North Canton, OH - The Divine Liturgy on the second day was followed by taking of the official sabor photos and breakfast.
Metropolitan Christopher thanked God that our Assemblies have put greater emphasis on learning and deepening ourselves in the Faith, both in our presentations of committee work and in our speakers. He especially commended the young participants in the St. Nikolai of Zica Oratorical Festival, who edified us with their thoughts on Christian life.
Fr. Paul Tarazi then gave the keynote address of the Assembly, on the theme of the Light of Christ. The light image is of a candle, which provided light to see in the dark. The candle was held in front of one to be useful, and you followed it. The light helps to move us from one place to another. It does not imply staying in one place, but in moving, going, and the light leads us. This is what Christ means by saying He is the Light. We are to allow Him to illumine us, and to follow Him as He leads us to the Kingdom.
The Light allows us to see. And to see in all languages also means to understand. Christ brings us to true understanding. The Light of Christ is seen in His voice, His commandments, His teaching. Christ says He is the resurrection, and if we listen to Him, follow and obey, He will also be our Life at the last day in the resurrection. The Light of Christ is the Light of His teaching, and we are to walk in the Light of that teaching. He gives His teaching in the community of the Church, not simply to individuals, and that Light and teaching is preserved, proclaimed, experienced and followed in the Church. The Church is the place where the Light is found. And so to be in the Church is to follow Christ’s teaching. The Church is the place where that teaching is proclaimed in the reading aloud of the Word of God in the Scripture. Loving God is doing His will. The Church is the community where God’s will is done. To recognize the Light of Christ means to obey and follow it to our Life and salvation. This is our calling as followers of Christ.
During lunch the chairpersons of the Standing Committees met to plan for the next three years.
Reports were heard at the afternoon session from the Young Adult and College Student Ministry committee by Fr. Aleksa Micich and Christopher Rocknage, and from the Serbian Language and Culture Committee given by Fr. Zivojin Jakovljevic.
Central Treasurer Brian Gerich presented the financial report of the Central Church Council for the past three years. In relation to this, questions concerning the participation of the Canadian Diocese in the financing of the central Church bodies was discussed, as was the investment of church funds.
Fr. Nedeljko Lunich presented the decisions of the Central Church Council over the past three years.
The Auditing Report was presented in a letter from Eugene Bowen. Fr. Dragoljub Malich presented the report of the Clergy Pension Fund.
Following vespers and dinner, the evening events included a Young Adult Conference and a workshop on “Developing Youth Leaders in the parish” presented by the Youth Ministries Committee.
Thursday’s events include an 8:00 am Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, the fifth plenary session with a presentation on church ministries, and the final plenary session which will confirm the election of new Central Church Council members, adoption of the Central Church budget, consideration of proposed amendments to the church’s constitution and other miscellaneous business, and adjournment. The closing banquet will follow vespers.