The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States America was established ten years ago following an initiative by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
It is the coordinating body of Orthodox Christian Bishops in the United States. The group includes the North American hierarchs of the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Moscow, Georgia, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria as well as the OCA (Orthodox Church of America). In North America today there are 57 canonical Orthodox Bishops who serve 1.5 million Orthodox Christians. Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese presides as Chairman.
This year the Assembly convened for its 10th Anniversary meeting in Washington, D.C. from October 3-5. Receptions and other festivities dedicated to the anniversary followed.
On October 3, the members of the Executive Committee celebrated Divine Liturgy at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC. Archbishop Elpidophoros served with Metropolitan Joseph (Antiochian Archdiocese), Bishop Irinej (Serbian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Church), Bishop Saba (Georgian Orthodox Church), Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA), and Metropolitan Gregory (American Carpatho-Russian Diocese).
At the beginning of the Conference on October 4 Archbishop Elpidophoros stated that Orthodoxy is not a federation of Churches, but a very large global family. The Chairman emphasized that it is the responsibility of the Assembly to be a united voice in defending the traditions of the Orthodox Church. His Eminence also touched upon climate change and other world problems.
At the closing meeting on October 5 the participants summed up the Assembly’s initiatives and decided the date for the next meeting, which will be from October 2-4, 2022. The assembled hierarchs also expressed regret that their brothers-in-Christ from the Russian Orthodox Church did not take part this year. In his closing remarks Archbishop Elpidophoros emphasized that the main task of the Assembly is to, “bring the love of Christ to our every endeavor, so that our faithful behold in us the love of God for each one of them.”