WINNIPEG – The Consistory Board of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC) resolved on April 16 to postpone its 24th Sobor of the UOCC, and requested that the Church’s prime hierarch, Metropolitan Yurij, immediately call the Sobor to be held in 2022 at a time and place determined by the Consistory Board, no later than July 10, 2022.
The 24th Sobor was originally scheduled for July 2020, but was initially postponed until July 2021. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic constraints, including an emerging new wave of the pandemic in parts of Canada, has limited the ability of its full membership to convene together.
The virtual format has presented numerous logistical challenges, including time zone differences, internet limitations in rural parts of Canada, the resulting limited pool of Sobor delegates who have computer resources, and a lack of assurance of full compliance with Sobor By-Laws in matters such as the participation of guests and voting.
Metropolitan Yurij ratified the resolution on April 17, when he issued a letter informing the faithful of the decision by the Consistory Board.
The letter stated: “It was not an easy decision nor was it taken lightly. Many factors were considered and robustly debated. There was no perfect or even good solution to the problems we confronted in planning a virtual Sobor. …We took what we viewed to be the best decision in the best interests of our Church and all of Her membership in circumstances that did not offer any good options.”
Metropolitan Yurij in his letter said that a blessing from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will be sought for the 24th Sobor to be held in person on or before July 10, 2022. He added: “Much of the work has already been done in the planning stages and will not have to be redone, rather readjusted for the new reality. There will be no need for those parishes who have submitted resolutions to re-submit them. We will continue to update our website [www.uocc.ca] with Sobor information to keep our UOCC informed of the progress towards the next Sobor. We invite your feedback and ask for your prayers so that we may continue to labor and serve for the Glory of God and the good of our beloved UOCC.”
Asking for the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire all to a fruitful conclusion on its third effort to hold the 24th Sobor, Metropolitan Yurij prayed for the safety and health of all of the UOCC’s hierarchs, clergy and families, and all its faithful, calling on all for understanding and support as the Church moves ahead during these trying times.
For additional and updated information, readers are directed to visit the UOCC website, www.uocc.ca.