Orthodox News

FIRST COUNCIL OF THE SERBIAN TRUE ORTHODOX CHURCH
Novi Stjenik – Lisine, October 2012

PROGRAMME

Participants in the Council

His Eminence Akakije, Bishop of Resava-Sumadija will host the council, which will be attended by Their Eminences the Hierarchs of the Russian True Orthodox Church, as well as clerics and representatives of the parishes and monasteries of the Serbian TOC.


Guests of the Council

Representatives of other True Orthodox jurisdictions will be invited, as well as representatives of His Eminence Artemije, Bishop of Raska-Prizren.

All participants and guests are encouraged to arrive prior to Sunday, October 7th according to the civil calendar.

Pre-Conciliar Activities

Sunday, October 7th: Hierarchical Liturgy at Novi Stjenik Monastery.

Monday, October 8th: Hierarchical Liturgy at Novi Stjenik Monastery, with the elevation of the Superior of Novi Stjenik, Nun Efrosinia, to the rank of abbess.

Tuesday, October 9th: Transfer to Lisine. Immediate preparations for the beginning of the Council and moleben for the beginning of the Council.

COUNCIL SCHEDULE

The council will work for three days, Wednesday, October 10th to Friday, October 12th.

Daily Schedule:

1. Early Liturgy from 4 AM to 8 AM.

2. Breakfast break and short recess.

3. Council session.

4. Lunch break at 3 PM and short recess.

5. Free time for meetings and conversations, and, if needed a second Council session.

6. Vespers at 7 PM

7. Dinner and rest.

COUNCIL TOPICS

1. Formation of the official ecclesiological position of the STOC in the midst of the irregular and highly complex conditions of contemporary Orthodoxy.

2. Position of the STOC in regards to the canonical jurisdictional borders of the historical Serbian Orthodox Church prior to World War II, both in regards to internal organization on the historical Serbian territory, as well as in regards to the external boundaries of the STOC in respect to other local churches.

3. Administrative governance of the STOC as a single eparchy with one bishop, in the current period before a Synod of the STOC is formed. Sub-topics include the formation of an eparchial council, a church constitution, and Church court.

4. Definition of clear ecclesiastical policies in regards to the members of the “official” ecumenist church (the Belgrade patriarchate), as well as in regards to the anti-ecumenists who have not yet joined True Orthodoxy (Eparchy of Raska-Prizren in exile). Sub-topics include the policy for means of reception of members of the Belgrade Patriarchy into True Orthodoxy (akriveia vs. economia), and the best means for opening dialogue with Bishop Artemije and his followers.

5. Definition of a positive policy in regards to other True Orthodox local churches and activities for the unity of the True Orthodox around the world; position in regards to the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece and its anti-canonical mission on the territory of the canonical Serbian TOC; finding possibilities for dialogue with the GOC of Greece.

EXAMPLES OF POSSIBLE MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS

1. Consecration of monasteries and churches in irregular and uncertain conditions.

2. Problems of married priests in irregular conditions, including, for example, the need for employment which may necessitate shorter hair and beards, etc.

3. Canonization of Saints: Holy New Martyr Deacon Avvakum (who was “canonized” by the false patriarch German); Patriarch-Martyr Varnava and Bishop-Martyr Nikolaj Velimirovic, as well as the choir of New Martyrs of Serbia tortured and killed by the communists and Ustashi, etc.

Post-Conciliar Activities

Saturday, October 13th – Visit to Hopovo Monastery and the historic town of Sremski-Karlovci with guests from RTOC.

Sunday, October 14th – The Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God. Hierarchical Liturgy at the Monastery of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Vrdnik.

Monday, October 15h – Visit to Belgrade with guests from the RTOC. Visit to the tomb of Metropolitan Antony Khrapovitsky.

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