Dear friends in Christ,
I have read your words with great interest. This is a topic that has interested me for some time now. AntoniousNikolas, I will ask someone in Ethiopia if they have any of those volumes sitting around there. I am sure they do. The type of books that I have found in some storeroom or bookshelf (or even the corner book dealer) in Addis is astounding, I am sure I can find a copy. There is also summaries scattered throughout different books, you may want to take a look at it.
Overall I think that we should not sit around waiting for hierarchs to formally meet and sign documents that are not going to be implemented as soon as people return to Kerala, Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Echmiadzin, Asmara, etc.
I believe that any future conference will have take place in the context of a fully revived Orthodox Church, with the faithful energetic and ready to carry things to the next level. The last meeting in Addis took place without the participation of any youth. The youth were discussed about, but not discussing anything themselves. It is not that the Fathers forgot about youth but that the youth were pre-occupied with other things: protesting against Vietnam, the monarchy, marching for civil rights, etc. In Ethiopia this generation is called “Ye Tewlid” literally meaning ‘the generation.’ Now, 40 years later Generation X, the children of “Ye tewlid,” realize that social change is utterly useless when you are spiritually dead so here we are back to square one again. To repeat, a conference of the Fathers has to take place within the backdrop of a full pan-Orthodox (Oriental) revival.
I believe that we should take full advantage of the fact that America is where all Oriental Orthodox live in a single country and in significant numbers. We should focus on networking and bringing our youth together in summer camps, picnics, spiritual retreats, and conferences and encourage our Elders to hold more joint Liturgies. From such interaction and practice the living tradition of what will be the Oriental Orhodox Church of America will be born. It will not come from people sitting around drawing up plans and putting things on paper, it will come as a result of praxis.
Let’s focus on what WE can do right here and now and focus less on what our fathers can do for us.