On October 12-13, 2016 His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, and His Grace, Bishop Daniel, gathered together with faithful clergy and laity from throughout the Diocese of The West at Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in Los Angeles for the annual Diocesan Assembly. The Diocesan Council met on Tuesday, October 11, to finalize the agenda of the assembly and address any last minute business. Vespers was served for those who had already arrived.
On Wednesday morning, the Assembly began with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, presided over by Archbishop Benjamin, with Bishop Daniel, the Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Ian MacKinnon, the Deans of the diocesan deaneries and Archpriest Nazari Polataiko, Dean of the Cathedral. Present during the whole assembly was the wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God “Abbess of the Mount Athos” and holy relics of St. Gabriel of Mt. Athos accompanied by Archpriest Volodymyr Solomaha and Mr. Volodymyr Telizhenko from Ukraine. An Akathist to the Mother of God of Mt. Athos was served on Wednesday evening.
The annual assembly receives reports on the life of the diocese, the Address of the Archbishop, reviews and passes the Operating Budget, elects the Diocesan Council, internal auditors, and representatives to the Metropolitan Council. In addition, updates and the "good news" of the Orthodox Church Capital Improvement Fund (http://occif.org), the growth of a church and building on the prairie of Bozeman, Montana and a mission trip to Serbia were shared.
See the gallery of photos below, courtesy of Archpriest John Takahashi.