CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] -- On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, Archpriest John Zdinak, Chancellor of the Diocese of the Midwest of the Orthodox Church in America, issued a memo for the purpose of clarifying the special assessment associated with the 17th All-American Council, slated to be convened in Parma, OH on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.
The text of Father John's memo reads as follows.
"Dear Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest,
"Many are inquiring about the cost of next month’s 17th All-American Council. The OCA Secretary has reported that, “Because of the lower costs associated with this special Council, the Dioceses will cover the expenses. There will be no parish assessment.” This statement has led to some confusion. For most All-American Councils, the OCA Treasurer assesses parishes directly. This year, instead, the Diocese of the Midwest received an invoice for $11,500.00. This was immediately paid.
"However, this is obviously an unbudgeted and unforeseen expense that must be recovered somehow. The Diocesan Finance Committee, which is tasked with resolving budgetary matters, felt that the most obvious and most transparent solution would be to assess the parishes according to the same proportionate model by which the Diocese is generally supported. This expense, to be sure, is also unbudgeted and unforeseen by parishes, but as it comes to $2.26 per member, it is hoped that the burden is not too great.
"There is, however, the related matter of a $12,166.76 windfall that the Diocese has received. This is a rebate of unused funds from the 2011 Special Assessment for the 16th All-American Council. The Diocesan Council of the Diocese of the Midwest has agreed that next month’s 51st Diocesan Assembly should decide what to do with these funds.
"It may be decided that they should be proportionately credited back to the parishes (according to the 2011 membership figures under which they were collected). Since this total is slightly greater than the 2012 Special Assessment, this would be one happy solution.
"An alternate idea, which the Diocesan Council intends to propose at the Diocesan Assembly, is to use the $12K+ as seed money for the Archbishop Job Memorial Seminarian Endowment Fund. This Seminarian Endowment was officially and enthusiastically established by the Diocesan Council at its June, 2012 meeting, and it is high in the priorities of His Grace, Bishop Matthias. The Diocesan Assembly may agree that the ability to offer some indefinite support to our seminarians might bring greater benefit to the Church than a small one-time refund to the parishes. Again, this decision it is entirely in the hands of the Assembly.
"I hope this explains our actions in this matter."