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St. Tikhon’s welcomed Dr. Constantine Kallaur to start off our Lecture Series following the All-American Council’s theme of Expanding the Mission. He provided a historical review from his eye-witness experience of these events, and through his service for many years in our Orthodox Church in America’s External Affairs Department.

Dr. Kallaur was a member of the delegation receiving the Tomos of Autocephaly in April of 1970.  He first chronicled events of the Russian Mission here in America through the Russian Revolution and the aftermath. He also shared a significant level of detail about the events leading up to the Tomos being completed, including that it was the Russian Orthodox Church that initiated the dialogue that was later broken off when impasses cropped up in 1967.   Archbishop Kiprian was tasked with overseen the dialogue in this early period.

After several subsequent less formal meetings, work began in earnest once again.  He recounted how Fr. Alexander Schmemann and Bishop Nikodim, along with others, painstakingly reviewed each point of the document that was ultimately signed. As part of his presentation, Dr. Kallaur utilized the photos from the website chronicling these events to introduce all the participants and share the story.  Upon signing the document, Patriarch Alexis died one week later.  See photos by clicking here.

Dr. Kallaur continued his historical review to talk briefly about Orthodox Campus Fellowship development that he was part of early on, as well as the now Orthodox Church in America’s involvement in ecumenical witness.   As he summarized his main points, Dr. Kallaur indicated regarding the OCA and its witness as local church here in North America:  “full speed ahead! 

During the question and answer period, Arlene Kallaur shared about the resources contained in the renamed Resource Handbook. Fr. Steven seized on this comment to verbalize the significance of the Orthodox witness this husband and wife team has offered within our OCA and beyond, as lay persons, underscoring the priesthood of all believers!

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