.

.

After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY






Minutes Diocesan Meeting October 12\25, 2011

of the Eastern American and New York
and Syracuse and Nikolskiy Dioceses


The meeting took place on the grounds of the Tolstoy Foundation in Valley Cottage, New York.

Attendees: The Most Reverend Agafangel, Metropolitan of Eastern American and New York (Meeting Chairman), Archbishop Andronik, Bishop Joseph, Fr. Gregory Kotlaroff, Fr. Vsevolod Dutikow, Fr. Nikita Grigoriev, Fr. Daniel Meschter, Fr. Anthony Gunin, Deacon Fr. Dmitriy Dobronravov, M. Agapia (Stephanopoulos), I.S. Bagration-Mukhranskiy, A.S. Kotchoubey, P.N. Koltypin, O.M. Rodzianko, D.B. Gontscharow, M.G. Kotlaroff and E. Vernikovskiy.

The meeting began at 9:00 AM with the prayer, “O Heavenly King.”

Eugene Vernikovskiy and Dimitri Gontscharow were elected secretaries for the meeting.

The following agenda was approved at the meeting:
1. Chairman’s report: Met. Agafangel on matters in the ROCA.
2. Reports by parish rectors.
3. Diocesan Secretary’s report.
4. Diocesan Treasurer’s report.
5. Report by the pilgrimage organizing committee.
6. Report on diocesan publications and websites.
7. Report on the establishment of a correspondence seminary.
8. Development of archives of the ROCA.
9. Development of ROCA dioceses in North America.
10. Other.

1. Chairman’s report: Met. Agafangel on matters in the ROCA.
     The Chairman reported on the steady growth of the ROCA, the acceptance of parishes in Russia into the body of the Church, on church publications, on talks between the ROCA Synod and the Mountain View corporation and relations with the Greek Synod in Resistance and his meeting with the Most Reverend Archbishop Chrysostomos and the Right Reverend Bishop Auxentios which took place on October 24, 2011.
     In the course of his report, the Most Reverend Agafangel answered Mark Kotlaroff’s questions about the priests from Udmurtia joining the ROCA, Fr. Vsevolod’s question about the raid conducted at the ROCA parish in the St. Petersburg Diocese, Deacon Fr. Dmitriy’s question on the proposed new regulation in the Russian Federation that creates difficulties for parishes and religious groups that do not answer to the organization called “Moscow Patriarchia” to become registered.
     In answering Peter Nikolayevich Koltypin’s question regarding the book by George Mitrofanov “The Church without freedom or love”, Met. Agafangel noted that Russian authorities continue to use methods developed by the KGB to have agents pose as open dissidents and recalled the case of Mr. Dudko.
     In discussing the ROCA’s finances, a proposal was put forth to create a pension fund to support retired clergy.
     Resolved:
- To accept the diocesan meeting Chariman’s report.
- Assign Fr. Vsevolod the task to establish a pension fund under the auspices of the ROCA Synod for retired ROCA clergy. To establish a board of directors for the fund to include: Fr. Vsevolod Dutikow, Fr. Nikita Grigoriev, Deacon Fr. Dmitriy Dobronravov and A.S. Kotchoubey. To ask the board of directors to present a proposed plan to the Synod before November 8, 2011. To ask Dimitri Gontscharow to open a separate bank account for the ROCA Synod for donations for this cause.


2. Reports by parish rectors.
     Fr. Gregory Kotlaroff, Fr. Vsevolod Dutikow, Fr. Nikita Grigoriev and M. Agapi (Stephanopoulos) provided updates on matters in their parishes.
Evgeniy Vernikovskiy asked the meeting to prepare a letter of thanks to John Rigos for his support of the St. Philaret parish in Boston.
     Resolved:
- To accept the reports of the parish rectors.
- To send a letter of thanks to John Rigos on behalf of the EA&NY Diocesan for his support of the St. Philaret parish in Boston.
- To recommend to the annual parish meeting of the Holy Trinity Church in Astoria that they amend the clause of the parish by laws to allow the priest’s wife rights to the church house (especially if she has young children) in case of the death or serious illness of the parish priest.  


3. Diocesan Secretary’s report.
     Dimitri Gontscharow reported he is in the process of compiling the list of awards received by the clergy of the Eastern American and New York Diocese of the ROCA.
     Resolved: To ask Dimitri Gontscharow to prepare a list before the Synod meeting on November 8, 2011, of awards received by the clergy of the Eastern American and New York Diocese of the ROCA.


4. Diocesan Treasurer’s report.
     The diocesan secretary submitted a financial report prepared by the Treasurer of the Eastern American and New York Diocese Alexander Renko. It was noted that all the parishes in the diocese make monthly tithes for the needs of the diocese.
     Mark Kotlaroff explained the difficulties of preparing a report for the Syracuse-Nikolskiy and Canadian Dioceses, since they do not have their own bank account. He also told of the difficulties of registering the Canadian Diocese, which prevents people in Canada from receiving tax benefits from donations.
     Resolved:
- To accept the report of the Treasurer of the Eastern American and New York Diocese.
- To note the unsatisfactory administration of the Syracuse-Nikolskiy and Canadian Dioceses.
- To ask Dimitri Gontscharow to open separate accounts for the Eastern American and New York and Syracuse-Nikolskiy Dioceses.


5. Report by the pilgrimage organizing committee.
     Mother Agapia described the pilgrimage to the Holy Land by a group of younger ROCA parishioners from the USA and Australia which was organized by Tatyana Tkachenko and Victoria Scherba in the summer of 2011.
     It was noted that news of the pilgrimage was of great interest to people outside of the age group of that pilgrimage (no older than 30).
     Resolved: To ask Mother Agapia and Tatyana Tkachenko, with the help of Victoria Scherba, to organize a pilgrimage to the Holy Land next year at the end of June. To ask Archbishop Andronik to head the pilgrimage group.


6. Report on diocesan publications and websites.
     Peter Nikolayevich Koltypin reported on the mass mailing of the newsletter “ROCA News” to all corners of the world and noted that the mailing effort has been well received by people outside of ROCA.
     The Chairman reported the newsletter has received unexpected interest in Russia and Ukraine.
     Resolved: To begin publishing the newsletter “ROCA News” all over the Eastern American and New York Diocese and have a price for the issues to cover Peter Nikolayevich’s mailing costs. To obligate each parish of the diocese to purchase a certain amount of newsletters (to cost about $5) and distribute it to parishioners and ask for donations to finance the publication. Those who are outside of the ROCA and sympathetic to our cause will continue to receive it free of charge.
     Evgeniy Vernikovskiy reported he has a prepared a new website for the Eastern American and New York Diocese, but does not have sufficient information on the clergy of the dioceses, which will be posted on the website.
     Resolved: To post biographies of the priests and deacons of the diocese and short biographies of the subdeacons and readers of the diocese.


7. Report on the establishment of a correspondence seminary.
     Mark Kotlaroff said the organizing committee had a teleconference in September, 2011, and admitted that establishing a seminary at this time is not possible, though the need remains and there are already some who have expressed interest in beginning the correspondence courses.
     The Chairman advised to begin work gradually and initially offer a semester of courses in theology based on existing course materials. The Chairman recommended using the course materials of the correspondence seminary opened by the ROCA in Odessa.
     Resolved: To task Mark Kotlaroff to coordinate the beginning courses. To prepare a list of teachers, compile a curriculum, prepare a list of students and publish information about the courses on the Internet.


8. Development of archives of the ROCA.
     The Chairman noted the importance of establishing the archives of the ROCA, which are no longer available after the union of the ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchia, since one cannot move forward into the future without a knowledge of the past.  It was also noted that the available materials should be cataloged and scanned so that electronic copies can be made and then be available in the future.
     The Chairman spoke of the plan to include the dates of death of all the leading ROCA clergy in the ROCA church calendar to facilitate memorializing them during services.
     Resolved:
To have Evgeniy Vernikovskiy prepare the new printing of the collected volume “The Psalmist’s Guide”.
- To approve the inclusion of the dates of death of all the leading ROCA clergy in the ROCA church calendar.


9. Development of ROCA dioceses in North America.
     The Chairman reported that the decision made earlier to establish a ROCA Synod office at Mountain View was not met favorably by many parishioners living in New York.  It is necessary then to establish a ROCA Synod office in New York City or the surrounding area.
     Resolved: The Eastern American and New York Diocese understands the need to establish a ROCA Synod office within the diocese and agrees to support this proposal.


10. Other.
     The meeting noted that the plan discussed previously to hold a choral conference was not carried out.
     Resolved: To ask Fr. Nikita Grigoriev to organize a choral conference within the territory of the Syracuse Diocese preferably before the end of 2011.

The meeting concluded at 17:00 with the prayer “It is Truly Meet.”

Meeting Chairman
+Agafangel
Metropolitan of Eastern American and New York
Meeting Secretaries
Evgeniy Vernikovskiy
Dimitri Gontscharow