18th Triennial Church Assembly-Sabor of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. & Canada
October 16-18, 2003 Alhambra - Los Angeles, California
CA-01 Opening of Assembly and first keynote address
On behalf of the Assembly Presidium, Metropolitan Christopher, Bishop Mitrophan and Bishop Longin, the Assembly was officially opened by His Grace, Bishop Longin, host bishop. The first keynote address given by Fr. Paul Lazor, Professor of Liturgics and Pastoral Theology on the topic of Stewardship.
CA-02 Election of Sabor Secretaries
The Assembly elected the following secretaries for the Sabor: Fr. Nedeljko Lunich, Fr. Rodney Torbic, Fr. Bratislav Krsic and Dn. Radovan Jakovljevic.
CA-03 Appointment of the Committee for Sabor Resolution
Fr. Rade Merrick, Fr. Petar Milosevich, Fr. Rastko Trbuhovich and Sylvester Djuric were elected to serve on the Sabor Committee for Resolutions.
CA-04 The Agenda
The Assembly adopted the agenda as presented.
CA-05 Credentials Report
The Report of the Credentials Committee was as follows: There were a total of 160 delegates represented at the Sabor, which included: 1 Metropolitan (who also as Dean represented the School of Theology) 2 Bishops, 63 Priests (including 1 Abbott) 6 Deacons, 5 KSS representatives, 30 Congregation Presidents, 36 Elected delegates, 8 Diocesan Council members, 8 Central Council members, and 1 Abbess.
CA-06 Central Church Reports
The following Central Church Reports were presented:
a. Highlights from 1998 Sabor
b. Decisions of the Meetings of the Central Church Council
c. Path of Orthodoxy
d. Financial Report
d. Theological School
e. Theological Foundation
f. Clergy Pension Plan
g. Group Hospitalization Plan
These reports were all accepted by the Assembly as presented.
CA-07 Clergy Health Care
The Assembly accepted the proposal of the Central Church Council that the existing Health Care Plan be maintained on a voluntary basis and to require that those parishes that opt out of the plan be required to provide comparable health care insurances for their priest.
The Assembly conducted Diocesan Caucuses to elect new members to the Central Church Council.
Second Keynote Address: The second keynote address given by Fr. James Gavrilos from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese on the topic of Stewardship.
CA-08 Release of the Central Council
The Episcopal Council released the present Central Church Council of their duties and thank them for their service to the Church
CA-09 Confirmation of new Central Church Council elections
The Assembly confirmed the election to the Central Church Council:
Midwest Metropolitanate: Brane Branko, Andrew Nygren, Milos Saravolatz and Alternate Jovo Uzelac
Eastern Diocese: Peter Bizic, III., James Springborn, Drazo Visekruna and Alternate John Rusin
Western Diocese: Obren Gerich, Mike Jankovich, George Radakovich and Alternate Donald Kral.
Oath of Office of new Council members
His Eminence, Metropolitan Christopher gave the Oath of Office to the newly elected members of the Central Church Council
CA-10 Report of the Central Church Special Task Force
The Assembly Unanimously accepted the report of the task force and to fund the proposal for the creation of \"Standing Committees\" as presented in the Task Force report.
CA-11 Report of the Sabor Committees-Greetings and Resolutions
The Assembly adopted three Resolutions:
On our concern for the Serbian church and people in Kosovo and Metohija.
On our concern that Kosovo remain part of Serbia and not become independent. The Assembly decided that this resolution also be sent to the Government of Serbia.
The Assembly entrusted the secretaries of the Sabor to complete the final draft of these resolutions which will be published in the Path of Orthodoxy.
On the need to support the work the standing committees of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada as adopted by this Sabor, and in the spirit of love and unity, forgive the debt of the Canadian Diocese to the Central Treasury. Furthermore, the resolution expresses the desire of the Assembly that the Episcopal Council and Central Church Council make every effort to meet with the Canadian Diocese and find a mutually agreeable manner in which they could participate in the work of the Central Church. In the same spirit of love and unity, the resolution seeks the same effort be made with our brothers and sisters in the New Grachanica Metropolitanate.
The resolution, as adopted, will be published in the Path of Orthodoxy.
Greetings from the Assembly will be sent to His Holiness Patriarch Pavle and the Holy Assembly of Bishops, together with a copy of these Sabor resolutions.
CA-12a. Pension Plan
The Assembly accepted the proposal to increase the semi-annual payment to the clergy pension plan to $1200 and priest\'s portion to $600.
CA-12b. Minimum Salary for Clergy
The Assembly accepted the proposal to increase the minimum salary of clergy from $1200 to $1600 per month.
CA-12c. Clarification on priest\'s voting privileges
The question of the voting rights of parish priests on church boards was clarified for the Assembly. The priest, as a full member of the board does has the right to vote. Since the current Constitution does not address the question of deacons voting privileges, this matter will be further addressed by the church.
CA-12d. On parish stole fees for Baptims
It was clarified that congregations may not assess any fee to anyone for the sacrament of baptism.
CA-12e. On humanitarian need for priests in Kosovo and Serbian lands
The Assembly called upon the Central Church Council to established a Central Fund for the Church on this Continent to assist the priests in these areas.
CA-13 Report of the Secretariat on the 2003 Assembly
The secretaries presented this summary of decisions of the 18th Sabor.
CA-14 Closing remarks by the Episcopal Council and Adjournment
His Eminence, Metropolitan Christopher thanked everyone for their participation in the 18th Sabor and especially commended the Sabor Task Force and host committee for all their work. The Assembly was adjourned with a prayer.