Original Post: April 10, 2009
Last updated: November 1, 2009
FIRST PARISH COUNCIL
The first parish council of St. Dimitri of Rostov Mission of Los Alamos was formed at a retreat held at St. Michael's Skete on March 21, 2009 by parish priest Fr. John Hennies. Included as first council members to aid Fr. John in its administration were founding member Elizabeth Bezzerides, life-long Orthodox member Barbara Addessio plus new convert members Dimitri (Gary) Medrick and this writer, Arseny Pavel (Eugene or "Zhenya") Kovalenko.
At Lake Abiquiu, New Mexico, on the way to our first council meeting at a near by retreat at St. Michael's Skete. Fr. John is on the left of the upper photo, "Zhenya Arseny" (Eugene) is on the left in the lower photo as we are with other council members Dimitri, Elizabeth (in red) and Barbara. (Zhenya took one photo and Fr. John took the other.)
After that retreat I became aware of a new OCA podcast series. In the first podcast on April 9 Metropolitan Jonah was interviewed by Fr. Andrew Jarmus. In response to a question toward the end of the podcast Met. Jonah was asked what he sees for the traditional Church in the Twenty First Century, and he was quick to say that he sees it emphasizing love, concilliarity and consensus rather than hierarchy and power. At the heart of such a church organization is a corresponding new emphasis on parish community and communication. This means to me a new emphasis on horizontal rather than vertical relationships.
It is in this attitude that our tiny new parish tried to create its first parish council. I had the privilege of being appointed by Fr. John to the music and outreach committees. Barbara was appointed to the finance committee and Dimitri was put in charge of the church building facilities. Elizabeth, of course, being the founding member of the parish was asked to be resource to all the rest of us. Fr. John would be the final coordinator and liaison with the diocese.
A few days later I had a dream, which I believe clearly reflects my personal experience of our parish to that date. It appears to be a heads-up on what we face as a council and I call the dream "Trying to find the right pitch."</span> See the next post here.