About 20 clergy and religious gathered in North Melbourne for the 2013 Annual Clergy Conference (Soborchyk) on 3rd to 6th December 2013. About 10 were not able to attend.
Fr. Simon Ckuj was the chairperson of the conference. He and Fr. Alex Kenez had planned this year’s Soborchyk. The conference was professionally organised and in fact was very significant as its main theme was Vision 2020. This is a programme planned by our church and its Synod. The pastoral letter, “A Vibrant Parish, A Place to Encounter the Living Christ,” written by our Patriarch Sviatoslav himself, was the central document for the whole week.
The Patriarch, through the Synod and the working group of Vision 2020, are challenging our parishes, which His Beatitude calls “sleeping giants”, to come to life, to work and pray together so that in the year 2020 each parish will have twice as many people as it does today. This will only happen if our parishes become places to encounter Jesus Christ. Fr. Brian Kelty, the Vicar for Evangelisation, lead the presentation of the vital programme. In his presentation Fr Brian led participants through the Handbook and other supporting documents so that every parish will be able to complete the initial stages of the programme which requires a series of sermons on the 6 essential elements of Vision 2020 and a series of parish meetings.
Bishop Peter Stasiuk, Eparch, informed the conference in detail about the recent Synod of Bishops which was held in Kyiv. He announced that the Synod has called for a session of the Patriarchal Sobor, which will be held in Ivano Frankivsk in 2014, dedicated to the programme Vision 2020.
Naturally other topics of administration were also on the agenda. Fr. Andriy Mykytyuk presented plans for the Catechetical and Liturgical Commission of our church. He noted that the new prayer book of our Eparchy will be published as soon as the English version of the Catechism is published. Fr. Simon talked about Professional Standards for Clerical Behaviour. Peter Crosby from CCI (Catholic Church Insurances) addressed a whole range of matters about risk management and health and safety issues. Bishop Peter presented the Eparchial plans for the new electronic age. Fr. Andriy spoke about receiving of the relics of Blessed Volodymyr Pryma and the pilgrimage centre in Canberra while Fr. Stefan Sapun spoke about the pilgrimage site in Marian Valley near Brisbane. A chapel is presently being built by the Brisbane parish. Mr Andrew Pavuk from Pavuk Legal in Sydney attended the Soborchyk and presented a thorough presentation on the 15 items which were suggested as possible statute additions and amendments. The discussion, which was attended by Maru Jarockyj of the EPC, was most helpful. Andrew will now draft the amendments, policies and instructions which are needed to bring our statutes up to date.
Fr. Simon presented a paper on the future of youth ministry in our Eparchy and important prayers for the future of our church. He proposed that our Eparchy put a tremendous effort into sending up to 50 young people to World Youth Day in Poland in 2016. Also plans were made to unite the thousands of pilgrims from Roman Catholic parishes in Australia to visit Ukraine on their way to Poland. Ukraine has so much to offer the world.
The programme was full and the work was very satisfying.
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