New York, May 8, 2008

The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Holy Archdiocese of America convened in its regular Spring Session in the Synodal Chamber of the Holy Archdiocese in New York on May 7 and 8.
       
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios presided. Present were the following Synodal Hierarchs: Their Eminences Metropolitans Iakovos of Chicago, Maximos of Pittsburgh, Methodios of Boston, Isaiah of Denver, Alexios of Atlanta, Nicholas of Detroit, Gerasimos of San Francisco and Evangelos of New Jersey. Present also was the Chief Secretary of the Synod, the V. Rev. Archimandrite Sebastian Skordallos.
       
The Holy Eparchial Synod deliberated on issues pertaining to the life of the Church. Among them, the following were discussed:
       
1. Liturgical Issues. A discussion took place and a decision was made regarding the submission of the text of the Divine Liturgy along with Liturgical Guidelines for their approval by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Said text will be translated into English following its approval. Additionally, the Synod assigned to the Synodal Committee in charge of Liturgical Issues the responsibility to prepare similar texts for Sacred Services,  Orthros and Vespers Services.
       
2. Canonical Issues. The Holy Eparchial Synod discussed canonical issues pertaining to the clergy and made relevant decisions with regard to issues of pastoral and disciplinary nature. Moreover, it discussed the text regarding Regulations of the Holy Eparchial Synod that is in the making, as well as issues of Inter-Orthodox relations and Ecclesiastical presences in America.  
       
3. Educational Issues.
a. Greek Education.  There was a discussion with positive comments  expressed, in regard to the new instruction manual for the Greek language designed for kindergarten children, which was published recently by the Department of Greek Education of the Holy Archdiocese. The Hierarchs were briefed and exchanged ideas with respect to the new instruction manuals for the Greek language that are in preparatory stages by the relevant Committee with the collaboration of the well known linguist Professor George Babiniotis. It was also announced that the number of teachers who will attend the 15 day educational seminars in Cyprus in July of this year increased from twenty to thirty compared to last year.
b. Religious Education. A new type of reference book planned  by the Department of Religious Education of the Holy Archdiocese was presented. During the subsequent exchange of views, the importance of this new type of reference book was emphasized, based on the first published sample with the title Journey Through Holy Week.  
       
4. Clergy-Laity Congress.  In reference to the upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress in Washington DC in July of this year, the importance of its theme Gather My People to My Home was underscored, as well as the need for a wider participation of Parishes. A more direct involvement of the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod in the analysis and application of the theme of the Clergy-Laity Congress was planned by means of special meeting to be convened at its commencement.

5.  In addition to the above, there was discussion and decisions were taken with regard to issues pertaining to Youth, Care for the Clergy, Retired clergymen, SCOBA, Leadership 100 and the Special Educational Program for Deacons.
       
After the conclusion of the Sessions of the Holy Eparchial Synod, her members had the opportunity to participate in the subsequent session of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council, preside over Committees of the Council and participate in the workings of the plenary session of the Archdiocesan Council on May 8 and 9 of this year.
                                               
From the Office of the Holy Eparchial Synod

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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Seventh Ecumenical Council

O Christ our God, You are most glorious, * for You established our Fathers as lights upon the earth * and through them led us to the true faith. * O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The Son Who shone forth ineffably from the Father * was born two-fold in nature. * Beholding Him, we do not refuse the image of his form, * but piously depicting it, we honor it faithfully. * Therefore the Church, holding fast to the true faith, * kisses the icon of the incarnation of Christ. (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Troparia of the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to labour for them.

St. Macarius the Great