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GERMAN DIOCESE: January 9, 2015
The German Diocese hosts a Diocesan Conference

The German Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia hosted a diocesan conference, which in accordance to its regulations must meet every two years.

On the morning of December 29, 2014, Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St Prokopy of Ustjug Church, gathering some 50 clergymen. His Grace Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart, Vicar of the diocese, officiated, since the ruling bishop, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany had been hospitalized. The Hamburg parish choir sang.

The diocesan conference was hosted by the oldest Orthodox community of Hamburg (established in 1902), including some 100 people: in addition to clergymen, wardens and treasurers of each parish participated.

The gathering covered the entire agenda, including a report on church life over the last two years, the work of the German Orthodox Episcopal Conference and the Translation Committee, headed by Archbishop Mark. Also discussed were relations with parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate, and members and parishes of other Local Church in Germany, the website jointly operated with the Moscow Patriarchate, a general Pastoral Conference and the possibility of a joint meeting of the diocesan councils of both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Germany. The prospects for holding a church music conference were discussed, a seminar on bell ringing, and diocesan youth and family ministries. Last Decemberís Orthodox Open Seminar coincided with a youth gathering. Representatives of 7 nations participated: Russia, USA, England, Finland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine. The first day of meetings concluded with vespers and matins.

The next day, after Liturgy, the program resumed. New auditing committees and a diocesan council were elected, and the work of the outgoing auditing committee and treasurers was reviewed and approved. Separate round tables for clergymen, wardens and treasurers were also held with the participation of monastics from two monasteries: the oldest monastery in Germany, that of St Job of Pochaev in Munich and the Convent of St Elizabeth, established in Munich in 2005.

The conference unanimously adopted a new Regulations of the German Diocese. This diocese was founded in 1924 as a vicariate, and in 1926 became a free-standing diocese within the Russian Church Abroad under the authority of the Synod of Bishops in Sremsky Karlovci, headed at the time by Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky). In 1936 the diocese was granted corporate status and confirmed by all federal territories of Germany after World War II. The diocese had until operated by the 1936 regulations which required amendment. The new regulations took effect on January 1, 2015.

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