New York.- The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Holy Archdiocese of America convened for its regular Fall Session in the Synodal Chamber of the Holy Archdiocese in New York on September 22-23, 2009.
All the Members of the Holy Synod were present and participated in the meeting under the presidency of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios.
The Holy Eparchial Synod discussed many issues among them the following:
1. Liturgical Issues: The Holy Eparchial Synod continued the work on the text for the Service of Reception into the Orthodox Church through Chrismation of Christians from other Denominations. The Synod also discussed the participation of children in the Divine Liturgy, which is of vital importance and recommended to have special Divine Liturgies for children, whenever it is possible.
2. Canonical Issues: The Synod continued its work on the texts: a) Regulations for the Holy Eparchial Synod, b) Regulations for Spiritual Courts, and c) Reasons for Ecclesiastical divorce. The Synod also discussed the important issue of interfaith marriages and the need for pastoral care and guidance for these families.
3. Educational Issues: The Synod congratulated the Department of Greek Education of the Holy Archdiocese for the publication of textbooks for the first level in learning the Greek language. It also thanked the “Faith Endowment” (FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism) for fully financing this project. Further, the Synod discussed the Special Program for the Deaconate, which was approved in its entirety. In this program 33 individuals have participated.
Additionally the Synod worked on and approved the revised booklet “Welcome to the Parish Council,” which will be distributed to all the Parish Councils of the Holy Archdiocese.
Other issues discussed by the Synod included:
a) The visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch: The Holy Eparchial Synod was fully informed about the upcoming visit of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the U.S.A., and discussed the participation of its Members in the various program events of the Patriarchal visit.
b) The decisions of the Pre-Synodal, Pan-orthodox Conference: Finally there was extensive discussion on the Fourth Pre-Synodal Pan-orthodox Conference in Chambesy, Switzerland last June, which dealt with the subject of the pan-orthodox unity in the Orthodox Diaspora.
After the conclusion of the Sessions of the Holy Eparchial Synod, the Members had the opportunity to participate in the subsequent session of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council.
From the Office of the Holy Eparchial Synod