Monday, February 12. 2007
Your comments, thoughts, approval, criticisms and questions are all welcome as the Minutes of the most recent Metropolitan Council meeting are published.
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It sounds to me like the people in management roles of this church are listening to us.
Some of the things we have demanded are:
Competant staffing - hiring in process
Breaking ties with vendors associated in any way with the
scandal - Russin and Vecchi would be an example
Reporting of budgets and performance against.
Reporting of balance sheets.
Review and possibly disclosure of prior year compilation reports (Faith Skordinski was doing so).
Terminating the comptroller. (with my heart of heart, sorry Fr. Strikis)
There is a website out there called AIP. It is the American Institute of Philanthropy. Someday, maybe the OCA would be able to even be on that list. If we live by the Gospel, it should be easy to do.
Is there any further information on why Alice Woog left the meetings? I have personally been very tough on her thoughout this process. I'd like to think I've been wrong, but leaving the meeting is a cause for more concern. Maybe she was sick? There is a lot of flu going around. It doesn't really seem right to publish her leaving without providing further reporting.
Anyhow, the minutes were really the first time I've felt like the OCA is responding well. Maybe it just took them some time to absorb things.
Be patient, but persistent everyone.
#1 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-02-12 16:57
The minutes reflect a profound and utter confusion; a rudderless ship sailing toward an unknown destination. The wrongdoers are hiding in all this mess. If they can keep governance all balled up, and keep throwing up procedural nonsense, then they will succeed in avoiding public judgment which seems to be the only possible outcome of all these machinations. The OCA had a vision. That vision seems a faded memory now. It seems that the OCA must go back to the drawing board to find herself anew. What we have now appears corrupted beyond repair. The current leadership in place helped craft this mess over the years; and if they didn't actually craft it, then they certainly acquiesced to it. Whichever, we need change. We need to turn around. That is the definition of repentance. We need to hold prayer vigils, not council meetings right now folks. We are in bad shape spiritually. Until we change our hearts, our behaviors will not follow.
You'd think from reading the minutes that the Council was the US Congress. We're just a small body of people burdened by too many layers of pomposity and practices that make us look important. Do we love our own image? That's called narcisism. God help us. Let's drop the facades and start living for Christ instead of propping up these directionless fantasies. Too many are going through the motions with no sense of where we are going (or should be going).
#2 Name Withheld by Request on 2007-02-12 17:35
In all that very interesting reading, there was something that kept popping out to me. The recording secretary kept referring to Gregory Nescott as Attorney Gregory Nescott. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that Nescott is there asking hard questions. But I wonder - if I were on the Metropolitan Council, could I be referred to as Educator Christopher Eager?
It may seem like a little thing, but at least for me it speaks volumes of a culture where titles mean more than substance and reality.
As I read, I kept thinking of the line from T.S. Eliot's "Hollow Men": "Between the idea and the reality, between the motion and the act falls the Shadow." And of course, the poem ends: "This is the way the world ends, This is the way the world ends, This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper."
Lord, Hear my cry.
#3 Christopher Eager on 2007-02-12 18:39
Comment removed at author's request.
#4 Nathaiel Eichner on 2007-02-13 02:00
Take Post #1 (Mr. Fall) and combine it with Post #2 (anonymous *#!) and you have a pretty good picture of the current situation.
#5 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-02-13 06:47
I hope the whole Church reads and understands this post deep in their own hearts.
#6 Karen Jermyn on 2007-02-13 07:33
For what it's worth, I never identify myself as "Attorney" or "Esquire" outside of court. It is not who I am.
Your point is well-taken. For whatever reason, the recorder of the minutes repeatedly attached that title to me. Funny, but my reaction when I read the minutes was the same as yours: discomfort.
#7 Gregg Nescott on 2007-02-13 11:39
Please remove my comment above from the website.
Re-reading it now, I find it too snide and not the right tone at all.
I regret not taking the time to edit it properly before sending it on.
Editor's note: As you request the comment has been deleted.)
#8 Nathaniel Eichner on 2007-02-14 09:11
I, for one, regret that you removed it, though of course that is your privilege. While it was very strong in tone, it made many very important and relevant points. Hopefully, you will repost a revised version.l
#9 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-02-14 13:52
To say that doing a public budget is procedural nonsense is ludicrous considering the OCA hasn't done one that was meetable, nor public for years.
To remove Russin and Vecchi is objective and clear. I believe there are a few other vendors that may belong on the OCA chopping block. No "procedural nonsense" there either.
To believe a prayer vigil will feed the hungry is an equivalent statement to a prayer vigil balancing the checkbook; it isn't helpful on that subject matter. I guarantee that Christ didn't expect we wouldn't sow and reap the seeds from the field with prayer (it may help a bit).
So, if anyone is pompous, it is the person that believes prayer and not hard work and openness will solve the churches problem. I sincerely believe overhopefulness, combined with some sinfulness and pride came together to cause this problem. I'd be willing to bet that person prayed alot for a big donation that didn't happen. I don't believe prayer alone will fix this problem, so please don't combine my post with the anonymous guy. I found that post to be offensive to all the efforts anyone has made so far.
If he believes in his words, let him say them publicly.
Right, wrong, callous, or otherwise, I've stated things that I believe will be helpful in the end.
#10 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-02-14 16:47
I was expecting much more from both the Commission members as well as from the Metropolitan Council members in the form of postings, following the Metropolitan Council Minutes DAY 1.
It looks like that the culture of fear, corruption, deceit, cover up, lie, disrespect for the Church of God and Holy Mysteries, God's good people is characterizing the bolshevick elite from Syosset. Sorry of this expression, but MH and his cronies are acting like polit-boro activists.
This is unacceptable for anyone. The main point is this: the entire OCA Holy Synod should be replaced by well theological educated, real monks, and respected members of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If the USA politicians define already so called axis of evil, then we too have to define that, and to say that it is starting from Syosset.
There are at least three groups of bishops as part of the OCA Synod:
a) MH, Tikhon of Pennsylvania, Seraphim of Canada, Dmetri of Dallas, Nathaniel of ROEA, Kyrill of Bulgarians, Nicolae of Alaska, as MH loyalists,
b) Job of Midwest, Benjamin of the West, Nikon of Albanian as radicals,
c) Irineu of ROEA, Alejo of Mexico neutral.
The vicious circle is lead by the MH, who is very happy as being in control of the entire show.
Those part of Group (a) are underscoring the divine providence of the Almighty God and the work of the Holy Spirit of God within the entire Church including the OCA.
Time is coming very soon when they will be impotent in front of the federal agencies.
There are at least two groups of the OCA members (laity people) who are doing their best in filing law suits against the Syosset purpetrators (formers and actuals). Those who do not believe in God, do not fear God.
Here they are part of group (a). Very soon we will hear about the law suits and the Syosset pyramid will stumble immediately. The players from Syosset will be set up and the entire Orthodoxy will watch this show.
Those part of group (b) are willing to please God and the OCA membership much more, but they are obstructed by group (a). Without the intervention of the Federal authorities the Commission will not finish its job, and the people will be finally dissapointed. The obstruction of justice done by group (a) it visible from a long distance, along with the frustration of those belonging to group (b).
Those from group (c) are going with the wind. They are afraid to act. But for God's sake, what were they elected bishops to feel fear and to be slave? Is this the oca church?
The OCA Synod Secretary bishop Seraphim got use to misleading the OCA people for many years back. Just look at the way the minutes were taken and think about a professional KGB leutenent doing such a jub as per the directives of his boss colonel Mihevicj.
It is absurd for people in good standing of the OCA to trust anymore anyone from group (a). How they can go and serve the Holy Liturgy, or preach the gospel being many faces people, and even in Church?
The integrity and character counts much more that the lenghts of the beard and the smiling face of anyone. To bad to see so much hypocricy in a church body like the OCA Synod.
Until we do not take legal action, we will see no results. Post much more on this site dear OCA members. Nobody in Syosset fear God.
Let us hope for the intervention of federal authorities to clean up the house of God.
A dissapointed Orthodox Christian,
David Polk, 2 / 15 / 2007
#11 David Polk on 2007-02-15 01:57
Oh Mr. Fall, you don't know how to accept a compliment--even a left handed, or rather partial, one!
Of course, I thought you got it about half right--naturally you think more than that. There have certainly been positive developments, some of which you mentioned, brought about primarily by individuals on the MC, some of whom you have lambasted in the past.
But this is only a start and we have a long way to go. And as Post #2 says, there is the spiritual dimension-- not your favorite subject I know-- that needs to be addressed. Most certainly pomposity and narcissism are part of it. Which reminds me that your statement that the cause of all our problems is primarily "overhopefulness (sic)" is, to be kind, farfetched!
With respect to prayer, you do have a point with which I am in sympathy. As the Apostle James says--"Faith without works is dead." Or perhaps even more to the point the Bard himself:
"My prayers fly up,
My thoughts remain below,
Prayers without thoughts,
Never to Heaven go!"
#12 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-02-15 07:15
I'm saying I believe Christ wouldn't expect prayer alone to sow and reap the harvest in the field.
#13 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-02-15 11:44
That you would class my beloved ruling hierarch, Bishop SERAPHIM, as being party to any kind of faction demonstrates with woeful clarity that you don't know him at all. To charge, as you do, that he has in any way deliberately misled anybody in the fulfillment of any of his duties as ruling hierarch, as secretary of the Holy Synod, as chair of External Relations, and all the other jobs the Synod has stuck him with, shows that you know absolutely nothing about his character or his duties or the toll those duties take on a hierarch whose diocese is the largest territorial diocese on the planet.
So why don't you try doing your homework instead of shooting from the lip and indulging in character-assassination and pharisaical stupidity?
#14 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-02-16 05:32
Who was the one Bishop who objected to the Statement being released?
(Editor's Note: According to those present it was Archbishop Nathaniel.)
#15 Interested Party on 2007-02-16 07:04
To attempt to classify anyone, particularly hierarchs, into "camps" is (in my opinion) simplistic and ill-advised. Abp. JOB would classify Met. HERMAN as a supporter of his. When some on the synod called for his resignation, Met. HERMAN refused it.
These are not simple problems, as much as we'd like them to be. As I have said for over a year now, there are no quick fixes.
Having said that, I do think the minutes (thus far) are more like someone throwing the laity a bone. The silence is deafning. I'm mixed ... on one hand, I'm pleased we're getting what we're getting. On the other, the transparency necessary to restore trust is still absent from the inner workings of the governance of the OCA.
It occurs to me that we may be experiencing a different concept of Church.
Does Met. HERMAN (or the Holy Synod) see "Church" as synonymous with their person (or body)? I certainly don't view the Church that way. I'm a part of that Body called the Church.
If I'm part of that body, and the attorneys from Proskauer Rose are representing the Church not an individual, then they represent me.
Again, however, we may have a definition problem. The attorneys represent the legal entity called the "OCA". That legal person (a ficticious person) is represented by something/someone. I believe it to be the All-American Council and their delegated authority, the Metropolitan Council. Perhaps Met. HERMAN sees that representation as himself and the Holy Synod. It is on this point that I believe information is being withheld.
Perhaps it is a simple matter to point out to the attorneys that the statutory governance of the Church (legally) is vested in the All-American Council, and the Metropolitan Council as a designee. If they are not forthcoming with more public information, I suggest proceedings to seek a refund of all fees and possibly sanction the attorneys involved, as they are not representing or communicating information to their client.
Again, transparency in every aspect of governance is imperative here.
Sdn. John Martin
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#16 Marty Watt on 2007-02-16 09:40
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