NEWS AND EVENTS - Tuesday, August 5, 2014
21st CHURCH ASSEMBLY-SABOR: DAY ONE
Alhambra, CA - The 21th Triennial Church Assembly (Sabor) of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America officially began on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at St. Stevan's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alhambra, California with the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. A good number of clergy and delegates began their work with receiving the Holy Eucharist. The Invocation of Holy Spirit was then served by His Grace Bishop Longin.
Four bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America were present: His Grace Bishop Georgije of Canada, His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica Midwestern America, His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America and His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America. His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije, Administrator of the newly established Diocese of Beunos Aires and South America, was not present however two priests were present to represent the South American Diocese.
The first Plenary Session began with a greeting by the host hierarch His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America. His greeting is available here in full.
This was followed by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios who delivered his keynote address on the Sabor theme, “Servant Leadership, Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:27). The archbishop spoke extensively on this theme defining the worldly notion of leader and leadership and contrasting it with its Biblical definition and summons of service. Read the full address here.
The second plenary session began after lunch.
During this session the Assembly Secretariat was confirmed. A report of the credentials committee was given and the last Sabor held in Canton, Ohio in August 2009 was reviewed. Technical changes to the wording of the Constitution of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America were made. Also, current issues in the life of the church as a result of the restructuring of the dioceses in May 2009 which still affect the church today were discussed at length. Treasurer of the Central Council Brian Gerich presented his financial report. Brian also gave an excellent power point presentation on the Endowment Plan. His presentation even caused the Sabor's special guest, Archbishop Demetrios, to comment, praising the dedication and diligence of Mr. Gerich.
The afternoon ended with a Christian Education forum held in the adjoining hall. The evening Vespers service followed after which all clergy and laity posed in front of the cathedral church for the historic group photo.
The formal Sabor Banquet was held in the evening in the transformed main hall. A rich program including speeches delivered by His Grace Bishop Longin and Archbishop Demetrios who shared with all those present his impressions from his two day stay among the clergy and lay leaders of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America. Due to his schedule he was unable to continue his stay for the remainder of the Sabor.