International Orthodox Christian News

OCA Strategic Vision Committee Members Announced

SYOSSET NY [OCA Communications] -- The 15th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, held in November 2008, mandated that the OCA develop a strategic plan for its future.

Since the Council, the OCA's Holy Synod of Bishops has engaged in an ongoing discussion about the mission and vision of the Orthodox Church in America, resulting to date in two position papers by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah: "A Time of Crisis and Opportunity," and "The Conciliar Structures of the Orthodox Church in America."

In February 2009, the OCA's Metropolitan Council discussed the strategic vision process at its 2009 Spring meeting. With the blessing of the Holy Synod, a committee was created that would guide the process of developing the plan.

Made up of the Metropolitan and volunteers from the Metropolitan Council, the Strategic Vision Committee members include:

* His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah
* Archpriest Robert Arida (Chairperson), Diocese of New England
* Archpriest Eric G. Tosi (Chancery Liaison), OCA Secretary
* Archpriest Ted Boback, Elected by AAC
* Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, Elected by AAC
* David Grier, Archdiocese of Canada
* Archpriest Michael Oleksa, Diocese of Alaska
* Eleana Silk, Elected by AAC
* Dr. Dmitri Solodow, Diocese of the West
* Archpriest Alexis Vinogradov, Diocese of Washington and New York
* Deacon John Zarras, Diocese of New England

"I have no illusions as to the tremendous amount of work needed to produce what will hopefully help the Church to be faithful to its mission in North America," Fr. Robert Arida said. "If there is to be a canonically sound, secure and viable ecclesiology then we should be circumspect in all deliberations and decisions . This will help to avoid any retreats that would continue to undermine the OCA from outside as well as to ward off any attacks that might ensue from within."

The steps in the strategic vision process were outlined by Fr. Eric Tosi in a memorandum previously posted on, which can be read here.

An important part of the process that is upcoming is the Summer Conference at St. Vladimir's Seminary, June 18 to 20, 2009, titled, "The Council and the Tomos: Twentieth-century Landmarks towards a Twenty-first-century Church." Conference speakers will focus on two watersheds that have shaped the Orthodox Church in America: the All-Russian Council (Sobor) of 1917-1918, and the Tomos of Autocephaly granted in 1970 by the Russian Orthodox Church to its daughter church, the Orthodox Church in America. The conference will address the significance of the OCA's presence in North America, and future paths and possibilities open to it, including its interface with the multi-jurisdictional Orthodox Christian communities in the US and Canada.

Recent exchanges of views about Orthodoxy in America, the role of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the forthcoming pan-Orthodox sessions that will deliberate on the "diaspora," make the themes of the OCA's mission and vision of critical importance for all of those concerned about the future of Orthodox Christianity in North America. Noting this, generous underwriters have made it possible for St. Vladimir's Seminary to announce that the posted fees for the conference are being reduced by 50%.


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