Diocesan Meeting of the Eastern American and New York
and Syracuse and Nikolskiy Dioceses
September 3\16, 2013
The meeting was held on the grounds of the Tolstoy Foundation in Valley Cottage, New York, USA.
Attendees: The Most Reverend Agafangel, Metropolitan of Eastern American and New York (Meeting Chairman), Archbishop Andronik (Meeting Co-Chairman), Archpriest Vsevolod Dutikow, Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff, Fr. Gregory Williams, Fr. Nikita Grigoriev, Fr. Daniel Meschter, Mother Agapia, Fr. Anthony Gunin, Fr. John Hinton, Fr. Andrew Frick, Dcn Fr. Dmitriy Dobronravov, Tatiana Rusiecki, Eugene Vernikovskiy and Dimitri Gontscharow.
The meeting began at 9:30 AM with the prayer, “O Heavenly King.”
Eugene Vernikovskiy and Dimitri Gontscharow were elected secretaries for the meeting.
1. General report by the Chairman.
2. Reports by all attending rectors on their parishes.
3. Report by the Pilgrimage Organizing Committee.
4. Report by the Diocesan Treasurer.
5. Report by the Diocesan Secretary.
1. Discussed: Chairman’s report
Met. Agafangel stopped in Cannes, France, on the way to America to serve in the Archangel Michael church, which was recently returned to the ROCA after a lengthy and costly legal process. The secretary of the association attached to the church played a large role in the process and provided the majority of the funds for the legal costs. The church and the parish building were severely damaged before they were returned and many valuable icons, relics and other religious objects were removed. A great number of costly bills were also left unpaid. The association will have to address all these concerns in the courts. Nevertheless, the services were held with great joy and celebration with people from Lyon and other surrounding areas in attendance. Met. Agafangel also visited the Russian section of the cemetery in Cannes which includes a small chapel that remains in the hands of the MP.
Resolved: To congratulate the Cannes parish for their efforts and to pray for their continued success.
The attendees asked about matters at the Holy Ascension parish in Fairfax, VA. The Chairman explained he visited the parish and on Sunday, September 15, there was a general meeting after lunch. All the parishioners had an opportunity to express their opinions and have a frank, open discussion. The Chairman explained to the parishioners that Fr. John Hinton remains the temporary rector with Bishop Joseph on temporary retirement until the ROCA Synod of Bishops issues its final decision at the next meeting in October.
Resolved: The ROCA Synod of Bishops will issue a final decision in October. Until then, Fr. John and Fr. Andrew Frick will minister to the parish.
The Chairman spoke of the possibility of acquiring property in the Holy Land, which would provide a chapel and rooms for pilgrims. The legal and property issues in that part of the world are very complicated, but we should continue looking into it.
Resolved: To support the Synod in this matter and continue gathering funds for the Holy Land.
2. Discussed: Reports by attending rectors
The Chairman explained the establishment of the parish dedicated to the Myrrh-Streaming Women in New York City has not been possible yet. Aleksandra Frankovna Tatyanenko has been named the warden of the proposed parish and she will attend to its establishment.
Bishop Andronik has visited Fr. Andrew Kencis’ St. Vladimir parish in Edmonton, Canada, which is doing quite well. They have a wide range of nationalities in attendance. Bishop Andronik explained renovations at Mountain View continue and they hope to have the dining hall completed before the winter.
Archpriest Vsevolod spoke of his visit to the Holy Trinity parish in Oxnard, CA. Other priests from the diocese have also served there while they do not have a permanent rector. Fr. Vsevolod also plans to visit Fr. Andrew Kencis’ parish in October.
Fr. Gregory Williams announced that the Greek parish in Greenville, North Carolina, which has joined our church will be included in his English-speaking mission. He and other priests in the diocese will try to serve there as often as possible, until a permanent priest is found. Fr. Gregory adds a new parish may be started in the state of Oklahoma.
Resolved: To accept the rectors’ reports.
3. Discussed: Report by the Pilgrimage Organizing Committee
Archpriest Roman Radwan, the rector of the St. George the Victorious church in Nazareth in the Holy Land welcomes pilgrims in the Holy Land. Our church members need to know this and visit his parish during pilgrimages. Tatyana Yemelyanova, a church member in America, is prepared to help organize pilgrimages to the Holy Land.
Resolved: To have Tatyana Yemelyanova head organizing efforts for pilgrimages to the Holy Land and start a website to allow people to sign up and obtain information.
4. Discussed: Report by the Diocesan Treasurer
The diocesan secretary, Dimitri Gontscharow, presented a financial report from 01 JAN – 16 SEP 2013. A financial report from the Syracuse diocese was also reviewed.
Resolved: To accept both financial reports.
5. Discussed: Report by the Diocesan Secretary
Dimitri Gontscharow is no longer able to continue as President of the ROCA Assistance Fund and Secretary/Treasurer of the ROCA Eastern America & New York Diocese and offered his resignation. Dimitri Gontscharow attempted to find someone to assume those duties, but was unable to identify anyone. The Chairman said that in light of this, it may be better to combine all the dioceses in North America into one under the authority of Bishop Andronik. Fr. John Hinton volunteered to take on the duty of the President of the ROCA Assistance Fund.
Resolved: To accept Dimitri Gontscharow’s resignation from the posts of President of the ROCA Assistance Fund and Secretary/Treasurer of the ROCA Eastern America & New York Diocese. To accept Fr. John Hinton’s offer to assume the duties of the President of the ROCA Assistance Fund.
To have the Synod consider the Chairman’s proposal at their next meeting to merge all the dioceses in North America into one under the authority of Bishop Andronik. The posts of Secretary/Treasurer of the ROCA Eastern America & New York Diocese will remain vacant until then. Dimitri Gontscharow will continue to administer those duties in the meanwhile.
6. Discussed: Other
Several attendees provided information on ROAC Bishop Andrew Maklakov and his questionable character and behavior.
Resolved: The Chairman will see that an announcement be issued to church members to avoid contact with Bishop Andrew.
The meeting was concluded at 4:00 PM with the prayer “It is Truly Meet.”
Metropolitan of Eastern American and New York