Metropolitan Announces New 'Charter'
To Guide Syosset Reorganization:
Appoints Deacon Zarras 'Transition Officer'
In a letter dated December 30, 2006, addressed to members of the Reorganization Task Force, the Metropolitan set forth what he termed a 'Charter' outlining their continuing duties in guiding the wide-ranging reorganization of the central administration in Syosset now underway. In a second letter dated the same day, Metropolitan Herman appointed Deacon John Zarras of Sherman, Connecticut as 'Transition Officer' to oversee the process as a whole. While the Metropolitan had publicly asked Deacon Zarras, a member of the Metropolitan Council to do so at the recent joint meeting of the Metropolitan Council and Synod of Bishops, a 'Charter' outlining additional tasks for the Reorganization Task Force had not been discussed.
Among the provisions of the new 'Charter' which may lead to confusion and controversy is the assignment to "Assist and monitor the efforts of the Search Committee, and screen its results. (This may include assisting in evaluating the qualifications of candidates)." The Metropolitan Council had previously established a Search Committee, which already includes three members of the Task Force, that is, chairman Robert Kornafel and Deacon John Zarras, (who are both members of the Metropolitan Council) and Peter Bohlender, who is not. Other members of the Council's search committee include Council members Mary Caetta, Gregory Nescott, Eleana Silk, Dr. Faith Skordinski and Dr. Richard West. It is not clear how the Metropolitan's summary addition of the Task Force into the mix will impact the Council's search process; nor how the present Search Committee will react to the Metropolitan's wish that the Task Force "monitor" and "screen" its results.
The Metropolitan's first letter follows:
SUBJECT: Charter to Govern the Future Activities of the OCA Reorganization Task Force
TO: Robert Kornafel, Chairman
Deacon John Zarras
G. Peter Bohlender
The Holy Synod of Bishops, the Metropolitan Council, and the undersigned having accepted and approved the findings and recommendations of the OCA
Reorganization Task Force, I hereby charter its volunteer members to coordinate with the Transition Officer in implementing said findings and recommendations. This charter includes, but is not limited to the following tasks:
Augment the task force with other qualified volunteers as needed.
Assist and monitor the efforts of the Search Committee, and screen its results. (This may include assisting in evaluating the qualifications of candidates).
Complete the writing of job descriptions for positions of the Chancery and such other OCA positions as may be required.
Draft mission and functions statements for the four major entities, i.e., Treasurer, Secretary, Chancellor, and Ministries and Communications.
Develop policies and systems for employee performance standards and review, benefits entitlement, incentive awards, and grievance processing.
Develop a Human Resources Handbook.
Ensure Task Force activities and products conform to Best Practices for Financial Management.
I recognize that as key managerial/supervisory positions are filled and as the transition nears completion, many of the responsibilities enumerated herein will naturally devolve upon those positions. Nevertheless, the Task Force will offer to the new managers whatever guidance and assistance is necessary.
This charter is effective immediately and will remain in effect for two years unless sooner terminated.
The Task Force will keep me apprised of progress either directly or through V. Rev. Paul Kucynda and will brief the Metropolitan Council of progress at
each of their scheduled meetings.
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
The second letter outlines Deacon Zarra's responsibilities in detail:
December 30, 2006
SUBJECT: Charter to Govern the Activities of the OCA Reorganization Transition Officer
TO: Deacon John Zarras
The Holy Synod of Bishops, the Metropolitan Council, and the undersigned having accepted and approved the findings and recommendations of the OCA Reorganization Task Force, I hereby charter you, as a volunteer, to guide and manage the reorganization of the Chancery office. You are to reaffirm our staff's understanding of the mission of the Orthodox Church in America and its Statutes and of each employee's role in that mission. Specifically you are charged with the following:
Be present at the Chancery offices a minimum of two days per week to work personally with employees, individually and in groups, concerning day-to-day operations. At other times, be available via telephone and email.
Assess current employees' interest in and qualifications for assignment to positions in the new organizational structure. Mentor employees in preparation for assuming new or similar roles in the new organization. Emphasize team building in this process.
In conjunction with the Secretary and Acting Treasurer, examine work processes and restructure them as necessary to be consistent with the reorganized Chancery.
Schedule and conduct or arrange for weekly staff meeting for Chancery employees. Keep employees appropriately notified of the progress of the search process for key managerial positions. Resolve day-to-day issues personally or, as appropriate, by referring them to the Secretary or Acting Treasurer, or by seeking assistance from the Reorganization Task Force.
Provide regular progress reports to the Metropolitan and promptly report transition issues requiring his attention. Apprise the Reorganization Task Force of transition progress and of issues in their purview, e.g., topics requiring written policies or procedures. In conjunction with the Acting Treasurer, coordinate with the Chairman of the Metropolitan Council Finance Committee concerning new accounting software, processes and financial reports.
Your duties will phase out as the four major positions of the Church are filled, i.e., Treasurer, Chancellor, Secretary, and Director of Ministries & Communications. You will provide the new managers with current status reports of outstanding issues and make yourself available to them for a short period after their assignment, as necessary and appropriate.
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Deacon Zarras, a retired airline freight executive, is a recent graduate of St. Vladimir's Seminary. Elected to the Metropolitan Council as the lay delegate from the Diocese of New England last November, Zarras currently serves as a member of the Metropolitan's Reorganization Task Force, whose recommendations, presented at the December joint meeting of the Synod and Council, he will now be in charge of implementing.
In a related story, the OCA announced on December 22nd that applications were being accepted for the four major positions envisioned in the reorganization plan: Chancellor, Secretary, Treasurer and Director of Communications and Ministries. Details on the positions, requirements, salary, deadlines, etc, are all available online at the Church's website at www. OCA.org. According to informed sources, no more than three candidates for each position will be proposed to the Metropolitan by the Search Committee of the Metropolitan Council. The Metropolitan's final choices for each position will then undergo a confirmation process by the Synod of Bishops, as outlined in the OCA Statute. These confirmations are expected to take place at the forthcoming Spring meeting of the Synod.
- Mark Stokoe