NEWS AND EVENTS - Thursday, April 6, 2017
ТHE TENTH ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE
DIOCESE OF NEW GRACANICA-MIDWEST AMERICA
WAS HELD AT NEW GRACANICA MONASTERY
March 31 - April 1, 2017
Prior to the Diocesan Annual Assembly clergy confession was held for all Diocesan clergy.
The monastery brethren, led by Iguman Fr. Seraphim (Baltic), served the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Clergy sang the responses. His Grace Bishop Longin and His Grace Bishop Sava, retired bishop of Slavonia were present. A number of laypersons and delegates also attended the liturgy, together with clergy wives and youth taking part in the oratorical festival. Most of those present partook of Holy Communion.
Following the Divine Liturgy breakfast was served which was immediately followed by the clergy seminar. In his introductory remarks HIs Grace Bishop Longin addressed the gathered clergy, thanking them for attending and he offered his pastoral message. After this a number of clergy pointed to significant moments from their pastoral service, which are of a teaching character, showing how one should act in certain situations in the pastoral life.
The Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos was served at 4:00 pm. At the same time the confession of clergy took place. Confessors were Archimandrite Fr. Tom Kazich, the spiritual father of the New Gracanica Monastery and V. Rev. Stavrophor Bogdan Zjalic, retired priest from Chisholm. The Akathist was served by a number of clergy, led by V. Rev. Stavrophor Milos Vesin.
Besides the clergy the Akathist service was also attended by the Assembly delegates. Dinner was served following the service after which the Annual Assembly was officially opened, once registration of all delegates, clergy and laity was completed.
The Annual Assembly of the Diocese of New Gracanica and Midwest America
His Grace Bishop Longin opened the Assembly. He welcomed all the clergy and laity, the Assembly delegates. He thanked them for their presence and work for the service of the Church. Fr. Nikolaj Kostur was elected as secretary of the Assembly. His Grace designated V. Rev. Milos Vesin as chairman of the Assembly.
Once the agenda was accepted the next order was the Bishops's report. The bishop's written report was distributed to all members of the Assembly in both languages.
V. Rev. Stavrophor Ilija Balach, retired architect, submitted his report regarding the renovation of the St. Sava Camp building in Libertyville. Currently, only preparations are being done, the plans and building permits. Construction is scheduled to begin in a few months.
Minutes from the last Assembly were read and accepted.
Mara Milanovic, Diocesan treasurer, submitted the financial report which was accepted.
A number of topics scheduled for the following day were discussed at the end of the evening meeting. V. Rev. Dragan Petrovic submitted a report of the Youth Group and Fr. Marko Bojovic submitted a report of St. Mardarije (Uskokovic). In his report Fr. Marko spoke of the holiness of the person of Bishop Mardarije, a life filled with dedication, problems, but above everything else a sacrifical serving God and his Serbian people. The report was published in our church newspapers and the website.
The second day of the Assembly, Saturday, April 1, 2017
The Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, on Saturday April 2, 2017 was officiated by His Grace Bishop Longin with the concelebration of a number of clergy and deacons. Clergy sang at the chanter's stand. Breakfast followed the service. At the 10:30 am the Assembly continued its work.
The report of St. Mardarije in English was submitted by V. Rev. Stavrophor Dennis Pavichevich. Prota Dennis was born and raised in South Chicago. He is a second generation American born Serb. He has ties with the Libertyville Monastery, where as a child and teenager he spent his summers at the camp. He spoke enthusiastically about Bishop Mardarije and expressed his gratitute to the Bishop and all presence for the honor of being able to speak about St. Mardarije.
Prota Milos Vesin read the Assembly Resolutions, which were accepted by the Assembly and will be published in both languages in our church newspapers.
Fr. Dragan Petrovic announced the winnners of the Oratorical festival. He read his own report of Bishop Mardarije which was received with thunderous applaus.
Chairman the Auditing Committee, Ryan Dorsey, submitted his report. He praised the work of Pavle Grosnik, the financial secretary and Mary Milanovic, the treasurer, for their excellent bookkeeping.
The financial report and 2017 budget was presented after the Auditing Baord report.
Archimandrite Tom Kazich, Director of the Religious Education in the Diocese presented his report on parish church schools and religious education in the Diocese in general. Fr. Tom spoke of the need of improving parish religious classes. A very small number of children attend classes. He appeals to all clergy to double their work with the children and young people.
Fr. Tom also submitted a report for the Diocesan publication the "Observer". Since the "The Path of Orthodoxy" is now a quarterly publication it means there is more of a need for the "Observer". It should probably be sent to all parishioners throughout the Diocese in good standing, and the next Assembly should deal with this issue, that is, to prepare a study with its suggestions at the next Annual Assembly.
The report of the Diocesan Kolo Setara was submitted by Mira Andjelkovic and read by Jane Katic.
Under misscellaneous there were a number of comments relating to church life, both in the Diocesan and church-school congregations.
A report on Stewardship should be prepared for the next Annual Assembly, in order to explain to those present, both clergy and laity, what the essence of the stewardship is, and its positive features.
The Assembly was concluded with a prayer and blessign from Bishop Longin.
We thank the Diocesan personnel for perparing and organizing Assembly, as well as the kitchen help who prepared and served all the meals
V. Rev. Stavrophor Nedeljko Lunich