Minutes — September 17, 2016

(These minutes have not yet been approved so are subject to change)


Minutes September 17, 2016

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church 3025 Denver St., San Diego, CA 92117

Present: Fr. George Morelli, Fr. James Bankston, Fr. Brian Escobedo, Diane Alves, Jim Trageser, Victor Vallejo, Mark and Kimberly Hartman, Lynda Grasser, Gloria Brisette, Mona Hauslik, and visitor, Ken Trabold

Excused: Anne Petach, Fr. James Babcock, Msgr. Dennis Mikulanis, Fr. Ramon Merlos, Fr. Cavana Wallace, Bob Greenwell, Jim Trageser

The meeting opened at approximately 11:50. Opening prayer was given by Fr. James Bankston.

Agenda Approval: Motion: Mark Hartman. Second: Gloria Brisette. Agenda Approved.

President’s Report: Fr. George Morelli’s first action was to get the minutes of the previous meeting (May 21st) approved. They had been sent out to membership and posted on the website, but Diane passed out a few paper copies. Then Fr. George thanked Fr. Bratso Krsic, pastor of the host parish, and his parishioners. He announced that he would not be moderating the meeting as he usually does because he is one of the speakers. Instead, Mark Hartman would serve as moderator.

Vice President’s Report: Mention was made that some of us had participated in a brief executive board meeting via teleconference earlier in the week (September 14th) in which Jim Trageser presented and participants discussed some ideas for growing our organization.

Secretary’s report: Fr. George mentioned how much work is involved and mentioned that Anne Petach (Secretary Emeritus) is still helping. The report consisted of motion to accept the Minutes of the previous meeting: Motion: Fr. James Bankston. Second: Mark Hartman. Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report: The following is treasurer’s report as Bob is not in San Diego:


Beginning bank balance as of July 9, 2016           $ 875.77

dues payments received                                500.00    10 members
anonymous donation received                           500.00
estimated cost to print newsletters                 -440.00
estimated cost to mail newsletters                  -250.00
Estimated bank balance after newsletter cost     $ 1,185.00
dues received at this meeting                        100.00

There were no objections to the treasurer’s report so it was therefore approved.

Sgt. at Arms / Parliamentarian: No report was given

Historian’s Report: Anne is continuing as Historian, but wasn’t present.

Light of the East Newsletter: Jim Trageser wasn’t present. Diane mentioned not receiving any newsletters to distribute prior to this meeting or to the previous meeting. Fr. George mentioned not receiving any either. He then said we should talk about this at the next Executive Board meeting.

Facebook Page: Mark says the Facebook page should interact with the website. He asked who is handling the website. Diane said she posts the website. Mark requested a get together with Diane before our next meeting.



Upcoming Topics:

--The November meeting (November 19th) on the topic of the media was discussed at our July executive board meeting. The following is a quote from the minutes of that meeting:

“November 19th meeting about Media at St. Barnabas, Costa Mesa, hopefully, with Kevin Allen as one speaker. (Diane question: Is Kevin Allen a member of St. Barnabas?) He is a regular on Ancient Faith Radio. This might be an opportunity to get Ancient Faith Radio to promote us! Another possibility would be to use John Paul II University in Escondido for the location. That university specializes in Media for evangelization. A member of their faculty could be the second speaker.”

At this general meeting, it was mentioned that Fr. James Babcock is designated to contact Kevin Allen.

--The January meeting is planned to be on the Orthodox Synaxis (new church council) and held at Fr. Ramon’s church, Our Lady of Kazan (Russian Orthodox). Discussion ensued. It was mentioned that the Greeks are promoting the Synaxis. Victor Vallejo knows of a Greek priest who is giving sermons on the subject in the Redondo Beach area. He will try to get more information. Some jurisdictions such as Bulgarian and Romanian are against the Synaxis. Also, no Antiochian delegation has attended due to some conflict with Jerusalem over Qatar (???). Since so much conflict surrounds this topic, a motion was made to give the Executive Board permission to change the topic. Motion: Mark Hartman, Second: Gloria Brisette.

--Fr. George had a phone call with Fr. Steve Tsichlis, pastor of St. Paul’s Irvine. They decided a conference there May 5th and May 6th is feasible on the topic “The Lord Jesus vs. the Roots of Violence: Catholic and Orthodox approaches.” It was the chosen topic for this year’s  postponed conference.

--Also decided in the previously discussed phone call, was to hold an Executive Board meeting at St. Paul’s Irvine on October 10 at 11 AM – 12:30 PM followed by lunch provided by St. Paul’s.


Nominating Committee: Mark Hartman is heading the committee. We are supposed to hold an election for President and for Treasurer at the November meeting. The nominating committee hasn’t yet met. It was pointed out that nominations have to take place at the current meeting, so the floor was opened to nominations. It was assumed that Fr. George Morelli and Bob Greenwell, who both do excellent work for us, would continue in these positions. Fr. James Bankston nominated Bob, Gloria Brisette seconded. Mark Hartman then nominated Fr. George. He declined citing his brother’s health and his service of 10 years in the position.  He recommended Fr. James Bankston. Victor Vallejo made the nomination, Diane seconded. Fr. Bankston accepted. Now the nominating committee will have to come up with nominations for Vice President since Fr. Bankston will be vacating that position.

Summary of Executive Board teleconference which just took place on September 14th: Fr. Bankston moderated. Jim Trageser was the presenter. Also in attendance were Fr. Cavana Wallace, Fr. Ramon Merlos, Mark Hartman and Diane Alves.

--Jim suggested breaking SSJC-WR into regions: Santa Barbara/Ventura, Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego. Jim based his presentation on methods which work in the Boy Scouts, his employer. We would begin by contacting priests sympathetic to ecumenism in each region. They would find parishioners to help us. Local events could then be arranged with people not having to travel as far as is necessary now. To begin with, the San Diego area would provide support and be a model for the other regions. There would still be one executive board for the Western Region. It was suggested that some of our activities with other branches of the Apostolic Churches should be social activities. It was also suggested that parishes could get together with neighboring parishes (For example: St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine has book clubs and other activities with the Roman Catholic parish down the street.

--Discussion about the executive board meeting topic ensued. Fr. George mentioned our not having enough people now to add an “extra layer.” Our chapter probably first needs to grow stronger to provide a model which can be replicated in other areas. Unfortunately we seem to be dwindling, not growing.

--Mona mentioned our needing visual presentations, not just lectures, to get people interested. She was responding positively to the presentation made by Fr. James Bankston at her Roman Catholic parish in Ramona in which he showed vestments and liturgical vessels. She is a music coordinator and thinks music should also be part of the presentations.

--It was mentioned that some of us could make presentations at those churches in which the pastor is receptive. It was also mentioned that priests are too busy and will fear the extra work of adding other activities/groups to their parishes. We should reassure them that their lay people should do most of the work.

--Lynda mentioned that people want to experience liturgies. She has been involved with an Orthodox congregation in the mid-west which had monthly “unction” (anointing with oil) healing services to which visitors were invited (Diane question: Is this allowed? Can non-Orthodox receive the holy unction? Healing services would be a really good way to attract people, but would bishops approve?)

--Discussion then moved to “live streaming” our meetings (as opposed to merelyl posting them later on You-tube. Mark mentioned the “Periscope” application (or is it a website?). Mark Hartman also discussed needing venues for our meetings which have WiFi. Victor Vallejo said the WiFi somewhere messed up one of his videos.

Motion to Adjourn: Mark Hartman Second: Fr. James Bankston,

The meeting ended around 12:50 p.m., with a closing prayer led by Fr. George Morelli

Respectfully submitted by Secretary, Diane Alves


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