Our assembly is a yearly meeting that has both worship and administration at the core of the event. Since I joined the diocese in 1998 the structure is always the same: a three day meeting with hierarchical liturgies, a banquet, and two sessions of a yearly council. Each parish or mission has one clergy and one lay representative on the council, though others are invited to observe.
The council approves the budget of the diocese, there are presentations made for the ongoing projects in the diocese(Educational comissions, charity projects, report from the missiology director, etc), diocesan council elections for the next year, and new projects are brought before the council, discussed, and voted upon.
I was privledged to be our mission's lay representative for the 2000 Assembly in Dallas at the (then) new cathedral. At that point, there were no floor coverings or icons. As I know many of the priests and laymen in the southeastern US, it is always nice to go the assembly as I will be able to visit and worship with many friends.
In short, it's bascially a smaller yearly version of the All American Council for our diocese. I am not sure if other OCA dioceses have like assemblies or not. The Archdiocese of the South is a bit different at times given our growth from a handful of parishes to 49 parishes, missions, and other institutions, most of this from converts, immigrants, and the expert sheparding of Vladyka.
I am curious, I thought all of the diocese in America had similar types of meetings each year, but it seems from a comment that this might not be the case. If there are not assemblies for discussion and administration of the church how are you administrated then?
I'm curious as well to see how other OCA dioceses meet administratively.
No, I wasn't able to make it this year to Dallas. Hopefully next year, although I'm not sure where that will be held yet. It seems to go between 3-4 of the larger parishes and the cathedral. Archbishop +DMITRI likes to have everyone come to each region of his diocese, as the past assemblies I remember have been in Atlanta, Miami, Mississippi, and Dallas. Perhaps one day we will see one in the Carolinas.
I was at part of the Assembly and they've decided to hold the next one in Charleston, South Carolina. I don't know if it's 2005, even though there's an All America Council in Toronto in 2005, or if it's 2006. I don't know much of anything - new catechumen.
That's me with the goatee and the green shirt and tie on, waiting to venerate the cross.
That hierarchical liturgy was absolutely amazing; it was my first ever, and really gave me much more of a sense of identity as an Orthodox Christian, with all the readings of "many years" prayers for all Orthodox patriarchs and metropolitans everywhere in the world, and seeing Metr. HERMAN go from tan robe to full vestments...truly unforgettable and, I would even say -- though I don't use this term often -- life-changing.
Very interesting...in that photo, the lady with the headcovering and small child is Matushka Kyra Moore from Holy Apostles Mission in Columbia, SC, and the gentleman directly above the child's head is Rdr. Samuel Hubbard, the treasurer at my parish. I love the diocese of the South...such a small intimite world.