SSJC-WR GENERAL MEETING
January 17, 2015
Our Lady of Kazan Russian Orthodox Church
3703 Central Ave., San Diego, CA 92105
Present: Fr. George Morelli, Fr. James Babcock, Fr. Ramon Merlos, Fr. Hanna Sakkab, Dn. Tony Kabbane, Diane Alves, Victor Vallejo, Rudy Leza, Jim Trageser, Vladimir Bachynsky, Fr. James Bankston (had to leave mid-meeting). Excused: Frank Scialdone, Bob Greenwell, Anne Petach, Fr. James Bankston (mid-meeting).
The meeting opened at approximately noon with a prayer led by Fr. James Bankston.
Agenda Approval: Motion: Victor Vallejo. Second: Deacon Tony Kabbane. Agenda Approved.
President’s Report: Fr. George briefly thanked Fr. Ramon and Our Lady of Kazan parish for hosting this meeting. He noted that Victor Vallejo was videotaping the program and had permission from the speakers to post it on YouTube.
Vice President’s Report: Fr. Ramon thanked Fr. George for conducting this session and then led us in a prayer for Christian unity.
Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Bob Greenwell being on vacation, Fr. George ascertained that all had received the treasurer’s report via email, and then repeated from it the ending bank balance of $1,144.36, nothing that he believed that to be enough to cover two newsletter issues. Motion to accept report: Diane Alves, Second: Fr. James Babcock. Unanimously accepted. $81.00 was collected for the host parish. Fr. Ramon donated it to SSJC-WR. Fr. George will transmit it to Bob.
Secretary report: Fr. George mentioned that Anne Petach (excused) is one of our hardest workers. Diane Alves, recording secretary, having ascertained that all had received the November meeting minutes by email, asked for their approval. Motion to accept: Fr. Ramon, Second: Fr. James Bankston. Minutes accepted.
Sgt. At Arms: Fr. George mentioned that Frank Scialdone is still ill.
Co-sponsored Event on Thanksgiving weekend: Fr. George received very positive feedback from the organizer of the November catechetical event at the Catholic parish in Ramona about Fr. James Bankston’s “outstanding” presentation that day on “Sacred Vessels and Vestments.” Since the hoped for Roman Catholic speaker was unavailable Fr. James did the whole presentation.
Upcoming SSJC-WR programs: Fr. George suggested collapsing the two planned for Spring into a single one soon after Easter/Pascha. Catholic and Orthodox dates for Pascha this year being only a week apart in early April. Discussion of program topics followed, the final consensus being for the topic “Catholic and Orthodox Approaches to Evangelism” (previous March topic) rather than “Extreme Violence” the (previous May), in line with Jim Trageser’s suggestion that an uplifting topic would be preferable. Fr. Ramon moved that: our next meeting be soon after Pascha on the Evangelism topic:. Second: Victor. Unanimous. Date and place to be arranged.
Discussion followed on outreach activities. Social events were mentioned and there was much discussion on having information booths at parish festivals, as Catholics know very little about the Orthodox and vice versa, not to mention the Oriental Orthodox such as Copts and the Ethiopian Orthodox. It was mentioned that some churches might give us space for free but normally fairly high fees are charged for festival booths.
Jim Trageser mentioned the need to publicize events to parishes. Fr. James Babcock noted that instead we should go through the Dioceses and have them send to parishes. Jim also mentioned his Public Relations experience (e.g., his present job at BSA) and was promptly enlisted by Fr. George to work on this for us, and was invited to come to the next Executive Board meeting to present ideas.
Victor Vallejo, a Los Angeles resident, mentioned his hopes for an event/program in the Los Angeles area, noting his contacts with Huffington Ecumenical Institute, Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, the Catholic group at USC, and Fr. Alexi Smith, the ecumenical affairs officer of Los Angeles Archdiocese. No motion was made on this.
Suggestions for future programs:
– “The Diaconate East and West,” including in the early church (which included Deaconesses).
Fr. George mentioned that Presbytera Eugenia Constantinou could be a good speaker.
– “Introductory teaching on the Eastern and Oriental Churches,” since many people in America only know the Western Churches. Fr. George noted our past programs in Coptic and Armenian Churches for this purpose.
– “Extreme Violence,” under some aspect, is still open for reexamination.
Parish Memberships: St. John the Baptizer parish (Fr. Bankston) and St. George Antiochian Orthodox (Fr. Anthony Bahou) are taking out SSJC-WR parish memberships.
Executive Board Meeting: To be held in near future, Sat. Morning as the best time.
Motion to close: Fr. Ramon, Second: Vladimir
The meeting ended around 12:45p.m., with a closing prayer led by Fr. Ramon.
Respectfully submitted by Secretaries, Diane Alves (recording) and Anne C. Petach (Admin).