Orthodox Christian Laity Praises SCOBA Decision

NEW YORK, Oct. 1 /Christian Newswire/ — Orthodox Christian Laity expressed strong support for the unanimous decision taken September 25, 2009, by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) to hold a meeting next year on Orthodox unity, describing it as “another major step in the process leading to serious discussion about the future of Orthodoxy in America and the role of unity in that future.”

Peter Petkas, OCL president, praised SCOBA Chairman, Archbishop Demetrios and his fellow hierarchs for “their visionary and swift response to the Pan-Orthodox call for church unity issued last October in Istanbul and again this June in Chambesy, Switzerland. All serious Orthodox Christians are most grateful and encouraged by SCOBA’s decisive leadership in moving this process forward.”

“We realize that this meeting, scheduled Post-Pentecost Week of 2010, is just the beginning of a long journey toward closer cooperation and unity among Orthodox in America, but we are most heartened that our spiritual leaders are pointing us in the right direction,” Mr. Petkas continued.
George Matsoukas, OCL Executive Director, voiced “the hope that in the months ahead, Orthodox Christians, inspired by SCOBA’s leadership, would begin their own discussions about the possibilities and potential that unity holds for our Church and her life in America. In that respect, OCL is committed to helping the unity effort; and, on October 29-31 at Antiochian Village, Ligonier, PA, is hosting a conversation with the hierarchy, including Metropolitan Jonah as keynoter, other hierarchs, clergy and laity on ‘The Road to Unity — From Vision to Action’ which directly relates to the recent developments within the Church.”

The SCOBA decision is in accord with a decision authorized by the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference, convened by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in coordination with the 14 Old World Patriarchs at Chambesy on June 6-13, for the convening of “Episcopal Assemblies” to address the status of Orthodoxy outside the borders of the Autocephalous Churches.

Orthodox Christian Laity, an independent movement established in 1987, has been a leading and consistent advocate for Orthodox unity in North America and for the laity’s full participation in Church life; and in that spirit, anticipates that all members of the Church will fully engage in the process of leading to a unified North American Church.

You can register online for the OCL Conference at www.ocl.org/roadtounity. Contact George Matsoukas, Executive Director, at 877-585-0245. Visit www.ocl.org or www.orthodoxnews.org.

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