On Thursday morning, March 26, 2015 in Dr. David Ford's course on America and Orthodoxy, Mr. Alex Liberovsky, the Archivist of the OCA, gave a wonderfully thorough and inspiring slide-and-lecture presentation entitled "The Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America and Church Unity: From Historical Vision to the Present." In this presentation he recounted the highlights of the story of Russian Orthodoxy in America, beginning with the missionary work in Alaska in the 1790s up to the present, with special emphasis on the synods of the Church, beginning with the first synod of the Russian American Diocese, held in Mayfield, PA, in 1907, under St. Tikhon of Moscow, through the granting of autocephaly in 1970, and continuing up to the upcoming 18th All-American Council, to be held in Atlanta, GA, this coming July.
Mr. Liberovsky also gave a short presentation at lunch in which he explained the current process of revising the Statutes of the OCA. He, and Fr. Steven Kopestonsky (who attended the 1971 Council held at St. Tikhon's at which the current Statutes were instituted), both emphasized the importance of the Statutes for everyone in the Church - especially parish priests, who need to make sure that their parish by-laws are aligned with the Statutes of the diocese and of the OCA. Mr. Liberovsky urged the students to study the tentative revision of the OCA Statute (as given on the OCA website) and make any suggestions by April 21.
We all wish to thank Mr. Liberovsky very much for everything he shared with us during his visit.
(Article by Dr. David Ford)