UOC-U.S.A. Metropolitan Council confers at annual meeting
The news release below was issued by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
SOUTH BOUND BROOK, N.J. - The Ukrainian Cultural Center in the Metropolia Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., was the site of the annual meeting of the Metropolitan Council of the Church on July 15-17. The Metropolitan Council is the board of trustees of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., and the annual meeting is conducted to approve a budget and plan programs for the succeeding fiscal year, as well as to examine the state of Church life and current programs.
The annual meeting was opened by the prime hierarch of the Church, Metropolitan Constantine, who offered the membership his view of Church life, outlining the accomplishments of the Council of Bishops, the Consistory, and Church organizations and institutions, setting the tone for the Metropolitan Council's obligation to plan for the coming year.
An extremely important project discussed by the council was the new museum and permanent memorial for the Genocidal Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine. Final approval was given for the inauguration of a major capital fund-raising program to ensure the construction of this complex as an annex to the current administration building in the South Bound Brook/Somerset headquarters complex of the UOC.
Requests will be issued to all survivors of the famine from the Ukrainian community throughout the world to make audio and video recordings of their memories of the famine and to contribute physical evidence such as photographs or documents to the museum for possible inclusion and permanent display as part of the memorial.
In conjunction with the construction of this new museum, the current space occupied by the Church's museum beneath St. Andrew Memorial Church will be converted into a mausoleum surrounding the crypt of Patriarch Mstyslav I. The space immediately encompassing the patriarch's crypt will become a permanent museum devoted to the lives of all the hierarchs who have served the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A. including the patriarch, Metropolitan John Theodorovich, Metropolitan Andrew Kuschak, Archbishop Bohdan Spilka, Archbishop Volodymyr Maletz, Archbishop Mark Hundiak, Bishop Joseph Zuk, Bishop Alexander Novitskyj and Bishop Paisiy Iwaschuk. Funds netted from the sale of spaces in the mausoleum will be earmarked for construction of the museum/memorial and for its maintenance.
Also of great significance is the Metropolitan Council action giving its complete support to the executive branch of Church administration, the Consistory, in its efforts to restore discipline and order in church life and to eradicate the concept of congregationalism, which is foreign to Ukrainian Orthodox ecclesiastical structure. The principle that the Church is one - the Body of Christ - and although "Sobornopravna" or Sobor-governed, it remains a hierarchal Church in accordance with the Holy Canons of Orthodoxy as clearly delineated in the UOC Constitution.
The Metropolitan Council also devoted significant time to the question of Church unity in Ukraine and the desired and needed actions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Such positive actions are essential to the resolution of many outstanding issues in the process of unification and recognition by world Orthodoxy of a truly autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church for Ukraine, free of any influence or control by the Church of Moscow.
The last two Sobors of the UOC overwhelmingly renewed and then reaffirmed the ancient and profound relationship between the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which began prior to 988 when St. Volodymyr the Great baptized the Ukrainian nation.
This unique relationship, which all 20th century patriarchs of Constantinople have reaffirmed, and its further development will be the primary topic of discussion when a delegation from the Metropolitan Council, headed by Metropolitan Constantine, meets with Patriarch Bartholomew in early fall of this year.
The Metropolitan Council expressed its joy at the coming commemorations in Ukraine and throughout the diaspora of the 10th anniversary of the rebirth of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine. The initial action in this rebirth was the proclamation by Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Lviv under the spiritual leadership of the Rev. Volodymyr Yarema (now Patriarch Dmitrij) of its return to Ukrainian Orthodoxy under the omophorion of Metropolitan Mstyslav of the UOC of the U.S.A. and diaspora, who was later elected the first patriarch of the UAOC.
During the balance of its annual session, the Metropolitan Council approved the budget of the Consistory for the current fiscal year and the reports of all Church departments, organizations and institutions, as well as plans for programs and events scheduled throughout the year.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, August 22, 1999, No. 34, Vol. LXVII
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