The second meeting of the Preconciliar Commission for the 20th All-American Council was held on Thursday, June 25, 2020, by video conference. The council is slated to be held July 26-30, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland under the theme: Hope in an Age of Despair.
His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, in his opening address, informed the members of the Preconciliar Commission of the recent decision of the Holy Synod to postpone the 50th-anniversary celebrations of Autocephaly and the Glorification of Saint Herman until late 2020, continuing into 2021 concluding with a final All-Church celebration at the 20th All American Council. Addressing the pandemic, and potential effects it may have on the council, His Beatitude instructed the members of the commission and the local committees to proceed with their planning of the council as normal, noting the great importance of the All American Council in bearing witness and helping to maintain the identity, unity, and mission of the Orthodox Church in America.
The commission and committees of the 20th All-American Council will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects and will make necessary adjustments to the council based on additional feedback from local authorities and hotel officials.
Metropolitan Tikhon heard reports from Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America; Deacon Peter Ilchuk, Council-Manager; Archpriest Theodore Boback and Lisa Mikhalevsky, Local Committee co-chairs; and Rebecca Tesar, representing the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America which will be holding its annual convention in conjunction with the council.
The next meeting of the Preconciliar Commission will be held in September.
The All American Council, convened periodically, normally at intervals of three years, and bringing together all the various elements of the Church, is the highest legislative and administrative authority within the Orthodox Church in America. The Orthodox Church in America has convened more than 30 All-American Councils since the first in 1907. In order to differentiate between the councils before autocephaly and after it, when the church began a new existence, it was decided that the councils from 1907 to 1970 would be called by the term “Sobor” and that these gatherings since autocephaly in 1970 would be called by the equivalent term in English “Council”.