General Assembly

Today my parish has it’s Annual General Assembly. For those of you not familiar with how an Orthodox Parish works, the General Assembly is the governing body of the local church. At the level of the Archdiocese we have what is called the Congress made up of two lay delegates and the clergy of each parish. At the local level the General Assembly is the body that would decide, as an example, if we are to buy and sell property. The main focus of today’s meeting is the budget for the coming year. I will also give an address on the future of the parish and I will be introducing some new initiatives for the parish for the coming year. I have spent considerable time working on the document that I will ready after Divine Liturgy today and many sleepless hours thinking about the assembly. Last years did not go so well.

In any event this is a big day in the life of our parish and I hope it proceeds without incident. Our Archdiocese instituted some new rules two years ago and this will be the first year that we really put them into practice. The major change is that I will lead the General Assembly.

We have a parish council elected by the General Assembly and they serve for two years. We presently have 12 on the council plus me. The council meets and elects a president etc. for the coming two years. In the past the General Assembly has done this. Well theologically speaking this is not correct. The president of the parish is the one who presides, namely at liturgical functions, that being the bishop. In his place there is a priest, me, who presides in his place making me, I guess, the president. I represent the parish before God. The council elects the president from it’s number because the president represents the council. I guess I would have to equate it with the US government. Consider this. We the people elect the president of the United States. Okay before you fill the comment box with the electoral college elects the president, I know this just work with me here okay? The president represents all of the people. The House of Representatives is made up of 435 people elected by their localities. From their number they elect the Speaker of the House, who by the way becomes third in line to the presidency. The same happens in the Senate with the President Pro Tem… Okay civics lesson has ended. So I guess it is the same idea, but with some theology thrown in for good measure.

Please pray for us as we enter this time of discussion about God’s Church. As the economy changes and the congregation gets older money becomes more and more an issue. Although part of the job of being a priest is running the parish, it is not the part that I like. First off we are not really prepared for this in seminary. However, I do have a business degree so I am a bit more prepared than some of my brother priests. So say a little prayer for us today that we seek and do God’s will. I will blog after the announcements of what the new initiatives will be I think they are great!


  1. MMm. It seems you have a more open and democratic process than I’ve seen in other Jurisdictions. Bravo!

    Many prayers.

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