Hierarchs, clergy and faithful from across the US, Canada and Mexico began arriving in Atlanta over the weekend of July 18-19, 2015 for the 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America. They joined hundreds of participants in the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians of America’s 89th national convention, which was already underway. The convention is the first to be held in conjunction with an AAC.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon arrived on Saturday, July 18, at the Atlanta Hilton. where he was given a warm welcome by members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, AAC and FOCA convention participants, members of the AAC local planning committee and faithful representing area parishes.
On Saturday evening, at the invitation of His Eminence, Metropolitan Alexios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, Metropolitan Tikhon, the Holy Synod, and many faithful attended a pan-Orthodox Vesper Service at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. [See photo gallery of Metropolitan Tikhon’s arrival and the Vesper Service on the OCA web site and Facebook page.]
Sunday morning opened with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Atlanta Hilton, concelebrated by Metropolitan Tikhon and members of the Holy Synod. Faithful from parishes throughout the area joined AAC and FOCA participants for the Liturgy. The choir of Saint Symeon Church, Birmingham, AL sang the liturgical responses. [See photo gallery of the Divine Liturgy on the OCA web site and Facebook page.]
AAC delegate and observer registration will continue on Sunday and Monday. Prior to the AAC’s official opening on Monday evening, July 20, several OCA dioceses will hold their annual assemblies at the AAC site.
The AAC will officially open with the celebration of a Service of Prayer at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, after which Metropolitan Tikhon will call the Council to order. Highlights of the plenary session include.
- welcoming words by His Eminence, Archbishop Mark of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania on behalf of the Preconciliar Commission.
- words of welcome from Archimandrite Gerasim, Archpriest Alexander Fecanin, Barbara Massoudi and Michaela Stasiewicz of the AAC local committee.
- a video presentation highlighting the AAC theme—“How To Expand The Mission.”
- the Address of Metropolitan Tikhon, followed by questions and answers.
- the reports of Archpriests John J. Jillions, OCA Chancellor and Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary.
Daily updates, galleries and videos will be posted on the OCA web site, Facebook page and 18th AAC Facebook page throughout the week, together with audio coverage by Ancient Faith Media and and video coverage by Orthodox 360.