assemblies, parish councils, monasteries, and seminaries,” Father Eric noted. “A proposed amendment must be submitted to the Commission on Statutes and Canons at least 90 days prior to the date set for the convening of an All-American Council. All proposed amendments must be received by the Commission by April 25, 2018 and will be published by May 24, 2018 — 60 days before the Council, per Statute Article XVII, Section 3.

“The Commission on Statutes and Canons shall consider proposed amendments and may either approve, consolidate, or return proposed amendments,” Father Eric concluded. “An amendment of the Statute requires a two-thirds majority of the delegates of an All-American Council present and voting and becomes effective immediately upon the final adjournment of the AAC unless otherwise noted.”

The relevant Statute submissions should be sent via email to statute.19aac@oca.org or by mail to the Statute Commission, 19th All-American Council, c/o Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America, PO Box 675, Syosset, NY 11791.

Members of the Resolution Committee include His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest, Chair of the 19th AAC Preconciliar Commission; Archpriest Dimitri Cozby; Michael Strelka; and Judge E. R. Lanier, OCA General Counsel. Members of the Commission on Statutes and Canons include His Grace, Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa, Chair; Archpriest Ioan Cozma; Archpriest John Erickson; Archpriest Alexander Rentel; and Judge E. R. Lanier.

A Brief History of Sts. Cyril and Methody Eastern Orthodox Church

The beginning of the church as a parish originated late in 1978 and early 1979 with a contingent of Macedonian-Bulgarian Orthodox worshippers. They turned to His Grace Bishop KYRILL, who on May 15, 1979, as Bishop of the Bulgarian Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, accepted the parish under the spiritual guidance of the Toledo Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America.

This church has the same name as the first Macedonian-Bulgarian Orthodox Church built in Granite City which was also the first Macedonian-Bulgarian Orthodox Church built in the United States. The present church was started and built by the offspring of many of the organizers of the original Sts. Cyril and Methody Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

The present day Sts. Cyril and Methody Eastern Orthodox Church situated at 4770 Maryville Road in Granite City, Illinois, held its official groundbreaking at this site on October 5, 1980. The day was shared by parishioners and friends and Mr. Philip Morrison, who donated four acres of his farmland for the purpose of erecting a church,

Both before the groundbreaking and afterwards, Father Kiril Antonoff was with us serving as adviser and conducting liturgical services as often as possible.

Father Kyril, who served the Madison and Granite City community for many years as rector and supply priest to the Orthodox parishes in the area and especially to Sts. Cyril and Methody and the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Churches. Father Kyril, of Blessed Memory, departed from this life in 2013 will always be remembered for his service to the Church and his kindness and unending love to this parish.

Services during this early time were celebrated in an office at the Levee Board Building whenever priests were available. During April 1979, Father Joseph Miller conducted a full cycle of services for Holy Week and Pascha. On May 6, 1979, Father Daniel Gurovich celebrated the Divine Liturgy. He became the first parish priest and served through November 1980 in the second home which was in the Trattler Building. The third home was the Granite City Army Depot Chapel where the liturgy was conducted each Sunday by Father Michael Margitich, the Orthodox Chaplain attached to Scott Air Base in Belleville, Illinois.

On Palm Sunday 1981, the first Divine Liturgy was conducted by Father Margitich in the yet to be completed interior of Sts. Cyril and Methody Eastern Orthodox Church.

There were many first events in the new church. The first wedding ceremony was celebrated by Bishop KYRILL on June 21, 1981. The first priest of the new church building was Father Steven Kostoff, assigned to the parish from July 1981 to September 1985. Father George Hretz served as priest from October 1985 to August 1986. From September 1986 to August 1987, parishioners conducted Reader Services one Sunday while the Divine Liturgy was conducted by a visiting priest on the alternate Sunday. Visiting priests included Father Bogdan Djurdjilov from Chicago and Father Thomas Succarotte from the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Eastern Orthodox Church in Madison, Illinois. Father Andrew Moulton became the church priest in August 1987 and continues as spiritual leader of the church.

The church has grown during these years in many ways. The Sisterhood, which has many activities to raise funds for the Church such as making baked goods for sale to parishioners and at local festivals and sponsors a retreat during Lent.

Church parishioners also serve as Epitropes which includes taking care of candles and counting all church monies at every church service, serving as ushers, and greeting people as they enter the church.

The Church School encompasses several different age groups: pre-school, elementary, junior high, high school, and adult study. These groups meet prior to Sunday Morning Liturgy Services.

Prayer Group meets the last Saturday of the month after Vespers. The monthly meeting includes a review of those prayed for good health, anniversaries, birthdays, passages and a study of religious books.

Bible Study for parishioners and the public follows Vespers on Wednesday evenings.

The Youth Group includes junior high, senior high, and university students. The group participates in community ministry and service to spread the Orthodox Faith throughout the community. Examples of activities are a baby shower benefit for the Phoenix Crisis Center, a women and children shelter house, a letter writing campaign for troops overseas, a yearly ice cream social to benefit the OCA Christmas Stocking Project, and a yearly Adopt-a-School project which donates school supplies throughout the year and a Giving Tree Gift Campaign at Christmas. Members also prepared breakfast and served it to residents of the McDonald House in St. Louis. A fundraiser includes selling desserts at the yearly Church Homecoming and Picnic. Another yearly event is the Sunday Night Christmas Movie night with snacks.

Guided always by the Holy Spirit, the devoted parishioners of Sts. Cyril and Methody parish have generously given of their time, talent, and resources to make possible the building of our Temple and all that we have accomplished during these past thirty-eight years. We humbly pray that, by the grace of God, we and those who come after us will continue to build on the good foundation which has been laid.