St. Anthony the Great
The meeting was held in the Church of the Holy Ascension in Fairfax, Virginia.
The meeting was chaired by Bishop Joseph (Hrebinka), with the following in attendance:
Archpriest Wsewolod Dutikow, Archpriest Daniel Meschter, Fr. Dimitry Amelchenko, Deacon Dimitri Dobronravov, Deacon Michael Foster, Diocesan Secretary Dimitri Gontscharow, and Alexander Renko.
Evgeniy Vernikovskiy participated by telephone.
To everyone’s pleasure, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Agafangel, First Hierarch of the ROCA, called from Odessa and gave his blessing to the meeting and to all the attendees. Metropolitan Agafangel will arrive in America on February 19, stay for 10 days and hopes to convene a diocesan conference on February 20. All attendees look forward to the meeting.
The meeting began at 0825 with the joint prayer of “O Heavenly King.”
The attendees approved the meeting agenda:
1. Bishop’s report.
2. Diocesan Secretary’s report.
3. Report from every rector, by rank.
4. General discussion.
1. Bishop Joseph welcomed the attendees and underscored the importance of such meetings, especially since everyone lives so far away from each other. He hopes this will be the first of a series of regularly scheduled meetings.
2. Now that the diocese has been established, it is important to develop its structure and diligently conduct the business of the diocese. Ukases, announcements, etc. need to be prepared ahead of time. The Secretary will create a diocesan directory of all the members. The monthly tithing from each parish to the diocesan account needs to be carefully maintained. The parish bylaws still need to be approved for use by all the parishes in the diocese.
3. Each rector spoke about himself and life at his parish. The number of parishioners is growing at almost every parish. Everyone agreed how important it is to continuously teach their flock about Orthodoxy, about attending services, about fasting, etc.
4. [The] Bishop offered his opinion that the division of the faithful into the so-called “fragments” was deliberate and that it is very important that all efforts be made to heal this painful wounding. Everyone agreed that we must find what unites us, rather than what divides us. Everyone hopes that the upcoming meeting of our representative with representatives of the other jurisdictions will have a satisfactory outcome.
5. a) Mark Kotlaroff was named the diocesan treasurer at the general meeting in Valley Cottage in October, 2009. Since Archbishop Andronik needs Mark to be the treasurer of the Syracuse diocese, a new treasurer must be found. Dimitri Gontscharow proposed Alexander Renko, a parishioner of the Holy Ascension parish, as a candidate and everyone agreed. Elections will be held at the diocesan conference in February.
b) The automobile assigned to the Synod Chancery in New York has broken down and it is not worth fixing. Evgeniy Vernikovskiy offered to look for a new used car and help pay for the insurance. The rectors will ask their flocks to donate a used car or help with the expenses.
The meeting concluded at 1130 with the joint prayer of “It is truly meet…”
Bishop of Washington, D.C.