Thursday, September 19, 2013
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops blessed its Committee for Youth to begin planning a North American Pan-Orthodox Youth Gathering of high school students. The gathering would enable Orthodox youth from all jurisdictions to come together, share in their faith, bear witness to the Church, and build bridges across our Orthodox family.
The gathering, which would be organized by jurisdictional youth departments, is envisioned for 2016 or 2017. In the period leading up to the national event, local and regional youth activities would be planned.
The Assembly also reviewed a model for canonical restructuring of the Church in America, which was presented by the Committee for Canonical Regional Planning under the leadership of Archbishop Nicolae. The model was a further development of one put forth at last year’s Assembly meeting. The hierarchs engaged in a lengthy discussion and provided comments. Based on the feedback, the committee will continue the process of developing a model that will garner the consensus of the hierarchs. As an immediate step, the committee’s membership will be expanded to represent the viewpoints of every jurisdiction.
It was acknowledged that the unique history and experiences of each jurisdiction in the US results today in a range of responses to ecclesiastical unity. In particular, one of the major points of discussion was the pastoral care of recent Orthodox immigrants and the need for any future action to consider the needs of these communities.
Metropolitan Antony read a resolution congratulating Archbishop Demetrios on the 14th anniversary of his enthronement as Archbishop, which occurred on this date in 1999. Also given special acknowledgment was Bishop Maxim, who in the last year has authored four books.