SCOBA Hosts Meeting of All Canonical Bishops

October 4, 2006

CHICAGO,IL - Twenty-seven canonical hierarchs of the Orthodox Christian Church in the Americas convened in Chicago yesterday under the chairmanship of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios to "solidify the bond of brotherhood that exists among canonical Orthodox Churches in the Americas and provide the opportunity for the hierarchs to review the work of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas ." The Conference, headquartered at the O'Hare Marriott Hotel is the third such SCOBA Conference, the two previous being held in 1994 and 2001.

The opening session began with a prayer service and welcoming remarks followed by a series of reports regarding the philanthropic and social work of SCOBA Agencies. There was extensive discussion regarding the work of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), currently involved in several parts of the world including Ethiopia, the West Bank and continuing Hurricane Katrina assistance. Extensive discussion also took place on the work of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and its many national and international missionary projects, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), a growing campus ministry and the newly organized Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM). The evening concluded with official welcoming remarks by Archbishop Demetrios who challenged the participants to work towards full cooperation of all Orthodox to expand programs and cooperation and social interaction for all age groups, particularly the young.

Today's workshops will include coordinating and establishing New and Mission Parishes, Sexual Misconduct in the Church and Keeping Young People Connected in the Church. Thursday presentations will include the work of SCOBA Commissions and Endorsed Groups including, ZOE for Life, Orthodox Peace Fellowship, Project Mexico, Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology and Religion and the Fellowship of the Transfiguration which is involved with environmental concerns.

The Conference will conclude Friday morning with a Divine Liturgy at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, 8035 W. Serbian Road, followed by a plenary session and adoption of an official Communiqué. A news conference will be held at the Cathedral at 12 Noon to issue the Communiqué.