The 19th All-American Council

For the Life of the World

The 19th All-American Council
Saint Louis, MO · July 23-27, 2018

Synopsis

The 19th All-American Council took place July 23-27, 2018 in St. Louis, MO.  Its principal decisions were to maintain the established periodicity of the All-American Councils at three years and to continue proportional giving for funding the Church Administration.  The major impact of this Council was that it served to sustain unity, peace and stability in the Church through conciliar assembly and decision. 

At the opening plenary session on Monday evening, the Council theme “For the Life of the World” (based on the book by Fr. Alexander Schmemann) was introduced with a stirring reflection by Serge Schmemann, Fr. Alexander’s son.  This was followed by the address to the Council of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon.  He welcomed the five hierarchs and one priest in attendance at the Council as guests representing various Local Orthodox Churches around the world.  In his speech, His Beatitude spoke of both the Church’s historical path and present condition, while highlighting the vision and missionary labors in North America of his heavenly patron, Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, Enlightener of North America.  He then provided some observations from his new book “Of What Life Do We Speak?  Four Pillars for the Fulfillment of the Apostolic Work of the Church: A Guiding Framework for the Orthodox Church in America,” the four aspects of which were discussed at forums in the subsequent days of the Council.  He outlined his own labors and concerns since the 18th All-American Council and noted the upcoming restructuring of chancery staff. 

During the next plenary session on Tuesday morning, the Council began viewing video reports of the work and ecclesiastical life of each of the OCA dioceses, which continued at each plenary session thereafter.  After this, several amendments to the OCA Statute were introduced for adoption.  The most significant called for a change in the periodicity of All-American Councils to four years instead of three.  While receiving a slight majority, this proposal did not receive the two-thirds vote necessary for adoption of Statute amendments.  Five minor Statute amendments were adopted.  This was followed by the reports of the OCA Officers: Chancellor, Secretary and Treasurer, as well as the Director of the Stewards of the Orthodox Church in America and the Auditing Committee.  A resolution to fund the Church’s administration for the coming triennium according to the principles of proportional giving inaugurated at the 18th AAC was adopted after some deliberation. 

On the afternoons of Tuesday and Wednesday, six forums were held both to discuss topics within the “Four Pillars” put forth by Metropolitan Tikhon and to provide recommendations emanating from discussion.  Each forum’s deliberations were led by a panel, each of which included episcopal representation.  The forum topics were: spiritual life, clergy care, stewardship, relations with others and evangelization both within and outside of the Church. 

At Wednesday morning’s plenary session, the Council continued the viewing of diocesan videos and then heard greetings from representatives of two of the Orthodox Churches present as guests.  This was followed by reports on the OCA Pension Plan, the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations (ORSMA) together with the Sexual Misconduct Policy Advisory Committee (SMPAC) and the work of the Metropolitan Council, whose purpose is to implement the decisions of the All-American Council.  Further reports were received from major institutions, including monasteries, seminaries, the OCA Representation Church in Moscow and the Board of Theological Education.  Finally, the session concluded with presentations from several pan-Orthodox initiatives and organizations whose ministries extend across jurisdictional lines.

During Thursday’s plenary session, greetings from Council guests were followed by a reflection by Hieromonk Alexis (Trader), at the time an American monk in Greece (now Bishop of Bethesda).  Council delegates then viewed video reports from three dioceses and proceeded to the election of Metropolitan Council and Pension Board members.  Selected participants from each of the six forums held the previous two days presented highlights from their sessions.  Reports were then presented by the Office of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations and concerning the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the US, presented by Archbishop Michael, Treasurer of the Assembly, as well as from the OCA Departments.  The session concluded with the announcement of election results.  During a formal dinner that evening, Archbishop Leo of Finland and Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky delivered inspiring addresses. 

The highlight of the concluding plenary session on Friday morning was the uplifting presentation by participants in the AAC youth program, which immediately inspired a spontaneous pledge drive on the Council floor, yielding pledges of $87,000 toward the establishment of a comprehensive Youth Department and the funding of a full-time Youth Director.  After video reports from the remaining dioceses, briefings from several Offices and organizations, and open floor discussion of a number of issues, the Council was adjourned with a closing prayer service and the installation of those elected to the Metropolitan Council and Pension Board. 

The 19th All-American Council was a living icon of the Church rejoicing in its unity and fellowship as a conciliar body and was marked by an atmosphere of peace and unity.  Participants remarked that the Council was like a family reunion.  An extensive youth program was again held in conjunction with the Council and the annual convention of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) once again took place in the days preceding the Council.  The vote to keep the triennial frequency of the councils was an indication of the great value delegates place on the Church gathering in Council as often as possible.  The turmoil and tensions that arose in the previous decade were now left behind, while the Church continued to move forward in a dynamic manner under the highly respected and trusted leadership of Her Primate.

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


Council Addresses and Sermons

Address of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon at the Nineteenth All-American Council
by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon

Associated news


Official Minutes

19th All-American Council Minutes


Handbook and Reports

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

Vespers

Matins

Divine Liturgy

Divine Liturgy Addendum

Akathist to Saints Joachim and Anna

Akathist to the Sitka Icon of the Mother of God

Akathist to the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God

19th All-American Council Facebook page


Documents

Process for Submitting Resolutions for the 19th All-American Council

Commemorative Book Advertising Order Form

Youth Program

Youth Curriculum

Explanation of Forums


Articles

History of Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church

June 5, 2017

History of St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church

July 1, 2017

History of Sts. Cyril and Methody Orthodox Church

August 9, 2017

History of the 9th All-American Council in St. Louis, MO

September 4, 2017

Priests of the St. Louis Area - Part 1 of 2

October 2, 2017

Priests of the St. Louis Area - Part 2 of 2

November 1, 2017

F.O.C.A. Clubs of the St. Louis Region

December 1, 2017

Mission Parishes in the Kansas City Deanery

January 2, 2018

Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve

February 3, 2018


Plenary Session PowerPoints

Plenary Session 1

Plenary Session 2

Plenary Session 3

Plenary Session 4

Plenary Session 5

Plenary Session 6

Plenary Session 7


Audio Files

Ancient Faith Ministries Podcast


Plenary Session Videos

"For the Life of the World"

Diocese of Alaska

Albanian Archdiocese and Diocese of New England

Bulgarian Diocese

Archdiocese of Canada

Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania

Diocese of Mexico

Diocese of the Midwest

St. Herman's Seminary

St. Tikhon's Seminary

St. Vladimir's Seminary - Part 1 of 2

St. Vladimir's Seminary - Part 2 of 2

Orthodox Church Capital Improvement Fund

Video Talk 1: Honesty - The Foundation for Repentance and Humility

Diocese of New York and New Jersey

Romanian Episcopate

Diocese of the South

Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America

Video Talk 2: Ascetic Reverence - The Path of Every Christian

Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Diocese of the West

Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania

Video Talk 3: Grateful, Optimistic Openness - The Outlook of the Repentant Ascetic


Daily Videos from Orthodox 360

Saturday, July 21

Sunday, July 22

360 Video: Union Station Hotel

360 Video: Exhibitors and Vendors

360 Video: St. Tikhon's Museum Exhibit

360 Video: Opening Plenary Session

Opening Address of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon

Monday, July 23

Tuesday, July 24

Wednesday, July 25

360 Video: Hierarchical Divine Liturgy

Thursday, July 26

Friday, July 27


Photo Galleries

Metropolitan Tikhon arrives in St. Louis for 19th AAC

19th AAC Exhibitors and Vendors

Metropolitan Tikhon, Holy Synod concelebrate Divine Liturgy in St. Louis

Metropolitan Tikhon opens, addresses 19th All-American Council

Officers deliver reports, delegates vote at AAC’s Second Plenary Session

AAC Youth Program combines faith and fellowship “for the life of the world”

A Worshiping People: AAC services

AAC Candids: "Worth 1000 words!"

19th AAC Highlights: Metropolitan Tikhon meets with Metropolitan Nathanael

19th AAC Highlights: Metropolitan Tikhon meets with Bishop Flavian

19th AAC Highlights: Archpriest Serge Sollogoub reflects on the AAC

19th AAC Highlights: Metropolitan Tikhon meets with Metropolitan Seraphim of Zimbabwe