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

18th AAC

After Melanie Ringa, OCA Treasurer, delivered her report during the Third Plenary Session at the 18th All-American Council on Tuesday afternoon, July 21, 2015, delegates overwhelmingly passed the proposed Financial Resolution with 451 votes in favor, 14 against, and 17 abstentions.

Ms. Ringa opened her report by reviewing developments in the Orthodox Church in America’s financial picture since the 16th AAC in Seattle, WA in 2011.  Much of what she reported was positive, noting that the Honesdale loan had been paid off and that bequests of nearly $1.5 million had been received or were expected in the near future.  She also noted that the 2015 budget was substantially the same as that for 2014.  This, she noted, was made possible in part due to the fact that His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA’s officers had accepted a 5% decrease in salary at the outset of 2014, adding that “those salaries had not been restored.”

Michael Strelka, Palatine, IL, then presented the report of the Auditing Committee.  He noted that recent audits of the Church’s books were so favorable, with the exception of minor issues, that they were, in effect, “contracting the Mission,” which he said is “a good thing.”

Priest Gleb McFatter, Naples, FL, Interim Chair of the OCA’s Pension Board, introduced Pension Administrator Maureen Ahearn, at the outset of the Board’s report.  He noted that our pension funds were well-invested and had gained a return of nearly 7%.  He also stated with that only 331 eligible clergy and other full-time Church workers currently enrolled, the Board would be working to increase participation.

Other highlights of the session included a video presentation on the Archdiocese of Canada, introduced by His Eminence, Archbishop Irénée, showcasing the life of the archdiocese’s parishes and ministries.  In conjunction with a video depicting the life of the Diocese of Mexico, His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo outlined the history of the Church in Mexico and expressed his personal thanks to those who established the Diocese some four decades ago and to those who continue to support it through hard work and prayer.  In particular, Bishop Alejo noted the contributions made by His Eminence, the late Archbishop Dmitri and His Grace, the late Bishop José, along with many others.  His Eminence, Archbishop Mark reported on measures being taken in the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania to address issues of clergy health.  He then introduced Archpriest Nicholas Solak, Stroudsburg, PA, who described the diocese’s recently established Clergy Peer Learning Group program to help clergy deal with the difficulties of ministry in today’s world.