UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
19th Regular Sobor of the UOC of the USA – Concluded!
The fourth day of the 19th Regular Sobor of the UOC of the USA began with the celebration of Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom served by His Eminence Archbishop Antony, the ruling hierarch of the Eastern Eparchy and the president of the Consistory of the UOC of the USA. The clergy of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA concelebrated with the Archbishop. In his remarks following Divine Liturgy, His Eminence called upon the delegates to reflect the Light of Christ in their daily actions as they come into contact with the world around them.
Later in the morning, the first item on the agenda was a presentation by His Eminence Archbishop Ihor of the Kharkiv-Poltava Diocese of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church who, as requested by the Church’s Metropolitan Council, offered a perspective on the life of the Holy Orthodox Church in Ukraine, as pertains to maintaining the legacy of Patriarch Mstyslav of Blessed Memory, true to his spiritual and administrative vision. The Archbishop, who is a full professor at Kharkiv University, believes that the legacy has been betrayed by many in Ukraine who continue to present themselves as “true” followers of Patriarch Mstyslav. The Archbishop reflected upon the missed opportunities of the Church in Ukraine to unite and gain its independence, according to the Sacred Canons of the Holy Orthodoxy.
The balance of the day’s plenary session was devoted to the presentation of the remaining Sobor Committee reports and their acceptance by the Sobor body, the Youth Sobor Report (a group of high school students, which convened for two days during the Sobor and attended some sessions of the Sobor to learn about the workings of their Church) and the election of the membership to the Church administrative bodies: The Metropolitan Council, the Consistory, the Ecclesiastical-Church Court and the Audit Commission.
The Committee reports resulted in some very important decisions during the Sobor. The financial obligation of individual members of the parish to the National Church was increased by $5, in order to fund the Church’s official publication “Ukrainian Orthodox Word” and Internet ministries.
The final report of the day was the Resolutions Committee, which always elicits much discussion since the resolutions express our Sobor’s decisions and opinions on many topics. The final resolutions will be printed in the next issue of UOW.
The Youth Sobor Report to the Sobor was a glimpse into the hearts and minds of our young Church members and their vision of what our Church must be: focusing on Christ and our Faith, but not forgetting to honor our heritage, a source of education, a place of peace, a place where worship takes place not only on Sunday, a welcoming place a life supporting place and a place that reaches out into the community around it. The youth offered some very practical suggestions to implement this vision in the local parish.
The Sobor plenary sessions concluded with remarks by His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine thanking all the participants for their dedication and devotion to our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church and asking them to carry the Spirit and the Light home to their parishes and families sharing with them the experience of this Holy Sobor. Following the conclusion of the business sessions of the Sobor, His Eminence Archbishop Antony conducted the Rite of Induction to Office for the newly elected members of the Metropolitan Council, Consistory, Church Court and Audit Commission.
Throughout the Sobor the liturgical services were a constant source of sustenance for the participants. Divine Liturgy was served by a hierarch and several clergy each morning in the Memorial Church and Vespers each evening in Three Hierarchs Chapel at St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary were followed by meditations offered by the clergy of the Church.
The election results are as follows:
Metropolitan Council: Clergy Members – Protopresbyter Taras Chubenko, St. Demetrius Cathedral, Carteret, NJ; V. Rev. Bazyl Zawierucha, Holy Assumption of the Mother of God Parish, Northhampton, PA; V. Rev. Michael Kochis, St. Vladimir Parish, Ambridge, PA; V. Rev. Robert Holet, St. Nicholas Parish, Charlottesville, VA; V. Rev. Timothy Tomson, St. Mary Parish, McKees Rocks, PA; V. Rev. Taras Naumenko, St. Vladimir Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA and V. Rev. Vasile Sauciur, St. Volodymyr Pro-Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA. Alternates – V. Rev. Jakiw Norton, Holy Ascension Parish, Clifton, NJ; Protopresbyter William Diakiw, Holy Trinity Parish, New Castle, PA; Rev. Fr. Gabriel Rochell, St. Anthony of the Desert Mission, Las Cruces, NM; Rev. Fr. Robert Popichak, Holy Ghost Parish, Slickville, PA; V. Rev. Pavlo Bodnarchuk, Protection of the Mother of God Cathedral, Southfield, MI.
Lay Members – Dr. Gayle Woloschak, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Palos Park, IL; Emil Skocypec, South Bound Brook, NJ; Dr. Paul Micevych, St. Andrew Parish, Los Angeles, CA; Olga Coffey, St. Andrew Cathedral, Silver Spring, MD; Michael Kapeluck, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Carnegie, PA; Pani-matka Linda Oryhon, UOL delegate and Helen Boyko-Greenleaf, St. Vladimir Cathedral, Parma, OH. Alternates – Olga Liskiwskyi and Elizabeth Symonenko, Protection of the Mother of God Cathedral, Southfield, MI; Richard Jendras, Holy Ascension Parish, Clifton, NJ.
President of the Consistory: Archbishop Antony.
Ecclesiastical-Church Court: Clergy – Archimandrite Pankratiy, St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Chicago, IL; Rev. Deacon Oleh Saciuk, St. Andrew Parish, Los Angeles, CA; Rev. Fr. Stephen Masliuk, St. Mary Parish, Bridgeport, CT. Alternate – Deacon Anthony Szwez, St. Mary Parish, New Britain, CT. Lay – Valentine Olynyk, St. Demetrius Cathedral, Carteret, NJ; George Demchenko, Holy Trinity Parish, Bensenville, IL. Alternate – Andriy Karkoc, St. Michael/St. George Parish, Minneapolis, MN.
Audit Commission: Clergy – Rev. Fr. Michael Danczak, St. George Parish, Minersville, PA; Rev. Deacon James Stickel, Holy Trinity Parish, Goshen, IN. Alternate – V. Rev. Yurij Siwko, St. Andrew Church, South Bound Brook, NJ. Lay – Mary Lee Leszczuk, Holy Trinity Parish, Trenton, NJ; Geoffrey Greenleaf, St. Vladimir Cathedral, Parma, OH; Hanya Cherniak, St. Andrew Cathedral, Silver Spring, MD. Alternate – Atty. Edward Zetick, St. Vladimir Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA.
During the first meeting of the Metropolitan Council following the conclusion of the Sobor, the following officers of the Consistory were elected: Protopresbyter Taras Chubenko, Vice-President; V. Rev. Michael Kochis, Secretary; Emil Skocypec, Treasurer; V. Rev. Timothy Tomson, Member; Helen Boyko-Greenleaf, Member and V. Rev. Robert Holet, Member.
On Sunday, 31 October, Hierarchal Liturgy was celebrated in St. Andrew Memorial Church with His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine, His Eminence Metropolitan Yuriy of UUOC, His Eminence Archbishop Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel and the clergy of the Church concelebrating. Following Divine Liturgy, the hierarchs, clergy and the delegates of the Sobor processed to Holy Resurrection mausoleum, where the crypt of Patriarch Mstyslav of blessed memory in order to offer prayers for all of the deceased hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Church.
At the conclusion of the memorial service, His Eminence Archbishop Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel lead the clergy and the faithful of the Church to a grave site of Metropolitan John (Theodorovych) of blessed memory for a memorial service as well as to the graves of other hierarchs, who were laid to rest at St. Andrew Memorial Cemetery in South Bound Brook, NJ. The responses for Liturgy and Memorial services were beautifully and spiritually sung by the Memorial Church Choir under the direction of Michael Andrec.
May God give the entire administration of our Church, the parishes and all the faithful of our Church a true understanding of the spirit of this 19th Regular Sobor!