19th AAC Forum themes announced

With the blessing of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, six forums will be offered during the 19th All-American Council, slated to be held in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018.

“These forums are based on of the document titled ‘Of What Life Do We Speak?: Four Pillars for the Fulfillment of the Apostolic Work of the Church,’ authored by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon,” according to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary. “This document will serve as the study guide for the 19th AAC and will be sent out to all parishes and institutions prior to the AAC. Parishes and Institutions can utilize this in preparation for the forums.”

The forums will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, July 24 and 25, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., thereby allowing delegates to participate in two of the six presentations.

Forum themes include the following.

  • Forum 1: Spiritual Life – How Can We Improve Our Personal Relationship With Christ
  • Forum 2: Spiritual Life: – How Can We Better Care for Our Clergy?
  • Forum 3: Stewardship – How Do We Properly Steward What God Has Entrusted to Us?
  • Forum 4: Relation With Others – How Can We More Effectively Communicate And Interact With The World, North America, Non-Orthodox Groups and The Community?
  • Forum 5: Evangelization – How Can We More Effectively Establish Missions And Revitalize Our Churches?
  • Forum 6: Evangelization – How Can We More Effectively Reach Our Parishioners?

“These forums will be vital in charting the future of the Church,” Father Eric added. “They are invaluable as they will allow for an open discussion on a Church-wide level and offer the tools necessary to begin planning for the future.”

June 4 deadline for FOCA youth “Celebration of Faith” entries

June 4, 2018 is the deadline for entering the “Celebration of Faith” youth creative arts contest sponsored by the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA].

This year’s contest theme is “For the Life of the World,” which is also the theme of the Orthodox Church in America’s 19th All-American Council.

“Entrants, who need not be FOCA members, are invited to create and submit original artistic pieces in the areas of literature, musical composition, photography and the visual arts,” said FOCA President Marge Kovach. “Cash prizes totaling $500.00 will be awarded, and all entries will be on display throughout the FOCA’s 92nd annual National Convention July 20-23 and the All-American Council July 23-27.”

Both events will be held in Saint Louis, MO.

Entries should be sent to the FOCA Celebration of Faith, c/o Danielle Kovach, 8 Ginesi Drive, Clark, NJ 07066. Further information is available by contacting Danielle at dkovach517@aol.com. A detailed list of rules for each category and an entry form may be accessed on the FOCA web site.

19th AAC Handbook released, available online

In accordance with the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, Article 3, Section 5, the Delegate Handbook for the 19th All-American Council [AAC] is now available online.

As widely announced, the 19th AAC will be held in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018. The Council theme will be “For the Life of the World,” inspired by the classic book of the same name written by the late Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann.

“The Handbook, which according to the Statute must be issued 60 days prior to the opening of the AAC, includes the approved agenda, instructions, rules and arrangements for the AAC, as well as submitted and approved Statute amendments and resolutions for consideration by AAC delegates,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary. “The Handbook also provides procedures for submitting resolutions during the AAC.

“The Handbook has been blessed by the Holy Synod of Bishops, and delegates are requested to read it in its entirety, download it and bring it with them to the AAC,” Father Eric added. “Hard copies will not be available at the Council. Upon registering, delegates will receive three-ring binders in which to place the Handbook.”

Reports on the OCA’s various offices, departments and institutions will be released online 30 days prior to the AAC’s opening, in accordance with Article 3, Section 5 of the Statute.

Questions or concerns may be addressed to the Preconciliar Commission at 19aac@oca.org.

19th AAC Youth Program agenda announced

With over 130 youth and 30 staff members already registered, the Youth Program slated to be held during the 19th All-American Council [AAC] of the Orthodox Church in America promises to provide a faith-filled week for children and teens.

As widely announced, the 19th AAC will be held in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018. The theme of the gathering is “For the Life of the World” — a theme that will be explored by the youth in a variety of workshops, outings and related activities. A detailed schedule of youth events is now available online.

“We will be visiting Saint Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch, Forest Park’s Science Center and Zoo, Six Flags, and the City Museum,” said Priest Benjamin Tucci, who is coordinating the program. “Youth will enjoy a brunch with the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops. They will explore the Divine Liturgy, Orthodox Christian chanting and singing, and what it means to be an Orthodox Christian during the week’s educational sessions and workshops.”

The youth also will offer a presentation to AAC delegates and observers at the closing plenary session.

Registration officially closes on May 15.

“We are anticipating a faith-and-fun-filled learning experience as we grow together in Christ,” Father Benjamin concluded.

Questions may be directed to Father Benjamin at 612-599-1125 or frbentucci@gmail.com.

The AAC Youth Program curriculum also is available online in PDF format.