Minutes — May 17, 2014

Society of St. John Chrysostom-Western Region

General meeting (informal lunch meeting at Light of the East Conference)

Saturday May 17, 2014,

St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church,

Irvine, CA


Present: Members Fr. Ramon Merlos, Fr. James Babcock Anne Petach, Fr. Dn. Michael Creighton, Victor Vallejo, Bob Greenwell, Gloria Brissette, and Diane Alves; Visitor: Elvira Opran. Excused: Fr. George Morelli, Msgr. Dennis Mikulanis (due to fires in San Diego area).

The meeting, around a lunch table at the Light of the East 2014 Conference, was informal by consensus due to level of ambient noise and shortness of lunch break, and opened at approximately 12:20 p.m. Anne recapped from the Minutes of the March meeting the suggestions made for programs for 2014-

 “Present situation of the Church in Ukraine.” Already decided for September 2014.

Why we can’t have intercommunion.”

“Evangelizing the Unchurched: Orthodox and Catholic approaches.”

“Icons vs. statues

She announced that since that meeting, Fr. Antony Bahou (St. George Antiochian, San Diego) has offered to make a presentation on Canon Law. Details for the September meeting were discussed. Bob Greenwell mentioned that he had spoken to Fr. James Bankston, pastor of St. John the Baptizer Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, La Mesa, and reported that he is receptive to being a speaker or hosting the program, or both. Anne brought up the possibility of postponing this topic until a later time due to the present volatile political situation in Ukraine and evidence of some hard feelings between Ukrainian Orthodox and Greek Catholics at present, adding that so far no English-speaking Ukrainian Orthodox speaker in the San Diego had been suggested.  However, the consensus after discussion was that a single-speaker program that would give an over view of the historical background and present situation would be helpful and not polemical, and that Fr. James Bankston, being very knowledgeable on the topic, would be a good speaker. Saturday Sept. 27 was chosen, pending confirmation by Fr. James, with the title to be: “The State of the Christian Church in Ukraine” Bob volunteered to phone Fr. George to remind him to officially contact Fr. James Bankston. The need to set a date for a late August or early September Executive Board meeting was discussed. Diane mentioned that she is unable to attend meetings on week days due to her work, and that other working people might not want to become SSJC-WR officers if weekday Executive Board Meetings were required. She noted that although weekdays are generally better meeting days for clergy, they can sometimes manage a Saturday morning. Fr. Ramon will contact Fr. George about a date for an Ex. Bd. Meeting. The next general membership meeting will be: Sept. 27, 2014 at St. John the Baptizer Ukrainian Church, La Mesa. The meeting adjourned at approximately 12: 40 p.m.   Respectfully submitted by Diane Alves and Anne Petach.  

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