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Hierarchical Visit 2017
Metropolitan ANTONY and Archbishop DANIEL visit Saint Job - 08/05/17
UOC of USA 21st Regular Sobor
UOC Sobor 2016
A Retrospective of the 21st Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
A Sobor is defined as an ecclesiastical synod, council, or assembly of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Every three years the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America (UOC of USA) holds its Sobor, which is made up of the clergy and two lay delegates from each parish for the purpose of discerning the consensus on important matters concerning the UOC of USA.
Father Theophan has asked me to share with you some of my impressions of 21st Regular Sobor of our UOC of USA, which was held October 17 - 22, 2016, at the Ukrainian Cultural Center (UCC) in Somerset, NJ, and which bore the title Called by Christ; Gifted by the Holy Spirit. The Metropolia Center Complex has the feel of a college-campus and all the things located there are described at http://www.uocofusa.org/cultural_center.html . The UCC facility serves as the spiritual, educational, and cultural center for most Ukrainian Orthodox Christians outside of Ukraine. Our meetings were held in the main building of the UCC.
Father Theophan and I flew together to the Newark airport in New Jersey, and from there took a taxi to Somerset, (South Bound Brook), NJ. we stayed in the Hotel Somerset Bridgewater conveniently located within walking distance of the UCC. A day later we were joined by our other delegate, Elizabeth Bezzerides, who flew in from Boston where she was visiting her son and his family. Almost all the meetings took place in the large multipurpose room of the main building of the UCC building, which also doubled as our dining hall. The kitchen and serving staff prepared three delicious meals each day for the Sobor clergy and delegates. That staff worked from before dawn, throughout the day, and into the evening hours, cooking, serving, moving around tables, chairs, and portable curtain walls in order to accommodate the meetings, meals, and other functions at the Sobor.
The agenda schedule was ambitious and thorough, and I recommend that you browse through the white three-ring binder notebook if you are interested in any of the details of the schedule and rules of the Sobor and the many reports presented, which covered all aspects of the functioning of the UOC of USA.
The main feature of the 2016, 21st UOC of USA Sobor was the presentation and final approval of the the UOC of USA Strategic Plan outlining in detail our Church’s vision for the future. In the Scriptural words of Metropolitan Antony”
“Where there is no vision, the people will perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)
This Plan is the result of more than a year of intense effort of a committee of 70 clergy and lay stewards who developed our Strategic Plan by consensus after considering available data and issues. Through a disciplined process, this committee first conducted a detailed analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of the parishes in the UOC of USA, and then drew up this Mission Statement:
The Mission of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is to offer healing, comfort, wholeness, spiritual fulfillment, and joy as we work together to reveal the beauty of God’s creation by proclaiming and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Also, in conjunction with this Mission Statement, a dynamic and inspirational Vision Statement was developed:
The Vision of the UOC of USA is to transform lives through Christ-centered, compassionate, and welcoming communities that embody Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition while serving and ministering to people as they navigate contemporary life.
This Strategic plan was adopted the 21st Sobor of the UOC of USA by a unanimous vote, and will serve as our working document as we move forward into the future.
I invite you to take home and read one of the several copies of our Strategic Plan that will be available in the church library. If you prefer, it is available online as a downloadable PDF at:
I highly recommend that everyone at St. Job’s Parish plan to attend one of the future Sobors either as one of the two delegates, or as a guest. I guarantee that it will be an edifying experience with daily divine liturgy services in the morning; wonderful food and fellowship at the three meal-times of the day; and then the “wall-to-wall” meetings and reports with the goal of prayerfully charting the future course of the UOC of USA.
Charles Beck, delegate to the 21st Sobor of the UOC of USA
Marriage & Family Workshop
Marriage as a path to holiness
June 25, 2016 -- Drs. David and Mary Ford visited St Job Church to present the lecture, "Marriage as a Path to Holiness." Dr. David Ford's talk on holiness in marriage and tips for infusing Christianity in family life was well-attended and motivating to all! For this event, we were able to get a permit to temporarily use our new church space, in development on Trinity Avenue in downtown Los Alamos. The picture shows a glimpse of our new fellowship space. For more information on this topic, check out the Fords' two books, Marriage as a Path to Holiness: Lives of Married Saints.