This Assembly is particularly memorable and important because it is the first assembly being held since the establishment of administrative unity among all the parishes and congregations of the Church here.
Monday’s activities centered around registration of delegates and the annual meeting of the Serbian Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood. Over 40 priests participated in the afternoon meeting, which was chaired by Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Rastko Trbuhovich. Brotherhood president Prota Djokan Majstorovic gave a report on the Brotherhood activities of the last year, including publishing and educational, charitable and social. Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Dragoljub Malich gave a brief presentation on the clergy pension plan, and a financial advisor gave a more detailed presentation on caring for each person’s pension account. Officers for the coming year were elected.
Following vespers and dinner, V. Rev. Dr. Paul Tarazi, professor of Old Testament at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, gave a talk to the clergy on the parish priest as shepherd. He reminded his listeners that Christ is the great High Priest, the true Shepherd, and the true Preacher. The clergy are fellow slaves of God with all the other members of the Church, with the special task of manifesting Christ’s priesthood, pastorship and word to the flock. The priest can do nothing on his own; everything he does must come from God and be completely faithful to the words, teaching and actions of Christ. He must hear and obey the Master first, and then in total obedience pass on that same teaching and word to Christ’s flock. Whatever authority he has is directly related to how faithfully he transmits Christ’s word.
Later in the evening, the Central Church Council met in preparation for the beginning of the Assembly on Tuesday.
The host parish of St. George in Canton has clearly worked hard to organize this Assembly, and registration and the other events of the first day proceeded in an orderly and expeditious way.
Tuesday is scheduled to begin with Divine Liturgy at 8:00 am, followed by the opening of the Assembly with the Invocation of the Holy Spirit, welcomes, the opening session. A highlight of the morning will be the finals of the St. Nicholai Oratorical Festival. The afternoon session will hear reports on the work of the various Central Church ministry committees. The evening is to feature a panel discussion on joyful opportunities for Orthodox Christian Stewardship.
We will post news and photos from each day of the Assembly on this web site on as timely a basis as possible.