j. What is a Diocesan Assembly?

What is a Diocesan Assembly?

For printing use a "Printer Friendly" PDF version.
(Adobe Acrobat Adobe Acrobat Reader required)

The basic unit of the Church is the diocese. A diocese consists of an Orthodox bishop, his priests and deacons, and all of the monastics and lay people who are members of the Parishes and Monasteries throughout his territory.

The Orthodox Church in America, unlike our fellow Orthodox Christians in this country, is in a unique situation. We were, but are no longer, a part of a foreign Church or Patriarchate. Subsequently, we are responsible for handling our own business, and for making our own decisions about issues of day-to-day Church life. These are for the most part practical matters, as most theological or disciplinary matters are already determined by the unbroken tradition, or Holy Canons, of the Church. Also, the O.C.A. is unique in that we do not exist under the control of any government, or under persecution of Muslims or communists, as have most of the Churches of the “Old World.”

Having this freedom, it was decided that the clergy and elected lay representatives of each parish within the diocese should gather every year to hear the reports of our bishop and of his assistants, to discuss practical matters of general interest, to adopt a budget for diocesan programs, and to elect members of the Diocesan Council, who assist the Bishop in the interim between assembly meetings. This gathering is called “The Diocesan Assembly,” and is annually held by our Diocese of the West, usually some time in October.