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UniversalistGuy
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« on: March 22, 2011, 09:32:12 AM »

In the OCA, what is the relationship between the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan?  Is it like a balance of power idea or is it like a parish council where (presumably) the priest administers through his inner circle?
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 09:44:46 AM »

In the OCA, what is the relationship between the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan?  Is it like a balance of power idea or is it like a parish council where (presumably) the priest administers through his inner circle?

Since that's not how any parish council I know of functions (though of course there may be some like that somewhere), I can't answer your question.
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 09:58:55 AM »

In the OCA, what is the relationship between the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan?  Is it like a balance of power idea or is it like a parish council where (presumably) the priest administers through his inner circle?

I have a feeling that the relationship is similar to other jurisdictions that have similar set-ups.  The OCA and the GOA both have common governance at the top: local primate, synod of bishops, and a clergy-lay council (for the OCA: Metropolitan, OCA Synod, and Metropolitan Council; for the GOA: Archbishop, Eparchial Synod, and Archdiocesan Council).  In both cases the primate is the president of the synod (which has its own prerogatives), a diocesan bishop, and the chairman of the council.  He acts as a ruling bishop over his own diocese, and is able to speak on behalf of the jurisdiction and synod in many cases. 

The synod is the highest spiritual authority over the jurisdiction (in the GOA the Eparchial Synod maintains most of these rights, with some being passed up to Constantinople), and makes decisions on spiritual, canonical, liturgical, and other related issues. 

The Council exercises authority on behalf of all the clergy and laity as the second-highest administrative body of the Churches (for both churches the national conference - the OCA's All-American Council, and the GOA's Clergy-Laity Congress - is the highest administrative authority), acting as an interim administrator of the jurisdiction between national conferences and exercising regular authority for the jurisdiction.  All members of the synod are automatically members of the council, as are many key clergy and lay members of the jurisdiction.

Usually these councils have executive committees that meet more often than the council, and which thus exercise interim day-to-day authority, subject to ratification of the council in many cases.  Membership in the executive committee is usually comprised of members of the synod and laymen who either live close to the jurisdiction's main offices, or who have the means to travel regularly to said offices, as the executive committees usually meet monthly at least.

I hope this clears things up.
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UniversalistGuy
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 03:57:56 PM »

In the OCA, what is the relationship between the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan?  Is it like a balance of power idea or is it like a parish council where (presumably) the priest administers through his inner circle?

I have a feeling that the relationship is similar to other jurisdictions that have similar set-ups.  The OCA and the GOA both have common governance at the top: local primate, synod of bishops, and a clergy-lay council (for the OCA: Metropolitan, OCA Synod, and Metropolitan Council; for the GOA: Archbishop, Eparchial Synod, and Archdiocesan Council).  In both cases the primate is the president of the synod (which has its own prerogatives), a diocesan bishop, and the chairman of the council.  He acts as a ruling bishop over his own diocese, and is able to speak on behalf of the jurisdiction and synod in many cases. 

The synod is the highest spiritual authority over the jurisdiction (in the GOA the Eparchial Synod maintains most of these rights, with some being passed up to Constantinople), and makes decisions on spiritual, canonical, liturgical, and other related issues. 

The Council exercises authority on behalf of all the clergy and laity as the second-highest administrative body of the Churches (for both churches the national conference - the OCA's All-American Council, and the GOA's Clergy-Laity Congress - is the highest administrative authority), acting as an interim administrator of the jurisdiction between national conferences and exercising regular authority for the jurisdiction.  All members of the synod are automatically members of the council, as are many key clergy and lay members of the jurisdiction.

Usually these councils have executive committees that meet more often than the council, and which thus exercise interim day-to-day authority, subject to ratification of the council in many cases.  Membership in the executive committee is usually comprised of members of the synod and laymen who either live close to the jurisdiction's main offices, or who have the means to travel regularly to said offices, as the executive committees usually meet monthly at least.

I hope this clears things up.

Thank you, Father.  I’ve been looking on the OCA website and trying to piece together how things work and figure out who’s who so that I can perhaps begin to understand what’s currently going on in the OCA.  The answers I’m really after would probably be categorized as “political” so I’m starting by trying to understand how the organization works.  Appreciate your help.
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UniversalistGuy
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 04:02:33 PM »

In the OCA, what is the relationship between the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan?  Is it like a balance of power idea or is it like a parish council where (presumably) the priest administers through his inner circle?

Since that's not how any parish council I know of functions (though of course there may be some like that somewhere), I can't answer your question.

How do the parish councils in the OCA work?  How many have you served on?
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 04:48:49 PM »

The Statute of the Orthodox Church in America defines the Parish Council. The relevant section may be found at http://www.oca.org/DOCstatute.asp?SID=12&ID=10.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 04:58:55 PM »

In the OCA, what is the relationship between the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan?  Is it like a balance of power idea or is it like a parish council where (presumably) the priest administers through his inner circle?

Since that's not how any parish council I know of functions (though of course there may be some like that somewhere), I can't answer your question.

How do the parish councils in the OCA work?  How many have you served on?

They work like any other group of people, sometimes more and sometimes less - and pretty much the same as church councils in my former Protestant church. I'm also familiar with parish councils in other parishes of other jurisdictions and I can assure you that it is not the priest ruling through his inner circle. I can't wait to tell this to a Greek priest who's a friend of mine!
I've served on my parish council for several years. I'm now the president.
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 06:15:25 PM »

In the OCA, what is the relationship between the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan?  Is it like a balance of power idea or is it like a parish council where (presumably) the priest administers through his inner circle?

Since that's not how any parish council I know of functions (though of course there may be some like that somewhere), I can't answer your question.

How do the parish councils in the OCA work?  How many have you served on?

They work like any other group of people, sometimes more and sometimes less - and pretty much the same as church councils in my former Protestant church. I'm also familiar with parish councils in other parishes of other jurisdictions and I can assure you that it is not the priest ruling through his inner circle. I can't wait to tell this to a Greek priest who's a friend of mine!
I've served on my parish council for several years. I'm now the president.

Yeah, that 'priest ruling through his inner circle' is really a hoot! Most parishes zealously guard the property and keep the priest as far away from controlling it as is possible.
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 08:46:54 AM »

In the OCA, what is the relationship between the Metropolitan Council and the Metropolitan?  Is it like a balance of power idea or is it like a parish council where (presumably) the priest administers through his inner circle?

Members of the Metropolitan council are hand picked so you are correct in your thinking. The parish council takes a little more effort to remove members that do not toe the party line or to intimidate and harras them into silence.

Understanding Clergy Misconduct in Religious Systems by Candace Benyei, PhD is a good textbook which describes the process clearly.



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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 09:36:32 AM »

Members of the Metropolitan council are hand picked so you are correct in your thinking. The parish council takes a little more effort to remove members that do not toe the party line or to intimidate and harras them into silence.

Are you 100% sure of this?  I know some members of these national boards are hand-picked; but there are a great many who are members by virtue of their office (diocesan chancellors, hierarchs, heads of various ministries, etc.).  And, ususally, there are members that are elected by the diocesan boards to represent the diocese at the national board.  My familiarity is only with the GOA's Archdiocesan Council, which has "hand-picked" members and members who are dictated by their position or by their respective diocese.
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2011, 11:32:29 AM »

"...perhaps begin to understand what’s currently going on in the OCA. "

Look here.
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2011, 02:44:16 PM »

"...perhaps begin to understand what’s currently going on in the OCA. "

Look here.

Truly a blog from an impartial, unbiased source.  I don't think so, but...

Let's give this OCA situation a rest and let them settle their own problems without our two cents.
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2011, 04:23:27 PM »

As a parish council president, I am just purely tickled by the lurid and imaginative parish council conspiracy theories.

Folks, we have to debate the color of the new tile in the fellowship hall for hours. Or whether or not to rent a storage building because some people are tired of keeping the Christmas decorations in their attic.

Pondering important decisions like this, while making sure that everyone's point of view receives careful consideration (no matter how weird and/or ridiculous), leaves us precious little time to hatch nefarious plots for a coup d'etat.
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2011, 04:26:30 PM »

As a parish council president, I am just purely tickled by the lurid and imaginative parish council conspiracy theories.

Folks, we have to debate the color of the new tile in the fellowship hall for hours. Or whether or not to rent a storage building because some people are tired of keeping the Christmas decorations in their attic.

Pondering important decisions like this, while making sure that everyone's point of view receives careful consideration (no matter how weird and/or ridiculous), leaves us precious little time to hatch nefarious plots for a coup d'etat.

Frankly, a parish council meeting is exceeded in its boredom quotient only by the annual meeting of the congregation. Of course, this was not the case years ago, but today the minutiae will wear you out.
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 05:05:52 PM »

As a parish council president, I am just purely tickled by the lurid and imaginative parish council conspiracy theories.

Folks, we have to debate the color of the new tile in the fellowship hall for hours. Or whether or not to rent a storage building because some people are tired of keeping the Christmas decorations in their attic.

Pondering important decisions like this, while making sure that everyone's point of view receives careful consideration (no matter how weird and/or ridiculous), leaves us precious little time to hatch nefarious plots for a coup d'etat.

Frankly, a parish council meeting is exceeded in its boredom quotient only by the annual meeting of the congregation. Of course, this was not the case years ago, but today the minutiae will wear you out.

Which is why I have made it a hallmark of my administration to have PC meetings last 1 hour or less (personal best is 45 minutes, but admittedly the priest didn't have a whole lot to say that time!) and annual meetings lasting just a tad longer. Food, ministry reports of no more than 5-10 min. (enforced by an air horn),  thanks and good-bye.
 Grin
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2011, 12:02:47 AM »

I wish the parish council meetings I attend could be so boring. I would tell you about them but would get excommunicated as a result. Guess you all will have to read about it in the newspapers in the coming months.
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2011, 01:36:20 AM »

The OCA's Metropolitan Council is composed of the OCA's national officers, Metropolitan, Chancellor, etc., one priest and one laymen elected by each Diocesan Assembly, and 3 priests and 3 layman elected by the All-American Council.  The OCA Statutes are published at "oca.org" click "Documents".
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« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2011, 08:21:40 AM »

I wish the parish council meetings I attend could be so boring. I would tell you about them but would get excommunicated as a result. Guess you all will have to read about it in the newspapers in the coming months.

It is a sad note to observe, but those of us who have 'boring' meetings are indeed blessed. Most of us can relate to one time or another in the history of our own parishes when some issue or issues causing pain and discord painfully divided the board, the pastor, the parish and the community from each other or into factions. We should be thankful if we are avoiding such pain at our homes and remember those who are in such places in our prayers. We pray for the unity of the faith. Sometimes (myself included) we think that unity is meant only on a grand scale, we should not forget that this prayer is for all of us in our own homes, parishes, dioceses and families.
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« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2011, 11:03:38 AM »

As a parish council president, I am just purely tickled by the lurid and imaginative parish council conspiracy theories.

Folks, we have to debate the color of the new tile in the fellowship hall for hours. Or whether or not to rent a storage building because some people are tired of keeping the Christmas decorations in their attic.

Pondering important decisions like this, while making sure that everyone's point of view receives careful consideration (no matter how weird and/or ridiculous), leaves us precious little time to hatch nefarious plots for a coup d'etat.

Frankly, a parish council meeting is exceeded in its boredom quotient only by the annual meeting of the congregation. Of course, this was not the case years ago, but today the minutiae will wear you out.

Which is why I have made it a hallmark of my administration to have PC meetings last 1 hour or less (personal best is 45 minutes, but admittedly the priest didn't have a whole lot to say that time!) and annual meetings lasting just a tad longer. Food, ministry reports of no more than 5-10 min. (enforced by an air horn),  thanks and good-bye.
 Grin

I like your style Katherine of Dixie. You remind me of another "steel magnolia," Mother Thekla of the Saints Mary and Martha Monastery. Blessings.
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2011, 09:58:34 AM »

You remind me of another "steel magnolia," Mother Thekla of the Saints Mary and Martha Monastery. Blessings.
I know, love and esteem Mother Thekla - I hope to be like her when I grow up!  Grin

But that's a good point - boring is a blessing.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity….”
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« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2011, 12:40:37 PM »

I like your style Katherine of Dixie. You remind me of another "steel magnolia," Mother Thekla of the Saints Mary and Martha Monastery. Blessings.

Having known Mother Thekla for several years, I agree.   She is a very formidable woman.
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