EASTERN DIOCESE HOLDS ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
Aliquippa, PA - With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern American the annual Diocesan Assembly was hosted this year by the St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania on February 24-25, 2012.
The meeting began Friday with registration and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit. During the dinner which followed special recognition was given to Seya Mabee, long time secretary at the diocese, who retired at the close of 2011. She was awarded a Gramata in honor of her many years of faithful service. A heart-felt "Many Years" was intoned.
During the first session of the assembly the treasurer's report was heard as well as reports from the auditing board, Diocesan relief fund, Christian Education, Shadeland and the 2012 budget was approved. As always, the reports began with the diocesan bishop who delivered his annual report on the state of the diocese. His Grace reported on the various activities in the diocese, the construction and plans for construction of new churches in the diocese in cities such as Charlotte, Orlando, North Miami and Washington. The bishop reported that there are currently 42 parishes, 43 active priests in the diocese in addition to monastics, retired and inactive clergy.
The second session of the assembly began early the next morning with the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. After coffee and refreshments which followed the service the meeting continued with a presentation delivered by V. Rev. Dragan Zaric of St. Simeon the Myrrhflowing Serbian Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fr. Dragan's presentation dealt with the topic of mission. He drew upon his personal experience in the field of mission work as he had served a number of newly established mission parishes, from Portland, Oregon to Orlando, Florida, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina. He was just recently appointed administrator of the newly established parish in Charlottesville, Virginia. A lively discussion followed his talk.
During the last item on the agenda, miscellaneous, clergy and delegates were given an opportunity to ask questions and offer comments.
A luncheon was served at the close of the meeting. Special thanks goes to V. Rev. Stavrophor Stevan Stepanov, the church board and committee members from St. Elijah Church in Aliquippa for their warm hospitality.