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18th Regular Sobor of the UOC of the USA

18th Regular Sobor

“THE LIGHT OF CHRIST ILLUMINES ALL”
The 18th Regular Sobor

One person wrote:  “It was the Sobor I have waited for all my life – Christ centered and Spirit filled.”  Another wrote:  “The Sobor was witness to the presence of the Holy Spirit, vivifying, inspiring, embracing, clarifying, healing…”  Still another:  “I met so many gifted and devoted people who are ready to offer their services to God through our Holy Church.”  Another:  “I actually feel that I am now part of a spontaneously created network of faithful people who fully comprehend that they have a ministry to fulfill.”  And finally:  "The Sobor committee meetings that I attended were so informative and comforting to me and my concerns about lack of leadership in our parishes were, for the most part, dispelled.” Such are the comments received by various members and staff of the Consistory since the close of the Sobor that virtually all its participants did not want to end.  This triennial event in the life of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA – the gathering of faithful and clergy – to discuss in depth the progress of her various ministries and to set the course for the future direction of our ministry to save souls, was truly a spiritual and life-confirming moment for all of its participants, particularly under the theme:  “THE LIGHT OF CHRIST ILLUMINES ALL”.

The Pre-Sobor Commission and the Consistory staff had made all the preparations and put the final touches on the meeting rooms.  The liturgical program was confirmed, the meal program was set and planning finalized for specific events, such as the History and Education Complex Fund Raiser honoring our hierarchs, the Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Genocidal Famine of 1932-33, the seminars on “Free-Will” and our Orphanage Adoption Program in Ukraine, were in place on Tuesday 2 October, when delegates arrived at our Metropolia Center, South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ for Vespers and registration.  The Credentials Committee had prepared registration packets full of information about our Church center, our Church ministries and literally dozens of Ukrainian community and Orthodox organizations and their programs and activities.

On Wednesday, 3 October, Sobor activity convened with the celebration of Divine Liturgy in St. Andrew Memorial Church.  His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine was principal celebrant of the Liturgy with our guests from Canada – His Eminence Metropolitan John and His Eminence Archbishop Yurij – concelebrating along with His Eminence Archbishop Antony.  Unfortunately, because of serious illness and hospitalization, His Eminence Archbishop Vsevolod was unable to attend our Sobor, but prayers were offered in this Liturgy and every liturgical service thereafter during the Sobor.  Clergy from all over the USA assisted.  His Beatitude called down the Holy Spirit upon the gathering of the people of God and the presence of the Spirit was evident throughout the remainder of the Sobor. A highlight of the Divine Liturgy this day was the elevation of Hieromonk Daniel (Zelinskyy) to the rank of Archimandrite during the entrance with the Gospel.  The Metropolitan reminded Fr. Daniel that every elevation received by any clergyman carries with it the understanding that more will be expected of the individual.  Archimandrite Daniel accepted this blessing from the Metropolitan in his natural humility. 

Following brunch the clergy and lay delegate, alternate and guest participants of the Sobor gathered in the rotunda and library of the Consistory building to prepare for the procession into the Sobor meeting room in the Ukrainian Cultural Center.  The people of God entered the Center carrying the sacred icon of the Pochaiv Mother of God and singing the traditional processional hymn, “O Lord, save Your people, and bless Your inheritance…” and the work assigned by God to those gathered began.  During his “State of the Church” remarks, His Beatitude defined the Sobor theme – “The Light of Christ Illumines All” – and the extent to which that Light has illumined every aspect of our Church’s life over the preceding three years.  As a shepherd of souls, His Beatitude led the clergy and lay delegates on a journey, which clearly pointed out the manifestations of that Light from the first moment of creation and the proclamation “Let there be light!” to the Light of Christ, which burst forth in all its brilliance from the tomb, transformed by the Risen Christ.

His Beatitude then pointed to manifestations of the Light of Christ is the contemporary life of our Holy Church, singling out All Saints Camp, Emlenton, Pa., the care provided the Christ’s little ones - the orphans in Ukraine by our Church through its mission teams, the establishment and growth of mission parishes in this country the presence in our parishes of laity and clergy, whose faith is one of quality, the light of Christ penetrating our Holy Church’s priestly vocation program, guiding 5 candidates from Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy and 9 from the USA through  the portals of Saint Sophia (Holy Wisdom) Seminary to be lovingly nurtured in the Holy Mysteries and pastoral service.

Throughout his address, His Beatitude hearkened back to the morning’s inaugural Divine Liturgy, to awesome and sacred moment of calling down the Holy Spirit to transform each and every one of us so that our thoughts and actions might always conform to Christ. As an instrument of the Good Shepherd, His Beatitude as Metropolitan and Primate of the Church, noted the Lord of the Harvest’s loving solicitude for the Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which He entrusts to our care by providing for future priests and bishops, men of high spiritual credential, men of faith, who will shepherd the Church long after the present priests and bishops have entered into the joy of their Master.

Having said this, His Beatitude spoke of the Metropolitan’s obligation before God to ensure that the ranks of the Episcopacy are filled and presented as candidate for the holy office of Bishop, the venerable Archimandrite Daniel [Zelinskyy].  The Sobor body immediately arose and declared “AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS! – HE IS WORTHY!”  His beatitude called upon the Sobor participants to await the formal resolution of the Sobor to “officially” proclaim “AXIOS”.  He presented the qualifications of the Archimandrite and all his accomplishments in the life of our Church and asked him if he would accept such a nomination.  Fr. Daniel’s response reflected that often spoken in salvation history, “If this be God’s Will, then God’s Will be done.”

Greetings were offered from the Ukrainian Orthodox Christians in our sister Church in Canada by His Eminence Metropolitan John and His Eminence Archbishop Yurij, who expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be present at the Sobor and to share in the discussions, which would set the course for the next three years of Church life.  Metropolitan John is the Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of all Canada and Archbishop Yurij is the Archbishop of Toronto.  They were present for the entire Sobor, participating in all general sessions and several of the Sobor committee meetings, offering their thoughts from the perspective another branch of Ukrainian Orthodoxy.

In presenting his report as President of the Consistory, Archbishop Antony began with comments on the theme of the “Light of Christ” and how that Light has permeated the entire relationship of God with humanity – the pinnacle of His Creation.  He outlined the evidence of that Light throughout the Old and New Testaments of Scripture and its ultimate manifestation in the Incarnation – God becoming one of us in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of the Father and second Person of the Holy Trinity.  The Archbishop confirmed, as he always does, that the mission of our Church is the salvation of our souls and proclaimed that mission to all who have questioned him over the past three years about a “mission statement” of our Church, which should appear on our website and in all our official publications. 

The Archbishop’s report opened with a concentration upon all the accomplishments of the Consistory Offices of Ministry, in particular our Orphanage Adoption Program, All Saints Camp Chapel, the St. Sophia Seminary chapel consecration and building renovations, the enrollment of 13 seminarians in the 2007-2008 Seminary academic program, the Mission Parish development and Parish rebirth programs and the History and Education Complex construction progress. 

After expressing his thoughts and concerns about each of these “good things” about which we have much to praise and be proud of, the Archbishop called upon the Directors of the Consistory Offices of Ministry, whose reports were already included in the Sobor reports packet sent to the delegates in advance of the Sobor.  The Archbishop wanted the Sobor participants to be able to put a face to the reports and thus, introduced the Directors, who made necessary additions to their reports and answered questions from the Sobor:  Protopresbyter Frank Estocin – Office of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations; Protopresbyter William Diakiw – Office of Publications; Deacon Dr. Ihor Mahlay – Office of Missions and Christian Charity; Natalie Kapeluck-Nixon – Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry; Rev. Fr. Harry Linzinbigler – Office of Adult and Family Ministry and interim Director of the Office of Religious Education; Archimandrite Daniel – Office of Public Relations and Communications; Dr. George Krywolap – Office of the Archive and Historical Information; and Dr. Stephen Sivulich – Office of Development.

The Archbishop referred the Sobor to specific items in his report, including the relations with the government and ecclesiastical bodies in Ukraine, the Ecclesiastical-Church Court hearing and ruling in the matter of Holy Ascension Parish, Clifton, NJ, stewardship, the “transitions” in the life of our Church – clergy ordinations, elevations, deaths, the various benevolent gifts to our Church through the last wills and testaments of devoted faithful and his activities as President of the Consistory and the many events he participated in representing our Church.  His Eminence made over 167 parish visitations over the three year period covered in the report – 2004, 2005 and 2006 – for liturgical services and meetings.  In concluding his report he lists the staff of the Consistory and the Metropolia Center and thanks them all for their contributions to Church life.

The Director of the Office of Financial Affairs, Emil Skocypec presented a complete financial report with detailed graphs exhibiting the receipt and utilization of all funds contributed to or earned by our Church.  He satisfactorily responded to all questions from the Sobor delegates and forcefully put across the message that our financial condition needs much, much improvement if we hope to continue the multitude of ministry programs we have developed, in addition to maintaining the vast complex, which is our Metropolia Center.  Mr. Skocypec was very forthright in stating that our income MUST be increased to avoid continuous operation in the red.  The Archbishop has always resolutely proclaimed that “the Lord will provide” and He always has, but we need to be proactive on our own in meeting our problems head-on.  He expressed his deepest gratitude to the Assistant Director of the Office, Natalia Honcharenko, who has always done a most extensive and accurate job in keeping and reporting our financial affairs.

Rev. Fr. Stephen Masliuk, Past President of the Ecclesiastic-Church Court presented a report on the Court’s hearing concerning the matter of the Church against certain suspended members of the former parish board of administration in Holy Ascension Parish, Clifton, NJ.  The Consistory filed a petition of Charges and Accusations with the Court and presented it to the Court hearing.  The defendants failed to appear at the hearing and instead sent a letter defying the Court and Church leadership, which was entered into the record.  After approximately 45 days of deliberation, the Court ruled in favor of the Consistory and filed the ruling with the Council of Bishops, as well as informing all involved in the case.  The defendants have failed to obey the order and the matter is now back before the civil court for final resolution.  Archbishop Antony informed the Sobor that throughout the entire process the courts have ruled in favor of the Church and in the end required the Church Court hearing, thus fulfilling the obligations of our Church Constitution.  There seems to be no reason to believe that the civil court will now reverse previous decisions.

Provost of St. Sophia Seminary rounded out the day’s plenary session with his report on the life and activity of the Seminary – in particular concerning the path followed in recruiting our first five seminarians from Ukraine to form the nucleus of the seminary student body.  He was delighted to also announce that there are currently nine additional “mature” students participating in the graduate study program of the seminary.  These are all men who have completed their undergraduate work in other disciplines, but feel a call to study theology and perhaps seek ordination to the deaconate or the full priesthood.  Fr. Bazyl also commented on the long process of Seminary renovations and the joy experienced by nearly 300 participants in the consecration of the Seminary Chapel.  He joined Archbishop Antony, who had earlier done so, in thanking V. Rev. Bohdan Kalynyuk and V. Rev. Todor Mazur and his parishioners at Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York City, for the enormous effort they place in time and energy in making the Three Hierarchs Seminary Chapel renovations possible.  Fr. Bazyl called all participants in our Sobor to financial support of the Seminary.

A workshop/seminar entitled: “Does Understanding the Brain Mean the End of Free-Will?” was presented by Dr. Paul Micevych, member of the Metropolitan Council and Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles – UCLA.  Dr. Micevych presented the latest studies on brain activity in relation to spirituality and religious belief and initiated a very lively discussion about belief, faith, Orthodox theology and many other topics.  It was a fascinating topic for the audience and presented studies so new that they have not been fully – or possibly may never be – interpreted by scientists or theologians. The program had to be concluded interrupting the discussion because of the late hour.

The entire day on Thursday, 4 October was devoted to Sobor Committee meetings in various meeting rooms at the Holiday Inn and at the Center.  The committees included:  Church Ministries, Missions, Seminary, History and Education Complex, Education, Publications, Parish Rejuvenation and Development, New Immigration Issues, Interchurch Relations, Finance, Stewardship, Resolutions, Nominations and Constitution.  Each of the delegates to the Sobor was asked to participate in at least two committee discussions – one in the morning and the second in the afternoon.  The discussion in each was lively and thorough with each committee preparing a report to be presented to the Sobor plenary session with resolutions, motions and resolutions concerning the committee’s area of interest. 

The evening program on Thursday was conceived as a fund-raiser for the History and Education Complex.  In conjunction with this, our three hierarchs were honored at the anniversaries of their service to God:  Metropolitan Constantine celebrating 40 years of priesthood, 35 of them as Bishop; Archbishop Antony, celebrating 35 years of priesthood, 22 of them as a Bishop; and Archbishop Vsevolod, celebrating 20 years of priesthood and as Bishop.

Dinner was followed by a beautiful musical program offered by four extremely talented individuals:  Julian Kytasty, Natalia Honcharenko, Michael Andrec and Roman Turovsky who presented a program entitled:  “Saints and Sinners: Songs of Worship, Penitence and Celebration” consisting of traditional religious songs from Ukraine’s “lyrnyky” and “kobzary”, two ancient Ukrainian musical instruments – utilized by the blind minstrel-bards and story tellers who traveled throughout Ukraine presenting her history and culture through song.  The kobzary usually focused on the historical epic type of material, while the lyrnyky presented the devotional and morality musical pieces, but they two often overlapped in their presentations.  It was a beautiful and unique program deeply appreciated by the audience. 

The official program followed and was a lengthy one because of the number of celebrations, but one filled with love and respect for the contributions our hierarchs have made in the life of our Church.  A special guest was His Eminence Archbishop Demetrius, Exarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Chairman of SCOBA and head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of the USA, who warmly and with much love greeted our honorees in behalf of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and all the hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in the USA.  His Eminence Metropolitan John of Canada spoke about His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine, His Eminence Archbishop Yurij of Canada about Archbishop Antony and Metropolitan Nicholas of the Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Archdiocese in America about Archbishop Vsevolod each of them having known and worked with the individual they presented for decades. 

The honorees present both spoke of their love for our Holy Church and thanked their fellow hierarchs and all present for the wonderful honor bestowed upon them.  Also present to honor our hierarchs were His Grace Bishop Basil Losten of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, who presented a letter from the Ukrainian Catholic World Synod of Bishops meeting in Philadelphia, PA  and signed by Cardinal Husar; His Excellency Oleh Shamshur, Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA; Mykola Kyrychenko, Consul General of Ukraine in New York City, representatives of the Ukrainian United Nations Mission and representatives of some Ukrainian community organizations and Credit Unions. 

In addition to the United Sisterhood announcement, several organizations, parishes and individuals presented gifts to the HEC project.  Some prominent contributions were announced:  Dr. Laryssa Zaika from St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA - $25,000, the Ukrainian Information Bureau, Inc. - $58,500; Mrs. Mary Kramarenko in memory of her husband Petro - $30,000.  Eng. Sviatoslav Lychyk, St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Chicago and Executor of the Estate of Attorney Sviatoslav (Gerard) Kybaluck, whose estate left to the Church, would total approximately $800,000, a good portion of which would benefit the HEC.

The plenary session on Friday, 5 October began with the reports of our Deaneries and central Church organizations, all of which were included in the Sobor registration packet. Mrs. Nadia Mirchuk presented as President of the United Ukrainian Orthodox Sisterhoods emphasizing that the Sisterhoods continue to raise funds for the History and Education Complex and that she was pleased to announce at the Grand Banquet that the amount to be turned over to the Consistory is $300,000.  Engineer Michael Heretz, President of the St. Andrew Society presented the report of the Society outlining the continued support provided by the organization for seminarians and soup kitchens in Ukraine.  

The balance of the plenary sessions of this day was devoted to the presentation and acceptance of the Sobor Committee reports.  These reports will be featured in Consistory Circulars over the next several months and in the Ukrainian Orthodox Word.  There were many very good and substantial recommendations from the committees, which can be of significant benefit at the parish level. 

The Friday evening event of the Sobor was a 75th anniversary commemoration of the Genocidal Famine in Ukraine 1932-33.  The participants of the Sobor entered the dining room to tables clothed in dark colors, white napkins and spoons.  Archbishop Antony invited on individual from each table to come forth to light candles from the one he held and to light the memorial candles on the tables.  He then called upon Archimandrite to read a poetic work in Ukrainian about the Famine called “Pamyatayemo” (We remember). This reading set the tone for the commemoration.  Archbishop Antony then spoke about the Famine in English, proclaiming that WE WILL NEVER FORGET!  He stated it was not just the 10 million who starved to death that were lost. 

Demographers within and without Ukraine have estimated that had the famine not bee perpetrated against the Ukrainian nation, the population of Ukraine today would be between 70 and 100 million – rather than 52 million (including those working outside of her borders.  This means that in addition to the 10 million, another 28-48 million unborn were lost and with them much of what the nation could have been today.  Who knows what great clergymen, scientists, political leaders, educators, artists, writers and others may have changed the course of history for Ukraine?

At the conclusion of his remarks, the Archbishop called for dinner to be served – the kind of “dinner” those who perished in the famine may have had…a “soup” made of grass and whatever else could be located to give at least a speck of nutrition and “bread”, which sometimes consisted of tree bark.  Each individual was serve a “bowl” of the soup – actually a few spoons full – and the Archbishop asked that everyone eat in silence, thinking about what the parents may have been thinking in 1933, unable to provide any more for their children.  This “meal” was a very moving experience and the silence was deafening.

His Excellency Ambassador Oleh Shamshur and Consul General Mykola Kyrychenko returned to the Metropolia Center for this famine commemoration and Mr. Shamshur spoke next about the consequences of the famine and the promise of the Ukrainian government to build an appropriate monument in Kyiv so that the nation will never forget.  He spoke of the plans for the construction of a monument in Washington, D. C., as well and that the USA National Famine Commemoration committee and his office headed the successful drive to seek Congress’s approval for it.  Negotiations are currently taking place with the National Parks Commission to select an appropriate and well-located site.  He urged all present to encourage the members of their parishes around the country to support this project. 

The next to speak was an invited guest from the Chicago Committee to Remember the Famine, Katya Mischenko-Mycyk, a member of the board of the organization.  Katya offered a very moving description of the conditions of the famine and the long term effects it has had on the nation. She stressed the need for public education about the famine and her efforts to gain passage of a bill in the Illinois State Legislature that would require all school districts in the state to include a study of the famine as part of their curriculum.  Those efforts were successful and all students in Illinois do receive this education. Her entire presentation can be found in this edition of the UOW.

Following the remarks, all the participants lit individual candles from the central candle on their table and walked in a silent procession through the darkness and across the footbridge to the Memorial Church for a Panakhyda on the deck before the entrance to the Church.  All the hierarchs in attendance at the Sobor participated in this service, commemorating the innocent souls and victims of the famine – what evil man can inflict upon his fellow man.  Metropolitan Constantine spoke before the service reminding the faithful that the very church before which they stood was built as a permanent memorial to the victims of the genocidal famine, who are remembered each time Divine Liturgy is celebrated therein.

On Saturday, 6 October, the first item on the agenda was a presentation by the members of the 2007 College Student Mission Team to our Ukrainian orphanages.  Adam Kennedy, one of the members and a student of film production at Temple University, created a brief video of the mission experience.  It was only six minutes long, but had an enormous effect upon the Sobor audience.  A longer documentary version of the video was presented to the Sobor participants on Saturday evening following dinner.  This documentary created lengthy discussion and praise in the evening presentation and the participants urged the immediate reproduction and distribution to the parishes of these very moving and informative records of our missionary work.

The balance of the day’s plenary session was devoted to the presentation of the remaining Sobor Committee reports and their acceptance by the Sobor body, the Youth Sobor Report (a group of high school students, which convened for two days during the Sobor and attended some sessions of the Sobor to learn about the workings of their Church) and the election of the membership to the Church administrative bodies: The Metropolitan Council, the Consistory, the Ecclesiastical-Church Court and the Audit Commission. 

The Committee reports resulted in some very important decisions of during the Sobor.  The financial obligation of individual members of the parish to the National Church was increased by $10 from $50 to $60 or $5 per month!  The obligation to support St. Sophia Seminary was increased by $7 to $12 - $1 per month!  Two new Consistory Offices of Ministry were recommended – the Office of Parish and Mission Development and the Office of Stewardship. The final report of the day was the Resolutions Committee, which always elicits much discussion since the resolutions express our Sobor’s decisions and opinions on many topics.  The final resolutions follow this article here in the UOW.

The Youth Sobor Report to the Sobor was a glimpse into the hearts and minds of our young Church members and their vision of what our Church must be:  focusing on Christ and our Faith, but not forgetting to honor our heritage, a source of education, a place of peace, a place where worship takes place not only on Sunday, a welcoming place a life supporting place and a place that reaches out into the community around it.  The youth offered some very practical suggestions to implement this vision in the local parish. 

The Sobor plenary sessions concluded with remarks by His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine thanking all the participants for their dedication and devotion to our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church and asking them to carry the Spirit and the Light home to their parishes and families sharing with them the experience of this Holy Sobor.  Throughout the Sobor the liturgical services were a constant source of sustenance for the participants.  Divine Liturgy was served by a hierarch and several clergy each morning in the Memorial Church and Vespers each evening in Three Hierarchs Chapel at the Seminary were followed by meditations offered by Protopresbyter Frank Estocin, Rev. Fr. Victor Wronskyj and Archimandrite Raphael (Moore).

The election results are as follows:

Metropolitan Council:  Clergy Members – Protopresbyter Frank Estocin, St. Vladimir Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA; Protopresbyter Taras Chubenko, St. Demetrius, Carteret, NJ; V. Rev. Michael Kochis, St. Michael Parish, Ambridge, PA; V. Rev. Robert Holet, St. Nicholas Parish, Charlottesville, VA; V. Rev. Timothy Tomson, St. Mary Parish, McKees Rocks, PA; V. Rev. Taras Naumenko, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Palos Park, IL and Rev. Fr. Robert Popichak, Holy Ghost Parish, Slickville, PA.  Alternates – Protopresbyter William Diakiw, Holy Trinity Parish, New Castle, PA; V. Rev. Jakiw Norton, Holy Ascension Parish, Clifton, NJ; V. Rev. Bohdan Kalynyuk, St. Andrew Parish, Bloomingdale, IL; Protopresbyter Nestor Kowal, St. Michael Parish, Scranton, PA; V. Rev. Volodymyr Steliac, St. Andrew Cathedral, Silver Spring, MD.  Lay Members – Emil Skocypec, South Bound Brook, NJ; Dr. George Krywolap, St. Michael Parish, Baltimore, MD; Dr. Gayle Woloschak, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Palos Park, IL; Dr. Paul Micevych, St. Andrew Parish, Los Angeles, CA; Helen Boyko-Greenleaf, St. Vladimir Cathedral, Parma, OH; Michael Kapeluck, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Carnegie, PA and Olga Coffey, St. Andrew Cathedral, Silver Spring, MD.  Alternates – Richard Jendras, Holy Ascension Parish, Clifton, NJ; Michael Heretz, Holy Ascension Parish, Clifton, NJ and Noreen Neswick, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Palos Park, IL.

President of the Consistory:  Archbishop Antony.

Ecclesiastical-Church Court:  Clergy - V. Rev. Bazyl Zawierucha, Holy Assumption Parish, Northampton, PA; Rev. Stephen Masliuk, St. Mary Parish, Bridgeport, CT; Rev. Fr. Vasile Sauciur, St. Volodymyr Parish, Los Angeles, CA.  Alternate – Deacon Anthony Szwez, St. Mary Parish, New Britain, CT.  Lay – Atty. Oleh Sasiuk, St. Andrew Parish, Los Angeles, CA; Atty. George Krywolap Jr., St. Michael Parish, Baltimore, MD.  Alternate – Michael Slavich, St. Michael Parish, Scranton, PA.

Audit Commission:  Clergy – V. Rev. Yurij Siwko, St. Andrew Church, South Bound Brook, NJ; Rev. Fr. Michael Danczak, St. George Parish, Minersville, PA. Alternate – Rev. Fr. Vasyl Sendeha, St. Luke Parish, Warners, NY.   Lay – Hanya Cherniak, St. Andrew Cathedral, Silver Spring, MD; Geoffrey Greenleaf, St. Vladimir Cathedral, Parma, OH; Atty. Edward Zetick, St. Vladimir Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA.  Alternate – Mary Lee Leszczuk, Holy Trinity Parish, Trenton, NJ.

During the first meeting of the Metropolitan Council following the conclusion of the Sobor, the following officers of the Consistory were elected:  Protopresbyter Taras Chubenko, Vice-President; Protopresbyter Frank Estocin, Secretary; Emil Skocypec, Treasurer, V. Rev. Michael Kochis, Member, Dr. George Krywolap, Member and V. Rev. Robert Holet, Member.

On Sunday, 7 Ocotber, Hierarchal Liturgy was celebrated in St. Andrew Memorial Church with all the previously mentioned hierarchs concelebrating along with Bishop Andriy of London, Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora, who arrived at the Sobor on Wednesday evening. The responses for Liturgy were - as usual - beautifully and spiritually sung by the Memorial Church Choir under the direction of Michael Lev. Following Liturgy Archbishop Antony conducted the Rite of Induction to Office for the newly elected members of the metropolitan Council, Consistory, Church Court and Audit Commission.

May God give the entire administration of our Church, the parishes and all the faithful of our Church a true understanding of the spirit of this 18th Regular Sobor.  May we open our life and our souls to the illuminating Light of Christ.

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