NEW YORK — A Special Session of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) met on September 25, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., hosted by the Chairman of SCOBA, Archbishop Demetrios of America, at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in Manhattan. The session was attended by the following Members of SCOBA: Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Philip, Vice-Chairman (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Christopher, Secretary (Serbian Orthodox Church), Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese), Metropolitan Joseph (Bulgarian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America) Archbishop Antony (proxy, Ukrainian Orthodox Church) and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA). Also present were the General Secretary and members of the SCOBA Study and Planning Commission representing the SCOBA member Churches.
The entire discussion was focused on the documents related to the “Organization of Episcopal Assemblies” in the regions of the world that are outside the borders of the Autocephalous Churches. These Episcopal Assemblies have been authorized by the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference which met at the Orthodox Center of Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland from 6 – 13, June 2009. It was decided unanimously by the Hierarchs that the first such Episcopal Assembly shall be convened during Post-Pentecost Week of 2010, which will fall in the last week of May. The likely days of the Assembly will be May 26-27, 2010. There was also discussion as to the location of the Assembly, with a specific venue to be decided after investigation of locales and resources.
The Hierarchs also outlined an initial staging process, combining Hierarchs of SCOBA with sub-committees, which will formulate the outline of the form and agenda of the Assembly.
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