[St Seraphim Cathedral - Dallas, TX]
The second full day of the 2014 Diocesan Assembly began at 8:00am with the celebration of Matins by Priest Benedict Crawford from Christ the Savior Church in McComb, MS, who afterwards shared the recently discovered news that the local Orthodox community had once been served by Saint Raphael Hawaweeny. Following a relaxed breakfast, Archpriest Jacob Kulp gave a talk, "The Gurus, the Old Man, and the Elder Paisios," highlighting the modern phenomena of seeking spiritual entertainment and reading uncritically, while the Matushki headed off for a day at Nativity of Our Lord Monastery in Kemp, TX. After the talk, updates from various missions around the Diocese were presented before breaking for lunch.
In the afternoon, business continued with the Second Plenary Session of the Assembly, starting with a presentation by Archpriest Eric G Tosi, OCA Secretary, on the 18th All-American Council, which will be held next year in Atlanta from July 20 - 25. Fr Eric pointed out that this is a great opportunity for us to highlight the great work going on in our Diocese, especially given the AAC's theme, "How to Expand the Mission." Fr Eric then also mentioned some of the other work of the central administration of particular interest in the Diocese, including a recent bequest to begin a Missions School, and his ongoing work with the Seminarians at St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and its Parish Mentorship Program that is conducted through the OCA.
At the conclusion of his program, the Assembly took a moment to do some caucusing, and then elected new members for the Diocesan Council. Returning to the Council this year are Mr Bert Walther (Appalachian Deanery), Mr Noel Busch (Central Florida Deanery), Mat Elizabeth Perdomo (Southcentral Deanery), Dr Barbara Massoudi (Southeastern Deanery), and Mr Gary Popovich (South Florida Deanery). Joining the Council for the first time is Rdr Gregory Hayda (Carolinas Deanery), who was also present at the Assembly as the Lay Delegate for Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Columbia, SC.
Reports from each Deanery and Monastic Community followed the elections, and after a few housekeeping issues, the Assembly adjourned for the celebration of Vespers by Priest Adam Sexton of St Andrew the First-Called Orthodox Church in Ashland, VA. After a delicious dinner, once again provided by the parishioners of St Seraphim of Sarov Cathedral, Dr Kenneth Alonso gave a presentation entitled “The U.S. Healthcare Crisis and the Prohibition of Traditional Christian Caregiving" to conclude the day's activities.
For more information on the 18th All-American Council, please visit http://18aac.oca.org.
For more information on St Vladimir's Parish Mentorship Program, please visit http://oca.org/news/headline-news/interview-oca-parish-mentorship-program-for-seminarians-strengthened.