19th All-American Council is just one week away!

As widely anticipated, the 19th All-American Council [AAC] of the Orthodox Church in America will open in Saint Louis, MO on Monday, July 23, 2018. Hundreds of OCA and guest hierarchs, clergy and lay delegates, youth, and observers are expected to attend the week-long gathering, as well as the 92nd annual National Convention of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA], slated to be held at the historic Saint Louis Union Station Hotel — the AAC site — July 20-23.

The complete AAC agenda and schedule may be accessed online in the Delegate Handbook. A wealth of related information, including report books and liturgical music scores for AAC and Convention liturgical services, also is available on the AAC web site. And His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon’s recently completed document, “Of What Life Do We Speak? Four Pillars for the Fulfillment of the Apostolic Work of the Church,” is a “must read” not only for AAC participants, but every member of the Church.

Throughout the AAC, the OCA’s communications team will provide regular press releases, updates and galleries on the OCA web site and social media. Once again, Orthodox Web Solutions will offer daily coverage, while Ancient Faith Radio will podcast plenary sessions 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7 live. {Plenary sessions 3 and 5 are breakout sessions and, as such, will not be aired.]

The AAC theme is “For the Life of the World,” inspired by the classic work of the same name by the late Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann.

As noted in the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, “the All-American Council is the highest legislative and administrative authority within the Church. The Council brings together the various elements of the Church to bear witness to her identity, unity, and mission.”

Monday, July 9 is registration deadline for 19th AAC

Registration for the 19th All-American Council [AAC] the Orthodox Church in America, slated to be held in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018, will close on Monday, July 9.

Clergy and lay delegates who have yet to register for the Council should do so online before the deadline. Delegates and observers are reminded that their applications need to be approved by their respective diocesan hierarchs.

The Delegate Handbook, which contains the AAC agenda and a full set of instructions for participants, is available online, as are the reports of the Church’s Officers and the OCA’s Departments and Institutions. Delegates are reminded to download and print the Handbook and reports, which can be placed in binders that will be distributed at the AAC registration desk.

In related matters, those desiring to register for the formal dinner only may do so at the registration site by selecting the “formal dinner only” option. The cost for attending the dinner is $75.00. The cost of the dinner is included in the registration fee of those who registered as delegates and weekly observers.

Finally, the document by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon — Of What Life Do We Speak? Four Pillars for the Fulfillment of the Apostolic Work of the Church” — is also available in PDF format for downloading, as announced on June 24.

Any special circumstances or issues may be addressed tot he Preconciliar Committee at 19aac@oca.org.

Music for 19th AAC, FOCA Convention now available

Musical scores for the liturgical services that will be celebrated at the 92nd National Convention of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA] and the 19th All-American Council [AAC] of the Orthodox Church in America are now available online.

The Convention is slated to take place at the Saint Louis Union Station Hotel July 20-23, 2018. The All-American Council opens on Monday, July 23 and runs through Friday, July 27.

According to Dr. David Drillock, Chair of the OCA’s Department of Liturgical Music and Translations, a rehearsal for the weekend services will be held at the hotel on Saturday, July 21, at 3:45 p.m. Additional rehearsals for services throughout the week will be announced at the AAC. All convention and AAC singers are encouraged to attend the rehearsals and sing in the choir at all services.

The 19th AAC services [Vespers on Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday Vigil; Hierarchical Divine Liturgy plus an Addendum; and Akathists on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday] are available for downloading on the AAC website and below.

Official 19th AAC report books released

19 AAC

On Friday, June 15, 2018, the Preconciliar Commission released three official report books in preparation for the 19th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, slated to convene in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018.

The reports of the OCA officers and the Church’s departments and institutions together with the financial report are now available online.

“Article III, Section 5 of the OCA Statute requires that all reports to the All-American Council must be published and made available in written form at least thirty days prior to the opening of the AAC,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary. “The three report books offer a comprehensive review of the work of the Church since the last AAC.

“The Officers’ Report Book contains job descriptions and reports from the Chancellor, Secretary and Treasurer of the Orthodox Church in America,” Father Eric explained. “Included under each officer are reports on areas of responsibility, such as ORSMA/SMPAC and the Office of History and Archives. Also included is a report from the Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations.

“The Departments’ and Institutions’ Report Book includes reports from the OCA’s departments and related offices,” Father Eric continued. “Reports from the OCA’s institutions, including stavropegial monasteries, churches and seminaries; the at-large members of the Metropolitan Council; and the internal auditors are included. The Financial Report offers data on the OCA as well as her stavropegial institutions.”

Printed copies of the reports will not be available at the AAC, and delegates are reminded to download and print them and to bring them with them to the Council. Three-ring binders will be provided upon registration at the AAC site.

“Those responsible for submitting these reports will be presenting them at AAC plenary sessions and will be available to answer any and all questions during the AAC or individually,” Father Eric concluded.

Second hotel now available for 19th All-American Council

Saint Louis, MO’s historic Union Station Hotel, site of the 19th All-American Council [AAC] of the Orthodox Church in America July 23-27, 2018, has been fully booked as of Monday, June 11.

The Preconciliar Commission has made provisions for additional rooms at the Drury Inn Saint Louis at Union Station, conveniently located across the street from the station at 201 South 20 Street. A special room rate of $134.00 is available for AAC participants.

Reservations may be made online or by calling 1-800-325-0720. The group number for obtaining the special AAC rate is 2280876.

The Drury Inn’s amenities include a free hot breakfast and evening reception, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, fitness and business centers, and a pool.

June 11 deadline for 19th AAC exhibitors, vendors

Monday, June 11, 2018 is the deadline for exhibitors and vendors wishing to display and market their goods and services in the exhibition hall during the 19th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America.

The AAC will convene at the historic Saint Louis, MO Union Station Hotel July 23-27, 2018.

“The exhibition hall will be set up in the Midway, through which all delegates pass to attend plenary sessions,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary. “The highly visible location offers a great opportunity for the broadest exposure to AAC participants, and the exhibition hall will remain open daily for extended time periods to maximize contact with delegates and guests.”

Prospective vendors and exhibitors will find an introductory letter, prospectus, contracts and related information on the AAC web site. All fees should be sent to the 19th All-American Council, c/o Melanie Ringa, PO Box 675, Syosset, NY 11791.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Local Committee Exhibition Co-chairs, Ken Herman at kryanherman@gmail.com or Paul Reuschhoff at pdRueschhoff@sbcglobal.net.

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.