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Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
The Office of Inter-Orthodox, Interchurch and Interfaith Relations

Report to the Archdiocesan Council
September 27, 2002

This Department of the Archdiocese has a three-fold mission:

  1. To promote closer relations and cooperation with other canonical Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in America;

  2. To promote closer relations and cooperation with other Christian Churches and agencies in America;

  3. To promote cooperation with other faith groups in America.

These three missions are carried out in the following manner:

1. Relations with other Orthodox Christian jurisdictions are fostered through the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), which is chaired by Archbishop Demetrios. The director of this department serves automatically as the General Secretary of SCOBA. As such he is responsible, with the assistance of a part time Associate General Secretary, the Rev. Dr. Gregory Havrilak, for the following:

  • Convening and chairing the Study & Planning Commission, which oversees all the work of SCOBA and prepares the Agenda for the Spring and Fall Meetings of SCOBA.

  • Arranging the two annual meetings of SCOBA, recording the Minutes, and maintaining the financial records.

  • Serving as liaison to the various SCOBA Commissions, such as, the Orthodox Christian Education Commission (OCEC), the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the Orthodox Military Chaplaincy, Orthodox Christian Scouting Commission (OCSC), the Ecumenical Commission, the Orthodox Christian Campus Commission (OCCC) and the Social and Moral Issues Commission (SMIC).

  • Organizing in 2003, May 5-7, at Antiochian Village, the Third Conference of all Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America. About 40 Hierarchs are expected to participate in this gathering.

2. Relations with certain Christian churches are promoted through bilateral dialogues, supported financially by SCOBA and sponsored by the Ecumenical Commission of SCOBA. At present we are engaged in four dialogues, with representatives of our Archdiocese participating in each of them:

a. The Orthodox/Roman Catholic Dialogue, which has been meeting twice annually for over 35 years. The next dialogue will be October 31- November 2, in Ottawa, Canada.

b. The Orthodox/Evangelical Lutheran Dialogue, which meets once each year, usually in May.

c. The Joint Commission of Orthodox and Roman Catholic Bishops, which meets once each year. The next meeting is October 8-10, in Chicago.

d. The Joint Commission of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, which meets twice each year. The most recent meeting was on September 10 at our Archdiocese.

In 2001, this Commission sponsored the first annual Prayer Service and Reception for all Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Ambassadors and personnel at the United Nations. Archbishop Demetrios presided at the Prayer Service at our Archdiocesan Cathedral. Speakers included the Archbishop, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte, and Armenian Ambassador Movses Abelian. In 2002, this event is scheduled for September 30th, at the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral. The Ambassador of Russia and Archbishop Barsamian of the Armenian Church will be the speakers.

Relations with other Christian Churches are promoted primarily through the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCC). The director of this department serves on the Executive Committee of the NCCC, and oversees a delegation of 10 Greek Orthodox clergy and laity appointed by the Archbishop to serve as delegates to the annual NCCC General Assembly and on the various committees of the NCCC. The current President of the NCCC is Mrs. Elenie Huszagh, the first Greek Orthodox person to serve in this capacity. All Eastern and Oriental Orthodox delegates to the NCCC meet occasionally to share concerns and promote a common agenda.

At present we are engaged in a process to expand the ecumenical table to include Roman Catholics, Evangelicals and Pentecostals, who are not members of the NCCC. Two meetings have been held and a new entity called Christian Churches Together in the USA is emerging. Several Orthodox participants are engaged in this process, and SCOBA hierarchs have indicated a desire to have one delegation representing its members, rather than nine separate delegations.

3. Cooperation with other faith groups, such as Islam and Judaism takes place through various venues, such as the World Conference of Religions for Peace, New York City Council of Religious Leaders, and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

The Ecumenical Office also oversees the work of volunteers representing the Archdiocesan Council, which has NGO status at the United Nations. These volunteers are Mrs. Lila Prounis, Mrs. Sophia Altin, Mr. Andonios Kireopoulos, and Ms. Stacy Malacos. Attached (A) is a report from Mrs. Prounis on some recent activities at the UN.

During the past four years the Ecumenical Office has also coordinated the program of Leadership 100 grants to small Mission Parishes in the Archdiocese and organized the establishment of the new Archdiocese Board of Parish Growth and Outreach, which will meet for a second time on November 19th, at the Archdiocese, under the chairmanship of Mr. Louis Nicozisis.

Also attached (B) is a list of my activities and pastoral visitations thus far in 2002.

Submitted by,

Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, Director

Attachment B

2002 Meetings, Conferences, etc.

1. January 10 - NYC Council of Churches - New York

2. January 15 - St. Catherine Foundation - New York

3. January 19-22 - Represent Patriarchate at St. Nicholas

Groundbreaking in Havana, Cuba

4. January 31 - Joint Commission of Oriental - New York and Eastern Orthodox Churches

5. February 1-3 - Board Meeting & St. Photios - St. Augustine, FL

Shrine celebration

6. February 6 - Archon dinner for Metropolitan Tarasios - Rydal, PA

7. February 8-9 - Ordination of Bishop Gerasimos - Brookline, MA

8. February 11 - NYC Commission of Religious Leaders - New York

9. February 14 - SCOBA Study & Planning Commission - New York

10. February 21 - Meeting with Dr. Crossin of the - New York

Washington Theological Consortium

11. February 23 - Ordination of Bishop Andonios - New York

12. February 24-28 - Trip to Bari Italy for St. Nicholas funds

13. March 4 - World Conference of Religions for Peace - NYC

14. March 6-10 - Patriarchal Visit to Boston and NYC

15. March 11 - SCOBA Social & Moral Issues Commission NYC

16. March 19 - NYC Council of Churches - New York

17. March 20 - NYC Commission of Religion Leaders - New York

18. April 4-6 - Christian Churches Together - Chicago

19. April 7 - Onassis Foundation - NYC

20. April 15 - SCOBA Study & Planning Commission - NYC

21. April 18 - NYC Commission of Religions Leaders - NYC

22. April 18-19 - IOCC 10th Anniversary - Baltimore

23. April 24-25 - Eparchial Synod Meeting - NYC

24. May 9-10 - Archdiocesan Council - Chicago

25. May 11 - St. Vladimirs, Open Library - Crestwood, NY

26. May 20-22 - Orthodox / Lutheran Dialogue - Pittsburgh

27. May 28 - Meeting with RC Bishop William Murphy - NYC

28. May 30 - NYC Council of Churches - NYC

29. May 31 - Lunch for Melkite Patriarch Gregory - NYC

30. June 3-5 - Orthodox / Roman Catholic Dialogue - Boston

31. June 11 - Archdiocese Board of Parish Growth - NYC

32. June 15-21 - Represent Patriarchate - Pasadena, CA at Global Christian Forum

33. June 22 - IOCC Race - Glen Cove, NY

34. June 27-July 5 - Clergy Laity Congress - Los Angeles, CA

35. July 19-21 - Southeast Choir Federation - Charleston, SC

36. August 1 - SCOBA Meeting - Syosset, NY

37. September 10 - Joint Commission of Eastern & Oriental Orthodox Churches - NYC

38. September 11 - CCCNY Service at Abyssinian Church - NYC

39. September 14 - St. Vladimir Dean’s Installation - Crestwood, NY

40. September 19 - NYC Council of Churches Banquet - NYC

41. September 24 - SCOBA Social & Moral Issues Commission - NYC

Pastoral Responsibilities & Visitations

1. January 5-6 St. George - Philadelphia, PA

2. January 7 St. Luke - Broomall, PA

3. January 11-12 St. George - Ocean City, MD

4. January 17 St. Athanasios - Paramus, NJ

5. January 29 Dental Office Blessing - New York

6. May 11 Host Archbishop Leo of Finland - NYC

7. March 13 Assist Bishop John of Amorion, hospitalized in NYC - NYC

8. March 23-24 SS Constantine & Helen - Washington, DC

9. March 24-25 Annunciation Cathedral - Baltimore, MD

10. April 14 SS Constantine & Helen - Orange, NJ

11. April 21 St. George - Piscataway, NJ

12. April 27 St. Sophia - Jeffersonville, PA

13. April 28 St. Catherine - Falls Church, VA

14. April 28 St. George - Bethesda, MD

15. April 29 Annunciation Cathedral - Norfolk, VA

16. April 30 SS Constantine & Helen - Newport News, VA

17. May 1 SS Constantine & Helen Cathedral - Richmond, VA

18. May 2 The Nativity of the Theotokos Church - Fredericksburg, VA

19. May 2 SS Constantine & Helen - Annapolis, MD

20. May 3 St. Demetrios - Upper Darby, PA

21. May 3 St. George - Trenton, NJ

22. May 4 Annunciation - Philadelphia, PA

23. May 4 St. Nicholas - Atlantic City, NJ

24. May 5 Holy Trinity Church -Egg Harbor Township,NJ

25. May 11 Holy Resurrection - Glen Cove, NY

26. June 8-9 St. George - Schenectady, NY

27. June 12 Ascension - Fairview, NJ

28. July 7 St. George - New York City

29. July 21 Holy Trinity - Charleston, SC

30. August 14 Kimisis - Holmdel, NJ

31. August 25 Holy Trinity - St. Augustine, FL

32. September 1 St. Demetrios - Daytona Beach, FL

33. September 7-8 St. Johns - Jacksonville, FL

34. September 13 Holy Cross - Brooklyn, NY

35. September 15 St. George - Asbury Park, NJ

36. September 21-22 St. Elpis - Hopewell, VA