BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, OH [DOM Communications] – Tuesday, October 12 served as the first full day of the 60 Diocesan Assembly of the Diocese of the Midwest. Gathering at 7:30 a.m., the clergy and the faithful joined His Eminence Archbishop Paul for the Divine Liturgy. Co-celebrating with His Eminence was Archpriest Paul Jannakos, Chancellor, Archpriest Andrew Clements, Dean of the Cleveland Deanery, Archpriest John Memorich, Rector of Archangel Michael Church, Protodeacon George Potym and Protodeacon Wayne Kall. The choir was directed by Reader Philip Sokolov.
In his sermon, the Archbishop asked the faithful; “are you with me [Christ]” referring to the mornings Gospel reading, “preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God.” The Litany for the Departed was taken to remember clergy who have reposed over the past year from the diocese. At the end of the service, a petition was offered for more vocations in the diocese.
The first plenary was open by guest speaker, Archpriest Stephan Meholick, Rector of Saint Nicholas Church in Marin County, California. Speaking on the assembly’s theme, “The Sanctification of Time,” Father first reflected on the prayers of the Divine Liturgy and local tradition regarding liturgics focusing on his personal experience.
Reports were given by the Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Paul Jannakos focusing on new initiatives that are in the works to support and strengthen parishes. Fr. Paul also focused on programs for clergy such as continuing education and counseling. Following Fr. Paul’s report, the Secretary of the Diocese, Archpriest Herman Kincaid reviewed annual forms and incentives for completing them in a timely manner, among other diocesan protocols.
After breaking for Lunch, Fr. Stephan offered the second part of his spiritual reflections. This focused on preparation for Sunday liturgy. The practice of evening services, All-Night Vigil, or Vespers were discussed regarding the best practice for each community and living the faith. Those in attendance were able to engage in discussions about the sanctification of Saturday nights.
More reports were given from Metropolitan Council representatives, the Missions Committee, and the Late Vocations program.
“What will they find?,” Fr. Stephan asked those gathered when people walk into our churches. He focused on taking the faith and Orthodox practices “to the streets,” as a way of sharing and evangelism. “Bells!, bells are a big part of that,” Father explained with excitement. “You should see the look on peoples faces listening to bells – complete awe.” Other topics such as music and community offerings concluded the final session. Vespers was celebrated in the Church to end the days agenda.