The 18th All-American Council

How to Expand the Mission

The 18th All-American Council
Atlanta, GA · July 20 - 24, 2015

Synopsis

The first years of the primacy of Metropolitan Tikhon inaugurated a period of peace and stability in the life of the Church, which enabled reflection and action on long-standing issues.  One such matter was the OCA Statute.  The need for comprehensive revision of the Statute, in effect since its adoption at the Second All-American Council in 1971, had been recognized at all levels of the Church for many years.  In fact, a draft of a revised Statute had been prepared in 2004 and presented to the Holy Synod for review.  The hierarchs provided some feedback, but the complexity of revision and intervening subsequent events stalled the project.  In October 2013, the Holy Synod of Bishops established a Statute Revision Task Force charged with preparing a comprehensive revision of the Statute to be presented for adoption at the 18th All-American Council in Atlanta, Georgia in July 2015.

A second significant issue that had been studied and deliberated for decades was church funding and the need to shift from per capita assessment to proportional giving.  Though this matter had been widely discussed for many years, no viable solution had yet been put forth.  After careful deliberation by church-wide governing bodies and consultation with the dioceses in the months leading up to the 18th All-American Council, a workable funding formula was presented for adoption at the 18th Council.

With these two weighty issues before it, the 18th All American Council was convened July 20-24, 2015.  “How to Expand the Mission” was chosen as the Council’s theme, reprising the theme of the First All-American Sobor in 1907.  After a video presentation on the theme, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon delivered his inspiring keynote address, titled “The Apostolic Work of the Church,” in which he outlined his vision for the Church, formed with the input he had received from administrative bodies and other gatherings over an extended period.  This was followed by reports of the Chancellor and the Secretary, which echoed the vision expressed in the Metropolitan’s address.

At the second plenary session, the revised Statute was presented for adoption.  It had been drafted during the two previous years in a transparent manner through the solicitation of discussion and input at all levels of the Church.  After introductory remarks from members of the Commission on Canons and Statute, the body statutorily mandated to recommend amendments to the OCA Statute, a resolution to approve the revised Statute surprisingly yielded a nearly unanimous vote of 473 in favor and only 15 opposed.  Thus, the revised Statute, effective November 1, 2015, replaced the Statute adopted at the Second All-American Council in 1971, giving the Church a clearer governance structure and reflecting the realities of the Church’s current life.

After the Treasurer’s report, the carefully prepared resolution on funding was presented for a vote.  This resolution was adopted with an unexpected overwhelming majority of 451 votes for, 14 votes against, and 17 abstentions.

The Council heard numerous reports from the Metropolitan Council, the Church’s departments, boards, offices and several pan-Orthodox organizations.  A new element at this Council was the delivery of reports from each diocese, many in the form of video presentations, which illustrated the diversity of Church life in the Orthodox Church in America.  For the first time since 2005, a youth program was held in conjunction with the Council.  This was the first Council to be held concurrently immediately following the annual convention of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA), an official organization of the OCA since 1994, which served to further strengthen its affiliation and collaboration with the Church.  A highlight of the Council was the presence of a special guest, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who delighted the Council with his uplifting and witty speech, which he delivered in English at the formal dinner.

The significant decisions of this Council, especially the ratification of the Statute and the financial resolution, charted long-awaited new directions in key areas of Church organization and stewardship.  While the adopted measures would prove to need future emendation to match the ever-developing life of the Church, they ultimately brought about lasting positive change in Church administrative polity.

Written by Alexis Liberovsky
OCA Archivist, Director of the Department of History and Archives.


Council Addresses and Sermons

Address to the 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church
by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon

Associated news

18th All-American Council Minutes

18th All-American plenary sessions PowerPoints

Delegate Handbook

Reports of the Officers

Reports of the Departments and Institutions

Financial Report


Exhibitor Documentation

Vendor/Display cover letter

Exhibitor's Prospectus

Displayer's contract

Vendor's contract


Music Downloads

Akathist to Our Lady of Sitka - music and text

Akathist to Our Lady of Sitka - text only

Akathist to Saints of North America - music and text

Akathist to Saints of North America - text only

Akathist to Saints Joachim and Anna - music and text


Audio Files

Ancient Faith Radio AAC Podcast


Plenary Session Videos

“How to Expand the Mission” - Part one of two

“How to Expand the Mission” - Part two of two

Diocese of New England and Albanian Archdiocese

Archdiocese of Canada

Diocese of Mexico

Diocese of the Midwest

Diocese of New York and New Jersey

Office of External Affairs

Department of Continuing Education

Romanian Episcopate

Diocese of the South

Archdiocese of Washington, DC

International Orthodox Christian Charities

Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania

Saint Herman’s Seminary


Daily Videos from Orthodox 360

360° Tours

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday


Photo Galleries

Atlanta Pan-Orthodox Vespers

Atlanta Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 19

Visit to Martin Luther King’s grave, “Loaves and Fishes” ministry

FOCA 89th annual National Convention banquet

Registration, symposia at 18th AAC

Metropolitan Tikhon, OCA Chancellor and Secretary, address AAC opening plenary session

Akathist to our Lady of Sitka and Clergy Wives Breakfast

AAC delegates adopt Statute revision in 473-15 vote

Delegates pass Finance Resolution by vote of 451-14-17

Delegates hear reports on External Affairs, chaplaincies, departments

Delegates express solidarity, support for suffering in Middle East

Ukrainian Metropolitan Onufry arrives in Atlanta for AAC

Metropolitan Onufry recalls St. Tikhon’s ministry during banquet address

Youth share their “Dream for the Church” at closing AAC Plenary Session

AAC youth share “faith, fellowship and fun”


Post AAC Reflection

Metropolitan Tikhon reflects on 18th AAC in Kodiak, AK