conference of the ROCA North
American Administrative District under the chairmanship of the Most Reverend
Metropolitan Agafangel, Chairman and First Hierarch of the ROCA, was
attended by: Abp. Andronik, Abp. Sofroniy,
ROCA Synod Secretary B. Georgiy, B. Joseph, Mitred Archpriest
Gregory Kotlaroff, Archpriest Vsevolod Dutikow, Archpriest Oleg Mironov,
Archpriest Daniel Meschter, Archpriest Nikita Grigoriev, North American
Administrative District Secretary Fr. Victor Dobroff,Protodeacon Job Chemerov,
Deacon Dimitri Dobronravov, Deacon Michael Foster, John Herbst, Dimitri
Gontscharow, Evgeniy Vernikovskiy, and Alla Adrianova-Ivask.
conference opened at 9:00 with a prayer.
Metropolitan Agafangel summed up the discussions on the third item the day
before and stressed that the unification of ROCA should continue, and when
arranging talks to determine ways to unite the divided parts of the Church,
the opinions and wishes expressed at the conference should be taken into
account. Metropolitan Agafangel
believes the process should begin with ROAC, RTOC, and ROCA(V), and an
ecclesiastical committee should be formed to meet with representatives of
Archpriest Nikita Grigoriev noted that in uniting ROCA, the circumstances
which caused many to leave ROCOR prematurely, when it united with MP, should
Archpriest Oleg Mironov felt that it is possible for two parallel church
administrations to exist in the same canonical territory.
Bishop Georgiy noted the value of personal contacts between the ROCA
episcopate and the other episcopates.
bear in mind the comments made by Metropolitan Agafangel and to express the
wishes of all present to the ROCA Synod, that further attempts be made for
dialogue with the divided parts of the original ROCA.
Metropolitan Agafangel asked the District Secretary, Fr. Victor Dobroff, to
read the minutes of the first day of the conference.
some corrections, the conferees accepted the minutes of the first day
without any changes.
Secretary of the Conference, Fr. Victor Dobroff, proposed to approve the
agenda of the second day of the conference, which included items not
discussed on the first day:
1. Discuss the parish by
laws of the ROCA.
2. Confirm the monthly
tithing amount sent to a diocesan account.
3. Discuss the procedural
work performed by the synodal and
diocese administrative offices.
4. General discussion on
how to improve the overall life of our church – hold choral conferences,
conferences, support parish schools, publish books, create websites,
conferees approved the proposed agenda.
1. Metropolitan Agafangel’s views
on the first item were heard. Metropolitan
Agafangel believes it is important that parish assets belong to the ROCA
Synod, but several clarifications should be made in the legal documents, so
that if a parish joins a different jurisdiction, the parishioners who do not
want to change, can keep their share of the parish assets. If
a parish is closed, the assets would be transferred to the Synod.
Archpriest Vsevolod Dutikow proposed not changing anything in the Parish
Archpriest Oleg Mironov proposed decentralizing the arrangement, so that
parish assets are managed solely by the parish.
Joseph proposed to add bishops to the list of parish trustees.
Archpriest Vsevolod Dutikow reminded everyone what had transpired with the
ROCOR parish on 108th Street
in New York City.
Archpriest Nikita Grigoriev gave his views on the subject from a religious
Victor Dobroff seconded the views of B. Joseph.
B.Joseph said that
he agrees with Fr. Nikita, that the religious perspective in this matter is
more important than the legal.
Archpriest Oleg Mironov suggested that the example of the St. Xenia of St.
Petersburg parish in Ottawa be used in the matter of registering the assets
of a parish.
Adrianova-Ivask explained how the St.
Xenia of St. Petersburg parish in Ottawa was set up legally and how this
protected the parish during a crisis.
suggestion of Dimitri Gontscharow, Metropolitan Agafangel proposed to
establish a committee to consider the registration of parishes, and this
committee would then submit their proposals to the ROCA Synod. B.
Joseph, Archpriest Oleg Mironov,
Archpriest Nikita Grigoriev, Dimitri
Gontscharow, and Alla Adrianova-Ivask were proposed for this committee.
Evgeniy Vernikovskiy proposed to keep copies of the parish registrations in
the Synod Chancery.
Metropolitan Agafangel seconded Evgeniy
Decided: To establish
a committee to consider the registration of parishes and submit their
proposals to the ROCA Synod. It
will include B. Joseph, Archpriest
Oleg Mironov, Archpriest Nikita Grigoriev, Dimitri
Gontscharow, and Alla Adrianova-Ivask. To
keep copies of the parish
registrations with the Synod Chancery.
Agafangel spoke of the monthly tithes to the diocesan treasury. He
called upon the conferees to improve the system of tithing.
Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff proposed plate collections twice monthly for
the good of the diocese.
Archpriest Vsevolod Dutikow proposed leaving the current system of a 9%
tithe, but that it should be no less than $100 a month.
Dimitri Gontscharow proposed a 10% tithe for
the good of the diocese.
Metropolitan Agafangel proposed turning to the parishioners to help support
the dioceses and the ROCA Synod through their donations.
Archpriest Nikita Grigoriev explained his parish was experiencing financial
difficulties, and at this time, he can only provide a small tithe.
Evgeniy Vernikovskiy explained his parish was experiencing similar
difficulties and that they would only be able to make a tithe when possible.
with plate collections every 3 months for the good of the diocese, to
establish a mandatory 10% tithe from the parishes, based on profits from the
sale of candles, prosfora, and
parish stores, and also to establish a collection box for the diocese in
every parish. Having received
these funds, the dioceses are required to make a monthly 10% tithe to the
ROCA Synod. Parishioners are
also asked to remember the dioceses and the Synod in their wills.
Oleg Mironov gave his views on
the work performed by the synod and diocese chanceries. He
feels that after union with the MP, the procedural work was inadequate, and
that in his opinion, it was because everyone had to start from the beginning
Georgiy noted that part of the problem was that the dioceses are so far away
from the Synod, and asked that the Eastern-American diocese Secretary be
named as an assistant to provide English translations.
Abp. Sofroniy said
he is happy with how his Chancery is performing.
diocese secretaries must improve the functioning of their chanceries. Name
Dimitri Gontscharow to help the Synod Secretary with translating Synod
documents into English.
improving the life of the church within ROCA, Metropolitan Agafangel said he
believes it can become fuller by staging choral conferences, youth
conferences, pilgrimages, and various events held by one or more dioceses.
Archpriest Nikita Grigoriev said, if time allows, his matushka,
who is a professional singer, can help by providing instructional courses in
Archpriest Oleg Mironov said his parish has three good choir directors, and
the idea to hold choral
conferences has already been discussed. They
hope to have such a conference in December of this year in Ottawa, Canada.
Metropolitan Agafangel asked that parishes order and distribute more
materials printed by ROCA printing presses.
Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff asked that the books by Bishop Averkiy (Taushev)
be reprinted and distributed widely.
Dimitri Gontscharow reminded everyone how important it is to support the
printing done by Fr. Gregory Williams.
Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff said that by the Grace of God and the prayers
of St. Sergiusof Radonezh,
the parish school in Valley Cottage was opened and is doing very well.
Andronik offered to organize a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for clergy and
Archpriest Oleg Mironov offered to organize a pilgrimage to Mt. Athos for
Evgeniy Vernikovskiy spoke of how the enemies of ROCA keep changing their
harassment tactics on the Internet.
Decided: Have Archpriest
Oleg Mironov hold a choral conference on December 24-27, 2009, at the
Blessed St. Xenia parish in Ottawa, Canada. Have Dimitri
Gontscharow and Olga Sauer organize a youth conference some
time next year. Ask
the rectors to better promote the printed materials produced within ROCA. Have Evgeniy
Vernikovskiy put together a catalog of all printed
materials produced within ROCA and send it out to all the parishes. Issue
a statement of gratitude from the conferees to G. Lukin and
all the teachers of the parish school attached to the Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh. Ask Archpriest
Nikita Grigoriev, Archpriest Oleg Mironov, and Evgeniy Vernikovskiy to
author a short history of ROCA after May 17, 2007, and distribute it to the
parishes and the Internet. Have
Evgeniy Vernikovskiy make the video from the Vth All-Diaspora
Council available to Metropolitan
Agafangel and Abp. Sofroniy. They
will decide which parts to include in a short film of the event.
each item was discussed and decided during the conference, Fr. Victor
Dobroff read the minutes, which were approved unanimously by the conferees.
Conference of the ROCA North American
Administrative District was concluded with a prayer at 2:35 PM.
of the Eastern-American and New York Diocese
Fr. Victor Dobroff
North American Administrative District Secretary