A Church that is both hierarchical and conciliar, under the leadership of our Lord Jesus Christ and inspired tradition

It has been said that the Orthodox Church is best thought of as organic or an organism, the Body of Christ, and not organizational or an organization. Indeed it is the "noetic" life of the inner heart with God's grace that forms the real spiritual unity of the Church, with each person fulfilling their role, as exemplified in the Divine Liturgy.

The 19th-century Russian Orthodox writer Alexei Khomiakov wrote of this in his essay "The Church is One," which has been reprinted in English in the last century in Russian Orthodox churches abroad.

 

Our mission parish as a local church community is under the direction of our Bishop, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of New York and Jordanville, in the Eastern American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), and the Holy Synod of ROCOR, of which Metropolitan Hilarion is also First Hierarch. ROCOR in turn is an autonomous Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church under the Holy Synod of Russsia and His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow Kyrill.

Russian Orthodox Churches, following the Orthodox tradition generally, as the Body of Christ reflect principles both of hierarchy and sobornost or conciliarity, with councils or synods of bishops, stretching back to apostolic times, governed by the Holy Spirit and the traditions of the Ecumenical Councils and Scripture and inspired Church canons, as the highest governing bodies, with all under the head of our Church, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Locally, Father George Sharonoff is Rector of our Parish and our spiritual and liturgical leader, under the direction of Fr. John Sorochka, Dean of Pennsylvania within our Diocese. At our mission parish, and working under Father George's direction, our Parish Council conducts non-liturgical and non-spiritual logistical business of the mission.

Currently the Parish Council includes our officers:

-- Subdeacon Paul Siewers, Warden
-- Isaac Beck, Secretary

-- Cam Mazeski, Treasurer

Other officers include the head of our Sisterhood Elizabeth Mitchell, Auditors Vince Mazeski and Megan Wagner, cemetery grounds manager Andre Wagner, and Sunday School superintendent Olesya Siewers.

Because of our size, we often function with the parish as a whole meeting together with Fr. George and the Parish Council, to plan and work on projects, and have regular Parish meetings.

Our mission bylaws are based on the ROCOR "normal bylaws" for parishes, and we also have cemetery bylaws regulating our cemetery.