Update on SCOBA Conference
October 5, 2006
CHICAGO, IL - Several major issues were discussed at length
yesterday during the meeting of the Standing Conference of the Canonical
Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) being held in Chicago. These included:
Issues in Coordinating and Establishing New and Mission Parishes, Sexual
Misconduct in the Church, Keeping Young People Connected to the Church and the
State of the Diaconate.
Two papers on the Diaconate, Remembering and Reclaiming Diakonia of Deacon
Dr. John Chryssavgis and Toward a Complete Expression of the Diaconate:
Discerning the Ministry Women Deacons of Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyannes FitzGerald,
presented a thorough insight and understanding of the diaconate in the
historical Church and its significance today.
The presentation on Sexual Abuse and Misconduct by Father Alexander Karlgut
informed the hierarchs of the practical aspects of dealing with sexual abuse and
misconduct and stressed their ability to lower the risk of misconduct through
preventative measures. Also, he said that SCOBA has a unique role to play in
coordinating a unified educational approach on sexual abuse and
misconduct-workshops in seminaries and for the clergy throughout North America.
Father Jonathan Ivanoff presented the report on Issues in Coordinating and
Establishing New and Mission Parishes, which looked at the challenges of
establishing a viable and healthy North American mission field. Keeping Young
People Connected in the Church was presented by Fathers Mark Leondis, Jonathon
Tobias and Kevin Sherer and Natalie Kapeluck. A major program in this effort
will be a Summit of Youth in the Church scheduled for 2008.
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